Article V Convention, Two Opposing Opinions

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Two articles popped up this week, one favoring an Article V Convention and the other opposing. These are only excerpts, but we linked them to the original articles, which delve deeper into the issues. I think a Convention is a terrible idea. I read Mark Levin’s book calling for it and was not moved. It seems like a good way to burn the Constitution, not improve it. Tell us what you think at the end. We need more opinions.
close up of United States constitution document burning in fire
IN FAVOR OF AN ARTCLE V CONVENTION

An article at Zero Hedge addresses the possibility of an Article V Convention now that we are halfway towards that goal.

Article V of the Constitution provides two avenues for amendments. Under the first one, Congress proposes amendments that are enacted if three-fourths of the state legislatures approve them. That’s the way all amendments have been advanced so far.”

Conservative activists want to “call a convention for proposing amendments.”

“To trigger a convention that way, two-thirds of the state legislatures must call for one, and governors have no say. States would then send delegates to a convention where proposals would be put forth and debated. The convention is a vehicle for proposing amendments.

“So far, 19 state legislatures have called for an amendments convention, which means advocates are more than halfway toward the 34 they need.”

“Convention of States Action’s model language for state legislatures seeks to limit the scope of the convention to “proposing amendments…that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

Advocates want to allow the states to rein in a federal government.

“The states have sort of lost their voice, and all we can do now is beg from the cheap seats and say, ‘Hey, don’t do that’,” South Carolina state rep. Bill Taylor, who led a successful constitution-calling effort, told Insider.

“Though the largest convention drive is led by conservatives, some liberals are itching for a state-led constitution-editing session of their own. Prompted by the Citizens United decision, progressive commentator Cenk Uygur launched Wolf PAC to push for a convention geared toward campaign finance reform. Four legislatures have advanced the Wolf PAC convention application.”

“Liberals and conservatives are thus compelled to clash with increasing intensity over who gets to control levers the Constitution never even authorized. The more we rightly restore authority to state and local governments, the lower the national political stakes for all of us, and the lower our collective temperature.”

“However, the federal government won’t surrender that power on its own — which is exactly why the founders gave us this other avenue of amending the Constitution.”

The article concludes with a quote from George Mason, who supported the idea.

Read the story at Zero Hedge.

THE OPPOSING OPINION

On the other hand, there is reason to fear it. Dr. Robert Malone published an article considering the John Birch Society’s opinion. The society opposes a convention.

Dr. Malone gives background on the organization because they have frequently been maligned as conspiracy theorists. He wants people to keep an open mind.

The John Birch Society was formed to combat communism, period.

Dr. Malone writes:

In my opinion, it is time to recognize that JBS members have been American thought leaders for many decades now. Like all of us out on the bleeding edge, they have not been right about everything. That is a risk that comes with leading rather than following. But at a minimum, I believe that their opinion and insights on US Constitutional matters deserve to be considered with an open mind. With his historic speech of September 01, 2022, even Joe Biden now claims to be a constitutionalist and a nationalist. Whether his comments were sincere or not, it is clear that constitutionalism and nationalism have become accepted mainstream US political positions.

For more information about the society, go to Dr. Malone’s substack. Here are some excerpts from the JBS opposing opinion.

Article V Convention Threatens Liberty

By Christian Gomez for the John Birch Society [Excerpts only]

What was America’s saving grace from the kind of outright tyrannical response to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 that we witnessed in communist China and Canada, where the Trudeau government froze the bank accounts of the non-violent truckers peacefully protesting for their medical liberty? The answer is the U.S. Constitution and our system of federalism, which prevents the national or (in our case) federal government from seizing total control with little-to-no checks and balances on its power.

If it were not for the Constitution standing in the way, the Biden administration’s tyrannical COVID mandates would still be in place and fully enforced, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate — requiring companies with a hundred or more employees to receive the genetic COVID vaccines — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s public-transportation mask mandate. Without our founding document, the ability of states and individuals to resist these onerous violations would be greatly hampered. Upholding the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as written by the Founding Fathers, is paramount to preserve liberty and keep our Republic.

Yet, some conservatives are clamoring for a convention to amend the Constitution (a Constitutional Convention) that also possesses the power to entirely rewrite the Constitution.

