Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

What the Framers really said about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

One of the silliest of the many unsupported claims made by those lobbying for an Article V convention is that our Framers said that when the federal government violates the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution.1

It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that their claim makes as much sense as saying that since people violate the Ten Commandments, God should amend the Ten Commandments.2

And since none of our Framers said such a silly thing, the convention lobby can’t produce a quote where it was said.

Even so, some have believed it and repeated it to others. Americans! We must demand that people prove their claims before we believe what they tell us.

I will show you original source documents, and you can see for yourself what our Framers really said about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution.

Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787

James Madison was a delegate to the federal convention of 1787 where our present Constitution was drafted. He kept a daily Journal. I went through it, collected every reference to what became Article V, and wrote it up – here it is.

Madison’s Journal shows what our Framers said at the convention about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution:

♦ Elbridge Gerry said on June 5, 1787: the “novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision.”

♦George Mason said on June 11, 1787: The Constitution now being formed “will certainly be defective,” as the Articles of Confederation have been found to be. “Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent…The opportunity for such an abuse, may be the fault of the Constitution [i.e., a defect] calling for amendmt.” [boldface mine] 3

♦Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787: amendments remedy defects in the Constitution. 4

The Federalist Papers

In Federalist No. 43 at 8, Madison said the purpose of amendments to the Constitution is to repair “discovered faults” and “amendment of errors”; and “amendment of errors” and “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience.

In Federalist No. 85 (13th para), Hamilton said useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not…the mass of its powers” 5

Throughout Federalist No. 49, Madison warned against a convention for proposing amendments, and showed that a convention is neither proper nor effective to restrain government when it encroaches.

Madison’s letter of August 28, 1830 to Edward Everett (p. 383-403)

Madison says:

“Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed be found not to secure the Govt. & rights of the States agst. usurpations & abuses on the part of the U.S…” (p. 398)

So he is talking about provisions – defects – in the Constitution which permit the federal government to abuse the States. He goes on to say:

“…the final resort within the purview of the Constn. lies in an amendment of the Constn…” 6

So he’s saying that when a defect in the Constitution exposes the States to abuses by the federal government, the remedy is to amend the Constitution.

To fully grasp Madison’s point, we must look at his letter in its historical context of the Tariff Act of 1828: The southern states bought manufactured goods from England. England bought southern cotton. But infant industries in the Northeast couldn’t compete with the English imports. So during 1828, Congress passed a Tariff Act which imposed such high tariffs on English imports that the southern states could no longer buy them. England stopped buying southern cotton. This devastated the southern economy. So South Carolina wanted to nullify the Tariff Act (the “Tariff of Abominations”); and developed a theory that a State had a “constitutional right” to nullify any federal law, and the nullification would be presumed valid, unless three-fourths of the States said it wasn’t valid.

Madison opposed South Carolina’s theory because the Tariff Act was constitutional – it was authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 1, US Constitution. States can’t nullify a constitutional law! 7

But while the Tariff Act was constitutional, it was abusive: Article I, §8, cl. 1 was being used to benefit infant industries in the Northeast at the expense of the southern states. 8

So what’s the remedy “within the purview of the Constitution” for the Tariff Act of 1828? Madison doesn’t spell it out – but obviously Art. I, §8, cl. 1 could be amended to say that Congress may impose tariffs only to raise revenue to carry out the enumerated powers; and may not impose tariffs in order to benefit domestic industries, or to benefit one section of the Country at the expense of other sections. 9

Washington’s Farewell Address

In his Address, Washington warns that we must require people in the federal government to confine themselves within their constitutional powers; and we must not permit one department [branch] of the federal government to encroach on the powers of the other departments (p. 15-19). He then says,

“If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” (p.19)

So Washington is talking about what the people may come to see as defects in the Constitution:

♦ If we want one branch of the federal government to have a power which the Constitution delegates to another branch, we should amend the Constitution to redistribute that power.10

♦ If we want the federal government to have a power the Constitution doesn’t grant, we should amend the Constitution to delegate the additional power. No matter how desirable it is for the federal government to have the additional power, we must not permit it to exercise the power by usurpation.11

And this is what Alexander Hamilton, who along with James Madison assisted Washington in drafting his Farewell Address, 12 had previously said in Federalist No. 78: The representatives of the people [Congress] may not violate the Constitution even if a majority of their constituents want them to:

“…Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act…” (5th para from the end)

Our Constitution isn’t defective, it’s ignored!

Our Constitution is a 5,000 year miracle. Our problem is everyone ignores it. The solution is to dust it off, read it, learn it, and enforce it. Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Demand Proof of what people say before you believe them.

If Americans would follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and demand proof of the claims the convention lobby makes, they would spot the false claims and preserve our blessed Constitution. Judges & Juries require trial lawyers to prove their claims. Demand the same from lobbyists for a convention!

Endnotes:

1 Michael Farris claimed [but couldn’t link to a quote because Mason didn’t say it]:

“George Mason demanded that this provision [the convention method of proposing amendments] be included in Article V because he correctly forecast the situation we face today. He predicted that Washington, D.C. would violate its constitutional limitations and the States would need to make adjustments to the constitutional text in order to rein in the abuse of power by the federal government.”

2 Amendments can’t “rein in” the fed. gov’t when it “violate[s] its constitutional limitations” because when it does so, it is ignoring the existing limitations on its powers. Hello?

3 Mason’s concern was that the new fed. gov’t wouldn’t agree to amendments needed to correct defects in the new Constitution:

♦ Under the Articles of Confederation (our 1st Constitution), amendments had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the States (see ART. 13). So Art. V of the new Constitution dispensed with the requirement that Congress approve amendments.

♦ Who should be able to propose amendments? Madison wanted Congress to propose all amendments, either on their own initiative or at the request of 2/3 of the States. But Mason said the States should be able to propose amendments without asking Congress because Congress might become oppressive and not permit the States to get the necessary amendments.

So the convention method was added. And it provided a way for States to propose amendments. But it also provided a convenient opportunity to get a new Constitution, since the delegates would have that transcendent right, recognized in our Declaration of Independence, to throw off one government and write a new constitution which creates a new government.

George Mason hated the new Constitution. He said on Aug. 31, 1787 that he “would sooner chop off his right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands”; and if it wasn’t changed to suit his views, he wanted another convention. Everybody knew that to get a new Constitution, you need a convention.

Madison and the other Framers went along with adding the convention method because they knew the people had the right to meet in convention and draft a new Constitution whether or not the convention method was added to Art. V [e.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville p. 299 at 2.]; and they couldn’t stop People in the future from doing what they had just done. So Madison, Hamilton & John Jay promptly started warning of the dangers of another convention: see the Brilliant Men handout.

4 Here’s an illustration of what States soon saw as a defect in our Constitution: Art. III, §2, cl. 1 delegated to federal courts the power to hear cases “between a State and Citizens of another State”. But when a citizen of South Carolina sued the State of Georgia, the States were outraged! See Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793). So the 11th Amendment was ratified to take away from federal courts the power to hear such cases.

