Politics

The Convention of States Movement

fighting-terror-constitution convention states movementThe movement to organize a Convention of States is gathering much steam of late and has become quite a hotly-debated topic.  Why?

Both supporters and opponents of such a convention (CoS) want to take action to bring power back to the states and to the American people – where the Constitution states it belongs – rather than in Washington DC. Both groups believe our federal government has abused and stretched the powers enumerated to it by the U.S. Constitution. They assert that both elected and unelected Washington bureaucrats should not be allowed to make sweeping unfettered decisions which can have major impact on millions of citizens.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments. It requires 34 states to call the convention and 38 states to ratify any proposed amendments. The objective is to discuss amendments that would limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal government, impose fiscal restraint and pass term limits on Federal officials.

A CoS, however, is NOT the only way the U.S. Constitution might be altered. The alternative method, and likely the least risky, is that Congress might propose amendments, which could be passed with a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This method has strong precedent. Of the 33 amendments approved by Congress and sent along to the states for ratification, only 27 were in fact ratified, and went on to become addenda to the U.S. Constitution.

Convention proponents claim they can limit a convention to just one subject (or a few pre-ordained subjects), but most legal scholars disagree. Because the Constitution is vague on how such a convention would actually work, many believe the gathering could leave Americans a wholesale rewrite of the Constitution – endangering fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury. The convention could even elect to abolish our original Constitution altogether.

What are the arguments put forth in favor of, and opposed to, calling a new Convention of States?

PRO

Those who support a Convention of States argue that numerous safeguards inherent in Article V would protect the gathering from deteriorating into a runaway convention. They view the strongest safeguard as the ratification process for Convention-proposed amendments – which is the same one that amendments proposed by Congress would go through. If ratification by 38 states would be required for a new amendment to pass – that means only 13 states voting ‘NO’ could block it.

Article V CoS supporters have petitions in all fifty state house districts across America – and are actively working to move their project forward. Here is what some supporters say:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: “The Founders of the United States of America inserted Article V into the Constitution because they knew the entrenched powers in Washington would thumb their noses at the states and try to hijack the system for themselves. That’s why we need a Convention of States, authorized in the Constitution, to propose amendments to fix America.”

President of the conservative Leadership Institute, Morton Blackwell: “Some constitutional changes must be made. Nothing less will remove the danger that a future, solidly leftist, Supreme Court would ‘interpret’ the Constitution to eliminate the separation of powers and checks and balances in government. The great American experiment with limited government would be over.”

When asked if he supported the idea of a CoS, U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, Hon. Ben Carson, MD, replied: “Very much so… our Founding Fathers knew there would probably come a time when you would need to make some adjustments to the Constitution.”

Florida Rep. Ron De Santis: “I’ve spent years fighting the DC Swamp, and as a candidate for Governor of Florida, I know the states need Article V to take the power away from DC. The permanent bureaucracy will never voluntarily give up an ounce of its power.”

Constitutional lawyer and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, Michael Farris: “Only a Convention of States will give us effective solutions to the abuse of power in Washington DC. It is our moral obligation to protect liberty for ourselves and our posterity.”

U.S. Army Major and FOX News contributor, Pete Hegseth: “The leviathan that is today’s federal government continues to grow unabated, pushing the people farther away from our Founder’s vision of self-governance. The Convention of States Project is the only constitutional pathway for citizens to save our Republic by restoring it to its citizens.”

Former Arkansas Governor, Rev. Mike Huckabee: “My longtime friend, Michael Farris — who is an excellent litigator and professor – has joined with Mark Meckler and Citizens for Self-Governance, to actually bring [a Convention of States] into reality. I have reviewed their plan, and it is both innovative and realistic. I urge you to join me in Supporting the Convention of States Project with Citizens for Self-Governance.”

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: “Luckily the Founders gave us a mechanism to reform a runaway federal government in Article V of the Constitution. We can – and we must – scale back the monstrosity our federal government has become.”

Attorney and broadcast patriot, Mark Levin: “I have whole-heartedly endorsed the Convention of States Project. I serve on its Legal Board of Reference because they propose a solution as big as the problem. They are promoting state applications for a convention for the purpose of limiting the scope, power and jurisdiction of the federal government – and that’s what needs to be done.”

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida: “I put my trust in the people, not Washington, in the critical effort to restore constitutional limited government. The Convention of States Project is a genuine grassroots movement to achieve that goal, and one I am proud to be a part of.”

Former Florida Congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West: “Thank goodness the Founders had the wisdom to provide us with Article V of the Constitution, which gives us the right and power to hold an Amending Convention, for the purpose of proposing amendments to restrain scope and power of the federal government. Under the system of federalism, I support the efforts to gather a Constitutional Convention of States – consistent with Article V and honoring the Tenth Amendment.”

