Skip to comments.Article V Convention: Path of Least Resistance
Posted on 02/01/2014 3:48:17 AM PST by Jacquerie
In what is taking shape as a sort of Great Awakening, state legislators have begun to learn that they hold equal status with Congress when it comes to proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, a handful of state legislators from each state, as yet unknown, are destined for the annals of American history the moment the nation's first Convention for Proposing Amendments is gaveled to order.
The process, found in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, requires the legislatures of at least two thirds (34) of the states to pass resolutions demanding that Congress call a "Convention for Proposing Amendments" -- an ad hoc assembly where state legislators, voting state-by-state, may propose (but not ratify) amendments.
The thought of such a thing, while horrifying to Congress, represents the last constitutional method to reform a federal government run amok. And nothing more clearly illustrates the divide between flyover country and the federal city than the remedies that are sure to be proposed and later ratified by the states. To the ruling class, nothing could be more anathema than the prospect of amendments requiring term limits, balanced budgets, single-subject bills, and commerce clause reform.
Few on the Hill seem to be taking notice of the gathering clouds -- a situation that the states would do well to exploit. If anything, the nascent "Article V movement" is little more than a curiosity among the ruling elite. Congress, aware of Article V, has every expectation that the states will continue a 200-year losing streak when it comes to coordinating the resolutions necessary to trigger the process. This is entirely due to the fact that the founders left Congress in charge of counting the resolutions.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
There are 26 states that went for Obama in 2012. You would need 10 of them to agree to an Article V convention and 14 of them to ratify any amendments coming out of it. Good luck with that.
1. The current problem is not the Constitution, it is the willingness to defy the Constitution. How will changing the Constitution help?
2. A Article V convention is a pandora’s box. The Left would love to rewrite the Constitution, so that they could start being Constitutionally correct. Their rewrites will be a long list of group rights and a short list of individual right repeals.
The Electoral College has 538 electors.
Some of the states that reliably vote Democrat include:
New York: 23
New Jersey: 14
Number to elect president: 269
Percent of electoral votes of the above states = 145/269 = 53%.
Percent of electoral votes to elect a president represented by California and New York: 78/269 = 28.9%.
Should the States hold a convention to consider amendments to the Constitution as proposed by Mark Levin, the present Constitution requires 2/3 (66.67%) of the states to ratify such amendments.
Number of states required to ratify any amendments proposed by a Constitutional Convention: 34. Number of States required to block an amendment: 16 (33%)
Now compare the disproportion here. The mathematical reality that I want to point out is that in the setting of ratification of any proposed amendment to the Constitution, each state only has one vote irrespective of its size, population or the percent of voters who reliably vote for Democrats.
Since it is the states who have fewer electoral votes who tend to vote Republican, they suffer in the weighting scheme of the Electoral College, but that advantage is reversed when it comes to ratifying a Constitutional amendment.
In short, it now may be far easier to pass a well-debated amendment than to elect a Republican for president.
Several people including Mark Levin and Randy Barnett have suggested and advocated ways to amend the Constitution to repair the relationship that the federal government has with the States and the People. We have the opportunity to redefine the federal government in a peaceful way in order to stop such outrages.
As government expands, private liberty and decisionmaking must retreat. We have allowed government to create a self-funding, privately owned monster and given it the power to create near infinite amounts of money and debt by which to enable near-infinite government. We now give it power to continually monitor every time we spend our money, and now they are even monitoring what we spend it on. Our founding fathers did not debate and ratify a Fourth Amendment so government could be our Big Brother. No, quite the opposite.
Up until now, many have feared that calling for a Convention to amend the Constitution carried a greater risk to our rights than the status quo. By now it should be clear that the trajectory of government is chilling and wise people will see that we must return it to its proper cage and chains before we no longer have the means to do so.
Let it come!
Article V was no accident or afterthought by the founders. They KNEW we would get to this point and provided us a LAST, peaceful way to help ourselves...
A term-limit, balanced-budget and repeal of the 17th set of amendments would go a LONG way to helping the states recover some of THEIR independence and ultimately ours...
From the article:
The way forward is for the states, in their resolution language, to simply quote the part of Article V, which compels Congress to call the amendments convention:
The Congress ... on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments[.]
A minimalist resolution basically quoting Article V provides no purchase for legal challenge and is effectively saying to Congress, “The Constitution says we can demand it...so we’re demanding it. Period.” The bonus of taking this path of least resistance is that there are already 18 states with valid resolutions of this type — and those resolutions never expire!
Very well said.
I would love to repeal the 16th & 17th amendements, and maybe even add a couple, but that isn’t the point.
But I’m not at all confident in the outcome of an Article V convention. It would be closed, and it would be made up mainly of RINOs and Democrats.
it many DEM states:
it is easier for conservatives to win the state house than to elect members of congress.
One involves MONEY, the other is more grassroots. And the move for Article V now gives impetus to doing that ... elect conservatives to the state house. A motivation which has not always been there.
Been calling for it for years now. Nice to see some finally waking up.
Suggest you read Mark Levine’s Liberty Amendments. It addresses those issues and more. Conservatives need to pick up on this and run with it as fast and as hard as we can.
Agree. However, I would not say it is to “repair” the relationship, but rather to put the power back into the hands of the states (closer to the people) where it belongs.
I am totally confident that if we don’t try we are forfeiting our nation to liberals and are allowing our nation to go down the toilet bowl of liberalism to obscurity. Failing to do so will leave only armed insurrection as the final option.
