We The People

Government Power and Article V

Submitted by AMAC Member Mike Kapic –

In recent months the Article V conversation has been accelerating as the movement to implement it grows. Only a few Americans are satisfied with the way the Washington DC juggernaut is functioning and running the country. But many more, in fact a majority according to polls, fear and detest what’s going on in DC.

The corruption began years ago, but accelerated in the ‘90’s with Congress’s notion that everyone should own a house whether they could afford one or not. Fanny and Freddy then proceeded to lead us into the housing bubble and finally, collapse. That was followed by the investment banking and auto industry collapses. America took a fist blow to the midsection creating the Great Recession, which arguably could be called a depression. It’s been five years since it ended, and yet it still feels, to most Americans, like we’re in a recession.

Then the corruption and scandals began: Fast & Furious, the GAO extravagance, the State Dept and the Benghazi deaths, the DOJ harassment of reporters, the IRS discrimination against certain groups, Congress taxing and the Executive spending us into huge debt, our credit rating downgraded, Snowden and the NAS spying, the costly failure of TARP, threats of Executive Orders usurping the law of the land, the green energy crony network failures, and now the collapsing healthcare industry. Polls show that Americans are fed up with failed government policies and the inability of the Executive, Congress, or Judicial to normalize any of it.

After the 2012 elections, small citizen groups began forming and joining others already established, with the purpose of ending the dysfunction in the small city of DC. They each had different plans on how to accomplish this monumental task. Some wanted to evoke the often tried, but historically less successful nullification. More states are talking of nullifying obamacare today. Others felt that we just needed to send better people to manage DC. Still others looked deeper into America’s heart for the answer. And they found the solution in the Constitution.

They found that Article V contained the phrase, “…or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” The Framers had given the people and states a tool with which to fight against tyranny, should it come up. Depending on your interpretation of tyranny, we may or may not be at that point yet, but if we’re not, we’re awfully close.

The Framers idea, according to books, letters, and transcripts of the time, was to utilize the commonly used convention or gatherings for resolving issues. The convention origins go back to 1689 England with the bloodless Glorious Revolution. The convention process was used by early colonists to govern themselves. One formed the Mayflower Compact and was used up to and well beyond the dates of the Declaration and Constitution.

Over 400 conventions of states have been called since 1787 since Virginia called for the Bill of Rights. In fact, the last convention of states was called by New Hampshire on May 16, 2012, proposing a balanced budget.

There are several Article V groups today with different plans, but all with the same purpose: reining in the power and jurisdiction of the federal government through reforms like term limits and a balanced budget.

As we enter 2014, state legislatures across the country are debating and passing laws to strengthen their positions for the upcoming convention. Some have written laws guiding their delegates. Thirty-two states and 97 representatives met last December 7, to discuss the administrative rules for a convention. Since January 2, 2014, eight of the thirty-four states necessary to call for a convention have signed identical applications.

There are, however, some naysayers in the galleries. Folks who call this a Constitutional Convention and contend that opening up the Constitution will rip out the heart of it and reinsert bad replacements. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, this is a convention of states and is under the authority of the Constitution. It’s not a Constitutional Convention or Con Con, which works outside of the Constitution.

Next, the convention can only propose amendments to the Constitution after debate by the states delegates. Then, three-quarters of the states must approve or ratify any agreed to by the convention. It only takes 13 states to say no.

The argument that the convention can run away is obviously incorrect as 38 states have to approve it. The naysayers also seem to neglect the good things that have been suggested coming from such a convention. Even the things that they support: Congressional term limits, limits on Executive Orders, a restraint on the federal bureaucracy, limits on taxing and spending, returning of state sovereignty, term limits on the Supreme Court, plus other suggestions. Most Americans believe that these are good and would return the power to them and their states.

Before passing judgment, we should all research the subject and educate ourselves on the facts as this is critically important in matters that concern our country. Studying the history of the convention process, our country, the Constitution, and how the Founders and Framers intended our government to run or not run, is critical to our and our children’s future.