Among other respected CoS supporters are: former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former Senator from Oklahoma Tom Coburn, historian David Barton, former Senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint, Sheriff David Clarke, Lt.Col. Bill Cowan (USMC Ret.), Attorney Andrew McCarthy, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, former Missouri Senator Jim Talent, Hon. Ken Cuccinelli, former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, Rep. Jeff Duncan and economist Thomas Sowell.

CON

Perceived dangers inherent in an Article V convention have generated vocal bipartisan opposition and fear of a runaway convention. In fact, historical precedent exists from the very beginning of our country for a CoS to exceed its stated boundaries.

Delegates to the original 1787 Philadelphia Convention exceeded their mandates to revise the then-governing Articles of Confederation. While this fortunately led to our present U.S. Constitution, it could have led anywhere.

The case against the CoS movement was bolstered by warnings from, among others, the late, ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who declared: “Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it!”

How could a Convention of States go wrong? The Convention could propose bad amendments or a completely new, socialist or progressive U.S. Constitution, and then force its passage by introducing and utilizing a new ratification process, rather than the 38 states currently required.

As an alternative, Article VI could be invoked. In Article VI, America’s Founders provided the power to counter constitutional violations with law enforcement and punishment. Therefore, if an Article V CoS were convened and went awry, local, state and federal officials who swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution could exercise their duty to protect citizens’ rights by opposing and enforcing any flagrant Constitutional violations or unauthorized changes. The downside could, of course, result in a full-scale revolution with violence and bloodshed.

Under Article VI, many powers assumed today by the federal government, which are not specifically enumerated by the U.S. Constitution, could be changed. For example, taxes could be dramatically reduced and much of the corruption and abuses of power in Washington DC could be curbed.

Conservative political journalist Kelleigh Nelson wrote in March 2018: “Countless authorities have stated that a CoS cannot be controlled. Once opened, the entire [Constitutional] document can be taken down and changed. There are no statesmen today like our founders, and the risk of opening a convention for any reason would result in the destruction of the last threads binding us to a representative Republic.”

Constitutional attorney and activist, Publius Huldah, demands every U.S. citizen read the U.S. Constitution, understand its list of enumerated powers reserved for the federal government, and vote only for those who vow to stay true to their Constitutional oath — to govern according to our supreme document.

Another important caveat: It may seem counterintuitive, but many liberal and progressive Democrats strongly seek an Article V Convention as an opportunity to make their own changes.

Among the major changes they seek are to have publicly funded elections, abolition of the Electoral College, revamping of the Senate to more strongly represent urban populations, and repeal of the Second Amendment. They would also create term limits for Supreme Court Justices and create for all a basic right to free healthcare, education, housing and the vote, as well as a basic annual income for all (workers and non-workers alike).

The far-left policy group Common Causefunded by socialist billionaire George Soros – and its affiliates, declared war against a CoS movement, calling it the largest radical alliance in U.S. history. These groups are dedicated to Marxism, fascism, radical environmentalism and abortion-on-demand. A few affiliates include the AFL-CIO, the Center for American Progress, Democracy 21, Greenpeace USA, Mi Familia Vota, MoveOn.org, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, the Action Fund, Planned Parenthood, People of the American Way, the Sierra Club and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union). Add to this list former president Barack Hussein Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Attorney general, Eric Holder.

 

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Rod J Moser
2 months ago

Question: Do the citizens themselves, have the power to vote on term limits within congress or does that power go to the elected state legislatures from the convening states?

Mike Codding
2 months ago

The original convention only exercised the powers given it; otherwise it would never have been ratified by the states nor amended by the first congress!

EllenDiann
3 months ago

I think foremost and most life changing for America would be to eliminate corporation powers being involved in government. NO LONGER should those running for office only be the wealthy and those supported by corporations. We should outlaw all involvement of corporations and media in elections, and give each STATE the power to freely provide information about EVERY candidate on a website with each candidate having free access to a page to promote themselves through literature and videos. No more lies and selling of scams via the media who are controlled by greedy corporations. People as poor as Abraham Lincoln could run for office with enough signatures from local supports and have all of the information needed to know who they are on the State run website. Each county of that State would have access to the website to promote the individuals of their country for local elections as well. The website cannot be limited to a small few selected or favored individuals and there must be a board for complaints of any power abuse that would limit candidates or the people getting information about the candidate.

Francie
3 months ago

I hope and pray we can take our Country back. These people in our government are criminals and have thrown our constitution to the curb.

Charles Browning
5 months ago

Hello All,
The constitution was written and has lasted for a reason. The Federal government has greatly overstepped it’s powers granted by the constitution. The democrats and many republicans have ignored the intensions of our Founding Fathers, and liberals, it is Founding not Funding. The people need to remember we are a Republic not a democracy, which is not taught anymore. The cancel culture IS cancelling our history. The states need to get away from the national teachers unions and adopt a curriculum that teaches our real history and the State powers would not be in question.

