Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

Convention Supporters’ Myths about State Control of Delegates

By Publius Huldah

Convention supporters assure us that the States will have control over Delegates to an Article V convention.

That is not true.

The Truth is States have no power over the convention at Art. V.  All they can do is “apply” to Congress for Congress to “call” a convention. THIS CHART by Judi Caler shows who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

Delegates to an Article V convention are performing a federal function – they are not under the authority of the States.

Furthermore, Delegates are the sovereign representatives of The People and thus are vested with plenipotentiary powers to alter or abolish our form of government – our Constitution (Declaration of Independence, 2nd para).

This has already happened once in our history:

At the Federal Convention of 1787, this plenipotentiary power was exercised to replace our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, with the Constitution we now have. On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments to our first Constitution, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution – the one we now have.

Furthermore, the new Constitution had a new and easier mode of ratification: Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation (p 8-9) provided that Amendments to the Articles had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But the new Constitution, drafted at the “amendments” convention of 1787, provided at Art. VII thereof that it would be ratified upon approval by only nine of the then existing 13 States.

And the Delegates to that convention disregarded the instructions of their States as well as the instructions of the Continental Congress.

So! Not only do Delegates to a national convention have this plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution; the precedent to do so has already been established.

It is child’s play to figure out how to get around State’s “faithful delegate” laws.  This is how to do it:

Delegates can vote to make the proceedings secret – that’s what they did on May 29, 1787 at the federal convention where our present Constitution was drafted.

  • If the proceedings are secret, the States won’t know what is going on – and can’t stop it.
  • And if Delegates vote by secret ballot – the States would never know who did what.

So!  Do you see?  It would be impossible for States to prosecute Delegates who ignore State instructions.

Is it any wonder that James Madison, and Supreme Court Justices Arthur J. Goldberg and Warren Burger said that Delegates to an Article V convention can’t be controlled?

When James Madison and two former US Supreme Court Justices have warned that delegates to an Article V convention can’t be controlled, it is wicked to dismiss their warnings as “fear mongering”.

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January 27, 2016 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Federal Convention of 1787 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Open Letter to State Legislators Everywhere: The Other Side of the Article V Convention Issue

By Publius Huldah

If there is an Article V convention, we will lose the Constitution we have, and another Constitution will be imposed.

You are not getting both sides of this issue. Throughout the Country, those of us who are warning of the dangers of an Article V convention are marginalized, ridiculed, smeared, shut out of meetings, and barred from speaking in public forums. THIS short essay from the Principled Policy Blog describes what we face every day.

THIS article is an account by Donny Harwood, a Citizen of Tennessee, describing how he was shut out of the public meeting which the Convention of States people held on October 19, 2015 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. According to The Leaf-Chronicle, a number of Tennessee Legislators were at the meeting. A prominent Tennessee radio talk show host was also present.

And everyone at the meeting was prevented from hearing the other side of this issue.

The reason convention proponents forbid dissenting voices is that we prove, by means of Facts and original source documents, that the claims and promises of the convention proponents are false. HERE are some of the original source documents Legislators would hear about if they were presented with the other side of this issue.

We are in the final stage of a takeover. Statists of every variety [this includes the phony “conservatives”] want a new Constitution to legalize our transformation from the constitutional Republic created by our existing Constitution to a dictatorship.

To get a new Constitution, they need a convention. So they are telling conservatives that our Constitution is causing our problems and we need to amend the Constitution. And they say we can only make the amendments they say we need at a convention.

Article V of our Constitution provides two methods of amending our Constitution. Congress:

1. Proposes amendments, or

2. Calls a convention to propose amendments if 34 States apply for it.

The first method was used for our existing 27 amendments: Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

Under the second method, Congress calls a convention. We have never had a convention under Article V. Such conventions are extremely dangerous. THIS is one of many articles which illustrate the danger, sets forth warnings from two of our Framers and two former US Supreme Court Justices, and explains why Delegates to a convention can NOT be controlled by State laws.

National conventions are dangerous because the Delegates have the plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. The video by Chuck Michaelis at the bottom of THIS page explains these plenipotentiary powers. Such Delegates are the Sovereign Representatives of The People and have the power to impose a new Constitution. This has already happened in our history:

♦ At the Federal Convention of 1787, this plenipotentiary power was exercised to replace our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, with the Constitution we now have. On February 21, 1787, The Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments to our first Constitution, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution – the one we now have.

♦ Furthermore, the new Constitution had a new and easier mode of ratification: Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation (p 8-9) provided that Amendments to the Articles had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But the new Constitution, drafted at the “amendments” convention of 1787, provided at Art. VII thereof that it would be ratified upon approval by only nine of the then existing 13 States.

So! Not only do Delegates to a national convention have this plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution; the precedent to do so has already been established.

Statists have been pushing for a convention for 50 years – ever since the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. They need a convention to get it imposed.

Several other Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention.

If there is a convention, the only issues will be (1) whose Constitution will be imposed by the Delegates; and (2) what new mode of ratification will be set forth in the new Constitution.

♦ The Constitution for the Newstates of America imposes a totalitarian dictatorship. Article XII, § 1 thereof provides for ratification by a Referendum called by the President. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

♦ The Revolutionary Communist Party USA has a Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America.