Study, study, study. Read books such as Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments and the many others available. Attend webinar’s on Article V. For more information on how Article V works, go to conventionofstates.com. Join the expanding movement to return our country to its roots.


“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed that’s all who ever have.”  – Margaret Mead

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today

Leave a Reply

81 Comments on "Government Power and Article V"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
I’m a supporter of the COS, and I’ve participated on the three webinars that they hosted. In Indiana, the delegates are required to present the view of the state and vote in accordance with those desires, balanced budget, term limits, etc. This is a limited convention, and can only address specific amendments presented in the application. To repeal the 2nd Amendment, for example, it must be part of the application presented to the states, and two-thirds of the states must agree in order for the proposal to be discussed by the convention. Here’s the thing, if our country is headed towards tyranny, then the time to stop it is now. Can we really trust elected officials to do the right in every instance? How many of the people we elected who said they were for limited government, have turned and voted to increase the debt, increase spending, increase taxes, and… Read more »
Thank you Lynn M for referencing mine and Nelson’s comments. I would wish that everyone would also read all comments by Paul E and Tom C as well as those by Doug D and Rik as well before jumping on the Art. V bandwagon. Some time ago I wrote in comments that contained ex Supreme Justices and Law professors that stated much of what has been addressed here. I caught a lot of flack from a couple of members. The biggest objection had to do with what we called a Convention of States to Amend vs the term ConCon. Many have voiced the fact that it doesn’t matter what you call it, the Art. V process will work the way the rules are promulgated. The convention will decide. All they would have to do is do what Art. V states. Given the nature of the beast. I’m not even confident… Read more »

Excellent discussion! My conclusion: The enemies of freedom will win if we have a ConCon. It is not worth the risk. Let’s promote any good Amendments (like the Right to Refuse Amendment) one at a time, on their own merits. AMAC, please reverse what seems to be your position of favoring a ConCon. Most of us are here to escape the socialist AARP, not just to be fooled again.

Socrates, this isn’t a ConCon, this is a Constitutionally supported Convention of States for a specific purpose, where multiple Amendments will be debated and proposed, then sent to the States one at a time for ratification. Please research this subject yourself so no one fools you.

The people who will either be the delegates, or chose the delegates, are the state politicians that were elected by the voters, the same voters who elected Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the wimpy Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) !
Why would you think a CONstitutional CONvention composed of such types would do us any good?
They would gleefully tear down the last restraints our Constitution still places on their worst excesses….

Folks, this is an election year! If we will just get every one of our good liberty-minded people out to vote (and a bunch of them to volunteer to be poll watchers too), we can throw out the spendthrifts, gun-grabbers, and grafters.
That is how “term limits” are really effective!

I have read many of the comments both pros and cons for a constitutional convention and must say I see good points on both sides of the argument. We must remember two things! The first one being that most of us become complacent with our way of life and become disengaged with regards to the government and what was happening. We had the attitude of what can only one person do. We basically went to sleep and did not pay attention to what was going on in Washington DC. We did have the Media that seemed to bring things to light if things got too bad. Unfortunately, now we do not have a Media that is willing to bring things to our attention. If we did not have the Internet and Fox News we would know nothing of what is going on until it is too late. The other thing… Read more »

Thank you Ivan Berry. I sent “Government Power and Article V” – plus your and Nelson’s eye-opening comments to my list, many of whom are eligible to vote, but not old enough to become members of AMAC Voice of American’s 50 +

Hoping common-sense voices will prevail over mainstream biased manipulated ideologies.

I am humbled by your recognition of my comments on this subject. Please note that in re-reading what I wrote, I discovered a typo error. The sentence that reads: “So there is no difference between a “constitution of the states” and a Constitutional Convention.” should actually say: So there is no difference between a “convention of the states” and a Constitutional Convention.

and by all means read the comment by Nelson way down the list. Not only has he repeated some of my comments months about Art V, he has also added some really needed points besides. Some of them I had heard, but forgot; others new to me but believable.

See: Nelsons comment way below.

