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Convention of the States Does Not Exist in Article V – Part I

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Comments (19)

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  1. Deborah Clemence says:

    Ths is not a constitutional convention and there is a tremendous amount of history backing this process up. It was demanded by George Mason that the COS be included in Article V to give citizens an alternative to taking up arms if the federal government was to become too powerful. Our federal government has been corrupted and that corruption is systemic. We must get term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and repeal the 17th Amendment as well as doing something to rein in the bureaucracy that is out of control and laws are being made by un-elected bureaucrats and with very little oversight. Rob Natelson is an expert on this process and these men can enlighten you far better than I can.

    http://www.absoluterights.com/the-article-v-state-convention-process-explained/

  2. Jan Brown says:

    NO, we do not want to open our Constitution and make room for any ‘boogiemen’. Want Change or updates….that’s what Amendments are for!!! And personally I feel should go on a National ballot & not left to a Congress that remotely resembles what we now have…
    Each of you have made such informed comments that i can’t add anything to. Thanks, you give just one more reason I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

    • M Thom says:

      An Article V Convention of the States would not change the articles of the Constitution, but would propose amendments, as you suggest. There is no provision in our Constitution for putting proposed amendments on a national ballot. According to the Constitution, ratification of new amendments is up to the States. After all, these are the United STATES of America.

  3. Bill Walker says:

    The author advocates the Constitution not be obeyed by the government. No doubt this is not his thinking but it is the consequence of what happens if his advice is followed. The public record shows 49 states have submitted 746 applications for a convention call. You can read the applications at http://www.foavc.org. There are over 34 subjects proposed which explains why a convention will discuss so much.

    As to controlling a convention. The author is of course incorrect. First of all the convention must pass any proposal by the two thirds mark. Second any proposal must be ratified by three fourths of the states. But finally is the fact there is yet another protection usually ignored by both opponent and proponent. As demonstrated by the 18th amendment, an amendment can be repealed. So we have a 100 percent money back guarantee that even if we do use the convention and it does fail to work, the worst that will happen is we will end up right back where we are now.

    I spoke at the Harvard Conference the author refers to when he uses the Tribe video. I suggest those wanting the full story take time to listen to what I had to present–then decide.

    It’s really quite simple. We can do nothing and let events continue as they are meaning this nation will ultimately be destroyed or we can move ahead and solve the problem which in this case means changing the government. That requires amendments and because Congress will not propose them, that means a convention. So which do we do–nothing and be destroyed or something and solve the problems associated with doing something? You decide.

    • Derrell Poole says:

      No, Bill, the Author (Brian Evans by name) is absolutely CORRECT! You say he is wrong but then you simply name the process – where is your substance that supports States CONTROL the Convention? Where?! Congress controls any Legal Convention to Amend the Constitution! – according to Article V! Here is MY substance to define how YOU are WRONG! Article V identifies the responsibility of Article V in the first two words of the Article; “The Congress…”

      ARTICLE V

      The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary,

      {MODE ONE – Congress wishes to amend the Constitution}

      shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the APPLICATION of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States,

      {MODE 2 – the States wish to amend the Constitution}

      shall call a Convention for PROPOSING Amendments,

      {How is that saying STATES control the convention? If this is so hard for you to see try reading it without all of the “qualifier” phrases. Like this; “The Congress … shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.” The only authorities given to the States is to make “Application” and to “Propose”. HOW is that Control?– but read on!}

      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,

      {MODE 1 Ratification – the States Legislative bodies Ratify or Reject proposed Amendments}

      or by Conventions

      {MODE 2 Ratification – “Delegates” (representatives of each State) gathered into a Convention to Propose amendment are consequently authorized BY CONGRESS to Ratify the amendments on behalf of their States.}

      in three fourths thereof,

      {3/4ths thereof? Thereof what? 3/4ths of the States or 3/4ths of the combined Delegates and Congress at the convention? Just one of those troubling uncertainties about Conventions}

      as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the CONGRESS;

