Government Watch

The Convention of States Project Announces Formation of Prestigious “Legal Board of Excellence” in Support of Article V

Amendments Convention Would Rein in Federal Government Overreach’

PURCELLVILLE, VA, and AUSTIN, TX, September 29, 2014 – Today the Convention of States Project announces the issuance of the “Jefferson Statement,” endorsing the Convention of States project and the formation of a Board of Legal Reference made up of lawyers, legal and constitutional scholars and notable public figures.

The Convention of States project (a project of Citizens for Self-Governance) announces the creation of a Legal Board of Reference, made up of well-known lawyers, law professors, and constitutional scholars who have signed the Jefferson statement (see below) endorsing the Convention of States initiative to call an Article V Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution to restrain the federal government.

“The federal government has exceeded the bounds placed by the Framers of the Constitution, and it’s time for the States to exert their authority by calling a Convention to propose Amendments pursuant to the authority granted to them in Article V,” said Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and the Co-Founder of the Convention of States project.    “An Article V Convention to propose restraints on an ever-expanding federal behemoth which refuses to restrain itself is exactly what the nation needs right now.”

Michael Farris, Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at Citizens for Self-Governance, and the Co-Founder of the Convention of States Project said, “We are extremely gratified that such an impressive group of nationally known, experienced lawyers, law professors, scholars and conservative public opinion leaders have agreed to support the Convention of States project by endorsing the effort, signing the Jefferson Statement (see below) and serving on our Legal Board of Reference.  This is a historic moment for the country. “

The Convention of States Project currently has organized leadership in 43 states around the country, including thousands of volunteers committed to stopping the federal government’s abuse of power. Three Article V applications have already been passed in Alaska, Florida and Georgia. For more information visit www.ConventionofStates.com.

__________________________________________

The Jefferson Statement

The Constitution’s Framers foresaw a day when the federal government would exceed and abuse its enumerated powers, thus placing our liberty at risk. George Mason was instrumental in fashioning a mechanism by which “we the people” could defend our freedom—the ultimate check on federal power contained in Article V of the Constitution.

Article V provides the states with the opportunity to propose constitutional amendments through a process called a Convention of States. This process is controlled by the states from beginning to end on all substantive matters.

A Convention of States is convened when 34 state legislatures pass resolutions (applications) on an agreed topic or set of topics. The Convention is limited to considering amendments on these specified topics.

While some have expressed fears that a Convention of States might be misused or improperly controlled by Congress, it is our considered judgment that the checks and balances in the Constitution are more than sufficient to ensure the integrity of the process.

The Convention of States mechanism is safe, and it is the only constitutionally effective means available to do what is so essential for our nation—restoring robust federalism with genuine checks on the power of the federal government.

We share the Founders’ conviction that proper decision-making structures are essential to preserve liberty. We believe that the problems facing our nation require several structural limitations on the exercise of federal power. While fiscal restraints are essential, we believe the most effective course is to pursue reasonable limitations, fully in line with the vision of our Founders, on the federal government.

Accordingly, I endorse the Convention of States Project, which calls for an Article V Convention for “the sole purpose of 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.”

 

Legal Board of Reference

Each of the following individuals has signed onto The Jefferson Statement, endorsing the Convention of States Project, and serves as a legal advisor to the Project:

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he directs the Georgetown Center for the Constitution and teaches constitutional law and contracts. Professor Barnett is a graduate of Harvard Law School, he has argued before the United States Supreme Court.  In 2011-12 he represented the National Federation of Independent Business in its constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Professor Barnett has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern.  In 2008, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies.

His publications include more than one hundred articles and reviews, as well as nine books, including Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton, 2005), The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts (Oxford 2010), and Constitutional Law: Cases in Context (Wolters Kluwer, 2nd ed. 2013), and The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 1998).

Charles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 35 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels.

Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Mr. Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Mr. Cooper to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Mr. Cooper reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods.

In 1998 Mr. Cooper was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve as a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Mr. Cooper is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and he has spoken and published extensively on a wide variety of constitutional and legal policy topics.

Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law, and also served as the School’s Dean from June 2007 to January 2010, when he stepped down to pursue a bid for California Attorney General. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute.

Prior to joining the Fowler School of Law faculty in August 1999, he served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court of the United States and with Judge J. Michael Luttig at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After his clerkships, Dr. Eastman practiced with the national law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, specializing in major civil and constitutional litigation at both the trial and appellate levels.