♦ George Soros, Marxist law professors all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder want a Marxist Constitution in place by the year 2020.

♦ The “Convention of States” project wants a “re-written” Constitution which legalizes powers the federal government has already usurped, and delegates new powers to the federal government such as total power over children. Yet they are telling conservatives that they want a convention so they can get amendments “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government”!

♦ The political establishment [both major parties] wants to transform the United States from a sovereign nation to a member state of the North American Union:  Canada, the United States, and Mexico are to merge and surrender their sovereignty to a Parliament which is to be set up over the three countries.  The United States will need a new Constitution to bring about this transformation.  This is being imposed on us by stealth.  Read the Task Force Report of the Council on Foreign Relations HERE. And to see how the European Union is working out for the formerly sovereign nations of Europe, watch this 7.5 minute video by Pat Condell.

In the past, conservatives defeated the periodic pushes for a convention. So the statists changed tactics: Now, they are marketing it to appeal to conservatives: they are telling conservatives that a convention is the only way to rein in the federal government. These statists, some wearing conservatives’ clothing, are using the classic techniques of statists: They are not telling the truth; they are smearing their opponents; and they have divided conservatives. Conservatives who were deceived by the marketing have been induced to attack and exclude conservatives who are warning of the dangers of a convention. And they won’t let us address their groups.

Our existing Constitution really was a 5,000 year miracle. We delegated only a handful of enumerated powers to the federal government – you can see what we delegated HERE. Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – we need to restore the Constitution we already have. We begin the Restoration by reading and learning our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And enforcing it! See, in this regard, the Tenth Amendment Center’s 2015 State of the Nullification Movement Report.

For the Love of God and Country, heed this warning.

Nov. 25, 2015; revised Dec. 23, 2015.

 

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November 25, 2015 Posted by | Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Federal Convention of 1787 | , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

PH’s Article V Convention & Nullification Event in North Carolina on May 26, 2015

To my Friends in North Carolina: Do come! I would love to meet you. And if you don’t want to eat lunch, don’t.

To COS operatives & groupies: If you come and snip at me, I will show you how a Cold War Warrior (and womanly woman) with brains, knowledge, moral character, and a quick wit, fights.

Click on the photo to make it bigger.

 

MAY-7

May 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 8 Comments

PH’s Article V Convention & Nullification Events in Indiana for May, 2015

I will speak on the deadly danger of an Article V convention, and of the two remedies our Framers actually told us to use when the national government usurps power, at the following events:

Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 in Auburn, Indiana
Host: DeKalb County 9/12 Group
Location: St. Andrew Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 320 W. 4th Street, Auburn, Indiana 46706                                   Time:  5:30 p.m. for food; 6:30 p.m. for meeting, EDT.

See Face Book page HERE

 

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2015 in Elkhart, Indiana
Host: TEA-MAC  with Constitutional Sheriff Brad Rogers.
Location:  Trinity United Methodist Church, 2715 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, Indiana 46516
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

THE DEADLY DANGER OF ARTICLE V CONVENTION Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

PH’s Article V & Nullification Event in West Chester, Ohio

I will speak on the deadly danger of an Article V convention, and of the two remedies our Framers actually told us to use when the federal government usurps power, at the following event:

Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Host:  Building Blocks for Liberty
Location: Lakota West Freshman Auditorium, 5050 Tylersville Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern Time

See website describing event HERE.

 

There will also be someone from COS there to tell you that all our problems can be fixed by having a CONVENTION where our Constitution will be “amended”.  The official COS line is that only amendments will be proposed.

But Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for the COS, let the cat out of the bag when he said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

So the Communications Director for the COS says our Constitution will be “re-written”.  HERE is the screen shot of Sillar’s comments.

And what will this “re-written” Constitution look like?  Michael Farris’ proposed “parental rights amendment” gives us an ominous warning of what anything Farris has a hand in will look like:  His proposed amendment, which he claims will protect parental rights, actually delegates power over children to the federal and state governments! Read it HERE.

And don’t forget, the re-written Constitution will have its own new mode of ratification.  It need not be 3/4 of the States – it can be any mode of ratification the drafters want.  E.g., the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a Referendum called by the President.  Read the proposed Newstates Constitution HERE.

The reason these people want a convention is because a new Constitution can only be imposed at a convention.

Any needed Amendments can be made the way the existing 27 Amendments were made!  Congress proposes them and sends them to the States for ratification!  James Madison always said that when States want Amendments, they should instruct their Delegations to Congress to propose them.

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April 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PH’s Article V Convention & Nullification Events in Kentucky & North Carolina

I will speak on the deadly danger of an Article V convention, and of the two remedies our Framers actually told us to use when the federal government usurps power, at the following events:

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015 in Union, Kentucky.
Host: John Birch Society – Kentucky
Location: Triple Crown Country Club, 1 Triple Crown Blvd, Union, KY 41091
Time: Noon to 2:00 p.m.  Eastern Standard Time.
This is a lunch event – lunch is $16.00

 

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Host: Conservatives for Guilford County (C4GC)
Location: The Oakbranch Conference Center, 23 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time.

See flyer here: https://www.facebook.com/conservatives4gc/photos/gm.342448609282620/10152684533065373/?type=1&theater

 

Date:  Saturday, March 28, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Host:  The Rightful Remedy Conference
Location: University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Fretwell Building, Room 100
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

On internet: http://rightfulremedyconference.com/

On face Book:  https://www.facebook.com/events/386914354780520/

 

Love to see you at any of these events!  And if you can’t come, please forward to your contacts in these areas.