Leni Burney
6 months ago

I am for this, we need to save the republic, our country and freedom. I cannot see how the majority of the population is going along with this mess. Even Dems must know there is something radically wrong. All I pray for each day is to save our country. Lets do this

Jackie Watson
7 months ago

Do it. Biden is out of control and is acting like a dictator signing all those executive orders. They are trying to change voting to fixed all the time and letting in millions of unvetted illegals. This needs to stop.

Roselee Hogan
7 months ago

Based on the degree of organization and funding behind the riots seen over the past year, I believe those behind these progressive efforts are several steps ahead of us in their plans to change the direction of our nation.

Based on the failure of State Legislatures to enforce their own laws in the 2020 federal election, I have no confidence that a Convention of the States would voluntarily restrict itself to just a few Amendments as passed by these States. 

Based on the actions of media and technology companies, I am seriously concerned that any unconstitutional actions taken at a Convention of the States would either be ignored or would be presented as perfectly legal and anyone who dissents would be completely shut down and persecuted.

Based on the systemic failure of State Courts, the US Congress, and the US Supreme Court to prevent or correct or even examine evidence of fraud and other irregularities in the 2020 federal election, I believe they would likewise ignore unconstitutional actions taken by a Convention of the States, thereby allowing our precious US Constitution to be completely destroyed.

Based on the lack of response from our citizenry, I am afraid most people would “go along to get along” with whatever happens.  

Rebecca Wilkerson
8 months ago

I’m for the convention of states but only to limit the power and scope of the current government in Washington DC. Term limits, definitely. I’m not interested and changing our constitution. I’m not interested in getting rid of the Electoral College. It has a purpose and needs to stand. I am interested in seeing to it that we do whatever it takes 2 be certain that the voting machines we have are either unable to be manipulated or gotten rid of all together. And the election observers are not to be messed with in any way shape or form . Where the votes are being counted is where the observers will be . My interest is simply in limiting the power in Washington DC. I’m hesitant for this to come about because of what I’ve read concerning how the power of the convention of States could get out of hand trying to change our constitution. I think before a Convention of states is called there should be agreements sign stating what you will not do . Such as trying to change our constitution . Someone contacted me I believe last year to get me involved. At the time I was occupied elsewhere.

Joey
8 months ago

I agree

John Mullis
8 months ago

This article has numerous errors in what was stated versus what is factual. It is obvious that the author did little research into the original conventions that were called in 1786 and 1787 along with researching the federalist papers. Sad that inaccurate information was shared with our senior citizens

Sharon
7 months ago
Reply to  John Mullis

So what are these so called errors? Explain your position.

L.K.
2 months ago
Reply to  John Mullis

There is no way for a “runaway” convention. There are too many safeguards from our founding fathers. There would have to be 37 states agreeing to change anything. Do you know how difficult that is? The only topics allowed from the Constitution are :
1. decreasing the power and scope of the federal government 2. Term limits 3. Balance the budget
That is it! Can you imagine if we did those three things!!! Our country would be saved!!
Oh, and George Soros wants to stop this from happening….Tell you something????

Lover of Freedom
8 months ago

Just an ordinary senior citizen of 76 years. I feel that I was raised in a fabulous time when society was much politer and politicians still felt responsible to the people. I was raised on a farm in upstate NY, family worked hard, hard, hard. I want the Convention of States to become strong and break the monopoly, dogged, dictatorship of all politicians in Washington, DC. It must be done in order for America to survive. Sadly our press has also been destroyed. They no longer present news they twist, edit and spew discourse, fear, insurgency. Propagate intolerance between races and people of different preferences be they sexual, religious or whatever. I am disgusted with information services, TV, FB, cellphones, movies with their pounding negativity and constant barrage of broadcasting negativeness ALL the time. A more positive presentation of people must be seen in order for society to change……thanks.

Chris Heinke
8 months ago

I also think we need to address the 25th Amendment as it pertains to the ability of Congress to utilize it for political purposes. We need to limit the use of it to the people for any reason other than incapacitation of the President.

Terry D. Millus
10 months ago

The CoS has the opportunity to make great changes that would benefit the American citizens. Just they can make a dent in the corruption..

Gary Brown
10 months ago

Concern over a runaway convention are unfounded because the present rules for a convention prevent it. The limits can’t be exceeded and any attempt to do so would lead to the state delegates being recalled. No change to the Constitution could take affect until retifide by 38 states, so the convention results only have power after ratification. The federal government isn’t going to limit it’s own power, so the people must.