Dr. Eastman earned his JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with high honors in 1995. He was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Law Review, a Bradley Fellow for Research in Constitutional History and an Olin Fellow in Law & Economics. Dr. Eastman also has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School, with fields of concentration in Political Philosophy, American Government, Constitutional Law, and International Relations. Prior to law school, he served as the Director of Congressional & Public Affairs at the United States Commission on Civil Rights during the Reagan administration and was the 1990 Republican Nominee for Congress in California’s 34th District.

Michael Farris, head of the Convention of States Project, is the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He was the founding president of both organizations. During his career as a constitutional appellate litigator, he has served as lead counsel in the United States Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and the appellate courts of thirteen states.

Farris has been a leader on Capitol Hill for over thirty years and is widely respected for his leadership in the defense of homeschooling, religious freedom, and the preservation of American sovereignty. A prolific author, Farris has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship by the Heritage Foundation and as one of the “Top 100 Faces in Education for the 20th Century” by Education Week magazine.

Farris received his B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University. He later went on to earn his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law, and his LL.M. in Public International Law, from the University of London.

Robert P. George holds Princeton’s celebrated McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology, of which he continues to be a corresponding member.

Professor George is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis, and Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, and co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, and What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics.

Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton’s Department of Politics.

Professor George holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, divinity, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he also received a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.

C. Boyden Gray is the founding partner of Boyden Gray & Associates, in Washington, D.C.  Prior to founding his law firm, Ambassador Gray served our nation in various capacities both domestic and abroad.

Gray served as Legal Counsel to Vice President Bush (1981-1989) and as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993). Gray also served as counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief during the Reagan administration.  Following his service in the White House, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy.

Ambassador Gray is the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of North Carolina Law School.  In 1993, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President George H.W. Bush.  Gray earned his Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and his J.D. from the Law School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was Editor in Chief of the Law Review.  Following his graduation from university, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  After law school, he clerked for Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1968-69).  Gray currently serves on the faculty of the NYU law school

Mark Levin is one of America’s preeminent conservative commentators and constitutional lawyers. Mark is the author of several New York Times bestselling books including Men in Black (2007), Liberty and Tyranny (2010), Ameritopia (2012) and The Liberty Amendments (2013). Additionally, he is one of America’s preeminent conservative commentators and

Constitutional lawyers. He is in great demand as a political and legal commentator, and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs, including his own, nationally syndicated daily radio program. Levin is also a contributing editor for National Review Online, and writes frequently for other publications.

Levin served as a top advisor to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet – including as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of the United States, Edwin Meese.

In 2001, the American Conservative Union named Levin the recipient of the prestigious Ronald Reagan Award.  He’s received many awards over the years, and in 2014 was awarded the first Citizens United Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Levin currently practices law in the private sector, heading up the prestigious Landmark Legal Foundation in Washington DC.

Andrew McCarthy is a bestselling author, a Senior Fellow at National Review Institute, and a contributing editor at National Review.  A well-known commentator on legal, national-security, and political affairs, he also writes regularly for PJMedia and The New Criterion.

McCarthy is a former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, best known for leading the prosecution against the “Blind Sheik” (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven other jihadists for waging a terrorist war against the United States–including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City Landmarks. After the 9/11 attacks, he supervised the U.S. Attorney’s command-post near Ground Zero.  He later served as an advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense  McCarthy has written two New York Times bestsellers — Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (2008) and The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010).

McCarthy did his undergraduate work at Columbia College, received his J.D. from New York Law School, and has served as a professor there, as well as at Fordham University Law School.

Mark Meckler is President of Citizens for Self-Governance, the parent organization of the Convention of States Project.  Meckler is one of the nation’s most effective grassroots activists. After he co-founded and served as the National Coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, he founded Citizens for Self-Governance in 2012 to bring the concept of “self-governance” back to American government.  This grassroots initiative expands and supports the ever-growing, bipartisan self-governance movement.

Meckler appears regularly on a wide variety of television outlets, including MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business, etc.  He is the co-author of Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution, and writes regularly on Breitbart, the American Spectator, and SelfGovern.com. He also is an attorney who specializes in internet privacy law.

Meckler received his B.A. in English Literature from San Diego State University, and his J.D. from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.


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Rob
8 years ago

Read, “The Liberty Amendments” by Mark Levin. Nuff said.

Telara
8 years ago

ALERT ALERT ALERT

NEVER open up the Constitution to be changed when you don’t have the right people in elected/appointed offices at the start!!!