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March 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Why was the Convention Method put into Article V?

See this – only 3.5 minutes:

But for the complete story of what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 respecting the development of Article V, read this:  https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/article-v/

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February 4, 2015 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project | , , , , | 6 Comments

Straight Talk About An Article V Convention

By Publius Huldah

This speech was presented to Campaign For Liberty – Memphis on March 24, 2014. It exposes some of the false claims made by those pushing for the so-called “convention of states”. 1

Below are hyperlinks to the exhibits referred to in the speech. Additional resources are also included.

The one page Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, and federal system is HERE.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report 2 cited in the speech was dated March 7, 2014. CRS’s revised Report, dated April 11, 2014, is HERE.   The Report exposes as false the assurances that the States would be in control of a convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” (page 4)

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (page 4) 3

“. . . [In previous bills filed in Congress] [a]pportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college, with each state assigned a number equal to its combined Senate and House delegations. Some bills included the District of Columbia, assigning it three delegates, but others did not include the federal district. . .” (page 37; see also page 41)

“. . . A related question concerns vote allocation in an Article V Convention. Would delegates vote per capita, or would each state cast a single vote, during the convention’s deliberations, and on the final question of proposing amendments?. . .” [then follows a discussion of different views on this undecided issue] (page 41)

“Article V itself is silent on membership in an Article V Convention, so it is arguable that Congress, in summoning a convention to consider amendments, might choose to include the District of Columbia and U.S. territories as either full members at a convention, or possibly as observers. As noted previously, some versions of the Article V Convention procedures bills introduced in the late 20th century did provide for delegates representing the District of Columbia, although not for U.S. territories . . .” (page 42)

Page 40 of the Report shows there doesn’t seem to be any:

“. . . constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . . “

So! As the CRS Report states on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

Do you see? But by then, it will be too late to stop it. HERE is former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger’s letter confirming this. 4

The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE. For two papers showing how Michael Farris’ proposed amendment delegates power over children to the federal and State governments, go HERE  and, for the follow up paper, HERE.

To see how six of Mark Levin’s so-called “liberty amendments” do the opposite of what he claims, go HERE.

To see – on one page – proof of the original intents of the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses, go HERE.

The proponents of a convention portray the States as victims of federal tyranny. But the Truth is that the States voluntarily surrendered their retained powers, and the natural rights of The People, TO the federal government. And they did it for federal funds. Today, States get from 20% (Alaska) to 45.3% (Mississippi) of their State budgets from the federal government. State governments don’t want to rein in the feds! The people who run your State will do anything to keep their federal funds. HERE is the Pew Report.

Our Framers – those who actually signed the Constitution – NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:

  • amendments remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton at the federal convention on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

HERE are the Articles of Confederation. Note that Art. XIII required approval of amendments by every State.

HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville. Copy it to word processing, make paragraph breaks, & highlight it. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.

HERE is Joe Wolverton’s article about the Socialists’ involvement in the push for a convention.

HERE is the Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII addresses ratification by a referendum called by the President. Read HERE about the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Read them and see what is being planned for you by people you think are on your side.

HERE is the screen shot of Jordan Sillars’ comment re re-writing the Constitution.

For Q’s & A’s on this issue, go HERE.

Endnotes:

1 There is no such thing as a “convention of states” to propose amendments. The term is a marketing gimmick used by proponents of an Article V convention to manipulate people into believing that the States would control an Article V convention – from start to finish.

Article V, US Constitution, provides two methods for proposing amendments to the Constitution:

1. Congress proposes amendments and submits them to the States for ratification [the method we used for our existing 27 Amendments]; or

2. Congress calls a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments [for good reason, we have never used this method].

2 Even though we have never had an Article V convention; Congress has examined procedures for “calling” a convention so as to be ready if the need arises. The CRS Report proves that Congress has historically viewed its powers respecting “calling” a convention as exclusive and extensive. I thank Robert Brown for bringing the CRS Report to my attention.

3 The position Congress has historically taken in this regard is totally consistent with Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, which delegates to Congress power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the power vested in Congress at Art. V to “call” the convention.

4 Folks! For the sake of your Posterity, you must understand this: After a convention is convened, the delegates can do whatever they want – including coming up with an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification. Chief Justice Burger wrote in his June 22, 1988 letter to Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly:

“… there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose. . .”

The federal convention of 1787, which was called by the Continental Congress “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”, should serve as a warning: The delegates to the 1787 convention ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress [and from their States]; ignored Art. XIII of the Articles of Confederation which required the States to obey Congress on matters covered by the Articles, and wrote an entirely NEW Constitution with a NEW method of ratification which required only 9 of the 13 States for ratification.

Credits:  Many thanks to Devvy Kidd, Blue Tail Gadfly, and M. Craig Elachie, from whom I lifted the very best lines in the speech. PH

Posted October 11, 2014.

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October 11, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, James Madison, Jordan Sillars, Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin, Michael Farris, Necessary and Proper clause, Phony right wing, re-writing the Constitution, Retained Powers, The Liberty Amendments | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Article V Convention: How “Individuals of Insidious Views” Are Stealing Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?
A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
  2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress “calls” a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?
A:  The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison. 3

Q:  Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?
A:  These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q:  What is a “convention of states”?
A:  That is what the people now pushing for an Article V convention call it. 