      {Here is where the whole Levin idea of States Convention really looses ANY footing and YOUR claim is unsustainable; CONGRESS chooses which mode of ratification may be used regardless of who ever is at the convention! If Congress chooses MODE 1 Ratification the proposed Amendments will be submitted to the States Legislative Bodies regardless of Delegates AT THE COVENTION. Um… how is THAT “control by the States”? Even if a Convention is called it is STILL the option of Congress to send the Amendments to the States rather than to the gathered delegates! So who really controls a legal Convention?}

      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;

      {Because at the time there were Treaties that had been agreed to by the United States that the Delegates at the 1787 Convention did not want to loose}

      and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

      {Oh this is despicable – off topic but scurrilous nevertheless! Not all of the States Ratified the 17th Amendment (Utah and Delaware rejected the 17th Amendment. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, S. Carolina and Virginia have never ratified the 17th Amendment.)– yet they all lost their “equal Suffrage in the Senate”, didn’t they! The 17th Amendment is Blatant Constitutional Defiance, ILLEGAL, and it should first be Nullified BY THE STATES, immediately, and then repealed! (Oh, thank you, Billy Jennings Brian!)}

      In 1910 – 1912 Congress freaked because the States – particularly Western States who thought they were at a disadvantage to the more developed Eastern States, were actually pushing the 17th Amendment. In response Congress initiate Mode 1 to add amendments precisely to prevent a full blown Convention where they feared a runaway would occur!

      Do I need to repeat that? CONGRESS blindsided a so-called Con Con BECAUSE they were afraid it would turn into a Runaway Convention and a complete revision of the Constitution!

      Think about that! Mark Levin seems to believe a States Convention will be controlled (by the States) and our Constitution will come thru some how “unscathed”. Who the Hell is he kidding! Look what happened at the First Con Con in 1787. The Articles of Confederation, a binding document agreed upon by all 13 States, was summarily THROWN OUT and a New Constitution was written! Never mind the means of ratifying changes to the Articles of Confederation already agreed upon by all of those 13 States!! Oh, what was poor li’l Rhode Island going to do, after all…?

      All you Con Con proponents have deluded yourselves – Even if Strict Rules WERE in place – mind you, all that Article V actually gives us is that Congress Controls the Amendment process – no confidence builder in MY book – there is no assurance that Delegates at a Convention will not just take it upon themselves to write us a whole New Constitution! The safeguards Mark and his Levinites love to taut were just as much in place in 1912 as they are today and look what happened to our Constitution THEN! Not only was Congress freaked about a runaway Convention but also plenty of States went ahead and ratified an ILLEGAL Amendment! I DON’T trust that we have 3/4s of the numerous States so ready to weed out the “bad” Amendments! Nor am I confident they would not happily just accept a brand new Constitution!

      But even if you disagree with all of this here is perhaps the most damaging point to this Con Con madness. “I am right”. “No Mark is Right”! Nobody KNOWS who is right to a point beyond dispute! In otherwords; that we can argue these points means that if it comes to a Convention ALL of the open ended details are going to be ARGUED by “experts” of both Conservative and Communist flavors. All of Mark’s PAT answers are B.S. because Mark is no more an authority than ANY of us. P-ss on his Law Degree!! Y’all are FOOLS for opening this door!

      You and all the Con Con proponents seem to think a convention is our only option; otherwise the Country is going down the tubes!

      That is just plain Ca-ca! Not that we are not in trouble. We are and we better wake up! But…

      How ’bout we get off our asses, teach the American people what the Constitution really says, (and show them how the progressives have twisted, prevaricated Its meanings, and lately simply ignored It completely!) and rise up to demand the government return to the Constitution! This very same Constitution brought the Nation out of similar chaos and turmoil in the late 1780s – 1790s after the Articles of Confederation were not working and it can damned well do it again. The answer IS the current Constitution. Y’all wanna amend and amend and amend and all that will do is add more complexity and confusion to what is really a simple Document that isn’t broken in the first place! And after you’ve opened that door once – even if it goes well – you can bet there will be more calls for Conventions until we have a constitution (not this One) that stacks as tall as Obamacare!

      • Bill Walker says:

        Before setting sail one should check which way the wind blows. Your theories are really wonderful. Great fiction. I’m simply going to say the Founders nor the Supreme Court agrees with you. They have responded and answered your questions for the most part. No, I’m not going to do your work for you and give you citations. I think in your case it’s best you go out and actually read the cases in question then come back and comment. You’ll find them on the website and on-line by a simple Google search.