Oh, I know it sounds like a great solution – and in academic terms, it is. But think it through. The people in power right now do NOT like our Constitution. The liberal left WANTS DESPERATELY to open up the Constitution to change, and have been trying to do so with a Constitutional Convention (I believe). They WANT to change the CONSTITUTION, but not in any way that would be recognizable once they finished their work. Over the past six years, I’ve heard stories (quickly hushed up) that Van Jones and Bill Ayers have been working on a rewrite of the Constitution. They HATE our current Constitution because our Constitution affords the American people with Protections AGAINST Government. That is the main purpose of the Constitution, though most Americans don’t realize it.

Our Founders FEARED government would impose upon our liberty – our Freedoms – and that is why it took so long to write the Constitution and pass it. Look at the Federalist Papers and read about the discussions of every aspect of the Constitution. States didn’t want to give up their laws to Federal interference. The Federal government was FEARED – and rightly so it turns out – because our Founders knew something we have forgotten. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more power the Federal government gets, the more it takes, the more it wants. And by appointing liberal judges to the Courts, our Constitition is dismissed at the drop of a judge’s hat. Our ONLY hope is to keep fighting until someone takes the time to READ the Constitution and realize the previous judge didn’t follow it.

What liberties have we lost (or are in current danger of losing) and the Constitution is still in force?
1. Protection against Unlawful Search – TSA now has the right to UNLAWFULLY pull you (or your toddler) out of line and search you (or your toddler) – a full-body-full-cavity search if they so desire – for no other reason than the Federal government needs to “protect us” from terrorism. HOWEVER, TSA has NEVER caught a terrorist. (In addition, Muslims are protected against TSA searches as it is against their religion, and our Federal government says TSA must not racial profile).

2. Gays have become a “protected class” by the nature of their sexual preference alone. That is NO WHERE in the Constitution. Sex is a moral issue – between churches and the people. It has NO PLACE in government if we believe the liberals who are constantly yelling “separation of church and state” (which by the way is NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION). As a result, God fearing Christians are being persecuted by gay people in their businesses and forced to shut down their businesses under a barage of abuse by the “gay community”.

3. Freedom of Speech is constantly under attack. Conservatives and Christians are no longer able to speak out without a government official accusing them of “hate speech” or racism. A gay mayor in Houston gets a subpoena for church sermons, emails, conversations, etc. etc. The pastors are fighting it – but can you imagine – with the Constitution, the subpeona should NEVER have been issued.

4. Freedom of the Press – what freedom? Our Federal government has placed government employees in news rooms across the Nation to monitor them. The news media is given “press releases”. There is little, to no, investigative reporting.

5. Freedom of Assembly – Conservatives (and returning soldiers) have been labeled as domestic terrorists and “dangerous” to the United States. Conservative rallies are monitored by the police – and not for the protection of the conservatives.

6. Freedom of Religion – Christian kids in schools are expelled if they bow their heads to pray over their lunch. HOWEVER, if you are muslim, the school gives you a room to put down your rug.

7 Right to bear arms – ummm, not for soldiers anymore. Soldiers are ALL being diagnosed with PTSD and their arms taken away from them. This right is under constant attack by the liberal left – why – because you cannot fully take over a country if the citizens have weapons. Kids and adults are taught to fear ANYONE carrying a gun. Gun owner’s addresses are publicized by supposed news organizations – way to put a target on the gun owners by any two-bit criminal who wants a weapon. (Oh, it should be noted – criminals will ALWAYS be able to get a weapon – it is only law abiding citizens who are hurt by gun legislation.)

I could continue…. Suffice it to say, the LAST thing we want is to open the Constitution to update. The updates would NEVER be in the best interests of the American people. Our Founders were wise men and they created a document that has withstood the test of time. The biggest problem I see in government – our Congress, President and Supreme Court ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE CONSTITUTION. In fact, I doubt most of them have even read it cover to cover. They are constantly mis-quoting it and saying something is in the Constitution when IT IS NOT THERE, and never was there.

I advise this – read and memorize the Constitution and Declaration of Independence – know it back to front and be able to quote from it. Carry a pocket guide with you to pull out and prove them wrong when they swear you don’t know what you are talking about. Furthermore, if the ONLY reason you want to change the Constitution is to add a balanced budget clause – Ummm, NO. They are not following the BIG protections of the Constitution now, what makes you think they will bother to follow such a thing were it added to the Constitution?

The biggest changes I would LIKE to see in the Constitution (and which I believe would give us the best results) – two term limits for Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices. No one should live and “die” in office. Remember – Absolute power corrupts — so does just a little power over a long period of time. I’d also like to see restrictions on “when” a former government official can become a lobbyist. And absolutely NO EXEMPTIONS should be allowed for Congressional Representatives, Senators, etc. when it comes to application of the laws they write and pass. They (and their supporters) should be subject to the sames laws as the rest of the American people – as the Founders planned from the beginning. The only guard against unreasonable laws is equal application of the law to all people – including the ones who wrote it.