I have spent a long time reading posting to the current time and commenting too much, but I gotta continue. To Allen, Sandra, Wayn, Dean, but not to Bill Butler who is on the same page as me: a balanced budget amendment would only ensure raising taxes or cutting services. Which do you propose they do? Even Social Security has been ruled not sacrisanct and can be cut or eliminated at the whim of the government. You think they would dis-band SS or the EPA first. Even if they balanced the budget, what happens when the interests servicing our current debt rises. Do you remember how much we already owe the Fed and other nations? It takes tens of billions at the current low interest. What happens when interest seeks market levals? Trillion or more? Term limits are worthless so long as ex-legislators can join the army of appointees and… Read more »
Ivan, I fear too many people are viewing the concept of an Article V convention as some sort of quick fix, magic bullet where nothing possible could go disastrously wrong. There is a reason why this is viewed as a last resort option. Certainly not something to be rushed into for the sake of “doing something”. I get many people are getting desperate for a way to stop an increasingly lawless federal bureaucracy, that is intent on pushing us towards becoming yet another failed, bankrupt socialist democracy. But they also have to think about all potential pitfalls 5, 10 and 20 steps down the road. Not just what sounds good at the moment. When I read comments about term limits, balanced budgets and a whole host of other topics being tossed around for inclusion in such an Article V convention, it’s pretty clear this process would spin out of control… Read more »
So you don’t think things are spinning out of control right now? There are risks in any venture to right the wrongs that are currently taking place. Shouldn’t we do everything in our Constitutional power to reign in Government? There is no silver bullet, or quick fix, however any actions taken that could restrain the federal overreach underway at this very moment shouldn’t be disregarded out of hand because it’s “risky.” The American Experiment was and continues to be risky. And we’ve “monkeyed around” with the Constitution 17 times since the Bill of Rights. You seem to proffer that those who are acting within the Constitutional framework are somehow jumping on some wild bandwagon. Nothing could be farther from the truth–we’re concerned citizens just like you, utilizing a lawful process to redress our grievances. Will the Left sit quietly by, no, but they haven’t been doing that for quite some… Read more »
My point is that it is pretty clear from reading a lot of the comments posted, that most people think an Article V convention is some sort of grab bag of ideas to just throw something against the wall and see what sticks. That is NOT what the Article V process was ever designed to be. It was designed to be the last resort to preserve our rights and freedoms of a basically united people against a tyrannical government. Today we are NOT a united people. Nearly half the country is in favor of the lawlessness coming out of Washington, so long as the “free stuff” keeps coming. That is NOT an environment where you want to open up the Constitution to modification. Am I happy with what is going on in Washington? Hell NO! However, holding an Article V convention in an environment where nearly half the people in… Read more »
My point is that it is pretty clear from reading a lot of the comments posted, that most people think an Article V convention is some sort of grab bag of ideas to just throw something against the wall and see what sticks. That is NOT what the Article V process was ever designed to be. It was designed to be the last resort to preserve our rights and freedoms of a basically united people against a tyrannical government. Today we are NOT a united people. Nearly half the country is in favor of the lawlessness coming out of Washington, so long as the “free stuff” keeps coming. That is NOT an environment where you want to open up the Constitution to modification. Am I happy with what is going on in Washington? Hell NO! However, holding an Article V convention in an environment where nearly half the people in… Read more »

This seems to offer some hope. There is no hope only disaster if we continue on the path the recent administrations have set us on. The trend has been from both the major parties. The blame game solves nothing and adds to the problem. It is time we had legislators and administration officials who are mature enough to operate beyond the blaming
game as a solution to anything.

Our framers of the constitution never envisioned a time when so many Americans would surrender his rights as well as all others citizens rights, for their ,”Free S—“, from a promising politician. They never envisioned a time when so many politicians would purchase the votes, with tax dollars, nor a time when non contributing freeloaders and foreigners would be allowed to vote, not only once but multiple times , ie: No ID, Absentee ballots. Absentee voting should be reserved for Military, foreign, workers, and the incapacitated only. The politicians are salivating now over a immigration bill, at a time when we can’t produce enough jobs for our citizens, nor can we get them to work what is available. They think they are too valuable to waste time doing the menial jobs. plus they get enough “Free S—” from the Gov’t. They don’t have to work. hell ! we don’t need… Read more »

The majority will now vote for the candidate that promises them the most entitlements.

