by Jim Lewis & Publius Huldah
Do you remember what happened the last time we held a convention to amend our Constitution?
Realizing the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation Congress called, on February 21, 1787 [link], a convention to be held in Philadelphia that May:
“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union”
This was also the gist of the instructions that 10 of the 12 States gave to their own delegations to follow.
You can go to this link [Farrand’s Records, Volume 3, Appendix A, pages 13-14] to see the instructions from Congress for yourself. Go to this link [Farrand’s Records, Volume 3, Appendix B, pages 559-586] to see the instructions from the States to their delegations.
Well, we all know how that turned out. After the delegations were seated, they voted to make their proceedings “secret” so no one outside the convention would know what they were working on.
On September 17, 1787 the Convention presented to the Congress an entirely NEW CONSTITUTION to approve and send to the States for ratification. And it had a new – and easier – method of ratification!
Under Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation [link], Congress had to approve any amendment and then ALL THIRTEEN STATES had to approve it as well. With the NEW CONSTITUTION, only NINE of the THIRTEEN STATES (3/4ths) had to approve the new Constitution (and any subsequent amendments).
Some people say that the 1787 convention delegates had the approval to write a whole new Constitution. That is not true! James Madison devoted all of Federalist No. 40 [link] to justify what the Delegates did at the Convention of 1787! And in the 15th paragraph, Madison admitted that the changes the Delegates made were not authorized by their Instructions.
James Madison wrote that the Delegates knew that reform such as was set forth in the new Constitution was necessary for our peace and prosperity. They knew that sometimes great and momentous changes in established governments are necessary – and a rigid adherence to the old government takes away the “transcendent and precious right” of a people to “abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness,” … “and it is therefore essential that such changes be instituted by some INFORMAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROPOSITIONS, made by some patriotic and respectable citizen or number of citizens…” [capitals are Madison’s].
There it is – from Madison’s own hand!
So the delegates to the convention violated the instructions to meet “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”; and they wrote a whole new Constitution. And that is how the AMENDMENTS CONVENTION of 1787 resulted in a new Constitution – with a new and easier method of ratification.
I gave you this short version of our Constitutional history to make you understand that an “amendments convention” can turn into proposing a whole new Constitution WITH its own new method of ratification – such as a National Referendum!
Note that Art. XII of the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America [Link] provides for ratification by a national referendum.
Whoever controls the voting machines will determine the outcome – and if they don’t have enough votes to approve it, they’ll keep feeding printed ballots into the machines until they get enough votes for ratification!
Look at what is going on in our Country. Many young people are embracing socialism; political correctness in thought and speech; people are trying to erase our history – they are tearing down Monuments and changing historical Facts: E.g., they assert that Columbus was a racist who sailed to the Caribbean and massacred the natives. They suppress the facts that he sailed west from Europe in search of a shorter route to China, and wanted to bring Christ to the part of the world he visited.
The social media are openly abridging the free speech of those whose ideals, values and thoughts they don’t agree with by censoring their posts and tweets. And so far, no one has been successful in suing them for violating our right of free speech.
Twitter shut down the account of the President of the United States because they didn’t like his Tweets! Godaddy is shutting down conservative accounts with no valid justification. A full-on onslaught against free speech and free thought are going on right now.
If you run afoul of the newspeak/newthought masters they will try to “cancel” you; end your employment; shut down your social media accounts; and isolate you from your own community as a “racist, homophobe, or misogynist” – a person whose thoughts and speech are offensive in the new order being implemented in our former Republic.
What has happened to the United States? What has happened to free speech, freedom of religion, to worship as we see fit, to live free from government interference and the interference of busybodies who think they have the right to dictate what we must think, what we may say, and how we must live?
So this is the worst time in our History for the States to ask Congress to call an Article V convention.
In recent years the impetus for Congress to call an Article V Convention has grown stronger. It is being fraudulently sold to the American people as the only way to check an ever encroaching federal government.
Proponents of this false premise claim that unlike the 1787 convention – this time the State Legislatures would control the Convention, and only the amendments the Legislatures have pre-approved would be discussed.
But nothing in Article V (or any other provision of our Constitution) grants to State Legislatures the power to do anything else except apply to Congress for Congress to call the convention.
Article V sets forth two methods for getting amendments to our Constitution:
“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…” [italics added]
So both methods rely on “The Congress“, not the States. The Convention provided for at Art. V is a federal convention, called by the federal government, to perform the federal function of addressing our federal Constitution.
Art. V provides that when two thirds of the state legislatures apply for it, Congress calls a convention.
At that point, it is out of the state legislatures’ hands. Pursuant to Art. I, §8, last clause, Congress has the power to make the laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention. Congress alone has the power to determine how the Delegates to the convention will be selected.
The Congressional Research Service Report (CRS) of April 11, 2014 reflects Congress’ practices in their preliminary preparations in the past for an Article V convention. It says,
“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” (p.4)“Second . . .Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates;(5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (p. 4) [italics added]
Nothing in the Constitution requires Congress to permit the States to appoint Delegates to a Convention. Congress may appoint themselves as Delegates! Think long and hard about the makeup of the new Congress – do you really think it is a good idea to permit them to select the Delegates to an Article V Convention?
Here [link] is a paper, Article 5 Convention A Bad Idea, that will help clarify the roles and responsibilities, as laid out in the Constitution, Article V, of each concerned party.
Here is the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. It is sponsored by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Are there people in the new Congress who will want Delegates who will support this new Communist Constitution? And just how many People in Congress have the spine to resist?
We must be on our guard against such a thing happening and do everything in our power to stop an Article V convention from happening.
Defend not Amend
Our Constitution is an elegant Document which delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government over the Country at Large. This one page chart lists the powers. Our problem is that for the last 100 years, everyone has ignored the existing constitutional limitations on federal powers. So our Constitution isn’t the problem – ignoring it is what has caused our problems.
And empowering Congress – especially the new Congress, mind – to impose a new Constitution on us is not the answer.
Our nation is in a dangerous position. We need divine intervention, pray for God’s help, please. And urge your State Legislature to rescind all of your States’ existing applications for an Article V convention.