Rob
8 years ago
Reply to  Telara

“NEVER open up the Constitution to be changed when you don’t have the right people in elected/appointed offices at the start!!!” You’re WRONG! (so you should probably be quiet until you know what you’re talking about) The STATES can control the delegates. It has NOTHING to do with the current members of Congress. Do you REALLY think that 3/4’s of the states delegates will amend the Constitution with something we don’t want?? 70% of the state legislatures are currently run by Republicans.

patricia rosen
7 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I know there are many who worry about changing the U.S. Constitution when it has served us so well for so long, but our current situation was anticipated by the founding fathers and this is the reason that this remedy was written into the constitution in the first place. If you have read the Federalist papers you realize that there were many opposed to a centralized federal government because they feared that this government would gain too much power and would ride roughshod over the states. This is the main reason that the federal government was organized as a government of limited, delegated powers and all powers not expressly delegated were reserved to the states.

Our current situation is exactly what was feared when our government was founded. The federal government is wasting billions of dollars a year and no one can stop it. Indeed, no one is trying to stop it. Federal agencies are completely out of control—-e.g., the IRS, the State Department, the ATF, the Bureau of Land Management, etc. The President himself is ignoring the restrictions on his power in the constitution. I realize that there are many who blame the current situation on Obama, but its roots go deeper into our current history. All the recent Presidents, whether Democrat or Republican, have gotten around the constitutional restrictions when it suited them and our current situation is the result. We cannot always look to the courts to rectify our situation simply because our justice system itself is highly partisan and often decisions are dependent upon the political views of the justices.

Quite frankly, appreciating the risk of opening up our constitution to amendment in this way, I see this as the only viable solution at this time. The federal government is so far out of control I believe that only the states can stop it. If we do not stop it now, I fear that it might not be possible to do so in the future. Additionally, I believe that it is unlikely that a majority of the states will “go rogue.” While it is true that the people have the power, they can only exercise that power through their elected representatives. We all have seen how that has not been effective in stopping the federal accumulation of power. We need to do something, and we need to do it now.

Rik
8 years ago

The only admendment I can endorse to our existing constitution is ONE THAT BANS THE PRACTITIONERS OF “REASONABLE DOUBT” (THE ATTORNEYS) FROM EVER HOLDING POLITICAL OFFICE!!!

If it ain’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing! What’s broke is the commitment of our elected officials to obey the Constitutions!

Check out the Venus Project to understand what’s really going on!

Bliss W. Tew
8 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Some of the the Convention of the States proponents who favor State Legislatures passing application resolutions to Congress so that Congress will “call” an Article V Convention being called to propose amendments to our Constitution have put forward their “bandwagon” group of supporters in their “Legal Board of Excellence.”

On the internet one can quickly find this definition of the Bandwagon Fallacy as one of the logical fallacies that people can fall for, “The bandwagon fallacy is committed by arguments that appeal to the growing popularity of an idea as a reason for accepting it as true. They take the mere fact that an idea suddenly attracting adherents as a reason for us to join in with the trend and become adherents of the idea ourselves.

This is a fallacy because there are many other features of ideas than truth that can lead to a rapid increase in popularity. Peer pressure, tangible benefits, or even mass stupidity could lead to a false idea being adopted by lots of people. A rise in the popularity of an idea, then, is no guarantee of its truth.”

An issue such as the Article V Constitutional Convention has more than one side to it and thus supporters on the opposite sides of the issue, right? We can list some of those many thousands who are opposed to the calling of an Article V Amendments Convention, what supporters are calling a “Convention of the States,” too. Should they be called the “Legal Board of excellence against an Article V Convention” just to give them a name?

Here’s a few of those that have warned against the calling of the Article V Convention (the other bandwagon):

Scott N. Bradley, Sr., Ph.D. in constitutional studies. Author of the book “TO PRESERVE THE NATION.” Author of a lecture series teaching the Constitution. Ran for the U.S. Senate. Has often been a radio talk guest on a Salt Lake City radio show to discuss issues surrounding government, the constitution, and American history.

Phyllis Schlafly, National Eagle Forum President and an Attorney.

Warren Burger, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Arthur Goldberg, former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Robert H. Bork, former Yale law Professor and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge.

Charles E. Rice, former Notre Dame Law Professor.

Christopher Brown, Professor of the University of Maryland School of Law.