Judi Kail
2 months ago
Reply to  Gary Brown

The COS does not make changes to the ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION. The changes proposed are to the CURRENT UNCONSTITUTIONAL changes/amendments that have put the Federal Government in the Radical state in which it is now.

Judith Arnett
11 months ago

It’s long past time for American citizens to take back our country, before the Marxist leftists turn it over to the Chinese Communist party and the global elites.
We have never needed a second Constitutional Convention as badly as we need one today.
The Democrat Party has proved more blatantly than ever how little they respect the votes of the people.
Many Republicans hate Donald Trump so much that they are willing to let the Democrats destroy our country, just get rid of him.
Why?
They have forgotten that they work for us.
They have become too comfortable with running things.
Too many of them are “high” on power.

Last edited 11 months ago by Judith Arnett
Allan Campbell
8 months ago
Reply to  Judith Arnett

I agree, except that we need an Article 5 Cos, not a Constitutional Convention.

Pam VanCleave
6 months ago
Reply to  Allan Campbell

We need to move on something and soon before our country is gone. It is almost gone now and we are so indebted and the Bible clearly tells us NOT to go into debt! The current administration does not believe in playing fair and their dishonesty is so contagious! We have got to get their power limited as they are turning America upside down faster than a runaway train. Let’s get moving!

Alyss Kovach
5 months ago
Reply to  Allan Campbell

That “is” what Convention of States is trying to get passed. Thanks so much for supporting Article V of the Constitution! ????

Stan Huber
1 year ago

Those lacking belief in God and are against the people of these united states have zero fear of attaining their devious objectives by any means. Bringing forth a convention of states could provide them rampant access to undermine the very constitution. Allowing the people a vote on specific issues would serve a much better resort without risk to the constitution. Wickedness does not abide by moral and spiritual beliefs.

Larry Vilott
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan Huber

Seeing that your post was written prior to the immediately past election, can one assume that your faith in the “vote” might need some re-consideration?

Brad Lutley
1 year ago

I do believe we need a convention of states to serve two purposes. The most important being returning the balance of power between the branches by starting conversations on the repeal of the 17th amendment. Number two would be to start conversations on debt reduction. in my opinion the repeal of the 17th would automatically start eating away at the debt. As far as debt reduction the conversation needs to start with eliminating overlapping government programs and agencies that should be handled by the individual states.

Don Cable
1 year ago

I am amazed at those who fear this process. Do you not fear the process we currently have? Do you really expect the representatives in Washington to control their spending and limit their power? Give me a break. You must not understand how desperate the situation is. We are going bankrupt and the power in Washington is out of control. This is the only valid way to make amendments to the Constitution by the people without bloodshed. If this is not done this country is going to change one day but it won’t be in a kind way as the convention of States would be. You’re talking about getting thirty-eight states to amend something I can’t get 3 people to decide where to go to eat. It would be an arduous process it would protect itself because of that. Come on!

Allan Campbell
8 months ago
Reply to  Don Cable

This is the only valid way to make amendments to the Constitution by the people without bloodshed….I agree.

Alyss Kovach
5 months ago
Reply to  Allan Campbell

It is NOT making changes to the Constitution. It is ALL about restoring the Constitution. Article V is already PART of the Constitution.

Pam VanCleave
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Cable

Absolutely as it can’t get too much worse and as you said they will not limit spending. Take a look at the raises they gave to themselves when enacting a supposed relief package for the american people. The only reason they gave usvanything is to shut us up and to try to hide the xtra handouts. Most of us just want to be able to earn a living but after they bankrupt us I bet they still have money !!! They are robbing us before our own eyes.

P. Fortney
1 year ago

Very good informative article. Would love to see an updated article written on the Convention of States Movement current status. Also very interested in the AMAC as an alternative to AARP..

S. Sangster
6 months ago
Reply to  P. Fortney

Yes, I agree. More information is need on the CoS Project. I too fear the billionaires in control of Washington D.C., and the power they wield, are a force to be reckoned with. Not sure We the People, along with CoS will be able to defeat them.

James Bernard
2 years ago

The “Cons” that are listed are for the most part Bogus.
Please understand that the two key points of AMENDING The constitution by using article V are …….
PROPOSING, as In suggestions, discussions, analysis etc.
and the second key point is the very fact that any proposal that is adopted by a convention would have to be approved by 38 states. This provision was designed to prevent crazy and goofy proposals from ever seeing the light of day.
also the second clause of article 5 was designed to ensure/reinforce the balance of power between the federal government and all 50 states.
It was George Mason who suggested that the second clause be included in article 5, in case the federal government should usurp too much power from the states.
Right now, the total amount due nationally including unfunded mandates and current budget deficit is approximately 1/4 of a QUADRILLION DOLLARS !!!!!!!

If Congress does not want to address this issue, and they don’t, then “we the people” will address it by using our second clause Convention Of States option.

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