Tag Archives: Constitutional convention

Convention of the States…a Refute to a Runaway Convention

Many people are jumping on the Constitutional Convention bandwagon. I wanted to address a couple of issues with Michael Farris’ latest article about the Runaway Convention Myth.

In his article titled “Can We Trust the Constitution? Answering the Runaway Convention Myth”, he states that opponents to a Constitutional Convention claim two arguments, they are 1) “the delegates were instructed to merely amend the Articles of Confederation, but they wrote a whole new document and 2) The ratification process was improperly changed from 13 state legislatures to 9 state ratification conventions.

First, let’s straighten something out, Michael Farris should know better than the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme Law of the Land”…not the Supreme Law of the Land. The Declaration of the Independence references the “Supreme Judge of the world…” and our U.S. Constitution refers to the Supreme Court as the “supreme Court”. Our founders understood the limits of a manmade Constitution and the existence of a “higher law”.

Being the founder of a religious college, hopefully there’s no further explanation needed but it does explain why he’d support a Convention of the States in controlling the federal government. The understanding that there is a higher law is the reason there’s opposition to a Constitutional Convention.

You cannot control the actions or morals of individuals through manmade law.

According to the article, the delegates for both the Constitutional Convention and State ratifications conventions were selected by popular vote…which meant that state legislatures had no say in calling, conducting or ratifying our current Constitution. The claims were that they were instructed but were they instructed? That we are merely saying is that the delegates went to the convention and created a whole new document. Not sure if George Washington, Alexander Hamilton or Benjamin Franklin, necessarily needed direction in how to conduct the convention, they were elected by popular vote.

Whereas the Articles of Confederation may not have given the Continental Congress authority to “call” a convention, the U.S. Constitution does.

The fact that the number of states to ratify the Constitution was changed from 13 to 9 is the point.

We trust the Constitution; we don’t trust the current political process to fix a document that has endured centuries.

As Michael Farris is in good company with Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she wishes to change the Constitution also.

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

No need to go far to see what’s wrong with our nation, all you need to do is watch how Article V of the Constitution is being implemented. All you need is to read Article V of the U.S. Constitution then refer to those calling for an Article V Convention, Convention of the States and a Constitutional Convention.

We do not need a U.S. Constitutional Convention. There is a push for States to apply for a U.S. Constitutional Convention to either propose Constitutional Amendments or restructure our government. I wish to identify the dangers of such a Convention using only Article V of the Constitution. Hopefully, this will convince you to oppose any type of U.S. Constitutional Convention.

The United States Constitution has endured 226 years of trials and tribulations as the supreme Law of the Land. Our ancestors fought in civil wars, two World Wars, the Great Depression, many recessions, along with many other atrocities to bring our country to where it is today. Even though they endured the ages, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the foundation of our law system and have propelled all of our lives to new heights. It has produced the highest number of Nobel winners, medical, business and technological advances known to man but there are some who are calling for a convention.

A U.S. Constitutional Convention is being called different names. American Legislative Executive Council (also known as ALEC) advocates for an “Article V Convention” while Mark Levin encourages a “Convention of the States”. No matter what you call it, the basis of these conventions is Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

States are empowered with two powers according to the U.S. Constitution, Article V. They shall apply for a convention and ratify proposed amendments. States cannot control it or call a convention. It’s questionable whether delegates can be controlled as many state legislatures are proposing and by no means can the agenda be controlled. Once the two-thirds of the state apply, Congress calls the convention but no one knows where it will go from there.

Constitutional Amendments proposed for this convention run the gamete. Amendments include a balance budget amendment, term limits, Supreme Court, eminent domain and even “Citizens United.” Whether your issue is with the budget, property rights or corporatism, there’s bound to be an amendment appealing to gain your support in your state applying for a U.S. Constitutional convention.

Hopefully, you, as do I, oppose a U.S. Constitutional Convention but if you are not convinced, attached is further analysis. Professor Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor, explains the justification of the dangers of a Convention.

