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Messing with the Constitution

February 25, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly

2/25/2016

Source ….. EMail

constitutional-convention

Dear Fellow Patriot,

Attacks on the U.S. Constitution are coming from all sides – sadly even some misguided conservatives have joined the Left on this issue.

One liberal professor – in the pages of The New York Times – calls our Constitution “imbecilic.” Another claims it contains “archaic” and “evil provisions.”

One even urges us to “rewrite the Second Amendment.”

Out of exasperation with Barack Obama’s flouting of the Constitution – and the Republican Congress’ willingness to help carry out Obama’s liberal agenda – a few conservative authors and pundits have joined these left-wing opponents of our Constitution.

Together they are promoting a national convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.

These ill-advised conservatives wrongly believe a series of amendments can put our country on a wiser path.

The authority for such a procedure is Article V of our Constitution, so they are calling their plan of action an Article V Convention.

However, they are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a “convention of states.”

In a convention setting, the U.S. Congress would get a major say in how the process will work.

The only power the states have under Article V is the opportunity to submit an “application” (petition) asking Congress to call a convention. Hundreds of such applications have been submitted over the years, with widely different purposes and wording. Many applications were later rescinded, and some purport to make the application valid for only a particular amendment such as a federal balanced budget or congressional term limits.

Article V states that Congress “shall” call a convention on the application of two-thirds of state legislatures, or thirty-four (34) of them.

The key question is this: how will Congress count valid applications?

The answer is, we don’t know, and so far Congress has ignored them anyway.

If Congress ever decides to act, Article V gives Congress exclusive power to issue the “Call” for a convention to propose “amendments” (plural).

The “Call” is the governing document which determines all the basic rules such as where and when a convention will be held, who is eligible to be a delegate (will current office-holders be eligible?), how delegates will be apportioned, how expenses will be paid, and who will be the chairman.

Article V also gives Congress the power to determine whether the three-fourths of the states required for ratification of amendments can ratify by the state legislature’s action or by state conventions.

Do you trust the current U.S. Congress to determine the rules for how the Constitution will be rewritten?

The most important question to which there is no answer is this: how will convention delegates be apportioned?

Will each state have one vote (no matter how many delegates it sends), which was the rule in the 1787 Philadelphia convention?

Or will the convention be apportioned according to population (like Congress or the Electoral College)?

Nothing in Article V gives the states any power to make this fundamental decision.

If Congress decides apportionment will be determined by population, more populous states will control the outcome.

Do you want California or New York deciding how the U.S. Constitution should read?

Article V doesn’t give any power to the states to propose constitutional amendments, or to decide which amendments will be considered by the convention.

Now imagine Democratic and Republican conventions meeting in the same hall and trying to agree on constitutional changes. Imagine the gridlock in drafting a constitutional plank by caucuses led by Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton.

Everything else about how an Article V Convention would function, including its agenda, is anybody’s guess.

Advocates of an Article V convention can hope and speculate, but they cannot assure us that any of their plans will come true.

If we follow the model of the 1787 Convention, will the deliberations be secret? Are you kidding me? Nothing is secret any more.

What are the plans to deal with protesters at what would surely be the biggest media event of the year, if not of the century? It will be flooded with agitators from the gun-control lobby, the gay lobby, the abortion lobby, the green lobby, plus experienced protesters trained and even paid with George Soros money.

There is no proof that the VIPs promoting an Article V convention have any first-hand knowledge of the politics or procedures of a contested national convention. Don’t they realize that the convention will set its own agenda and that states will have no say over which amendments are considered?

To see how a convention chairman wielding the gavel can manipulate outcomes, take for instance the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

A delegate tried to add a reference to God to the party platform, but the chairman ruthlessly called the vote wrong even though we all saw on television that the “Noes” won the vote.

The whole Article V “Convention of States” process is a prescription for political chaos.

Alas, I don’t see any George Washingtons, James Madisons or Ben Franklins around today who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I’m worried about the men who think they can.

That’s why it’s imperative you call your state senator and state representative and urge them to vote against all forms of a dangerous Article V “Con Con”.

Phyllis Schlafly

Founder, Eagle Forum

Ed Martin

President, Eagle Forum

P.S. A few misguided conservatives have joined with the Left to push for a constitutional convention.

But they are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a “convention of states.”

The laws are quite clear: In a convention setting, the U.S. Congress would get a major say in how the process will work.

Article V clearly states that Congress “shall” call a convention on the application of two-thirds of state legislatures, or thirty-four (34) of them.

But how will Congress count valid applications?

And Congress will determine all the guiding rules for a Convention, such as:

•    Where and when a convention will be held
•    Who is eligible to be a delegate – will current office-holders be eligible?
•    How delegates will be apportioned
•    How expenses will be paid
•    Who the chairman will be
•    How convention delegates will be apportioned

Do you trust the U.S. Congress to determine the rules for how our Constitution will be rewritten?

Do you want California or New York deciding how the U.S. Constitution should read?

Even worse, Article V doesn’t give any power to the states to propose constitutional amendments, or to decide which amendments will be considered by the convention.

With our U.S. Congress involved, the Article V “Convention of States” process is a prescription for political chaos.

Sadly, there are very few George Washingtons in Washington D.C. whom I trust to handle the responsibility of a constitutional convention at this point in history.

That’s why it’s imperative you call your state senator and state representative and urge them to vote against all forms of a dangerous Article V “Con Con”.

One Comment leave one →
  1. LC in Texas permalink
    February 25, 2016 5:03 pm

    There is nothing wrong with our Constitution, the problem is with those that interpret it to suit themselves. Our forefathers knew that questions would be produced and provided the Federalist Papers to handle what common sense could not. That, plus the many other documents that are available to the people to control tyranny.

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