Jefferson B. Fordham of the University of Utah Law School.

Gerald Gunther, Professor of the Standford School of Law.

Charles Alan Wright of the University of Texas at Austin School of law.

Ok, both sides can list many who agree with their differing points of view, so what? The real issues have not been argued by listing names of people on the two separate band wagons, but at least we can see that some well-known people have come down solidly on one side or the other of the question. That only means that we’d be study the issues since such well known people disagree over whether the Article V Convention would be a boon to America or a disaster.

Scott Williams
7 years ago
Reply to  Bliss W. Tew

You really want to hang your hat on Justice Burger who gave us Roe V. Wade?
Who then went on to scare the country away from an article V so we wouldn’t knock down his precious legacy?

You really want to side with him?

Good luck with that

Ivan Berry
8 years ago

Saying it”s so don’t make it so:
“Article V provides the states…to propose…amendments through…a Convention of States.” Where? In order for Article V to permit states to call a Convention, the comma between the dependant and independant clauses that proceeds the line “…shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” must first be removed. The only two provisions for CONGRESS to call the Convention is when 2/3 of both Houses agree or when the Legislators of 2/3 of the States apply. States are not “allowed” nor “provided” a method. In fact, in Article I, Section X, the States are prohibited from just such acts as the Mount Vernon Assembly and collectives of the States conspiring together. “No State shall without the consent of Congress…enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power…” Thus, the Article V claim is void of truth. In order to be what the proponents claim it to be, they must first abridge the Constitution to make it appear so.
Unconstitutional acts to “fix” a Constitution that’s not yet broken is an oxymoron or just another Lawyers’ trick.
The only American document that provides for a replacement of an out of control government is our Declaration of Independance that accepts the notion of replacing said government and forming another. That’s what our founders did. So far, no one rises to the heights in moral or reasoned thought that was prominent within the founding gerneration. It is expecially lacking in the body that comprises the COS supporters and functionaries. They are too anxious and agressive and they shade their arguments with half-truths and innuendo. It becomes apparent that the driving force may be an agenda. It is not clear that the agenda will result in a better state of affairs.

The COS project issued the “Jefferson Statement” that provides name recognition from one of our founders, but what part of that statement was actually said by Jefferson? If he did not say this, why give it his name? That alone should make this project questionable.

“Call a Convention,” founded in 2013 calls for reforming Washington by way of a “non-partisan collaboration with other Article V amendment organizations. Their web page lists both Left and Right supporting groups. The headline of ” The Article V Movement-Right and Left Working together for Real Reform” lists these groups, including:

Mecklers’ and Farris’ COS, Article V Caucus (State Legislators), American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Balanced Budgement Amendment Task Force, and Compact for America.
The Lefts’ listing includes: Convention USA, Amend America, Article V.org (“the Inter-Occupy Article V Work Group”), Call a Convention, and Wolf-PAC.
People, this movement is iffy at best. We need not go there.

And don’t forget to read the statements of both D.A. and PaulE along with what Charles Searles had to say. Each gave additional points of concern. If you must have experts or icons to do the thinking for you, you should at least choose well. Not all experts are trustworthy.

Bryan S.
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Ivan if you’re going to “try” to quote a document the least you could do is quote it properly instead of taking it out of context. That IS NOT what Article 1 Section 10 says. Here it is in its entirety.

“Section 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.”

Article 5 clearly states that 2/3’s of the “STATE Legislatures” have the ability to call a Convention for proposing Amendments.

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; 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. – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/article5.html#sthash.zxPACywW.dpuf

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

CindyL
5 years ago
Reply to  Bryan S.

You, Bryan S. are misquoting Article V. To use your own words, “if you’re going to “try” to quote a document the least you could do is quote it properly instead of taking it out of context.”

Article V does NOT say that the States can call a (central level federal) Convention. It specifically says that Congress alone calls the Constitutional Convention. And the entity that calls it is the entity that conducts it. That leaves out the States entirely. The States may only “apply” or “ratify” if we are going to clearly interpret the Constitution’s specific wording and intent.

I cut-n-pasted your own cut-n-paste of the exact wording of Article V (leaving out the time limited last 3rd):

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

Article 1 specifically gives ONLY the Congress the sole power to make law (of any kind; legislative or amendment).

Breaking Article V down as to whom is to do what:

THE CONGRESS, [does one of two methods]

[Method #1] “whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution,”

“or,”

[Method #2] “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,”

Charles
8 years ago

Who in their right mind would think that changing the Constitution would result in conformance by the political class. The politicians WILL NOT relinquish their power simply by the changing our founding document. If they don’t follow it now they surely won’t follow a revised version. I Constitution isn’t broken it needs to be obeyed. The voters need to be educated as government is indicative of the voters. As the progressive ideology continues unabated, any changes in the Constitution will be moot.