Amen!!! The takers usurping the hard work and taxes from the makers. What a sad commentary on so many of the people today. The good book says that a person should make their living by the sweat of their brow, not by the sweat of another person.

Five of six states have the power to elect the President based upon population and the number of representatives to the electoral college. These same states like to use the resources from states like Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico etc. By having the power to elect the President of the United States these same states control the use of these resources. Thus the manner of election either by popular vote or electoral college is discriminatory to nearly 90% of the states. I propose that there be a Constitutional amendment for three issues. First, the electoral college should have two representatives from each state. This would require a candidate to have to win 51% of the members of the electoral college giving every state the same representation. Second, all elected persons should be limited to a maximum of 12 years combined service in the house of representatives and/ or senate.… Read more »
I totally agree that not only should there be term limits, but that the retirement, if any, should be based on the time they have served and be greatly reduced from what they currently receive. When I retired, as most of the citizens with a retirement package, my amount was decided on my age, length of employment, and wage amount. I do get a small amount of help on my supplemental medical based on how long I had worked, but I pay a large amount out of my pocket as well. My retirement income is also taxed at the same rate as my wages were. I also had to be vested with 5 years before I could collect retirement otherwise I would have just been able to take the cash with interest when I retired or left before those 5 years. Their retirement should be based on the same formula… Read more »

By the way, it only takes 2/3 majority of the states to amend the constitution. Thus, 34 states would be the number that could ratify an amendment to the constitution. It would seem as if there are that many states that would favor the suggested amendments.

It takes 2/3 to propose an amendment, but 3/4 to ratify it.

Doesn’t matter. The original constitutional convention simply changed the rules of ratification. They went from 100% to two-thirds. Why should we expect any new convention to adhere to any preset rules?

The change to the rules of ratification were approved by the states as the method of final ratification. You seem to be indicating that the original Convention dictated this method as opposed to proposing it. You’re leaving out the action of the states that were involved in calling their ratifying conventions and then approving the Constitution.

Edmund Burke once said (paraphrasing), “All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We have done nothing far too long. We sit comfortably in front of the boob tube, drink our beer and eat our grub. There is an attitude of “If it does not affect me, I do not care.” Now our country is run by Marxists eager to destroy our way of life and indoctrinate our children to communism; thus, Common Core. Where are the Americans? Where are those who remember when John Kennedy said in his inaugural speech, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?” Where are those people who were willing to help others enhance their lives? Remember the Job Corps? We taught people skills so they could have a job for life. We did not teach them how… Read more »

Yes, Doug D, I know that the statement came from FDR and I am no fan of his. But he said it at a time when our country needed to hear those words and we went out along with our allies to save the world. Now our own country needs saving and we must not fear to act. I agree with Paul that we all need to vote this November and I will do so, as always. BUT, I am not convinced that it will be enough to turn the tide of our government’s wrong direction. Some other action by the citizenry is surely necessary. Yes, to term limits and a veto proof congress. But, we won’t get those in this election and meanwhile the Obama/Alinski juggernaut rolls on.

It’s a never ending struggle, but we are still trying to save the world, nation building, spreading democracy around the world while at the same time we are destroying ourselves. When will it end? What democracy we originally had was at the local, county, area or region, state, not at national except in the House. We were a Federated Republic made up of Soverign States and a limited central government that at the time legitamatly be called Federal. It is no longer federal because the States’ Soverignity has been diluted to near non-existance. Our original form was for the purpose of individual liberty, proscribed by a moral populace. Liberty was not so we could create a democracy. Even Plato had indicated that a pure democracy would lead to totalitarian government. Pure Democracy is what has been recently proposed. The purpose is by all indications in order for us to eventually… Read more »

FDR lifted the statement from Francis Bacon.