Dick Morris gives his thoughts on how to save the Constitution

Below is the video of my interview with Dick Morris at an event in Chicago for Bill Kelly.  (I had really hoped to have this posted sooner, but sometimes technology is a bit… er… pain.)  Anyhow, throughout the event Mr. Morris was very down-to-earth and extremely accessible – he moved throughout the room with no pretense, talking extensively with anyone who came up to him.  My guess is, if someone were to walk into that room without knowing who the “big name” was supposed to be, they wouldn’t have been able to figure it out.

In this interview, I talked with Mr. Morris about the Constitution (naturally).  He gave me his recommendations for Constitutional amendments, his concerns about some international treaties that Congress will be considering this summer, and his thoughts on how the Constitution will affect the 2012 elections.

Whether you agree with Dick Morris or not he brings up a lot of thought provoking points, so this video is definitely worth a look.  Also, don’t forget to check out his new book – Screwed – which is coming out next month.

Advice From Newt Gingrich

Back in the mid-1980s I had the opportunity to spend a brief amount of time with Speaker Newt Gingrich.

He offered some fascinating advice to those of us present (A group of only fifteen people nationwide that were training to become congressional campaign managers).  He said in essences “The responsibility of a Congressman is not to explain Washington to the voters, but rather to represent the voters to Washington DC.”

The implications of that comment are very insightful when thought about.  It demonstrates why Newt Gingrich is never really out of the race for president.  But that is another story.

I receive, on a regular basis, communications from federally elected officials.  I also am friends with some on various social networking sites on the internet.  I monitor the Senate and House members that represent the State of Utah, as well as few others.

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is on Facebook and frequently makes posts that convey to the conservative wing of the Republican Party (about 65% of the total membership) his relentless efforts to carry the conservative message to Washington.  This effort may be intensified by the fact that for years he was more moderate, like Senator Bennett who was unceremoniously ousted by the right wing even before the primary in 2010.  Senator Hatch needs to earn back their trust.

To many of the Senator’s posts I have responded to him stating that he simply isn’t getting what the people are looking for.  He is still a regulationalist at heart.  That means his answer to every challenge, problem or difficulty is resolved with yet another regulation being imposed.

Before I continue I must make a confession.  In my mind Senator Orrin hatch is the most moral man in the US Senate.  On a personal level I trust him beyond any other US Senator.  In terms of personal character, in my mind, he overshadows all the rest.  That means a great deal to me, yet not my vote.

Today on Facebook Senator Hatch, speaking of the Yuan Bill, posted this “Before the Senate moves forward, it’s imperative that Congress have a full understanding of the Administration’s views on this legislation.”  At first blush this looks absolutely reasonable.  At any level, having a clear understanding of the issues, is a reasonable thing to do.  However…

At the second consideration, where wisdom joins with first impressions, this says something quite different.  When the President has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of ever working in a cooperative manner with the Congress I genuinely question the logic of waiting for it to be forthcoming on this issue.

Secondly, what Senator Hatch is doing is subtly proposing is that there is a means to “compromise.”  Compromise to accomplish part of a goal can sometimes work for the greater good.  Unfortunately with Congress, particularly the Senate, compromise has not been to move toward a greater good  but rather toward a greater personal satisfaction among individuals dependent upon popularity, to remain popular.

In short, given Senator Hatch’s, and the entire senate’s reputation, his comment translated for accuracy should read “We need to know where the president is at so we can accommodate his wishes with our future popularity.”  That sounds harsh, but it appears to be the means by which the senate works.

In the original Constitutional Convention the delegate were firm and pounded home views with force and resolve.  Yet, in the end the Constitution was adopted because the compromise was for a better nation, not better poll ratings.  Today’s Congress should be no less.

I return to the advice of Speaker Gingrich.  These men are not sent to Washington to later come home and explain Washington to their voters.  They are to represent the people and then be “Statesmen” capable of wise decisions rather than popular assent.