5 The Constitution drafted at the federal convention of 1787 delegates only a tiny handful of powers to the fed. gov’t. See this chart.

6 Madison continues, “… according to a process applicable by the States.” Madison always said that when States want amendments, they should ask their congressional delegation to propose them. E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (p. 299 at 2.).

7 See Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1835) HERE (p. 573-607).

8 The Tariff Act of 1828 violated our Founding Principle (2nd para of the Declaration of Independence) that the purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us. God never gave us the right to be free of competition in business.

9 In the very next paragraph, Madison says that when there is a pattern of usurpations and abuses, we must step outside of the Constitution and resort to the original right of self-defense: resistance, i.e., nullification or revolution (p. 398).

10 E.g., Art. I, §8, cl. 11 delegates to Congress the power to declare war. But if we want the President to have that power, we should amend the Constitution to delegate that power to the President. We must not permit the President to exercise that power by usurpation!

11 If we wanted the fed. gov’t to exercise power over labor unions, wages & hours, safety standards, food & drugs, manufacturing standards, agriculture, energy, housing, transportation, education, medical care, the environment, etc., etc., etc., we should have amended the Constitution to delegate those powers to the fed. gov’t. But we ignored Washington’s advice, and permitted the fed. gov’t to exercise those powers by usurpation.

12 The Introduction to the Farewell Address (p. 3) says that George Washington composed it with the assistance of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

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November 11, 2018 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Federalist No. 49, George Mason, James Madison, Madison's Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison's letter to Edward Everett, Michael Farris, Publius Huldah, Purpose of amendments to constitution, The Ten Commandments, Washington's Farewell Address, What our Framers gave us, what our Framers really said, why convention was added to Art. V | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Honest discourse about Article V convention needed

By Publius Huldah

Whether States should ask Congress to call a convention under Article V of our federal Constitution is one of the most important issues of our time. The Delegates to such a convention, as Sovereign Representatives of The People, have the power to throw off the Constitution we have and set up a new Constitution – with a new and easier mode of ratification – which creates a new government.1

Americans need the Truth. But former law professor Rob Natelson’s recent article in The Hill is filled with ad hominems and misstatements. Natelson is legal advisor for pro-convention groups such as “Convention of States Project” (COSP).

“Poisoning the well” fallacy

Natelson characterizes those who oppose an Article V convention as “big government advocates”; “Washington insiders” who protect “judges and politicians who abuse their positions”; chanters of “talking points” from the “disinformation campaign” of the 1960s and early 1970s who have “no real expertise on the subject”; and, like those involved in “voter suppression efforts”, use “fear and disinformation” to discourage citizens from exercising their rights.

And while such tactics clearly resonate with COSP’s cheerleading squad; 2 others immediately recognize the preemptive ad hominem attack known as the “poisoning the wellfallacy. That fallacy is committed when one primes the audience with adverse information or false allegations about the opponent, in an attempt to bolster his own claim or discount the credibility of the opponent.

Obviously, Natelson’s characterizations don’t constitute proof that he is right, and opponents are wrong.

Misrepresentations, omissions, and irrelevant “academic research”

1. Natelson asserts:

“Our founders designed this [Article V convention] as a way the people could fix the federal government if it became abusive or dysfunctional”.

But he presents no proof – and can’t because no one at the federal convention of 1787 (where our present Constitution was drafted) said such a thing. As proved in The George Mason Fabrication, the Delegates agreed that the purpose of amendments is to correct defects in the Constitution.

2. Natelson asserts:

“Any proposals must… be ratified by 38 states before they become law.”

That’s not true. While any amendments to our Constitution must be ratified by 38 States; our Declaration of Independence says it’s the “self-evident” Right of a People to abolish their government and set up a new one.

We invoked that Right in 1776 to throw off the British Monarchy.

In 1787, we invoked that Right to throw off our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation; and set up a new Constitution – the one we now have – which created a new government.

How did we get from our first Constitution to our second Constitution? There was a convention to propose amendments to our first Constitution!

The Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 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 – they ignored the instructions from their States – and they wrote our second Constitution.

And in Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison invoked the “precious right” of a People to throw off one government and set up a new one, as justification for what they did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787.

We can’t stop that from happening at another convention. Furthermore, any new constitution will have its own mode of ratification. Whereas Art. 13 of the Articles of Confederation required amendments to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States; the new Constitution provided at Article VII that it would be ratified by 9 States.

Any proposed third constitution will have its own mode of ratification. The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum (Art. XII, §1). The States don’t ratify it – they are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

3. Natelson asserts that “academic research” shows:

“…how the convention is chosen and operates: It is a meeting of state representatives of a kind very common in U.S. history…The convention follows a pre-set agenda and attendees are subject to state legislative direction.”

Natelson’s “meetings” are irrelevant:  they weren’t constitutional conventions called to propose changes to our Constitution!

Furthermore, Natelson doesn’t mention the one relevant convention we have had in this Country: the federal “amendments” convention of 1787. That convention involved Delegates who ignored the instructions from their States 3 and from the Continental Congress, and resulted in a new Constitution with a new and easier mode of ratification. That is the only “meeting” which is relevant to the convention Congress has the power to call under Article V of our Constitution.

The “calling” of a convention by Congress is governed – not by Natelson’s “meetings” – but by provisions in our Constitution. Article V delegates to Congress the power to “call” a convention; and Article I, § 8, last clause, delegates to Congress the power to make laws “necessary and proper” to carry out that power.

As to the sovereign powers of Delegates, look to the Declaration of Independence, the federal “amendments” convention of 1787, and Federalist No. 40 – not to Natelson’s “meetings”.

4. In an earlier article, Georgetown law professor David Super cited Coleman v. Miller (1939) to show that as amending the Constitution is a “political question”; the courts are unlikely to intervene. 4

Natelson responded that Coleman is a 79-year old “minority opinion the courts have long repudiated”; but doesn’t show where the Supreme Court “repudiated” its opinion.

What Coleman shows is this: we can’t expect federal courts to make Delegates obey instructions. No one has power over Delegates – Delegates can take down one government and set up a new one.

Conclusion

Here’s an idea: Let’s all read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution; elect only people who have also read them, know what they say, and agree to obey; and then let’s downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Endnotes:

1 This is why James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, four Supreme Court Justices, and other luminaries warned against an Article V convention.

2 At 5:25-7:35 mark. Archived HERE.

3 The States’ instructions are HERE at endnote 9.

4 Professor Super is right: When the Constitution delegates a power to one of the “political” branches [legislative or executive], federal courts [“judicial” branch] traditionally abstain from interfering and substituting their judgment for that of the branch to which the power was delegated.

