Proponents of an Article V Convention demand action be taken immediately for a plethora of issues. We will provide justification as to why Article V does not allow for a so-called “Convention of the States”. This is just a marketing gimmick.
Initially, people referred to it as a Constitutional Convention. Now, its been rebranded as a Article V Convention and the latest a “Convention of the States”. It’s gives the George Orwell’s “1984″ feel as people cheer for the false dichotomy of state versus federal government. Reigning in the federal government.
Throughout history, Constitutions have been used to restrain “the People”. Examples of such Constitutions include the 1936 Soviet Union Constitution or North Korea’s Constitution of today. You do not have to deviate far to usurp individual rights.
I argue that the U.S. Constitution does not give states the authorization to call a “Convention of the States”. A state may come in and impose but when it comes to the leviathan of a federal government, our tools are educating each other. Let’s analysis Article V. It’s only 143 words.
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the applications of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”
The Congress…shall propose amendments to this Constitution or…shall call a convention for proposing amendments. The trigger for these two methods is a two thirds of both houses or the application of two thirds of the several states. A Convention of the States are not identified.
THE U.S. CONSTITUTION EMPOWERS THE STATES to conduct a “Convention of the States”. Article V empowers the states with two responsibilities; States may apply for a convention and ratify any proposed amendments. Proponents say that the founders intended for the convention process to bypass Congress or empower the states but it does no such thing for a so called “Convention of the State”.
States Control the Convention. Some states are proposing laws in hopes of controlling their delegates. Once the states submit their applications, they cannot control the convention process. Proponents are trying to convince State legislatures they can control delegates with jail sentences or removal from the convention but again, they are just forfeiting their voice in this convention. If the convention moves from the appointed agenda, the only thing an entity outside the convention can do is remove it’s voice from the convention.
Congress calls the Convention . “The Congress…shall propose amendments” or “shall call a convention for proposing amendments” Some believe that States can call a Convention upon application of two-thirds of the states but that is not the case. The true case is that upon two-thirds of both “houses” or upon application of two-thirds of the several states, “The Congress” proposes amendments or calls a convention.
“Shall be part of this Constitution” Our Constitution was devised from the Articles of Confederation. When the founder’s entered the Convention, States needed a unanimously ratify amendments. This is in addition that delegates changed their mandate, as the New York delegates did. Once finished, “Conventions” in three-fourths of the States were needed to ratify the new Constitution…the legislatures of the states did not have a say at the ratifying convention. They may have appointed a commission but once that ratifying convention convened, the voices of the convention spoke loudly.
What’s to say that a new ratification process couldn’t be proposed in a new Constitution? Precedence shows that this will be the case. They could lower ratification to 26 states, leaving the remaining 24 without a nation, then the 24 would be with a massive debt and the old government. What’s the say that this could not happen again…it did during the last federal convention.
Hopefully, proponents of an Article V Convention cannot truly say that it’s authorized in the “supreme Law of the Land”. While our nation is such internal conflict, it is not the time to open the Constitution for debate. …or attempt to use the fundamental document of our nation to control behavior.
Be careful of the behavior they seek to change…it may be “the Peoples”