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?
A:  The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.  1    Today, it is pushed by:

Q:  Why do they want an Article V Convention?
A:  The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution.  Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?
A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want.  For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President (See Art. XII, section 1).

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?
A:  No.  Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?
A:  Yes.  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.  But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.  And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?
A:  Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified.  But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q:  Who would be delegates at a Convention?
A:  Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?
A: We don’t know.  But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?
A: Who controls your State?  They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates.  Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true?

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?
A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding.  Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?
A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision.  And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend?  All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments.  Do you see?

Q:  Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?
A:  No!  He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”.  But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:

  • We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
  • State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
  • Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?
A:  No!

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

  • Alexander Hamilton wrote of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Q:  Do we have “violent partizans” or “individuals of insidious views” who seek a “dangerous opportunity to sap the very foundations of the fabric” of our country?
A: Yes, and they have been pushing for an Article V convention since 1963.

Q:  What did our Framers say about the purpose of amendments to the Constitution?
A:

  • the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision (Mr. Gerry on June 5, 1787);
  • remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.) 3

Q: But those pushing for a convention say the remedy for politicians who violate the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.
A:  Yes, that is their crazy claim:  that even though for over a century, the feds have been usurping hundreds of powers not delegated in the Constitution, all we have to do is amend the Constitution, and everyone will start obeying it. 4

Q: But they say the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage.
A: Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th) – so of course the feds “obeyed” those. 5

Q: What about their claim that the feds violate the Constitution because they don’t understand it?
A:  Rubbish! Our Constitution is so simple that Hamilton said The People were “the natural guardians of the Constitution”. The Oath of office at Art. VI, clause 3, implicitly requires the feds to learn it.  For phrases the feds have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare” & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers reveals the original intent.  I illustrate that here and elsewhere.

Q: How do we get rid of the bad amendments such as the 16th &17th?
A: Repeal them the same way we repealed the 18th amendment.  Instead of sending to Congress people who don’t know the Constitution; send people who know the Constitution and commit to repealing the bad amendments.  And if they don’t act to repeal them, fire them!

Q:  Why was the “convention method” put in Article V?
A:  We don’t really know why it was put in because Madison’s Journal of the Convention does not tell us.  This chart compiles the references in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 to what became Article V.

  • Law professor John A. Eidsmoe  suggests the convention method of Article V was added rather hastily, at the time when the delegates were closing their deliberations, and this provision did not receive the careful attention given to most other provisions of the Constitution.
  • It may also have been a compromise designed to induce  George Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  6

Q: Why can’t what happens at the convention be controlled by federal or State laws?
A: We are naïve and tell ourselves that people will “play by the rules”.  So we assume all we have to do is make some laws saying delegates can’t exceed the scope of the call, and everyone will obey it.

But if they don’t, who is going to enforce these laws you have so much faith in? The feds? Obama would love the constitution for the Newstates of America – it makes him dictator!  He won’t prosecute delegates who violate the call. Your State government?  They sold you out to the feds long ago. Errant delegates will be protected by the feds.   It doesn’t matter what a law says if it isn’t enforced.

Ever since 1963, globalists have intended to use an Article V convention as the means for imposing a new Constitution on us.  Today, George Soros – the destroyer of countries – is financing the push for a convention.  Don’t let him and his minions destroy America.

Conclusion

This little chart illustrates our Constitution & Declaration and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government.  For 100 years, we elected politicians who ignore them. We don’t understand that the amendments proposed by Michael Farris, Mark Levin, Randy Barnett, & Nick Dranias increase the powers of the federal government because we don’t know the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution. You could remedy that:  Print out the chart and read the Constitution & Declaration!

As The Blue Tail Gadfly said, even though “the Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government LAWLESS! The true rule of law is still on our side, but not for much longer if the Constitution is allowed to be foolishly altered.”

Endnotes:

1   http://patriotcoalition.com/docs/Ford-Pursuit-of-Globalism.pdf

2 Those pushing for a convention are not telling the truth about what Madison said in his letter to Turberville.  The only way you can know who is telling the truth is to study the letter.

3 Madison did not endorse the “convention method” of proposing amendments.  He always said that when States want amendments, they should instruct their congressional delegation to pursue it:

  •  In his letter of 1788 to Turberville, he speaks of the two methods of proposing amendments:

“2. A Convention cannot be called … without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures…The difficulties … must …be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the … [instruction] of a single State Legislature… ”

  • How was the Bill of Rights handled?  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (p. 258-261) introduced into Congress a petition from Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  On June 8, 1789, Madison (p. 448-460) circumvented Bland and introduced the amendments for Congress to propose to the States.  On September 24, 1789, Congress sent them to the States for ratification.

4 If your spouse violates the marriage vows, amend the vows and your marriage will be saved!
If motorists violate the speed limit, amend the speed limit and safety will be restored!
When people violate the Ten Commandments, amend the Ten Commandments!
When politicians violate the Constitution, amend the Constitution, and all will obey it!

 5 It is important to understand that the proposed amendments drafted by Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, Nick Dranias, and Michael Farris all increase the powers of the federal government by legalizing powers they have already usurped – or they delegate new powers to the federal government.