Additionally, who will enforce any amendments that may hamstring political power. The Constitution cannot enforce itself.

We would be better served by repealing the 17th Amendment and giving the States back their power under federalism.
Who would have ever thought the States would relinguish this power in the first place. This should be a real good indication of what may result from an Article V Convention.

If you think that the States can predetermine punishment for rogue delegates I would direct your attention to the Con Con of 1787 when the majority of delegates went rogue and the Articles of Confederation were scrapped and our Constitution was adopted.

Mike
8 years ago

I agree with those opposed to the convention. You can not solve the problem of elected officials breaking the law by changing the laws and at the same time giving them the opportunity to decimate the law. This will be a disaster. The only solution is for the people to return to the beliefs and values of our founders and put forth the effort to live those values every day and in every sphere of life. If we are to revive the dying corpse of this country the people must be revived. There is no shortcut.

charles searles
8 years ago

Dear sirs,

I am strongly opposed to a constitutional convention. Please understand that the problem is not
with the constitution but the failure to obey it.I believe that some of the promoters of a convention have
plans to undo the safeguards to liberty. The original 1987 convention did away with the initial rules and
gave us a great document. A convention in this day and age would have the same authority to do
away with the pre-convention rules. The ignorance of the public at large for the founding principles are
are largely due to the failure of the government schools. A simple case in point is the definition of our
form of government. A proper definition would be Constitutional Republic not Democracy.
Whats the difference? Democracy rules by the whims of the majority and thus by the clever rhetoric of
the politician with little regard for liberty safeguards found in our constitution. The Constitution, in a Republic
if obeyed, limits the power of the politician who must submit to the law of the land and safe guard liberty..

charles searles
8 years ago

Sorry about the type error 1787 not 1987.

Fellow Patriot
8 years ago

I believe that a Convention of States in accordance with Article V is the right way to go. It is certainly preferable to the remaining alternatives, capitulation to the Marxist Socialists or outright revolution against them.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Fellow Patriot

“Believing” is not knowing. Do you know that a Convention “will not go rogue?” Blind Patriotism is about as risky as blind Progressivism. Study the subject instead of looking to Icons to show you the way. Use independant thought and refuse to follow a herd over the cliff. Just saying…

PJ
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

I agree – people need to educate themselves. A good place to start is: http://www.conventionofstates.com
Those who say the convention would “go rogue” do not understand the process. Yes, our elected officials should adhere to the Constitution and the will of the people, but our Founding Fathers knew that tyranny will always rear its ugly head at one point or another. When the federal government ignores its duty, the States have to have recourse. That recourse is Article V. Or we can keep doing the same old thing (electing the same people, or the same people with different names) hoping to get different results. Just saying…

Bliss W. Tew
8 years ago
Reply to  Fellow Patriot

“Fellow Patriot,” do you believe that the Marxist Socialists you are concerned about will just “sit this one out” when it comes to an Article V Convention being held for the first time in 225 years? Have the socialists and progressives stayed out of the Congress or the White House? Have liberal Democrats, socialist, and progressives (often Marxists) under another label avoided capturing seats in State Legislatures? If not why would they stay away from a chance at tampering with, tinkering with, and modifying our Constitution through the Article V Convention?

Let me suggest an article for you to read before you jump on the “Convention of the States” bandwagon. Here’s it’s website: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/19082-republicans-and-democrats-working-together-to-rewrite-the-constitution

D.A.
8 years ago

In the fourth line of the Jefferson statement the confident pronouncement is made that the checks and balances in the constitution are sufficient to safeguard this process. I realize I’m just a clod with dirt under my fingernails living in flyover country, but I can’t help but wonder who the opposition is going to be. Do you suppose they will be people who share a reverence for the constitution with the legal worthys listed above, or are they going to be people like Howard Zinn? Will they look to the esteemed justice Ginsburg for inspiration? You know, the one who said she’d look to the constitution of Egypt rather than our own as a model. These people get their history from Ollie Stone movies and slobber over Castro and Chavez. Yes, I’m struggling to grasp this, never was good at poker, but we have a uniquely great constitution now that is being ignored. We are going to open up negotiations with Marxists who aren’t known for their respect for this country, it’s vaues and traditions. How do you have these meetings without losing at least some of what you already have? Aren’t negotiations by definition a give and take? I suspect the commies will put up people who will try to pull the wool over the eyes of their opponents. And yes, that’s what it’s going to be. A fight.