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June 24, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, constitutional convention, convention lobby, Convention of States project, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, James Madison, Professor David Super, Rob Natelson | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The “Compact” Gimmick to circumvent the Powers granted to Congress by Article V

By Publius Huldah

The supremacy clause at Article VI, clause 2, US Constitution, says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Two bills produced by the Convention of States Project (COSP), SJR 31 & HJR 49, which purport to provide for the selection and control of “commissioners” to an “interstate convention” for “proposing amendments” to our federal Constitution, were filed in the Virginia General Assembly this past session.  The General Assembly postponed consideration of the bills until 2019.

The bills assert that such an “interstate convention” is authorized by Article I, §10, clause 3; the 10th Amendment; and Article V of our Constitution.

As shown below, the bills are unconstitutional because they seek to circumvent Article V; and are not encompassed within Article I, §10, clause 3, or the 10th Amendment. Under the supremacy clause, they would be struck down.

1. What Article V says about amending our Constitution

Article V 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…”

Our existing 27 Amendments were obtained under the first method: Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

We’ve never had a convention under Article V – they are dangerous! If Congress calls an Article V convention, our existing Constitution could be replaced with a new Constitution which sets up a completely new structure of government. 1

Nevertheless, the People granted to Congress at Article V the power to “call” a convention; and to the Delegates to the convention, the power to “propose amendments”. 2

Yet COSP, in brazen disregard of the plain meaning of Article V, has long insisted that the States “call” the convention; the States propose the amendments for the convention to rubberstamp; and the States will have total control over the Delegates to the convention.

SJR 31 & HJR 49 are an implicit admission that we who oppose an Article V convention have proved our point: Congress really does “call” the Convention; and pursuant to its grant of power to “call” the convention, Congress really is granted by Article I, §8, last clause, the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers granted to Congress by Article V; and the States actually have no power over an Article V convention – except to ask Congress to “call” one. 3

The Congressional Research Service Report dated April 11, 2014 likewise reflects Congress’ clear awareness that it alone has the power to organize and set up an Article V 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; 4 (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” [page 4] [italics added]

And contrary to COSP’s previous assurances that the States would have total control over an Article V convention, the CRS Report says 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.”

In other words, we’ll have to get a convention before we know what the Delegates are going to do!

2. The new Gimmick to circumvent Congress’ powers under Article V

SJR 31 & HJR 49 make the bizarre claim that Article I, §10, clause 3, which says:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State…”,

is really talking about an “interstate convention” for the States to meet and “propose amendments” to our Constitution!

First of all, our federal Constitution doesn’t address “interstate conventions”! 5 State and local governments and private organizations may hold nationwide conventions (gatherings) on an endless list of matters: trade shows, book fairs, sports events, high school marching band contests, agricultural fairs, meetings of County Sheriffs, whatever they like! And they don’t need permission from Congress.

Secondly, a “Compact with another State within the meaning of Article I, §10, clause 3, is separate, distinct, and totally unrelated to the Article V convention called by Congress for the purpose of addressing our federal Constitution. “Compact”, as used in Article I, §10, clause 3, means binding agreements or contracts between States which deal with state matters. Traditionally, “compacts” have been used to resolve such matters as boundary disputes between States; and may be used to address various other issues between States. 6

Article V governs amendments to our Constitution – not Article I, §10, clause 3!  Virginia may not lawfully set up any gimmick to circumvent the powers granted by Article V to Congress. And Congress may not lawfully approve a “compact” which violates our Constitution!

Thirdly, SJR 31 & HJR 49 claim the 10th Amendment gives States the power to hold an “interstate convention” to propose amendments to the Constitution. Rubbish! The 10th Amendment addresses powers “reserved to the States…or to the people.” It is inapplicable here because no powers respecting an Article V convention were reserved to the States: The People granted to Congress the power to “call” an Article V convention; and to the Delegates, the power to “propose amendments”. The only power the States have is to ask Congress to call the convention.

Once the requisite number of States has applied to Congress, it’s out of the States’ hands. Pursuant to Article I, § 8, last clause; 7 Congress has the power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention. And then, our Fate is in the hands of the Delegates; and they can do whatever they want – as they did in 1787.

3. The new Gimmick attempts to circumvent the Plenipotentiary Powers of the Delegates to an Article V Convention.

Article V shows on its face that the convention is the deliberative body. The Delegates hold the Power to “propose amendments”; or, to do what our Framers did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787 (invoke the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) and write a new Constitution which creates a new government.

So, while the States are free to propose amendments to their Congressional Delegations [and this is what James Madison advised]; 8 the States have no authority to dictate the amendments to be proposed at the convention called by Congress.

And as shown in “Why states can’t prevent a runaway convention” and “Delegates to an Article V Convention can’t be controlled by state laws! attempts to control Delegates with “unfaithful delegate” laws are laughably ineffective.

Apparently, COSP now concedes that “unfaithful delegate” bills won’t work, since with SJR 31 & HJR 49, COSP attempts to circumvent the plenipotentiary powers held by Delegates to an Article V convention, by fabricating a new kind of convention (meeting) out of Article I, § 10, clause 3!

4. The solution is to enforce the Constitution we already have

Americans don‘t know what our Constitution says and don’t care what it says. They want what they want; and elect politicians like themselves. The politicians made a mess. To fix the mess, Americans must read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and enforce them with their votes and by repudiating unconstitutional federal programs. State and local governments must enforce our Constitution by renouncing federal funds to implement unconstitutional programs and by nullification. See also James Madison’s specific suggestions on how States & Citizens can resist federal usurpations.

End notes:

1 This is why Brilliant Men (Madison, Hamilton, four US Supreme Court Justices, and other eminent jurists and scholars) warned against another convention. And this flyer sets forth the Facts of the federal “amendments convention” of 1787 at which our existing Constitution was drafted to replace our first Constitution (the Articles of Confederation).

2 The issue in U.S. v. Sprague (1931) was whether the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) should have been ratified by conventions in each State instead of by State Legislatures. The Supreme Court held that Article V “is a grant of authority by the people to Congress” and that the people “deliberately made the grant of power to Congress in respect to the choice of the mode of ratification of amendments.” Accordingly, Congress had authority to select ratification of the proposed 18th Amendment by State Legislatures instead of by conventions in each State.

3 THIS handy chart lists who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

4 Congress is under no obligation to permit States to participate in the Convention. Congress has the power to appoint its own members, federal judges, or whomever else they want as Delegates!

5 “Convention” has several meanings. It can be a meeting or gathering, such as a national convention of County Court Clerks or architects; or it can refer to a treaty with foreign countries, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the laws of war. The author of SJR 31 & HJR 49 may have fallen victim to the Fallacy of Ambiguity since he slips and slides between the two meanings. “Compact” in Art. I, §10, cl. 3, means “agreement” or “contract” – not meetings!

6 E.g., States could properly enter into “Compacts”, within the meaning of Art. I, §10, cl. 3, wherein they agree to prohibit waste being discharged into a River shared by them; or respecting the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the River. Even though the federal government has no delegated authority to deal directly with such issues; the requirement of Consent by Congress to such Compacts is proper because States situated above or below the proposed dam could be affected by the dam.