        • Brian Evans says:

          Bill,
          From most of my research, our founders were also concerned about factions and the states. Remember during our founding and the creation of this nation, we were near anarchy. Especially, under a few years under state rule.

          Would you give me a reference where a “Convention of the States” is understood? Whether Supreme Court rulings or the founding.

          • Bill Walker says:

            A reasoned question, a reasoned response. The state of Delaware addressed the matter most directly in 1832 in response to a request by the state of South Carolina. Here is the link:

            http://foa5c.org/file.php/1/Amendments/Delaware_response.jpg

            The response reflected the language used by the Supreme Court in McCulloch v Maryland, 17 U.S.316 (1819). Here is the link to the case. The particular part in question is pages 402-406.

            http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/17/316/case.html

            Fundamentally the court determined the people, not the states, are the sovereign source in this nation, a view stated repeatedly in the 1787 Federal Convention and by the courts in repeated cases.

            Oh yeah, two other facts. 1. Congress is right now working on a convention call. 2. Congress has already passed a law mandating convention delegates will be elected. The law is long standing and reflects already made Supreme Court decisions.

          • Bob says:

            Ever hear of the Federalist Papers?

      • M Thom says:

        Why would the Founding Fathers have gone through the bother of giving the States power to force the convening of a Convention if they intended that the power to control such a convention would be vested in Congress and in Congress alone?

        Your interpretation of Article V cannot be harmonized with the Founders’ intent. The States were given power to effect the calling of a convention as a way of bringing about needed reform when Congress was too corrupt to do so.

    • Bob says:

      PRECISELY…the author of this article is out of touch with reality and the gravity of our current constitutional crisis. Wake up Brian Evans, we are already in a post-constitutional US of A. His comment of “States cannot control it or call a convention.” needs to be put into the perspective of our currently completely out of control Federal Government. What is different now that Brian Evans doesn’t comprehend is that Federalism has been all but REMOVED from our current political environment. A convention of states will signal that return to Federalism!

      • Brian Evans says:

        Yes, I have read the Federalist papers. Are you speaking of anything specific because I would love to hear it?

        Will your Convention of the States return Federalism or establish Nationalism such as the Constitutional Republic of Red China or Stalin’s Russia?

        I understand the political environment and the utter crisis people are clamoring too. This is no different than Nazi Germany or the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

        They had Constitutional Republics also!

  4. L.E. Liesner says:

    Correction, that website is http://publiushuldah. wordpress.com

  5. L.E. Liesner says:

    Great article Brian. If you want more information on this subject I suggest you go to http://publiushaldah.wordpress.com and read, The “Convention of States”, The war over Constitution. This woman is not only a lawyer but a constitutional scholar, of the kind that the MSM will never quote her. There is no need for a “Constitutional Convention” all that is needed is “We the People” force those that we elect to run our government to live up to the oath of office they swore to, “to protect and support the Constitution of the United States”. As for “term limits” we elect Representatives every two years, Presidents every four years, and Senators every six years, if they cannot honor their oath of office do not elect or re-elect them. There are liars, thieves, and cheats in our government, and they are there because we allow them to be there. Informed intelligent voters could solve is problem at the ballot box.

    • Brian Evans says:

      L.E.,
      Your website doesn’t work.

    • Bob says:

      “all that is needed is “We the People” force those that we elect to run our government to live up to the oath of office they swore to, “to protect and support the Constitution of the United States””

      Now you can feel free to outline the HOW of accomplishing this. How will the individual use leverage to control the Federal Leviathan? Your comment is completely ridiculous!

      Here’s the HOW: FEDERALISM…a return of the States’ power that was stolen via the 16th and 17th amendments.

      • Brian Evans says:

        Stolen! These amendments were passed because states demanded it!

        States proposed them through the Senate (appointed by States) and ratified through State legislatures.