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

D.A.,

You are completely correct. The correct solution to a problem is NEVER modifying or adjusting something that is NOT broken in order to attempt to fix some completely separate item or entity that actually is broken and causing the problem. The Constitution of the United States is NOT fundamentally flawed or broken, as many on the left continuously claim . What is broken are a number of our elected officials, who refuse to adhere to the sworn oath they took to honor and obey the Constitution of the United States of America. The correct solution to the problem is to remove from office those individuals that refuse, for whatever reason, to carry out their sworn duties. The correct solution to the problem is NOT to start amending the Constitution, because the people refuse, for whatever reason, to act responsibly in the voting booth.

For those elected individuals, who believe the United States is a fundamentally unjust country that needs to be re-aligned or “transformed” along the prevailing norms of other socialist / communist nations, the Constitution is an unacceptable impediment to what they deem to be “true progress”. The strict limits placed on what the federal government can do to its people, without the expressed will and consent of the people, is what prevents those with an alternative vision for what America should be from easily carrying out this transformational process. For them, the opportunity to amend or weaken the restraints that currently exist on the federal government’s powers, via the inevitable “compromises” that will occur during negotiations on virtually anything bought forth, is what they’ve been looking forward to for decades.

I would also fully expect that the mainstream media, which is solidly in the Progressive (Socialist) camp, to be supporting the opposition’s positions every step of the way, no matter the topic. They would portray almost every aspect of what conservatives would be proposing as “dangerously extreme”, “out of touch with mainstream America”, “far right extremism” and anything us they could think of to skew the public towards accepting the opposition’s “more balanced and moderate proposals”. Think not? Look at how the mainstream media portrays Republican versus Democrat positions today. The amount of time afforded the Democrat to state his or her position, the usually softball questions from the media. Contrast that with the brief amount of time afforded the Republican and the obviously biased questioning designed to try and portray the Republican position in the worst possible light.

With the opportunity to make make significant changes, via Constitutional amendments, the mainstream media would pull out all the stops. The pressure on conservative delegates to “compromise”, meaning capitulate, would be immense. Like all modern political negotiations, it frequently boils down to not getting the best solution in place, but rather simply getting “something done” for political expediency. That “something” rarely reflects what was originally envisioned at the start of the whole process.

To think that conservatives will be able to unilaterally shutdown the process at any time, if things begins to get out of hand or the opposition is making unreasonable demands, is an interesting academic concept. However, it wouldn’t likely work that way in the real world. This wouldn’t be lawyers sitting in a nice courtroom, with everything being overseen by a judge, who keeps things tightly focused and on track. Instead, this would be lots of politicians, all jockeying for camera time, as it would be likely broadcast, along with the mainstream media spinning every utterance one way or the other to drive public opinion in whatever direction is deemed necessary. Should conservatives try to shut the process down, the opposition and mainstream media would flood the news with stories of “Look all the wasted time and taxpayer dollars” and “The extremist conservatives are trying to shut down your voice in this process. Don’t let them!” or “Conservatives want to limit your rights”. Thus what would likely happen is the conservatives would, once again, “compromise” (meaning capitulate) to most or all of the left’s demands on whatever subject is being discussed. All in the name of political expediency to get “get something done”. Somehow I doubt most conservatives would appreciate the outcome.

D.A.
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yup, the commies will turn to their media allies who will bleat about the mean conservatives trying to take away rights. These guys don’t know what they’re up against. Sitting across the table from them are going to be people animated with demonic energy. I don’t know whether it’s intellectual arrogance or the wearisome haplessness all too common these days that makes them so confident they can not only prevent Marxist proposals from gaining traction, but actually advance their ideas. It’s one thing to fancy yourself an intrepid knight defending Truth, it’s quite another if you expect the Saracens to melt away before you. Even if there hadn’t been a decades long push on the commies part to rape the Constitution and the cos caught them napping, can anyone believe they will sit still while these guys strengthen the Constitution? Add to this the moronic nature of so many news consumers who’ve already been conditioned to believe in virtually endless rights and I can already hear the breathless intonations from the media; ‘polls show the public worried about the cos and what it might do to…’ fill in the blank. They’ll cave and then put a smiley face on it. We deign to think the public is motivated by principle. If you believe that, take a look at the Wisconsin gov race, where the cretinously fickle public is about to oust walker and go back to a tax and spend Santa claus figure.