Neither the Federalist Papers nor Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 set forth what our Framers meant by “compacts” at Art. I, §10, clause 3. Here are two secondary sources: The Evolving Use and the Changing Role of Interstate Compacts: A practitioner’s guide, by Caroline N. Broun & Michael L. Buenger (see pages 1-9 for the historical basis of “interstate compacts”). See also Justice Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), Book 3, Ch. 35, §§ 1395-1403.

7 Former law professor and pro-convention operative Rob Natelson’s statements to the contrary are untrue. See “Rob Natelson perverts the Necessary and Proper Clause and thinks in circles”.

8 E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (pages 297-301) at the end of Madison’s point 2 [and then read Madison’s point 3!]

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June 13, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Faithful Delegate Laws, interstate conventions | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

COS Project’s “Simulated Convention” Dog and Pony Show and What They Did There

By Publius Huldah

1. Foundational Knowledge

Our Constitution delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government. But 100 years ago, we started electing Progressives (Fabian socialists) to State and federal office. With the enthusiastic approval of the American People, the Progressives set up the socialist regulatory welfare governments (state and federal) we now have. It’s unconstitutional; but Americans didn’t care because they were being taken care of by the governments, and their children were getting “free” public school educations.

So for the past 100 years, the federal and state governments and the American People have ignored our Constitution.

Now that our socialist system is collapsing, along comes the “Convention of States” Project (COSP), blames all our problems on the federal government, and claims we can fix the federal government’s violations of our Constitution by amending the Constitution. 1

And they say amendments which will “rein in the abuse of power by the federal government” when it “violate[s] its constitutional limitations”, 2 can be obtained only at a convention called by Congress pursuant to Article V of our Constitution.

Article V provides that if two thirds of the States apply for it, Congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution. 3 However, Delegates would have the right, as recognized in the 2nd paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, to throw off the Constitution we have and write a new Constitution which creates a new government. This has happened before!

Our first Constitution was the Articles of Confederation. It had defects, so on February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention to be held in Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution, with an easier mode of ratification, 4 which created a new government. In Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison invoked the Delegates’ right to abolish our form of government, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, to justify ignoring their instructions and drafting a new Constitution which created a new government.

So! Ever since the federal convention of 1787, it has been known that any convention called to address our Constitution under Article V provides the opportunity to impose a new Constitution. 5 That’s why the enemies of our Constitution periodically push for an Article V convention. 6

In response to the current push, constitutionalists are warning Americans that if Congress calls an Article V convention, a new constitution with a new mode of ratification is likely to be imposed – probably a new constitution which moves us into the North American Union.

2. COSP’s “simulated” Article V convention

So during September 2016, COSP held an “invitation only” “simulated convention” in Williamsburg, Virginia attended by State Legislators handpicked by COSP, 7 to show us that Delegates to a real Article V convention called by Congress will do nothing more than propose amendments.

And lo! At the “simulated convention”, all the handpicked invitees did was propose six amendments to our Constitution – they didn’t “run away” and propose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification!

COSP would like us to believe that their “simulated convention” proves that a real Article V convention called by Congress also won’t run away when, in fact, it proves nothing except that handpicked COSP invitees fall in line with the COSP agenda.

Now let’s look at the proposed amendments: COSP posted them HERE; an archived copy is HERE.

3. COSP’s six amendments

Like Newspeak in George Orwell’s “1984, the amendments would do the opposite of what COSP claims.

 

Fiscal Restraints Proposal 1”:

“SECTION 1. The public debt shall not be increased except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress, and only for a period not to exceed one year.

SECTION 2. No state or any subdivision thereof shall be compelled or coerced by Congress or the President to appropriate money.

* * *”

So! Congress can’t increase the debt unless they decide to increase the debt. Wow. This is “fiscal restraints”?

If you read through the Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to the federal government, you will get a list of the objects on which Congress is authorized to spend money.

The reason we have a huge debt is because for 100 years, Congress has been spending on objects which aren’t on the list of delegated powers. The States go along with it because they get federal funds for implementing unconstitutional federal programs in their States. 31.9% of the States’ annual revenues is from federal funds. All this federal money is borrowed and added to the public debt!

To say that State Legislators display hypocrisy when they decry “out of control federal spending” when they have their hand out for all the federal money they can get, is an understatement. The amendment authorizes such spending to continue for as long as Congress continues to approve increases in the debt! The amendment legalizes – makes constitutional – all such spending and debt increases!

Section 2 gives us nothing. Our existing Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to require States or local governments to spend money.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 1:

“SECTION 1. The power of Congress to regulate commerce among the several states shall be limited to the regulation of the sale, shipment, transportation, or other movement of goods, articles or persons. Congress may not regulate activity solely because it affects commerce among the several states. [boldface added]

SECTION 2. The power of Congress to make all laws that are necessary and proper to regulate commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, shall not be construed to include the power to regulate or prohibit any activity that is confined within a single state regardless of its effects outside the state, whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom, or whether its regulation or prohibition is part of a comprehensive regulatory scheme; but Congress shall have power to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States. [boldface added]

SECTION 3. The Legislatures of the States shall have standing to file any claim alleging violation of this article. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit standing that may otherwise exist for a person.

* * *”

Section 1: The original intent of the interstate commerce clause (Art. I, §3) is to prohibit the States from imposing tolls & tariffs on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying & selling; and to permit the federal government to impose duties on imports & exports, both inland & abroad. 8

With Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the federal government began to pervert the original intent so as to exert power over whatever they wanted to regulate.

The amendment legalizes the perversions! It delegates to the federal government powers it has already usurped to regulate the sale, shipment, transportation, or other movement of goods and articles.

Furthermore: the amendment delegates to the federal government a sweeping new power over the movement or transportation of persons across state lines! It would, e.g., authorize the federal government to prohibit use of privately owned vehicles to cross state lines, and to require prior written permission to cross state lines. I saw in communist East Europe & the Soviet Union a system where governments control movement of persons. Will “Papers, please” be heard at checkpoints in America? This malignant amendment would be constitutional authority to impose such a system here. 9

Section 2: The federal government has no existing constitutional authority to regulate intra state commerce, so the first clause of this section adds nothing our Constitution doesn’t already prohibit.

But the second clause delegates to the federal government another significant new power over persons: it comes verbatim from Randy Barnett’s so-called “bill of federalism”: 10

“…Congress shall have power to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.”

Why does Barnett, who attended the “simulated convention” as “Committee Advisor”, want the federal government to have this new power? What’s an “act of war against the United States” – doing what the Bundys and their supporters did? The amendment delegates to Congress the power to define “acts of war against the United States” – and to re-define it from time to time – to encompass whatever they want!

We need to understand the implications of delegating such power to Congress. As with “treason” under the Tudors in England, anyone can be accused of “acts of war against the United States”. Does Randy Barnett, law professor, understand the implications? James Madison understood them and thus said that “treason” must be defined in the Constitution; 11 obviously, no one of Madison’s caliber was at the “simulated convention”.