  6. Derrell Poole says:

    Brian! Bravo! I have shuddered at the thought of a Con-Con since I was a kid! Our Constitution is sacred! It is perfect! And it IS the answer to all of our Nations problems today! As far as I’m concerned it is on the order of the Bible! You are most succinct in your assessment of how enduring it is! I SWORE to my Country that I would defend it when I entered the service and UNLIKE Most of our elected officials I MEANT IT! For LIFE! Unlike the Levinites and the Liberals I have no other agenda but to preserve and uphold what has been ours for these last 227 years! That is IT! I don’t want to change anything except to put our out of control Government back on track!

    I say this over and over; the Constitution is a simple Document! It isn’t very long – WOW! Compare it to Obamacare – and nowhere nearly as confusing. It was written for Amateurs so that we could understand it and so that we could use it to operate our Government – Government BY THE PEOPLE. And so that we could easily watch our government AND pursue life, liberty, and happiness AT THE SAME TIME…. imagine that!

    But article V is a stinker! I believe it is intentionally vague to make it less attractive – even daunting – to amend the Constitution. The Authors of the Constitution, particularly Madison, as well as Jefferson, Washington and Franklin ALL opposed further Conventions after 1787. In spite of what Mark “the NeoCon” Levin and his LEVINITES want us to believe!

    And as you point out there are plenty of Liberal Groups pushing for an Article V Convention too! (Isn’t THAT interesting?). If this Convention of the States is such a great way for Conservatives to win back our Government why aren’t the Big Government Proponents and Experts (liberals love Experts because Experts take “care” of us) screaming bloody murder and castigating Mark Levin?

    What I’ve come to understand about Article V is that no matter if it is Congress that wishes to amend the Constitution or if it is the States that wish to amend the Constitution it is Congress and ONLY Congress that conducts such convention! Equally important, it is Congress that chooses the mode of Ratification regardless of whether it is Congress Amending the Constitution or the States in the form of said convention that is amending the Constitution. What Mark and his Levinites are interpreting, as a States Convention is actually just a choice of how THEY would Ratify Amendments. In the first mode the State Legislators would Ratify Amendments – just as they have to all of the Amendments so far. In the second mode they would (apparently) CHOOSE Delegates to send to a Convention (Called for by Congress on behalf of the States) and it would be those delegates – at convention – who MAY Ratify Amendments. I say MAY because regardless of a Convention it is STILL the option of Congress to chooses the mode of Ratification! In other words Congress can still choose State Legislative Bodies rather than those convention State Delegates to ratify whatever Amendments are settled upon.

    There is NO SUCH THING as a CONVENTION OF THE STATES in Article V! PERIOD! And I don’t know where else you would find one in the Constitution!

    Mark Levin is a NeoCon; at least it sure looks like he is. He is making money with his Book and he is stirring up a lot of good conservative people who yet seem to lack common sense. They don’t know what they think until someone like him comes along and TELLS them what they think! They read his book like it is gospel (I guess because Mark Levin is a LAWWWWWyerrrrr. OOOooooo, an EXpert! True Conservatives do NOT cotten to “Experts” because Experts always believe they know better than you do on how to conduct your life!). Yet how many Levinites have actually read, studied and pondered WHAT Article V REALLY says? I am no Scholar nor am I particularly bright but I can say with Great Confidence that MARK Levin is being Deceitful! If you try to tell Levinites any of that they tell you that you are “ignorant”. They tell you “you are absolutely wrong about everything.” I really don’t know what the difference would be between a Levinite and a Liberal. Both have listened to someone’s pied pipe of “utopia”. They are all worked up about the great promises – never mind the Facts, Common Sense, and a little bit of Critical thinking on their part.

    I AM angry! Indeed, I am. Not only must we stand against the communist nitwits now we must oppose our brother Conservatives as well! Mark Levin IS a NeoCon because NeoCons ACT like they oppose the liberal left but all the while they are aiding the liberal left. Now Conservatives oppose Conservatives. If that is not “sounding like a conservative but aiding the leftist Communists” then I don’t know what is! Repent Levinites!

    • Brian Evans says:

      Well put Derrell! Thanks for the feedback on this

      Bill Walker has a lot invested on a Con-Con, so it’s going to be extremely difficult convincing him of anything but…a convention. He feels as though rules are set and we must adhere to the letter of the law.

      While having standards are important, so is the ability to adjust to the individual. Having rules for every portion of society is communism. Allowing the people to be free, is America.