Pinging as requested.
The French Enlightenment and the Revolution that followed corrupted the gifts of the English/Scottish Enlightenment and the related American Experiment that followed.
From the time of Athens, all sensible framers and the founders knew that Democracy in its direct form was death even when led by a Pericles.
Conservatives know that preserving our heritage and the forms of value within our culture need change as time passes. But that change is careful and prudent -- Reform as opposed to Revolution.
Perhaps there will come a day where the large majority of our republic understand and value what they have inherited and I would then join such a crafting begun annew. But, with American Idol having such a long season, I don't expect that day too soon.
"The states have submitted more than 500 requests for such a convention to Congress, with the required two-thirds of the states asking for such conventions. The state applications for an Article V convention are registered in the Congressional Record. Congress has violated the Constitution by ignoring these requests. In so doing, Congress has destroyed one of the checks on federal power that the founders had implemented."
Thanks for taking the time to post this. Well done!
What a break for a change!
THANK YOU for this absolutely wonderful and pleasure to read thread.
So who would be elected by the states? Yourself, your friends, and your neighbors.
Article I Section 6 only prevents United States officeholders from attending conventions without first resigning their current officers. What's to stop states from sending their own legislators instead of the "common man?" I don't think state assemblymen or senators would need to resign, do they?
The Framers Safety Valve...They were careful to enumerate Three Forbidden Subjects
Where are points 2 and 3 enumerated? I would look to Article VI Section 2 for limits.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Doesn't this say that the supremecy of the Constitution as the law of the land cannot be overridden by amendment? But is this enough to stop a convention from changing the Senate to be 3 Senators from each state? Is that an alteration of the arrangement of equal representation of the states (from 2 to 3)?
Awesome article Publius ... well done.
Its been said that the SCOTUS could 'strike down' an Amendment as unconstitutional. -- And that exact point was argued before them in 1919, in a move to nullify the 18th.
"-- The Supreme Court issued its most sweeping decision concerning the Eighteenth Amendment in June 1920.
Seven cases, each raising fundamental questions concerning the constitutionality of the amendment, were consolidated by the Court and labeled the National Prohibition Cases.
A host of highly regarded attorneys, including Elihu Root, William D. Guthrie, and Levy Mayer, as well as Herbert A. Rice and Thomas F. McCran, attorneys general for Rhode Island and New Jersey respectively, represented the appellants. The oral arguments lasted for five days, an unusually long time for even the most important cases.
The argument of Elihu Root attracted the most attention. The former Secretary of War, Secretary of State, and senator represented a New Jersey brewer.
Root asserted that the Eighteenth Amendment was simply unconstitutional.
Root from the outset opposed the form, spirit, purpose, and effect of the Eighteenth Amendment. He told friends that its denial of personal liberty, its potential for eroding respect for law, and its alteration of the balance between local and national government alarmed him."
Root gave a memorable peroration:
" --- If your Honors shall find a way to declare this so-called Amendment to the Federal Constitution valid, then the Government of the United States as it has been known to us and to our forefathers will have ceased to exist.
Your Honors will have discovered a new legislative authority hitherto unknown to the Constitution and quite untrammelled by any of its limitations.
You will have declared that two thirds of a quorum of each House of the Congress, plus a majority of a quorum of each of the two Houses of the Legislatures of three fourths of the States, may enact any legislation they please without any reference to the limitations of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights itself.
In that case, Your Honors, John Marshall need never have sat upon that bench." ---"
A wonderful essay, IMHO. Many thanks.
Under what circumstances would a faction have the political wherewithall to attain its objectives through the Convention Method when it does not have the political wherewithall to attain its objectives through the Congressional Method?
How convenient. Congress controls the “top down” method of amending the constitution - and no Congress, whether controlled by dems of pubbies, can ever be expected to proposed amendments which will meaningfully curtail their power. According to your post, that same Congress has also passed legislation which purports to give themselves effective control over the “bottom-up” method, the constitutional convention. Can you in your wildest dreams conceive of a Congress like our current Congress allowing a convention to proceed to debate issues where their control is threatened? They would endlessly prevaricate and hedge and obfuscate, finding infinitely miniscule faults in the states’ petitions to frustrate the call for a convention, even if 100% of the states so petitioned Congress.
How can Congress purport to control BOTH methods. What if, instead, 2/3 of the states called for a convention and proceeded to fund and hold the convention, without federal representation, according to whatever rules the officers selected by that convention devised? Congress be damned. I do not fear this process, where whatever results must be ratified by 3/4 of the states.
Frankly, allowing Congress to control the convention process makes as much sense as it would have made for the founders to allow King George to control the original convention. If the imperial federal government rejected an amendmdent, proposed by a convention it did not control but ratified by 3/4 of the states, then it would indeed be time to lock and load, and start erecting gallows on the mall in D.C.
An Article V Constitutional Convention is long overdue. The Founders put it in place to ensure that the will of the People and the States would not be infringed upon by the 3 branches, who may have some allegiance to each other. See Federalist Papers 50 and 51.
Some issues for this Constitutional Convention:
Term Limit Amendment
Balanced Budget Amendment
Clarification of “Commerce” and “General Welfare’ clauses
Repeal of Obamacare (individual mandate)