Section 3: Our Framers didn’t advise the States to file lawsuits against the federal government when it violates the Constitution! Our Framers told the States to nullify such violations. 12

 

Federal Term Limits & Judicial Jurisdiction Proposal 1”:

“No person shall be elected to more than six full terms in the House of Representatives. No person shall be elected to more than two full terms in the Senate. These limits shall include the time served prior to the enactment of this Article.”

This amendment is a feel-good palliative which caters to Americans’ pervasive desire for a quick “fix” which permits them to avoid dealing with the real causes of their problems. See Term Limits: A Palliative not a Cure.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 2”:

“SECTION 1. The Legislatures of the States shall have authority to abrogate any provision of federal law issued by the Congress, President, or Administrative Agencies of the United States, whether in the form of a statute, decree, order, regulation, rule, opinion, decision, or other form. [boldface added]

SECTION 2. Such abrogation shall be effective when the Legislatures of three-fifths of the States approve a resolution declaring the same provision or provisions of federal law to be abrogated. This abrogation authority may also be applied to provisions of federal law existing at the time this amendment is ratified.

* * *”

Section 1: Article I, §1, US Constitution, provides that all legislative powers granted by the Constitution shall be vested in Congress. Only Congress may make laws [and laws are restricted to the powers granted in the Constitution].

Accordingly, executive orders and federal agency rules and orders are not “law”.

The amendment would supersede Art. I, §1. It would elevate to the status of “federal law” every order or regulation burped out by bureaucrats in the executive branch; every executive order signed by every President; and every order barked out by jack-booted thugs working for federal agencies. And unless three fifths of States agree that you don’t have to obey – you must obey or bear the consequences of violating what would be – thanks to this amendment – “federal law”.

Section 2: James Madison, Father of our Constitution, showed how individual States or several States could carry out resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments. But the amendment would require 30 States to agree before any one State or person could defend itself!

 

Fiscal Restraints Proposal 2:

SECTION 1. Congress shall not impose taxes or other exactions upon incomes, gifts, or estates.

SECTION 2. Congress shall not impose or increase any tax, duty, impost or excise without the approval of three-fifths of the House of Representatives and three-fifths of the Senate, and shall separately present such to the President. [boldface added]

SECTION 3. This Article shall be effective five years from the date of its ratification, at which time the Sixteenth Article of amendment is repealed.”

This amendment doesn’t impose “fiscal restraints” – it authorizes Congress to impose new and different taxes on us!

The words in boldface authorize Congress to impose “any tax” if three fifths of both Houses agree. “Any tax” includes a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT). Statists love the VAT because it raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments”. This is what will replace the income, gift, and estate tax.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 3”:

“Whenever one quarter of the members of the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate transmits to the President their written declaration of opposition to any proposed or existing federal administrative regulation, in whole or in part, it shall require a majority vote of the House of Representatives and Senate to adopt or affirm that regulation. Upon the transmittal of opposition, if Congress shall fail to vote within 180 days, such regulation shall be vacated. No proposed regulation challenged under the terms of this Article shall go into effect without the approval of Congress. Congressional approval or rejection of a rule or regulation is not subject to Presidential veto under Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.”

As shown in The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment and Daniel Webster, rulemaking by federal agencies is unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1 of our Constitution.

The proposed amendment would supersede Art. I, §1 and legalize such rulemaking! And the existing Code of Federal Regulations and the rulemaking process itself – which now violate the Constitution – would be made constitutional!

The solution to the burden created by unconstitutional federal agencies is to do away with the agencies! Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers!

4. Conclusion

The “simulated convention” was a dog and pony show put on to produce amendments to con us into believing that a real Article V convention called by Congress won’t “run away”.

But it’s impossible to fix federal usurpations of non-delegated powers with amendments, because amendments can’t take away powers the Constitution didn’t delegate in the first place. Thus, the amendments the hand-picked attendees approved legalize powers already usurped or delegate sweeping new powers to the federal government over States and individual persons!

Statecraft is serious business which requires systematic study to master. The “simulated convention” shows we live in a time of constitutional illiteracy where people of good intent can be misled by persons of “insidious views”. Heed the words of Daniel Webster in his 4th of July Oration, 1802:

“The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.”

Endnotes:

1 If your spouse commits adultery, will your marriage be saved if you amend the vows to permit adultery? When People violate the Ten Commandments, will morality be restored if we amend the Ten Commandments to permit sin?

2 Michael Farris’ words in “Answering the John Birch Society Questions about Article V” or HERE.

3 None of the Delegates to the convention of 1787 said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the fed. gov’t when it usurps power. They said the purpose is to fix defects in the Constitution. See The George Mason Fabrication at subheading 4.

4 Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation (AOC) required Amendments to the AOC to be ratified by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But Article VII of the new Constitution (the one we now have) provided that it would be ratified by 9 States.

5 The enemies of our Constitution knew from day one that they could get rid of our Constitution at an Art. V convention! Our present Constitution was ratified by the 9th State on June 21, 1788. In Federalist No. 85 (mid-August 1788), Hamilton addressed the arguments of the anti-federalists who were agitating for another convention in order to get rid of our new Constitution.

On Oct. 27, 1788, anti-federalist Patrick Henry introduced into the Virginia Assembly a Resolution asking Congress to call an Art. V convention. In Madison’s letter to Randolph of Nov 2, 1788 (pages 294-297), he speaks of Henry’s “enmity” “agst [against] the whole system” [the new Constitution]; and “the destruction of the whole system I take to be still the secret wish of his heart, and the real object of his pursuit.”

6 New Constitutions are already prepared or being drafted: e.g., the Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum (Art. XII, §1). Globalists [e.g., the Council on Foreign Relations] who want to move us into the North American Union (NAU) need a new Constitution to transform us from a sovereign nation to a member state in the NAU.

7 COSP’s page is archived HERE. See “who attended the simulation” in right column. [Archived list of attendees is HERE or HERE.]

8 Proof of the original intent of the interstate commerce clause & how it was abused is HERE.

9 Yet, Legislators from 44 of the States at the “simulated convention” approved this!

10 See Barnett’s Amendment 2 – Limits of Commerce Power”. It’s archived HERE.

11 “Treason” is defined at Art. III, §3. In Federalist No. 43 (at 3.) Madison warns that the definition must be locked into the Constitution. Otherwise, malignant people fabricate definitions as needed in order to condemn their enemies.

Compare Art. I, §8, cl. 10 which delegates to Congress the power “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations”. In Federalist No. 42 (1st & 4th paras), Madison points out that this class of powers is among those which “regulate the intercourse with foreign nations” and so must be handled by the general [fed.] gov’t. And since everyone’s definition of the terms is different, the fed gov’t should define them. This class of powers wouldn’t affect private Citizens. For more on the limited criminal jurisdiction of the fed gov’t over private Citizens, see What Criminal Laws are Congress Authorized To Make?

12 See Nullification made Easy. And remember: State officials are required by the Oath at Art. VI to “support” the federal Constitution – not to obey the federal government!