Tom Bozikis
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

I support the Convention of States because we have progressives in both parties, and they’re on the right as well as the left. It matters not, for the most part, who we put in office if the system that is currently in place run by progressives have little regard for our founding documents.

We need more checks within our governance to insure that not only elected officials, but those who write regulations stay within strict guidelines of Constitutional authority.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but many Republicans who claim to be conservative really aren’t. When we check their voting records, you may notice that their votes are contrary to their public stances.

For example, my representative, Dr. Larry Bucshon, has less than a 60% rating from Heritage, and our neighbor, Representative Todd Young has a stellar rating of 50% on the Heritage scorecard. It appears that many Republicans are slightly to the right of Democrats.

Here’s what I do know, here in Indiana, those who serve as delegates must, by law, support those amendments which are proposed to be discussed at the Convention of States. No other amendments can be brought up at the convention. What’s outlined for discussion is specific and set forth in the application presented to each state legislature. 37 states must agree in unison on the amendments to the Constitution, and they do so by accepting the identical application. Oh, if a delegate decides to go rogue and vote against the will of the state legislature, they are guilty of a felany.

At worst, if things go as badly as some think it could, it won’t matter much because we’re headed towards real tyranny.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Tom Bozikis

On the Freedom Index of the July 28 of The New American mag, each of the reps you indicated scored each with 40% along the lines of the Constitution. You are right that many if not most of our representatives are not Right enough, but what still puzzels me is why you think that those who do not follow the Constitution now will suddenly follow any proposed amendments that might be passed.

It is not the Constitution that needs fixing, it’s the voting public and the States that accept all these so-called Federal bribes that allows the central government to call the shots in states that should do their own business and not that of the central gov.

As regards regulations that should follow the Constitution: The delegation that Congress allowed by creating all these regulatory agencies, placed under the Executive that write these regs and rules have no Constitutional standing. Congress delegated without Congressional authority in the first place.
Administrative Law involves all three of the “separation” powers in one body. Agencies and Executive departments can and do make rules, regulations, decrees that become binding as law, and provide punishment by way of fines and even inprisonment for violators with the risk of searches and seizures of property. Guilt is determined by the agencies often with no recourse available to the suspect. Guilty unless PROVEN innocent. This makes these agencies act as both legislatures as well as judicial with the added evil of policing power.
Also, you indicate that delegates are required to support the amendments brought up at the Convention of States. Are only Right leaning persons expected to be at the Convention?

And regarding your Congressmen, of the total nine, the average of all was only fractionally above a 40% average. The lowest democrat scored 20% and the highest scoring of the republicans were two who scored 50%. With such numbers in your U.S. Congress, what can we expect to come out of your State Legislature?
Even in Texas we only had a couple of 80s, a 90 and a 96. We are said to be a Red State, but at the national level it’s really questionable. We have many more representatives than states like yours and more than Ohio, New Jersey and most others and we are not far enough to the right to ever feel confident in any outcome whose rules, Per Article I, Section 8 reside in the U.S. Congress regarding how to proceed with a Convention to amend the Constitution using Art. V, which is a law that Congress can provide rules for. Accepting what others tell you blindly is sure to result going down a blind alley. No telling what will be at the end.

Bliss W. Tew
8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Agreed with you D.A. and I’ll add the old saying: “If isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Is the Constitution broken, or is the Constitution ignored, or its meanings stretched by Congressmen, Presidents and judges?

Perhaps the truth is that “The Constitution is the Solution” if it is complied with by Congressmen, presidents and judges who took and oath to defend it. Instead of amending our constitution, lets elect Congressmen and presidents that will read, understand and obey the Constitution. How can those kind of candidates be found and elected?

First, the electorate (the voters) need to educate themselves by studying the Constitution so that they themselves understand the Constitution and its very limited powers that were delegated by the Constitution to those elected to federal offices. What does that mean? It means some concerted-action, voluntary, educational work in communities across America if people are to be lead back to the Constitution as the solution to reign in their outsized federal government. I’m not talking about educational work by government owned schools, because it is unlikely that those teachers would all join in such work. But there are video series instruction and other instruction available that Americans can learn from right in their own family room or living room through their DVD and TV.

Second, people who vote need to start looking at the actual voting records of those they have elected to Congress and see how the votes those Congressmen have made either comply with or are in non-compliance with the Constitution. Then, hold congressmen accountable to the Constitution when the voters hit the voting booth. THE FREEDOM INDEX is found online and is one measure of the voting records of all 535 Congressmen in both Houses that actually scores performance based on the Constitution. If enough Americans share the voting records of Congressmen with other voters in their precinct changes can begin to happen as to who sits in the seats of power.

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