Skip to comments.The COS Project Timeline: Phase One (Convention of States)
Posted on 11/19/2013 3:28:33 PM PST by Jacquerie
The Convention of States email account has been flooded with inquiries about our projected timeline:
How many states have applied?
When will the convention happen?
We need this now!
We love these questions, but wed like our volunteers to understand something first: this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The Convention of States Project is following a carefully planned process, and each step must be given an appropriate amount of attention. The state legislatures have to be in session, our applications needs to be sponsored, and we need volunteer leadership in every key state.
This doesnt mean well sit around spinning in our office chairs for the next 10 years. But it does mean we will march ahead with a sure step, knowing where each foot will fall.
With that said, wed like to give you our timeline for the first phase of this process:
- By the end of 2014 we hope to pass applications in 10 to 20 states
- By 2015 we hope to reach 34 state applications (the minimum needed to call a Convention of States)
Should a Convention of States happen now? Yes. Will it? No, but it WILL happen. It will happen because, when all is said and done, people dont want the government to control their lives. They realize, as our Founding Fathers realized, that when D.C. is broken the best way to fix it is by going back to the basics.
As James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 43, The express authority of the people alone could give due validity to the Constitution.
Join the Convention of States Project today, and fight to regain the authority of the people alone.
I have no idea whatsoever why anyone is of the delusion that something good will come of such efforts. It’s one hell of a lot of hubris imagining that they can do a better job than the constitution which exists now. It is beyond that into fantasy the notion that a new one even if perfect will be any more followed than the current one (which isn’t).
My first thought is of unintended consequences that could take place during such a process in today’s political environment. I don’t trust many if any politicians to vote for the benefit of the country, the people, and our constitutional rights. I have even less trust in the majority of our dumbed down citizens as well.
I seem to remember the amendment to give 18 year olds the right to vote went through rather quickly.
There have been changes to the original intent that need to be undone, i.e. the direct vote of Senators.
Article V ping!
Nobody is talking about a "new one". The COS is all about additional amendments to the "current one", starting with the number 28.
There are two ways to propose an amendment to the Constitution.
Article V gives Congress and an Amendments Convention exactly the same power to propose amendments, no more and no less.
Once Congress, or an Amendments Convention, proposes amendments, Congress must decide whether the states will ratify by the:
The State Ratifying Convention Method has only been used twice: once to ratify the Constitution, and once to ratify the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition.
Depending upon which ratification method is chosen by Congress, either the state legislatures vote up-or-down on the proposed amendment, or the voters elect a state ratifying convention to vote up-or-down. If three-quarters of the states vote to ratify, the amendment becomes part of the Constitution.
I have two reference works.
The first is from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative pro-business group. This document has been sent to every state legislator in the country.
The second is a 1973 report from the American Bar Association attempting to identify gray areas in the amendatory process to include an Amendments Convention. It represents the view of the ruling class of 40 years ago. While I don't like some of their conclusions, they have laid out the precedents that may justify those conclusions. What I respect is the comprehensive job they did in locating all the gray areas. They went so far as to identify a gray area that didn't pop up until the Equal Rights Amendment crashed and burned a decade later. Even if you find yourself in disagreement with their vision, it's worth reading to see how the ruling class will try to dominate an Amendments Convention.
I have even less trust in the majority of our dumbed down citizens as well.
If you are correct, then self-government is impossible because the average American citizen is incapable of governing himself. Following that logic, the inevitable result is either a military dictatorship or a monarchy. A republican form of government is impossible. Is this what you believe?
10 Facts T Rebut the Mythology of a Runaway Convention!
An excellent point. Despite over eighty years of rampaging progressivism, a majority of the people and states oppose Obamacare. We are not as thoroughly corrupted as many believe.
I have reached that opinion. Our Republic is lost. The question is what happens next.
I have even less trust in the majority of our dumbed down citizens as well.
If you are correct, then self-government is impossible because the average American citizen is incapable of governing himself.
It is disturbing indeed. This warrants a question: is the majority of the US citizens smart enough (now, or in the future) to govern themselves? This is a very important question because, as you correctly indicate, democracy cannot exist without competent voters. Those voters must see through all the lies that candidates are gladly producing during the campaign. It's not easy. The voters must also separate their personal welfare and the welfare of the state, otherwise they will vote the public treasury right into their pockets. This is also hard.