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January 14, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, Code of Federal Regulations, Commerce clause, commerce clause, Convention of States project, Daniel Webster, dog and pony show, Fabian socialism, fabian socialists, James Madison, Michael Farris, Newspeak, Randy Barnett, simulated convention, Term Limits Amendment | , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The George Mason Fabrication

By Publius Huldah 1

“…of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants. Federalist No. 1 (5th para), Alexander Hamilton.

Those who have read Article I, §8, clauses 1-16 of our federal Constitution know that it delegates only a tiny handful of powers (over the Country at large) to the federal government.

They also know that, for the last 100 years, the federal government has violated the Constitution by usurping thousands of powers not delegated.

So what do we do about it?

1. The silly answer of the convention lobby

The convention lobby says that when the federal government violates the Constitution, the solution is to amend the Constitution.

Now think about that: When a spouse violates the marriage vows, is the solution is to change the marriage vows? When people ignore speed limits, is the solution to change the speed limits? When people violate the Ten Commandments, is the solution to change the Ten Commandments?

Of course not! The solution is obedience: to the Constitution, the marriage vows, the speed limits, and God.

But the convention lobby moves from silliness to insidiousness: They say we can only get the amendments we need at an Article V convention.

 2. Why do they want a convention?

From the beginning, the enemies of our Constitution wanted to get rid of it: On Aug. 31, 1787, George Mason said “he would sooner chop off his right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands”; and if it wasn’t changed to suit his views, he wanted another general convention. 2

Such demands for another convention were made throughout the ratification process, and continued after our Constitution was ratified by the ninth State on June 21, 1788. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, among others, addressed these demands in their writings.

A convention is the vehicle for getting a new Constitution. Today’s enemies of our Constitution are spending vast sums of money to buy an Article V convention. Their hirelings are propagandizing the People and are pushing State Legislatures all over our Country to apply to Congress to call a convention.

Article V of our Constitution provides two methods of amendment:

  • Congress proposes amendments and sends them to the States for ratification; or
  • Congress calls a convention if two thirds of the States apply for it.

Our existing 27 Amendments were obtained under the first method. We’ve never used the convention method because until recently, Americans understood the danger.

James Madison wrote in his Nov. 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that he “trembled” at the prospect of a second convention; and if there were another convention, “the most violent partizans”, and “individuals of insidious views” would strive to be delegates and would have “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country. 3

Alexander Hamilton “dreaded” the consequences of another convention because he knew that enemies of our Constitution wanted to get rid of it: Federalist No. 85. 4

The same goes for today. If there is an Article V convention, our enemies will have the opportunity to get rid of our existing Constitution and impose a new one. 5

Different factions already have new Constitutions in hand or in preparation in anticipation of an Article V convention. 6

The globalist elite [the Bush family, et al] want to move our Country into the North American Union (NAU). Under the NAU, Canada, the United States, and Mexico merge, and a Parliament is set up over them. Until recently, a copy of the Task Force Report on the NAU was posted at the website of the Council on Foreign Relations; now one must purchase a copy. The globalists need a new Constitution for the United States which transforms us from a sovereign nation to a member state of the NAU. To get this new Constitution, they need an Article V convention. See this brief commentary .

Now that you see what’s at stake, let’s return to the claims of the convention lobby.

3. The Revisionist Account of the federal convention of 1787

The convention lobby claims that, at the federal convention of 1787 where our present Constitution was drafted, our Framers gave us the Article V convention as the “solution” to federal usurpations. E.g., Michael Farris wrote: 7

“George Mason demanded that this provision [the convention method of proposing amendments] be included in Article V because he correctly forecast the situation we face today. He predicted that Washington, D.C. would violate its constitutional limitations and the States would need to make adjustments to the constitutional text in order to rein in the abuse of power by the federal government.” [boldface mine]

But Mason didn’t say that. Nor did any other delegates say that. They weren’t silly men; and they understood that amendments have a very different purpose.

4. Our Framers said the purpose of amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution

James Madison was a delegate to the federal convention of 1787, and kept a Journal. I went through it, collected every reference to what became Article V, and wrote it up – here it is. Madison’s Journal shows what the Framers really said about the purpose of amendments:

♦ Elbridge Gerry said on June 5, 1787, the “novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision”.

♦ George Mason said on June 11, 1787:

The Constitution now being formed “will certainly be defective”, as the Articles of Confederation have been found to be. “Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent…” [boldface mine]

♦ Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787 amendments remedy defects in the Constitution.

Other primary source writings of the time show:

♦ useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para).

♦ “amendment of errors” and “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

♦ If “… the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates …” (Washington’s Farewell Address, page 19) 8

That’s what they really said.

Amendments can’t “rein in” the federal government when it “violates its constitutional limitations” because when it does so, it is ignoring the existing limitations on its powers. We cannot fix federal usurpations of non-delegated powers by amending the Constitution to say the federal government cannot do what the Constitution never gave it the power to do in the first place!

And look at recent history: The 1st Amendment didn’t stop them from banning Christian speech in the public square. The 2nd Amendment didn’t stop them from regulating the sale of firearms. The 4th Amendment didn’t stop them from spying on us without a warrant. The 5th Amendment didn’t stop them from regulatory takings. The 10th Amendment didn’t stop them from usurping thousands of other powers not delegated.

Now let’s look at the words of George Mason which the convention lobby has twisted and taken out of context in an attempt to justify their absurd and ruinous claim.

5. The Dispute over the proper role of Congress in the amendment process

Under the Articles of Confederation (ART. 13), amendments had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States.

The dispute at the federal convention of 1787 was whether Congress – under the second Constitution then being drafted – should have any power over the amendment process.

Madison wanted Congress to propose all amendments, either on their own initiative or at the request of two thirds of the States. On Sep. 10, 1787, he proposed this wording for Article V:

“The Legislature of the United States, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem necessary, or on the application of two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several States, shall propose amendments to this Constitution …”

But Mason said the States should be able to propose amendments without having to depend on Congress. On Sep. 15, 1787, Mason said, respecting Madison’s proposed wording:

“As the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, and in the second ultimately, on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind, would ever be obtained by the people, if the government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.”

Now remember! Mason agreed with the other delegates that the purpose of amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution. Mason’s concern was that Congress might not agree to amendments which would be needed to correct defects.

Footnote 8 shows that the 11th Amendment was adopted to correct what the States saw as a defect in the powers delegated to the federal courts. The 11th Amendment removed that delegated power from the federal courts. But what if Congress hadn’t agreed to propose that amendment? That type of scenario is what Mason’s words addressed.

Here are examples of other defects Congress might not agree to fix by amendment:

♦ The Tariff Act of 1828 was constitutional – it was authorized by Art. I, §8, clause 1. But it was oppressive because it benefited infant industries in the North at the expense of the Southern States. An amendment could provide that tariffs may be imposed only to raise revenue to carry out the delegated powers of the federal government; and may not be imposed to benefit domestic industries, or to benefit one part of the Country at the expense of another part. But Congress might not agree.

