What a Convention of the States (COS) will NOT do!
By Rich Loudenback
COS WOULD NEVER USE 38 STATE LEGISLATURES FOR RATIFICATION TODAY
There is no way in today’s political climate that a Convention of the States (COS) Article V Constitutional Convention’s (Con-Con) delegates would send new amendments to all of the state legislatures for three-quarters of them to ratify. Look at how much infighting and stagnation exists in our US Congress or for that matter in our statehouse here in Idaho. Then multiply that times 38 states. No, there is a much safer way of doing it in their mindset. Instead, a special ‘ratifying convention’ of select, like-minded delegates would be ‘made to order’ and is identified in Article V right after the word or.
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.
Proponents of an Article V Constitutional Convention strongly assure us that the process is extremely safe because 38 state legislatures have to ratify them before they go to the president for signing into law. They want us to believe that. They would rather us not be aware of the alternative after the word or. Ratifying conventions. Sure, they will deny this.
Regular amendments passed by the US Congress have a tough time getting ratified in state legislatures. There also are actually 6 amendments that have been passed by Congress that have not yet been ratified which were proposed from 1789 to 1978. Following is a list of existing amendments and their ratifications compiled by usconstitution.net.
RATIFICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO DATE
1st – 10th Amendments — Sept. 25, 1789 Ratified Dec. 15, 1791 — 811 Days
11th Amendment — Mar 4, 1794 Ratified Feb 7, 1795 — 340 Days
12th Amendment — Dec. 9, 1803 Ratified May 19, 1804 — 189 Days
13th Amendment — Jan. 31, 1865 Ratified Dec 6, 1865 — 309 Days
14th Amendment — Jun. 13, 1866 Ratified Jul 9, 1868 — 757 Days
15th Amendment — Feb. 26, 1869 Ratified Feb. 3, 1870 — 342 Days
16th Amendment — Jul. 12, 1909 Ratified Feb 3, 1913 — 1302 Days
17th Amendment — May 13, 1912 Ratified Apr 8, 1913 — 330 Days
18th Amendment — Dec. 18, 1917 Ratified Jan 16, 1919 — 394 Days
19th Amendment — Jun 4, 1919 Ratified Aug 18, 1920 — 441 Days
20th Amendment — Mar 2, 1932 Ratified Jan 23, 1933 — 327 Days
21st Amendment — Feb 20, 1933 Ratified Dec 5, 1933 — 288 Days
22nd Amendment — Mar 21, 1947 Ratified Feb 27, 1951 — 1439 Days
23rd Amendment — Jun 17, 1960 Ratified Mar 29, 1961 — 285 Days
24th Amendment — Aug 27, 1962 Ratified Jan 23, 1964 — 514 Days
25th Amendment — Jul 6, 1965 Ratified Feb 10, 1967 — 584 Days
26th Amendment — Mar 23, 1971 Ratified Jul 1, 1971 — 100 Days
27th Amendment — Sep 25, 1789 Ratified May 7, 1992 — 74,003 Days (202 years, 7 months and 12 days)
Of 11,000 attempts to amend the U.S. Constitution, only 27 amendments have passed so Con-Con proponents truly believe that to accomplish their ends they must circumvent US Congress via a Con-Con where their carefully selected delegates could have their way with our Constitution.
HERE’S WHY A CON-CON WOULD USE SPECIAL RATIFYING CONVENTIONS
Who knows how complex resulting amendments would be? Or, how many amendments would come out of a convention or even if our Constitution itself would survive? Twice before, our 1787 Constitutional Convention and Amendment 21’s repealing of Prohibition, special ‘Ratifying Conventions’ were used instead of state legislatures. Why?
Our sage founders who knew tyranny first hand and, as realists of their day, knew the 13 colonies would not ratify, instead, they used Ratifying Conventions in nine states. Also, repealing Prohibition would not have happened in state legislatures like Utah, so following Article V’s or, ‘by conventions…,’ ratifying conventions were used.