6 The Constitution was a product of compromise:  Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist – but the Constitution permitted slavery.  James Madison wanted to stop the importation of slaves immediately (Federalist No. 42, 6th para); but Art. I, Sec. 9, clause 1 permitted it to continue 20 more years. Hamilton said the Constitution wasn’t perfect, but “is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit” (Federalist No. 85, 6th – 8th paras).  The “convention” provision of Art. V seems to have been added – on the last day of deliberations (Sep. 15, 1787) – to induce Mason & Randolph to sign the Constitution.  But they still refused to sign. PH

Note: This last series of Questions and Answers was suggested by an esteemed colleague:

Q: Are there unanswered questions about an Article V Convention?
A: Yes!  Article V is utterly silent about the following and more:

  • How would delegates be selected?  And who would select them: Congress? The States? A national Referendum?
  • Would the States even be represented at the convention? If so, how many delegates and/or how many votes would each State have at a convention?
  • Would a convention be open or closed to the public and the media?  (The Convention of 1787 was closed.)
  • Could a convention be limited to consideration of a single amendment, or several amendments?  [The plural language of Article V, “a convention for proposing amendments,” suggests the convention could not be limited to a single amendment.]
  • Could a convention consider an entirely new constitution?
  • How would state calls for a convention be tabulated? For example:   If 20 states call for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment; 10 states call for a convention to consider a term limits amendment; and 4 states call for a convention to consider a right-to-life amendment, will these all be counted together to constitute 34 state calls for a convention?  And will the convention be authorized to consider all three amendments even though none of them individually have been called for by 34 states?  May it consider other amendments?   Must all of the state calls for a convention agree on the precise wording of the amendment to be considered?  And could a convention alter the wording of the proposed amendment, or must it be passed or rejected in exactly the form the states called for?   Will state calls for a convention many years ago be counted in determining whether 34 states have called for a convention?  For example, in the 1970s and 1980s about 32 states called for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment.  If two more states called for a convention today, would that constitute 34 states?  Article V says nothing about any time limit on such calls.
  •  If a state calls for a convention, may the state later rescind its call?  Article V is silent about this question.  Several of the states that called for a convention in the 1970s and 1980s later rescinded their calls, but no court has ever determined whether those rescissions are valid.
  • What rules would a convention follow, and who would make those rules?  Article V says if two-thirds of the states apply for a convention, “Congress … shall call a convention.”  Since Congress and Congress alone calls a convention, presumably Congress and Congress alone has authority to make rules for a convention — rules for delegate selection, voting, election of officers, agenda, scope of business, and other matters.  What if the Senate and the House cannot agree on rules for a convention?  Nothing in Article V gives the states any authority whatsoever to demand that a convention follow certain rules, or to condition their calls for a convention with the requirement that certain rules or limitations be followed.
  • If Congress can make rules for a convention and does so, what guarantee exists that the convention will abide by those rules?

The plain fact is, the Constitution is utterly silent about all of these questions.  As convention proponents confidently and dogmatically proclaim their answers to these questions, please ask yourself:  Do they have any authority for their claims?  Are you willing to just take their word for it?

Q:  Why are convention proponents so certain that a convention will be run by constitutional conservatives?
A:  This is a complete mystery.  There is no such guarantee.  Considering liberal dominance of the media, law schools, well-funded legal foundations, and state and federal governments, liberal dominance of a convention is not only possible but probable.

Q:  Is the drive for a convention led by conservatives?
A:  Some conservatives support a convention, along with numerous liberals and liberal organizations who are waiting in the wings to jump in and dominate a convention once it has been called.  But many conservatives strongly oppose a convention.  So please do not be misled into thinking support for a convention is the “default” conservative position.

Revised June 23, 2014

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February 27, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Jordan Sillars, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , | 36 Comments

Mark Levin Refuted: Keep the Feds in Check with Nullification, not Amendments!

By Publius Huldah

What Mark Levin says in “The Liberty Amendments” in support of an Article V convention is not true.1

On one side of this controversy are those who want to restore our Constitution by requiring federal and State officials to obey the Constitution we have; or by electing ones who will.  We show that the Oath of Office at Art. VI, last clause, requires federal 2 and state officials to support the Constitution.  This requires them to refuse to submit to – to nullify – acts of the federal government which violate the Constitution.  This is how they “support” the Constitution!

We note that the Oath of Office requires obedience to the Constitution alone.  The Oath does not require obedience to persons, to any agency of the federal government, or to any federal court.

We understand that resistance to tyranny is a natural right – and it is a duty.

We have read original writings of our Framers and know what our Framers actually told the States to do when the federal government violates the Constitution: Nullification of the unlawful act is among the first of the recommended remediesnot one of which is “amendment of the Constitution”.

It is already proved in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers, that our Framers endorsed nullification by States of unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison summed it up as follows:

“…when powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act4 is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…” 5

The claims of the nullification deniers have been proven to be false.  To persist in those claims – or to do as Levin seems to do and ignore the remedy of nullification – is intellectually and morally indefensible.  So why don’t they apologize to the public and recant their errors?

Instead, they continue to tell us that what we need is a “convention of the States” (which Levin and his mentors insist is provided by Article V of the Constitution) to propose amendments to the Constitution, and that this is the only way out.