♦  Slavery was permitted under our original Constitution. The federal fugitive slave laws (Art. IV, §2, clause 3) were oppressive. Slavery is a defect to be repaired by amendment. But Congress might not agree.

Do you see? Mason’s words, read together, show that his concern was that Congress might not agree to amendments the States wanted to correct defects in the federal Constitution.

Neither Mason nor anyone else was so silly as to say that when the federal government “violates its constitutional limitations”, the solution is to amend the Constitution.

6. Why was the convention method added to Article V?

That the convention method was added doesn’t mean that all thought it a terrific idea. It was a compromise; and the delegates knew they couldn’t keep future generations from doing what they themselves had already done twice: Invoking the Right, acknowledged in the 2nd para of our Declaration of Independence, to throw off one government and set up a new one. They invoked that Right during 1776 to throw off the British Monarchy; and during 1787, they invoked it again to throw off the Articles of Confederation – and the government it had created – and set up a new Constitution which created a new government.

In Federalist No. 40 (15th para), Madison specifically invoked this Right as justification for what they did at the federal convention of 1787: They ignored the Resolution of February 21, 1787 of the Continental Congress which called the convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”; they ignored the instructions from their States; 9 and they drafted a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification (only 9 States needed to ratify our Constitution of 1787).

There is nothing which can stop the delegates to an Article V convention from doing the same thing. And remember: New Constitutions are already prepared or in the works.

7. What’s our real problem? Let’s man-up and address that

Our problem today is not a defective Constitution. Our problem is ignorance, loss of virtue, and disobedience. Our Framers expected us to be virtuous and informed; and the States to resist federal usurpations. 10

Are we no longer worthy of the Constitution our Framers gave us? If not, the globalists have plans for us, and they need an Article V convention to impose them.

Don’t fall into the trap they have set for us. Open your eyes.

Endnotes:

1 My friend Don Fotheringham and I discussed this issue; this paper reflects his valuable insights. His paper, “Article V is Deliberately Vague”, is HERE; and his excellent book, “The President Makers: How Billionaires Control U.S. and Foreign Policy”, is HERE.

2 Mason didn’t chop off his right hand. He, along with Edmund Randolph and Elbridge Gerry, refused to sign the Constitution: see Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention for Sep. 17, 1787. Randolph wanted the States to be able to propose amendments to the proposed Constitution, and then all would be submitted to and finally decided on by another general convention: Aug. 31, Sep. 10, and Sep. 15, 1787. Gerry’s objections to the proposed Constitution were such that “the best that could be done…was to provide for a second general Convention”: Sep. 15, 1787.

Note well: The federal convention of 1787 was called “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and all referred to it as a “general convention” [search HERE for “general convention”, and you will see]. And in Madison’s Nov. 2, 1788 letter to Turberville, he writes,

“…3. If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed …” [boldface mine]

An Article V convention is a “general convention”.

3 Madison opposed the convention method: Federalist No. 49 (Feb. 1788); his letter to Turberville of Nov. 2, 1788; his letter to George Eve of Jan. 2, 1789; and on June 8, 1789, he circumvented the application previously submitted by Virginia on May 5, 1789 for an Article V convention, by introducing into Congress a proposed “bill of rights”. That is the procedure we have followed ever since: When States want amendments, they instruct their congressional delegation to propose them.

4 In Federalist No. 85 (Aug. 1788), Hamilton addressed the arguments of antifederalists who wanted another convention so they could get rid of our newly ratified Constitution. The “excellent little pamphlet” he refers to (9th para) was written during April 1788 by John Jay (first Chief Justice of the United States) and shows:

“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.”

Jay warned in his Pamphlet that a new convention would run “extravagant risques” [risks].

5 Even though Article V speaks of “a Convention for proposing Amendments”, the delegates will have the “self-evident” power, recognized in the 2nd para of our Declaration of Independence, to throw off our existing Form of Government and set up a new Constitution which creates a new government. And since the new Constitution drafted at an Article V convention will also have its own new mode of ratification, it is sure to be approved.

6 The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum [Art 12, § 1]. Here’s the proposed Constitution for “The New Socialist Republic in North America”.

The Constitution 2020 movement is backed by George Soros, Eric Holder, Cass Sunstein, and Marxist law professors. They want a progressive Constitution in place by the year 2020.

7 Farris’ paper, “Answering the John Birch Society Questions about Article V”, is HERE on the COS website; the copy I preserved is HERE.

8 Our Constitution originally delegated to federal courts the power to hear cases “between a State and Citizens of another State” (Art. III, §2, cl. 1). But when a Citizen of South Carolina sued the State of Georgia, the States were outraged! See Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793). So the 11th Amendment was ratified to take away from the federal courts the power to hear such cases.

9 ART. 13 of the Articles of Confederation required amendments to be agreed to by Congress and all of the States. HERE are the instructions the States gave delegates to the federal convention of 1787:

♦  “alterations to the Federal Constitution which, when agreed to by Congress and the several States, would become effective”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, S. Carolina, Maryland, & New Hampshire.

♦  “for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and Georgia;

♦  “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”: New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

♦  “provisions to make the Constitution of the federal Government adequate”: New Jersey

10 Nullification Made Easy and What Should States Do When the Federal Government Usurps Power?

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June 7, 2017 Posted by | Article V Convention, convention lobby, George Mason, James Madison | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Exposing the real agenda behind the push for an Article V convention

This presentation was given on April 17, 2017 at the beautiful old Supreme Court Chamber at the Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville.

Exhibit List

The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is HERE

The Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, federal structure, and enumerated powers is HERE.

The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE.

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

Federalist No. 16 is HERE.  See next to last paragraph.

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

HERE is a synopsis of what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 re the development of Article V with links to the pages in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention.

Our Framers NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to restrain the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:

The “novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision” (Gerry at the federal convention on June 5, 1787);

“The plan now to be formed will certainly be defective, as the Confederation [Articles of Confederation] has been found on trial to be. Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent on that very account….”(Geo. Mason at the federal convention on June 11, 1787);

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);

“amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

The Congressional Research Service 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)

“. . . [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)

“… 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 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.”

In other words, we’ll have to get a convention before we know how it is going to operate. But by then, it will be too late to stop it. And if the proceedings are secret, we won’t find out anything until they are finished.

The Chart which shows who (States, Congress, & Delegates) has the power to do what respecting an Art. V convention is HERE.

HERE is Rob Natelson’s speech of Sep. 16, 2010 announcing that he would no longer call it a “constitutional convention”, but would henceforth call it among other things, “a convention of states”. (page 2)

HERE are the Articles of Confederation, our first Constitution. Article XIII required approval of amendments by the Continental Congress and by every State.

HERE is Federalist No. 40 (James Madison) See especially the 15th para.