Despite various convention applications over the centuries, there has not been a Constitutional Convention since the 1787 Federal Convention in Philadelphia that produced our current Constitution.

The article explains that there are no limitations on the delegates’ authority, not by the state legislatures or the Congress assembled.

As the sovereign representatives of the people, delegates to an Article V Constitutional Convention possess the full legal authority to entirely scrap the Constitution and the republican system of government it established and to replace it with a new constitution and form of government. And this is precisely what happened at the Philadelphia Convention.

A modern Convention today, under Article V, would not be a “Convention of the States.” Rather, it would be a convention of the people. And as such, the delegates would be within their purview — as the sovereign representative of “We the People” — to reject any state or federal limitations that may be imposed on their actions and to instead proceed upon original principles again to frame an entirely new, modern and likely very socialist-leaning constitution. As the late Supreme Court Justice and constitutional originalist Antonin Scalia warned in 2014, shortly prior to his death, “I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it?”

Similarly, in a letter written to Phyllis Schlafly, dated June 22, 1988, Chief Justice Warren Burger warned:

[T]here is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.

Likewise, a decade earlier, on February 26, 1979, U.S. Senator from Arizona Barry Goldwater, a.k.a. “Mr. Conservative,” warned against an Article V convention ostensibly limited to proposing a federal balanced budget amendment; Goldwater said:

I think it would be very foolhardy, it would be a tragic mistake, to hold a Constitutional Convention for this one purpose. I say it would be foolhardy and dangerous because if we hold a constitutional convention, every group in the country — majority, minority, middle-of-the-road, left, right, up, down — is going to get its two bits in and we are going to wind up with a Constitution that will be so far different from the one we have lived under for 200 years that I doubt that the Republic could continue.

Senator Goldwater doubled down, adding, “even though my State has approved a constitutional convention, I wanted my voice as a Senator from that State and as a Member of this body to be registered as totally opposed to any constitutional convention.”

The bottom line is that nobody knows what would emerge from a modern Article V Constitutional Convention. Why risk the known individual liberties and limitations on the federal government that the Constitution already guarantees for the unknown outcome of a convention, based on promises of additional hypothetical limitations? Moreover, with all 50 states (both Blue and Red) participating, what kind of delegates would likely be sent to such a convention?

In an article published on TheFederalist.com, Elaine Donnelly, the president of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that reports on and analyzes military and social issues, provides the following realistic answer:

Conservative Con-Con promoters will not control who attends, what issues are discussed, or what constitutional amendments ultimately are approved. The convention will make all decisions, and conservatives will not be able to guarantee the outcome.

Imagine both political parties attending the same national convention, at the same time, with progressive insiders controlling credentials, rules, issues committees, and voting procedures.

Participants would include not just conservative Republicans, but Democrats, RINOs, socialists, Green New Dealers, Supreme Court packers, gun controllers, police de-funders, big spenders, Roe v. Wade codifiers, teacher unions, Anthony Fauci fans, Electoral College critics, race-obsessed wokesters, social justice warriors, and peaceniks who would balance the federal budget by disbanding the Department of Defense.

What sort of constitution would emerge from delegates who are Anthony Fauci fans, COVID-19 vaxxers, mask mandaters, wokesters, and other progressives and swampy RINOs from the Administrative State? An Article V convention is not the mechanism to take back and rein in our federal government, it’s the principal vehicle to hijack and irrevocably destroy our Republic. Liberty would doubtlessly survive an Article V Constitutional Convention; it would be the first target of the Administrative State seeking to permanently consolidate its current unconstitutional powers.

Simply put, as Justice Scalia warned before a gathering of the Federalist Society, in Morristown, New Jersey, on May 8, 2015, “A constitutional convention is a horrible idea,” adding, “This is not a good century to write a constitution.” Scalia is correct: this is not a good century to write a constitution, nor is it a good century to amend it, especially via a mechanism as risky as an Article V Constitutional Convention. [Emphasis added]

What are your thoughts concerning the points raised?


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GuvGeek
GuvGeek
2 months ago

I am for an Article V Convention, not to propose amendments, but to undo the damage that both Democrat and Republican Progressives have done by repealing ill conceived Amendments.

Portions of the 14th Amendment need to be rescinded such as the voting age is 21. We should increase the voting age to at least 25. Only children of those legally in the United States with at least one Parent who is a US citizen should be considered a Citizen. Only Legal Citizens should be counted for the Census.