Yes, they tell us, the only way to deal with a federal government which consistently ignores and tramples over the Constitution is …. to amend the Constitution!

Do you see how silly that is?

 Levin’s Amendments

Levin starts his book by saying how bad things are and how the federal government has trampled and mangled the Constitution.  Those pages are true.  And they serve the purpose of making readers believe that Levin is “on our side”.  And because of that, many are induced to lay aside their critical thinking skills and accept on trust what Levin tells them. That is a deadly mistake.

Levin’s amendments actually gut our Constitution.  Most increase the powers of the federal government by making lawful what is now unconstitutional because it is not an “enumerated power”. Others put a band-aid on a problem without solving the problem. The amendments pertaining to “overrides” undermine the Constitution as the Objective Standard of what is lawful and what is not – and substitute majority vote therefor. 6

A Defective Constitution? Or a Disobedient Federal Government?

We must distinguish between defects within a Constitution, and a government’s refusal to obey the Constitution to which it is subject.  These are different problems calling for different remedies.

There were defects in the Constitution produced by the Federal Convention of 1787, such as provisions permitting slavery.  Provision for amendment must be made to repair such defects. 7

But our problem now is a disobedient federal government.  That calls for different remedies – and our Framers spelled them out. 3

It is idiotic to assert that you can rein in a federal government which ignores the Constitution by amending the Constitution!  Yet, that is “The Levin Plan”.

Now let us read Article V:

What Article V Really Says

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…”  [boldface mine]

Note that Congress “calls” the ConventionThe States don’t “call” it – all they can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.

There are many questions about Article V conventions; and James Madison raised them on two occasions at the Federal Convention of 1787: 8

  • On September 10, Madison remarked on the vagueness of the term, “call a Convention for the purpose”:  How was a Convention to be formed?  By what rule decide?  What the force of its acts?
  • On September 15, Madison commented on this again, and said that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, etc., which in constitutional regulations ought to be avoided when possible.

Mr. Madison saw that these questions are not addressed by Article V.  Eagle Forum has also raised this issue in Twenty Questions about a constitutional convention.

But since Congress “calls” it, Congress has the power to appoint whomsoever they will as delegates;9  and nothing in the Constitution says they can’t do this.

Now note that Art. V provides for two conventions:

  • The first is the one called by Congress to propose amendments.
  • After amendments are proposed, Art. V empowers Congress to select the mode of ratification: Shall the State Legislatures be the body to ratify or reject?  Or shall each State convene a convention for the purposes or ratifying or rejecting the proposed amendments?

The only convention Art. V authorizes States to convene is one within their respective borders to ratify or reject an amendment proposed by Congress or by the convention Congress called.

What Levin Claims Article V Says

As you see, Art. V makes no provision for a “state convention process” where the States control the convention.

Yet Levin makes the bizarre claims (p 16-17) that Art. V authorizes this “state convention process”; and that the convention called by Congress pursuant to Art. V is really:

  • A “creature …of the state legislatures”;
  • That during ratification of our Constitution, the Founders always talked about conventions for proposing amendments as representing the States; and
  • That the state legislatures determine the method for selection of their delegates; and the subject matter of the convention.

Does Levin cite any authority for these claims?  Words of our Framers, perhaps?

No!  He cites an article written by former law professor, Robert G. Natelson, who Levin says is an “expert” on this “state convention process” (p16, notes 28 & 29).

Here is the article by Natelson Levin cites as “authority” for his claims.  Note that:

  • Natelson announces that he will no longer call what he wants a “constitutional convention”.  Henceforth, he will call it a “convention for proposing amendments”, an “Article V Convention”, an “amendments convention” or a “convention of the states”. 10
  • Natelson doesn’t cite any authority from our Framers for the claims Levin regurgitates in his book.  Instead, Natelson cites other law review articles; and
  • Natelson claims it was “custom” at the time of our Founding for States to have all these powers in conventions.

Custom?

Natelson’s article is no authority at all.  And even if he had proven that the “custom” at the time of our Framing was for States to have all these powers in conventions [someone really should have told James Madison about this “custom”]; what is there to make the Congress of today follow this 18th century  “custom” when Congress “calls” the convention under Art. V?

Levin also says he knows Congress’ role in the “state application process” is minimal and ministerial because:

  • The Framers and ratifiers adopted this “state convention process” for the purpose of establishing an alternative to the congressionally initiated amendment process; and
  • Alexander Hamilton said so in Federalist Paper No. 85.

Here, Levin commits the logical fallacy of “circular reasoning”:  We know, Levin argues, that Congress’ role in the state application process is “minimal and ministerial” because the Framers adopted this as an alternative to the method where Congress proposes the amendments directly.  Do you see?

Levin next claims that in Federalist No. 85, Hamilton said, respecting an Art. V convention, that Congress has “no option”, “will be obliged”, and that “nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body” (p 16-17).

Levin misrepresents what Hamilton says.  In Federalist No. 85, Hamilton merely says that Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it:

 “… By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States … to call a convention for proposing amendments … The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. …”

Levin wrongly extends Congress’ lack of discretion on the issue of “to call or not to call” to what follows the “call”:  How the convention is to be formed, the appointment of delegates, the other  questions raised by Madison on September 10 & 15, 1787, and Eagle Forum’s Twenty Questions.