While I agree that Dr. Carson and many others are honorable men and would do a better job in D.C. than the current crop of power brokers, I also believe there is something in the drinking water that addles the minds of people who end up serving (themselves) in D.C. Many a person has gone to the capitol city to change it to something that does not intrude in our lives at great cost. However, after a matter of months, they have converted and morphed into the men we thought we were getting rid of in the first place. Besides, there are a lot of politicians who need to be “retired” and no matter how noble our intent is at the voting booth, there are simply too many of them who promise free stuff and tell others they cannot attain the American Dream because they are oppressed by the white… Read more »

Dr Z,

It’s not the drinking water. It’s the $$$. Take a look at recent book by Peter Schweizer. The title is “Extortion” and that is exactly what the career politicians are doing to us. Schweizer calls them the “permanent political class”.

Voting them out of office is our best, peaceful way to get this mess turned around. There are a few of the most recent elected that have not been corrupted. We need more of them.

Please visit http://www.krisannehall.com and read about this issue. We should NOT have an Articlr 5 convention.

What ever happened to “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”? If we do nothing we are doomed. I believe that there are still enough patriots in America that could come together for the good of the Republic. There are leaders who would arise to guide us in taking our country back and preserving the Constitution, Dr. BEN CARSON comes to mind.

The argument isn’t between “doing something” and “doing nothing”. It’s between doing what has a high probability of success (getting out and voting this November in force) and doing something with a low probability of success simply to for the sake of “doing something”. You don’t fix a complex machine (our broken federal government) by randomly flipping switches and turning dials, hoping you blindly hit the right sequence to get it operating correctly again. You take deliberate, well thought out action to achieve the desired results (voting to end Democrat control of the Senate and ensuring a Republican majority remains in the House).

Well, for one thing, the man who made that “fear” statement created some of the most fearful and unconstitutional agencies that now populate our incredibly bloated federal government.

You are right that there are many good patriots still around but how to put just their like in a single convention is the problem. And I agree that Dr. Carson is someone who would garner the respect of the great majority. There lies the answer. We must vote out all the big government progressives – republican and democrat and we must vote in the likes of Dr. Carson and those other patriots you mention.

Tom C has it right!! The Article V convention or Convention of States or whatever it is called is a huge risk. The first and only convention of this kind happened in 1787. The result of that convention was a divine blessing. I’m afraid that it is likely that such a blessing would not occur in a convention called at this time in our history. Just take a look at the quality of the men and minds that participated in the 1787 convention. It was lead by George Washington, the most respected person alive at the time. And then there were Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, Morris etc. These men, brilliant as they were, had difficulty making an agreement. They took a break for a day of prayer and then came back to finish the job. Where would we find such men today? This sort of convention is a power unto itself.… Read more »

We need a Nation that is not afraid to PRAY and without it we are doomed. Our forefathers knew this and they took time to pray during their time of making LAWs. Look around you are you still proud of our way of life?we have forsaken our savior for self gradification and commiting our ways to satan. We need a good ole fashion REVIVAL…And VOTING in godly MEN to LEAD OUR COUNTRY…

I am for saving our nation. The U.S. federal government has become top heavy and is bound to fall, it is our duty too stop this catastrophe from happening; as a veteran I took an oath too defend the country and the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. I believe a convention of States called to reign in this oppressor Federal government we have today is far better than civil war.

What other choice do thinking and caring Americans have? If we don’t try something like this to preserve our once great country for our grandchildren, then the only remedies remaining to us would be a new revolution or civil war. And if the hard working people of this land don’t unite to turn this situation around there may not be an America to save.I for one am going to study and find a way to help the country that has blessed me with the freedom to do so. I will also pray to God that clear headed educated people of all states will join the effort to preserve our beloved nation before it is too late!

I feel it is safe to say that if TERM LIMITS were in effect for all elected positions, there’s a better than 50:50 chance
that 90% of our nation’s current problems would not exist. The lack of TERM LIMITS has spawned an aristocratic
form of government in both DC and elsewhere that brazenly flaunts the fundamental precepts of our Constitution. This default form of government must be seriously addressed and eliminated if we are to have any chance of permanently restoring the hopes and dreams of our founding fathers for this, the greatest nation on God’s green earth.