The 16th Amendment should be rescinded in total. It gives Government far too much power. The People should ultimately control the Purse Strings of Government, not the Congress.

The 17th Amendment should be rescinded in total. This Amendment all but abolished States Rights. The House was to protect and execute the Will of The People. The Senate was to protect the States from both the People and the Power of the Federal Government.

The 20th Amendment should be rescinded in total. As we have seen, election disputes can not be resolved in under 3 Months. The new President and Congress should take office on April 1st, April fools day! Elections should be held on the 1st Saturday on October, in person on paper ballots.

The 23th Amendment should be rescinded in total. No one should be a Resident of or even own property in the District of Columbia. DC should be solely owned by the Federal Government. The Federal Government should own no land in a State, The Federal Government should have to least all land it requires from the State or citizens of a State.

The 24th Amendment should be rescinded in total. The Government should have the right to deny ones vote if they are not up to date on Taxes, or is on the Dole.

The 26th Amendment should be rescinded in total. The voting age should be increased to at least 25, unless you are on active military service.

Only after we have undone the damage that Progressive thinking has made of the Constitution should be even consider new Amendments. Our Founding Fathers gave us a superbly crafted Constitution except in regards to Slavery. It was something of an insurmountable issue at the time. For the last 125 Years we have stood by and allowed Politicians try to convert the Constitutional Republic into a Mob Rule Democracy. Democracy was rejected by the Founding Father because History has proven multiple times that it is a Failed Form of Government. Democracy opens a Society up to destruction because men are flawed and will succumb to the Seven Deadly Sins if left to the Whims of the Passions of the moment. The Constitutional Republic created 3 competing bodies in order to keep the recklessness of a Democracy under control. Our Politicians and Academics have lost sight of the design and intent of the Constitutional Republic as they have increasingly succumb to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Greg
Greg
2 months ago

I was really shocked when Levin put forth this idea. Every protest I went to at the Capitol had groups pushing for the Convention of States. It’s definitely not a good idea. Look no further than what Congress has passed over the years, and continue to do so. The states are no better in this regard.

A Convention would cement the problems today in perpetuity. Consider what the vast majority of the public vote for during each election cycle. It is those same Representatives that would decide the outcome. Once enacted no future Congress, or State for that matter, would be able to curtail what has been done. It would be truly set in stone. Read carefully what is written in each State’s Constitution and there you can find a glimpse of what is to come. No doubt many of those “policies” (many of which are not governance but policy preferences) had to be popular with the voters and thus were enacted.

It’s not Just a bad idea, but dangerous to any Republic. I was surprised to see someone with the background of Levin unable to foresee the disaster that awaits such a Convention. I suppose if you’re in your own little bubble maybe you cannot see the danger that lies ahead.

Peter B. Prange
Peter B. Prange
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg

The act that it has not been done before means it is a dangerous wildcard in today’s climate.

GuvGeek
GuvGeek
2 months ago

It might be the only thing that will stop a Civil War!

Papa
Papa
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Years ago I thought Article 5 was good idea. After reading Phyllis Schlafly (RIP) I no longer supported it.

https://www.phyllisschlafly.com/category/constitution/article-v-convention/

The following website explains why 16and 17th were NOT ratified “properly” by all states. 1913 The Worst Year Ever

The 17th transferred the power from the states to DC as most know visiting this website.

https://www.devvy.com/abc.html

https://www.devvy.com/new_site/17th_amendment_docs_march_2010.html

Bill Benson wrote book “The Law That Never Was” it’s said he spent over decade researching.

https://www.thelawthatneverwas.com/

George Soros is pushing for Article 5 Convention. Uuuummm. During my 70+ years I’ve learned when NAZIs, Communists etc. support something it’s bad for We The People.

https://newswithviews.com/why-there-has-never-been-an-article-5-convention/

Papa
Papa
2 months ago
Reply to  Papa

There’s even articles saying Soros is against Article 5C, Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier. Which makes me more suspicious. It’s like both left and right main stream media support the same. Like when Volodymyr Zelenskyy became P. Ukraine. Left and right main stream media reported how wonderful. I’ve learned that’s not necessarily good. In fact it can be a clue to not good when both report same.