I have never seen any of the Framers say that Congress has no power over what follows Congress’ “call”; and Levin doesn’t produce evidence that any of them ever did.

Levin misrepresents what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787.

This 4 page chart lays out what really happened at that Convention respecting Article V.

To introduce his discussion of that Convention, Levin makes the following fanciful claims:

“The Constitution itself provides the means for restoring self-government and averting societal catastrophe (or, in the case of societal collapse, resurrecting the civil society) in Article V.” (p 12)

“The fact is that Article V expressly grants state legislatures significant authority to rebalance the constitutional structure for the purpose of restoring our founding principles should the federal government shed its limitations, abandon its original purpose, and grow too powerful…” (p12-13)

Article V says no such thing!  Read it and see.

Levin then quotes Edmund Randolph & George Mason, delegates to the Convention, as support for his claims respecting the purpose of Art. V.

But Randolph & Mason wanted a method of amendment Congress had nothing to do with. This was an issue at the Convention; Randolph & Mason held the minority view.

The majority view – the one reflected in the ratified version of Article V – involves Congress in both methods of amendment.  Congress either:

  •   Proposes the amendments; or
  •  “Calls” a convention when the Legislatures of 2/3 of the States apply for it.

Our Framers’ Concerns about “Conventions”

Now let us examine the “convention for proposing amendments” which Congress calls pursuant to Art. V; the “runaway” the Federal Convention of 1787 turned into, and “general conventions”.

We saw that James Madison raised concerns on September 10 & 15, 1787, about Art. V conventions called by Congress, because of questions respecting how was a Convention to be formed, by what rule, & the procedures of such conventions.

Yet Levin claims that in Federalist No. 43, Madison shows he considered an Art. V convention as prudent a method of amendment as having Congress propose the amendments (p 15).

Madison does not say that in Federalist No. 43! 11

Second, Levin’s claim is contradicted by Madison’s words in his letter of November 2, 1788 to G. L. Turberville on the same subject.

In his letter to Turberville, Madison speaks, with reference to modes of originating amendments, of both a “general convention” and an “Article V Convention”, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, “the origination of amendments in Congress”.

Madison advises that amendments be originated in Congress – not in an Art. V Convention, for the various reasons set forth in his letter; and that:

“2. A [“general”] Convention cannot be called without the unanimous consent of the parties who are to be bound by it, if first principles are to be recurred to; or without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures, if the forms of the Constitution [Art. V] are to be pursued. The difficulties in either of these cases must evidently be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the instance of a single State Legislature, or even without a single instruction on the subject…” [boldface mine]

Do you see?  Madison advises that when States want amendments, they instruct their Congressional delegation to pursue it.  This is the best way for the States to “originate amendments”!

That is the mode Madison strongly recommended; that is the mode we have followed.  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (pages 258-261) introduced into Congress the petition from the State of Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  But on June 8, 1789, Madison (pages 448-460) introduced 12 proposed amendments for Congress to propose to the State Legislatures.  And on September 24, 1789, the House & Senate having agreed on the wording of the proposed 12 amendments; the House requested the President to transmit them to the States for ratification. 

If we cannot elect to Congress people who will follow the instructions of their State Legislatures & constituents and propose those amendments which actually need to be made; how can we trust Congress to “call” a convention?

And as to another “general” or “runaway” convention, perish the thought!:

On September 15,1787, in response to Randolph’s & Mason’s demands for another “general convention”,  Mr. Pinckney pointed out that nothing but confusion and contrariety will spring from calling forth the deliberations and amendments of the different States, on the subject of government at large.  States will never agree in their plans; and the deputies to a second convention, coming together under the discordant impressions of their constituents, will never agree.  “Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

In Federalist No. 85 (9th para), Hamilton spoke of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”

James Madison warned against another general convention in his letter to Turberville :

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [boldface mine]

Do we have “violent partizans”, “individuals of insidious views”, and any who would exploit an opportunity to sap “the very foundations of the fabric” today?  Yes, we do.  They are in Congress, the executive branch, the federal Courts, “conservative” circles – and they are invading our Country at a furious rate.  And what now is the “present temper of America”?

Why a “Runaway” Article V Convention is a Real Possibility and a Grave Danger.

Pursuant to the authority granted by Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress Resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):

Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [boldface mine]

So!  The Convention of 1787 was called by the Continental Congress for the “sole and express purpose” of proposing revisions to the Articles of Confederation.

But the delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution. 12

As to delegates, the Continental Congress expressly directed the States to appoint the delegates.

But there is no requirement in Art. V of our Constitution that States be permitted to appoint delegates; and no “custom” from the era of the Continental Congress can bind the Congress of today.

So if Congress of today were to call an Art. V convention, Congress would most likely get delegates who would do what Congress wants.

And will Congress appoint Islamists as delegates?  La Raza Mexicans?  Other special interest groups?  How can Congress be prevented from appointing whomsoever they will?

And if the delegates duly appointed by Congress, and acting under the Authority of Congress, come up with a new Constitution, will the new Constitution outlaw Christianity?  (Obama is outlawing it in the military, and Congress isn’t doing a thing about it).  Will it institute Sharia? Will it disarm the American People?  Will it follow the UN Model where “rights” are privileges granted and withdrawn by the State?  Will it outlaw private property?