The earlier elections were constrained to voters who were male, white, and sufficiently wealthy. This was supposed to select for some knowledge (slaves and women were not much educated) and for some life smarts (without them you'd be poor) and for a common interest in improving the country. All those restrictions are gone by now. You only need to be able to fog a mirror to vote. (Sometimes even that is not required.) This certainly resulted in dilution of the voter base, to the extent that some groups of voters [will] vote against what is best for the USA.
If the problem is real then yes, the current democracy will have to be replaced with a limited democracy - where in order to vote you have to meet certain criteria. For example, it would be necessary to pass an exam on US history, and on history of the world. Only 1% of the today's voters will pass that exam - and only they will then be deciding the fate of the country.
Yes, it is disturbing. It’s an opinion based on my interactions with people within a very blue state. I don’t believe all hope is lost but I do believe more people need to wake up and educate themselves about what is and has been happening. My primary concern with such an event taking place is that it would be manipulated into a tool to further restrictions on our freedoms. Sell it as a means of strengthening and restoring freedoms but utilize it as a way to do the exact opposite.
Thank you for your honest answer.
Article V ping!
Yet, for all of their dominance for so long, the amazing thing is that there are so many real Americans, Tea Partiers, conservatives.
History will not look well upon a people who didn't use the peaceful means at their disposal to restore their freedoms.
Thank you Jacquerie.
About time to get this ball rolling.
The most common objection to an Article V convention is called the “runaway convention” objection.
It envisions a doomsday scenario in which delegates disregard the original issue, rewrite the Constitution, and change the entire American system of government. While this initial response is understandable, it is based on fear and misinformation.
Here are the facts:
1. There is a clear, strong single-subject precedent that would almost certainly be declared binding in the event of a court challenge. There have been over 400 applications from state legislatures for an Article V convention in the history of the Republic. No such convention has ever been called because there has never been an application from two-thirds of the states for a single subject. In addition to this, there is a huge amount of historical precedent that limits interstate conventions to a particular subject. (See Dr. Robert Natelsons handbook here: http://www.alec.org/publications/article-v-handbook/).
2. Ratification of any proposed amendment requires the approval of 38 states. It only takes 13 states to vote no to defeat any proposed amendment, and the chances of 38 state legislatures approving a rogue amendment are effectively zero.
3. Improper changes to the process can be legally challenged by state legislators. The Supreme Court has held that Congress acted unconstitutionally when it changed the rules of the process in midstream. See, Idaho v. Freeman, 529 F.Supp. 1107 (D.C. Idaho 1981) (vacated on the ground of mootness.) CSGs Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies, Michael Farris, was lead counsel for Washington state legislators in that litigationthe last major Article V case in U.S. history.
4. There is absolutely no historical precedent for a runaway convention. Many opponents of a convention of the states make the historically false allegation that our Constitution was adopted as the result of an illegal runaway convention. Such an argument was invented by the enemies of the Constitution and is unsupported by historical fact. (See Was the Constitution Illegally Adopted? by Michael Farris at http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/v21n4/V21N401.asp).
American citizens must evaluate the relative safety of two choices. We can allow Washington, D.C., to continue abusing the Constitution and the rights of the people with the vague hope that someday Washington will see the light and relinquish power. Or we call a convention of the states, trusting it will behave properly and one of the many lines of defense will stop any misuse of power.
We believe the choice is clear. A convention of states is the safest means by which we can preserve our liberty.
Convention of States Handbook >
State Application for Convention
Convention of States Overview
Frequently Asked Questions
Sample Letter to Friends and Family
Sample Letter to Legislators
Convention Talking Points
@marklevinshow responds to recent criticism of #TheLibertyAmendments: http://t.co/6f3yFWPtUD @Self_Governance
4 hours ago
“Where an excess of power prevails
no man is safe in his opinions, his person
or his possessions.” - #JamesMadison @Self_Governance
18 hours ago
Weapons for the fight! http://t.co/z7l2EqRzZm @Self_Governance
1 day ago
And yet none of that rebuts what my objections.
A) They are extremely unlikely to do a better job than the founders
B) If it won’t be enforced like the current one, why waste the energy?
The changes will hopefully be structural, such as repeal of the 17th and term limits.
Of all the proposed amendments, this, IMHO, is the most quixotic. You will never get people to vote in favor of taking away their right to vote.
Yet, a great many people are willing to simply give away their vote either to an influx of illegal new citizens through amnesty, or a President who simply feels that the representatives elected by the people are nuisances to be ignored or passed over by Executive Order.
A diligently conducted COS can be the tool to remedy this trend as the founders intended.