The state of Michigan has just became the 34th state to vote that a Constitutional Convention be called, and no one really noticed. Now the required 34 States Call for Constitutional Convention.
What is a Conctitutional Convention?
- A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution.
Not Congress, not the media, no one. In Article V of the Constitution, it allows for the Constitution to be amended two ways: through Congressional vote, and through State Legislature vote. We haven’t amended the Constitution in decades, and now that the states have voted to do so…
Yet no one has noticed.
The resulting confusion, and lack of clear guidance in the Constitution, will have to be sorted out by the congressional leadership since Article 5 says that Congress “shall call a convention for proposing amendments” when requested by enough states (34).
Under Article 5 of the Constitution, such a convention can be convened when requested by two-thirds of the states, and it is one of two ways to propose amendments to the nation’s founding document.
The other method — by which all previous constitutional amendments have been initiated — requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. Ratifying amendments then require three-fourths of the states to approve.
Many but not all of the states have called for a convention that would specifically seek to balance the budget.
Unless called to deal with a specific issue, some legal experts warn a “runaway” convention could create chaos.
“Let’s assume that we get Congress to call for a convention, and we are deliberating about one item. Maybe that would stick. But how can you be confident that once you open the door to a constitutional convention, even if for one narrow amendment, that it won’t just become a runaway convention?” said Steve Hayward, a visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
“We always, instead of asking politicians to be responsible, are looking for some outside gimmick. A constitutional convention and amendment would be a constitutional gimmick,” said Fisher, who worked in Congress for 40 years and has testified before congressional panels as far back as the Graham-Rudman Act in 1985.
1. The Convention cannot be limited to a single proposed amendment and is likely to be a runaway.
“One of the most serious problems Article V proposes is a runaway convention. There is no enforceable mechanism to prevent a convention from reporting out wholesale changes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg.
“There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention would make its own rules and set its own agenda.” Chief Justice Warren Berger
2. The Convention could fundamentally change our Constitution or replace it altogether.
“We have only one Precedent, the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. It was summoned, “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Article of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein.” From the very beginning it did not feel confined by the call and gave us a totally new Constitution that completely replaced the Articles of Confederation. I see no reason to believe that a constitutional convention, 200 years later, could be more narrowly circumscribed.” Charles Alan Wright, School of Law, The University of Texas at Austin.
3. Selection of Delegates for the constitutional convention is undefined in the plain language of Article V.
“…the absence of any mechanism to ensure representative selection of delegates could put a runaway convention in the hands of single-issue groups whose self-interest may be contrary to our national well-being.” Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg
“At a minimum…the Federal Judiciary, including The Supreme Court, will have to resolve the inevitable disputes over which branch and level of government may be entrusted to decide each of the many questions left open by Article V.” Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
4. State Legislators do not have the ultimate power of ratification.
“The Fifth Article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by action of the legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states.” Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920)
Four more reasons why a constitutional convention is a bad idea.
First, liberals control almost everything. They lie, cheat, and steal at politics. How can you trust a Democrat who fights against voter IDs, supports killing pre-born babies, and has an unnatural support for sexually deviant behavior to follow the rules at a ConCon? Then there’s the problem of RINOs who often side with Democrats on important social issues and compromise an almost everything else. There are very few statesmen today who know enough about government to be trusted with revising the Constitution.
Second, why do we think an updated Constitution will be followed when the one Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court Justices don’t follow the one they’ve taken an oath to uphold? The present Constitution is a wax nose if it’s consulted at all.
Where in the Constitution is there a granted power to force national healthcare on the American people, for a Department of Education, a National Endowment for the Arts, etc? Liberals push hard to nullify the Second Amendment or regulate it out of existence. Sen. Schumer (D-NY) wants limits on Free Speech. A New Mexico Court just nullified the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment.
Third, remember what happened when delegates were sent to Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. They scrapped the Articles and wrote a new Constitution. What makes anyone think it won’t happen again?
Fourth, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. The Constitution isn’t the main problem; it’s the people we elect to office and the people who elect them. Why do we think that anything will change with a new Constitution?
The voting public doesn’t care anything about the Constitution. They use the power of the State for their own benefit contrary to the Constitution. Now we’ll end up being conned by a hydra-headed political monster.
“We oppose a Con Con because the subject matter cannot be controlled and we have no guarantee that we can win state ratification fights if changes to the Constitution are offered. We fear, instead that in today’s climate of radical socialism and American ignorance about the Constitution that this is the worst possible time in our nation’s history to start to mess with the greatest governing document of all time. We will continue to oppose any and all attempts to do that, no matter how noble the reason for the call. Our intention is to protect the Constitution.” – Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center