There are many well-funded calls for a Con-Con: Convention of the States (COS), Article V Caucus (of state legislators), American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, and Compact for America. Listed along with these conservative groups have been progressive liberal organizations, such as Convention USA, Amend America, ArticleV.org (“the Inter-Occupy Article V Work Group”), Call a Convention, and Wolf-PAC. These groups claim to favor only a “limited” convention to propose one amendment or a few limited amendments.
States JW Malloy of Post Falls, ID, “In 1788, James Madison, speaking of an Article V convention, said it “would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who, under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts … might have the dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric [of the Constitution]. ‘Popular alterations might ostensibly balance the budget, limit terms, define marriage, or ban flag-burning. Individuals of insidious views need just one popular cause with which to con us into trusting them, but in 1990, asked specifically whether a Con-Con could be limited to a single issue, Judge Robert Bork, former Solicitor General, acting Attorney General, and judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit responded, “…I do not see how a convention could be limited to one topic once it had been called.’”
The power driven globalist forces, such as George Soros, behind the funding of all these many diverse calls for a Con-Con would not risk to chance the complexities of state legislature ratifications with committees, legal research, filibustering, gerrymandering, endless debate and prioritization that could render results being extremely difficult to achieve in any timely fashion. Then multiply those activities times 38! No. They would wisely choose, like the two instances before, to use ratifying conventions that would assuredly be comprised of baggage carrying special interests delegates who would be selected to do the convention’s bidding. Some might say these delegates would be very well paid, extremely loyal, all-in, single-minded, baggage carrying knuckle-dragging turncoat maggots. But I wouldn’t say that because it sounds a little undignified. They are money hungry idiots, socialists or deluded neo-cons.
THE REALITY OF THE CONVENTION’S CAPABILITIES
Quoting Christian Gomez of The New American magazine, “Well-meaning conservatives who advocate for a constitutional convention fail to recognize that once Congress convenes a convention it cannot be undone and no predetermined rules or limitations, adopted by either Congress or the states, will have any bearing on what the convention delegates may choose to do or propose. As the representatives of the sovereign will of the people-at-large in each state, convention delegates would have free latitude to propose any changes they see fit, including the writing of an entirely new constitution, along with changes to the mode of ratification, so as to guarantee the adoption of their amendments. This scenario is known as a “runaway” convention, and it is not without historical precedent.
“The Continental Congress originally tasked the delegates assembled at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787 with “the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” At the time, the Articles of Confederation (AOC) was the law of the land. Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation specifically stipulated that “any alterations” made to them must be unanimously “confirmed by the legislatures of every State.” (Emphasis added.)
“Both of these mandates were clearly exceeded. The delegates chose to replace the Articles with an entirely new federal constitution. They also altered the mode of ratification from being ‘confirmed by the legislatures of every State,’ in Article XIII of the AOC, to “the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof,” in Article V of the new Constitution. (Emphasis added.)”
REALLY, ALL THAT COUNTS IS UNDERSTANDING JUST ONE THING:
Why should anybody believe that laws from new amendments would magically be followed any more than current law? All these righteous sounding pitches by well-funded professional poker faced LOBBYI$T$ promising panacea if we open the door to a Con-Con are a clandestine front for very nefarious forces to get control of our government. Nothing less than our freedoms, sovereignty, and our grandchildren’s’ future are at stake.
THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM
The solution to the problem of the federal government’s consolidation of power and accumulation of crushing debt does not lie in the changing of the Constitution, but in the consistent application of its enumerated powers and the 10th Amendment. Adherence to existing law, its enforcement and prosecution of violations of it are all we need.
If states are so disgusted with the ineptness of the US Congress and are unable to comply with their mandates, then the word of the day should be to, as my Green Bay Packers hero, Arron Rodgers might say: N-U-L-L-I-F-Y! The states should quit whining and kowtowing and man-up. I repeat, nullification should be the order of the day. Idaho’s legislature and former Governor Otter knew how to nullify. But does our new Governor Little have the wisdom and courage to do that hard work that needs doing?
Idaho legislature and Governor Little: Don’t listen to what LOBBYI$T say. Just follow our U.S. and State Constitutions and deal with it.
Constitutional Convention Facts
Review: A Crash Course on a Constitutional Convention (Video)
Change It or Obey It? — Why the Constitution is the Solution (Video)