And this new Constitution will have its own mode of ratification.  This new mode of ratification can be whatever the delegates want – a majority vote in Congress, perhaps?

There is no way to stop them from “running away” and writing a new Constitution with its own mode of ratification. They can cram a new Constitution down your throat and you won’t be able to do a thing about it.

On page 15, Levin commits a formal fallacy (an argument defective as to form) when he attempts to prove that an Art. V convention can’t possibly turn into a “runaway”. Here is the form of his argument:

  1. He was originally skeptical of “the state convention process” because it could turn into a “runaway”.
  2. Art. V says a proposed amendment has no effect unless ratified by ¾ of the States.
  3. Therefore, the “state convention process” can’t result in a “hijack of the Constitution” [“runaway”].

His conclusion (3) is a form of non sequitur – it doesn’t follow from the premises (1 & 2).  And our concern is not with amendments – those are subject to approval by three-fourths of the States.  Our concern is that the convention will “runaway” and write a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification which does not require approval by three-fourths of the States.  Do you see?

Conclusion

Few of us can name even 5 of the enumerated powers of Congress and 4 of the enumerated powers of the President.  Why?  Because we never bothered to learn our Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton expected THE PEOPLE to be “the natural guardians of the Constitution”.  But you can’t “guard” the Constitution if you don’t trouble yourself to learn it.

Since we never bothered to learn the Constitution, we elected politicians who also hadn’t bothered to learn it.  So they ignored the Constitution when they assumed office.

This is why, after more than 100 years of electing politicians who ignore the Constitution, we are now under tyranny and headed for disaster.

Do we now want a way out which allows us to avoid confronting our own personal failures as Guardians of the Constitution?  When charlatans who “sound good” offer us a scapegoat, do we jump on it?  Do we chant, “The Constitution is broken!  Fix the Constitution!”  And shall we pretend that we too know all about how to amend a Constitution most of us never bothered to read?

Our Constitution depended on our knowing our Constitution and in electing representatives who would obey it – and getting rid of them when they didn’t.

James Madison said on June 20, 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention:

“…. But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

We are in a “wretched situation” because we lost our virtue.  Renounce handouts and pride in pretended “knowingness”.  Learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President.  This chart will get you started.  Learn about nullification.  Form delegations and go to your State Legislators, educate them and demand they start nullifying unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  States should nullify obamacare!  If Legislators aren’t willing to renounce federal funding, recall or defeat them! PH

Endnotes:

1 We must stop believing whatever we are told.  We must demand proof by original source documents, and think for ourselves.

2 The President’s Oath is set forth at Art. II, §1, last clause.

3 These are among the remedies our Framers advised when the federal government usurps power:

►In Federalist No. 44 (12th para from end), Madison says elect more faithful representatives!:

“… In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers…”

But we keep reelecting the same sorry people because we know their names and they are in our party.

►States should nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government! This is proven with links to original sources in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers.

►In Federalist No. 46 (last half), Madison shows how individual States or several States carry out various degrees of resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments.  See also: What Should States Do When The Federal Government Usurps Power?

►In Federalist No. 28 (last 5 paras), Hamilton says:

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success …” [italics mine]

“…The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them…”

“It may safely be received as an axiom …that the State governments will … afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority…. The legislatures … can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition…”

“…When will the time arrive that the federal government can raise and maintain an army capable of erecting a despotism over the great body of the people … who are in a situation, through the medium of their State governments, to take measures for their own defense…”

4 Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, 8th Resolution.

5 James Madison, Notes on Nullification (1834). The quote is near the end.  Use “find” function.

6 Later, I will show why Levin’s proposed amendments gut our Constitution.  Meanwhile, you read the Constitution, learn the enumerated powers of Congress, and see if you can figure out what is wrong with the proposed amendments.  Use your own head and trust no one.

7 Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787 that an easy mode should be established for fixing defects which will probably appear in the new system ... the National Legislature will be the first to perceive, and will be most sensible to, the necessity of amendments…

8 What happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 respecting Art. V is laid out in this 4 page chart.

9 “Citizens for Self-Governance”, headed by the Michael Farris who is pushing the “parental rights amendment, represents that the “Convention of the States” will soon:

“…open the application process for leadership positions across the country. Consider applying to be a District Captain, Legislative Liaison, or State Director…”

thereby making the gullible believe that they can be a “player” in this “Convention of the States”.

10 Phyllis Schlafly, Kelleigh Nelson, Henry Lamb and others have done such a magnificent job of warning The People of the dangers of a constitutional convention, that many now understand that such is likely to result in a new Constitution – with its own method of ratification – being forced on us.

So!  Proponents now call it by another name: “Convention of the States” or “state convention process”.  Is the purpose of the name change to deceive you? To make you think it is something “different” from the Art. V convention Congress calls?

11 In Federalist No. 43, Madison comments on Art. V:

“8…That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other…”

12 We were fortunate (except for slavery) with the Constitution of 1787, even though the Federal Convention was a “runaway”.  Look who was there!:  George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin; and they weren’t drowned out by subversives.  They would be today. PH

September 15, 2013; revised Dec. 5, 2013; Dec. 31, 2013.

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September 15, 2013 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Federal Convention of 1787, Mark Levin, The Liberty Amendments | , , , , , | 130 Comments

   

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