HERE is the Resolution of the Continental Congress dated Feb. 21, 1787, to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia,

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

HERE are the Credentials of the Delegates to the Federal Convention of 1787 and instructions from their States. These Instructions encompassed:

“alterations to the Federal Constitution which, when agreed to by Congress and the several States, would become effective”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, S. Carolina, Maryland, & New Hampshire.

“for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and Georgia;

“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”: New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

“provisions to make the Constitution of the federal Government adequate”: New Jersey

Rhode Island boycotted the convention.

HERE is the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII, Sec. 1 (page 27) addresses ratification by a national referendum.

Read HERE about the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. It was prepared by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. HERE is the text of their proposed Constitution.

Read HERE about The Constitution 2020 movement funded by George Soros and supported by Marxist law professors throughout the Country as well as Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder. They want a Progressive Constitution in place by the year 2020.

Read HERE about the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Task Force Report on the North American Union. Canada, the US, and Mexico are to merge and a Parliament will be set up over the 3 countries. The CFR site has a link to the Task Force Report. Read it!

News Flash:  The CFR has removed the Task Force Report from their website.  Now, one must purchase a copy.  It’s on Amazon

Update Jan. 8, 2018:  The Task Force Report is back up on the CFR web page.  GET IT WHILE YOU CAN – IT LAYS OUT WHAT THE GLOBALISTS HAVE PLANNED FOR US

It is not the “grass roots” which is pushing for an Article V convention. The big money is behind it. See THIS and THIS.

James Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 shows that on May 29, 1787, the delegates to that convention voted to make their proceedings secret.

Here is Federalist No. 49 where James Madison warned against having a convention to address breaches of the federal Constitution.

HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville warning of the terrible dangers of an Article V convention. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.

Here is Federalist No. 85 (last para) where Alexander Hamilton said he “dreads” the prospect of another convention because the enemies of the Constitution want to get rid of it.

  • [Note: Our Constitution was ratified by the 9th State on June 21, 1788. Federalist No. 85 was published during mid-August 1788. The anti-federalists wanted to get rid of our Constitution. They argued that our Constitution isn’t perfect – so we should have another convention so we can get a new Constitution. They also argued that Amendments to our Constitution are too hard to get it. Those were the arguments which Hamilton addressed in Federalist No. 85.]

Here is Justice Arthur Goldberg’s op ed in The Miami Herald of Sep. 14, 1986 where he warns us that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda would almost certainly be unenforceable.”

HERE is Chief Justice Warren Burger’s June 22, 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly:

“…there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention * * * After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda * * * A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”

Justice Scalia said on April 17, 2014 at the 1:06 mark of this video

“I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa. Who knows what would come out of that?”

  • [The convention lobby quotes Law Professor Scalia from 1979, when he didn’t object to an Article V convention. By 2014, the wiser Justice Scalia had changed his mind & now “feared” a convention.]

HERE are additional letters and articles by eminent Jurists and scholars to the same effect.

HERE is where James Madison said our Constitution depends on the people having the “virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom” to office. [see text at 223]

Since the States created the federal government, they are the final authority on whether their creature has violated the constitutional compact the States made with each other. Those are our Framers’ words you can find them HERE and HERE.

HERE is the Pew Report: At the “select a state” box, you can find out what percentage of your State government’s revenue was from federal funds.

For a model Rescission Resolution, go HERE and then scroll down to “Take Action”.

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April 19, 2017 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Council on Foreign Relations, Declaration of Independence, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Faithful Delegate Laws, Federal Convention of 1787, George W. Bush, Mark Levin, North American Union, not on the list | , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

The TOP DOWN push for an Article V convention

By Publius Huldah

Ever since, some 50 years ago, the Ford Foundation produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America, it has always been the political elite and the big money who are behind the push for an Article V convention.  Today, people and politicians who posture as men of virtue and “conservatives principles” are being paid to support an Article V convention – e.g. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2017/03/01/major-conservatives-piggy-banks-behind-texas-obsession-amending-constitution

See also, http://le.utah.gov/house2/CofI/IVORYK1.pdf

Anyone who refuses to look into this is willfully blind and morally culpable.

The billionaires who are buying an Article V convention (e.g., Koch Brothers, George Soros), have no intention of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the  government over us!

The propaganda put out by the con-con lobby is able to take root in those who don’t know what our Constitution already says; don’t understand our Founding Principles; and don’t know our History on throwing off governments and setting up new ones.  We’ve already done it twice!

The enemies of our Constitution want to do it a third time.  Since they know you wouldn’t agree to it; they are telling you things which aren’t true.

Listen up:

Our Declaration of Independence says at the 2nd paragraph that a People have the right to throw off their form of government and set up a new one. We invoked that Principle in 1776 to throw off British Rule. We invoked that Principle again in 1787 to throw off the Articles of Confederation and the government it created, and set up a new Constitution [the one we have now] which created a new government.

People who don’t know that are unable to understand that if there is an Article V convention today, the Delegates can do the same thing! Throw off the Constitution we have and set up a new one which creates a new government.

For heavens sake, People! New Constitutions are already written and waiting in the wings for an Article V convention! Here’s one of them – it’s ratified by a national Referendum. The States don’t vote on it. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/concon/newstates.htm#.WLrJEn98ExE

George Soros wants a Progressive Constitution in place by the year 2020. http://keywiki.org/Constitution_2020

George W. Bush, the Council on Foreign Relations, and others want to move the United States into the North American Union. Canada, the US, and Mexico are to merge and a Parliament set up over them. In order to do this, they need a new Constitution for the US to transform us from a sovereign nation to a member state in the NAU. How do they get a new Constitution? At an Article V convention.  How do they get an Article V convention?  Pay people who pose as conservatives to tell the American People that we need a convention to get amendments which will limit the power of the federal government.

And the people who don’t understand our Founding Principles, don’t know our History, and don’t know what our Constitution already says, fall for the subterfuge.

READ the Task Force Report on the NAU. Heidi Cruz was on the Task Force which wrote the Report:  http://www.cfr.org/canada/building-north-american-community/p8102

Americans! Wake up! You are being scammed and tricked and lied to. And bought and paid for politicians and charlatans are selling you into slavery.

God gave you a brain.  It is wicked for you to refuse to use it.

Update Jan. 12, 2018All US Presidents since (and including) Ronald Regan have been advancing our movement into the NAU. Watch this excellent 15 minute video: https://youtu.be/lNhp9H3yCsI

This is a Revolution against us by the global elite. This push for an Article V convention is from the top down – it is how the Elite can impose their will on us.

Do not continue to unwittingly assist the global elite in enforcing their will on us!

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March 9, 2017 Posted by | Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Council on Foreign Relations, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, George W. Bush, Heidi Cruz, North American Union | , , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

An Article V convention is an imminent threat to our US Constitution

If you come to this event, you will see why Mark Meckler, Michael Farris, COS operatives, and the con-con lobby don’t want you to hear what I say.  I tell the TRUTH and prove it.

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March 1, 2017 Posted by | Article V Convention | , , , | 6 Comments

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

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