>>it would be made up mainly of RINOs and Democrats.<<
What’s the difference? In the last two elections, the “opposing” candidates agreed on health care, amnesty, foreign wars, torture, spending, big government, etc. It was NOT a contest of ideas, it was a beauty pageant.
The logic is there; the calculus of this trajectory is indisputable, the math calls for it...(see tagline)
Brilliant. Power wants power and will seek it out. Pit the state legislatures which chafe under unfunded federal mandates against the overreach of the executive branch and you have a political winner. Well done.
The other part of this tiger is keeping a narrow focus. Repeal the 17th and a lot comes together for everyone and over time. No need for a revolution when liberty will evolve naturally. We’ll have to watch out for an Internet tax from a newly empowered Senate, but a House can stymie that.
The real risk is the push back you’ll get from the Left. They’ll call it undemocratic and a step backward once they see how their power in DC will be undermined. You’ll also have a stealth fight via the K Street crowd and every crony capitalist. What are the arguments you’ve seen countering the charge that this is a step backward? What kind of education do the voting public have (we can ignore those that don’t vote)?
I left this post at the site too:
I assume the author is referring to the IN law limiting the delegates ability to alter the amendments prescribed by the legislature?
This legislation was an assurance to not just the opponents of an Article V session would not result in chaos, but for themselves to maintain control of the outcome.
As this is a new procedure, the state legislators are stepping timidly to insure complete control. They understand that this effort must be able to withstand attacks of all opponents in the future.
Consider that complete control will guarantee that multiple versions of an amendment are not crafted. Exiting the session with multiple version will create the exact havoc the author describes.
This may be a one time shot and I do not blame legislators for wanting to get it right from the start.
In fact, Mr. Berry’s suggestion to not place clear limits on the delegates could create more trouble than actually doing so.
I like and commend the legislators for the clear, cautious and controlled path currently being created.
“How will changing the Constitution help?”
Good point. It won’t help.
The Constitution does not need to be changed it needs to be followed.
It takes 2/3 of the states to ratify an ammendment to the Constitution. It would take way less than that number of states to use the 10th ammendment to simply nullify the laws and regulations put into effect by this progressive administration.
State sovereigntly is the way to go not Article V. If Obama keeps up his demented tactics the Congress could invoke Article 25 and remove him for being unfit. Frankly I think they have grounds to do it now.
A constitutional convention would be an unmitigated disaster. The American people have been stupid enough to elect Obama. Twice. I therefore have little faith in their mental abilities. I can see “freedom of religion,” “freedom of speech,” and the 2A going right out the window if our feckless leaders get their mitts on them and whip the sheeple into an emotional frenzy.
The Constitution as written ain’t the problem. The problem is the gubmint don’t pay any attention to it. There’s no constitutional authority for ANY of the socialist programs that have driven us into bankruptcy.
So putting more amendments on the document, that they’ll ignore as well, won’t be helpful. Not to mention all the “corrections” they’ll insist upon when provided this golden opportunity.
So the left would be able to accomplish this chicanery, not with the support of a willing Legislative, Judicial, or Executive Branches, but of 38 states seeking to give away more authority after calling for a meeting?
@GeorgiaGirl “State sovereigntly is the way to go not Article V.”
Follow the steps:
1) Convene Article V State Convention
2) Exit Convention with language specifically removing the language of the 17th Amendment
3) As U.S. Senators rotate back to legislative appointments the chamber is once again filled with people designated to conduct their jobs on behalf of the states and not self interested voters.
4) Future and past legislation is repaired to return the power back to the states and the people (unfunded mandates dissolve)
5) Now you have power within the state.
Tell me your path to restoring that power, please. Other than hope and voting for the existing animal.
@afsnco “The American people have been stupid enough to elect Obama.”
That is why an Article V STATE Convention will not rest with the American people, but with the state legislatures.
groups of the American Union includes the people (see the 9th Amendment) and the states (see the 10th Amendment).
This is simply one group of members using the power created on their behalf to regain a seat at the Federal table.
How would you propose we do that?
“2) Exit Convention with language specifically removing the language of the 17th Amendment
3) As U.S. Senators rotate back to legislative appointments the chamber is once again filled with people designated to conduct their jobs on behalf of the states and not self interested voters.”
I hate to be the one to tell you but the reason for the 17th Ammendment in the first place was because people were upset at all the corruption going on from Senators being appointed by the state legislatures. Its a viscious circle. Repealing the 17th ammendment will do nothing to restore the constitutional republic.
No, it takes 3/4 of the states.
State sovereigntly is the way to go
How do you propose we do that?
“How do you propose we do that?”
Read the 10th Ammendment.
OK. I read it. Now what?
“OK. I read it. Now what?”
I don’t know. I’m not your Mom. Form an opinion. :-)
As for the Left, they've convinced a nation once dedicated to liberty that the end purpose of government is democracy. When the media realize this Article V movement is real, perhaps we'll have a debate over first principles.
If amendments anywhere near those suggested by Mark Levin are ratified, the structure of government will be changed back toward federalism. We're talking about changes that cannot be ignored, such as repeal of the 17th.
Let’s remember the Alamo and win this fight!
Besides, if the states pass resolutions identical to the one below and commission their delegates to the limits implied by it, I think the convention will have plenty of leeway.
Section 1. The legislature of the State of ______ hereby applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.
Two-thirds of the states is 34. Only 16 more to go, ten of which are Blue States. Like I said, good luck.
If I feel that way? Where exactly am I wrong?
You are not "the one" telling me anything I did not know. But, thank you anyway.
I will start with your premise regarding, "all the corruption going on from Senators being appointed by the state legislatures". Exactly how much corruption was documented to have occurred? Read to find out only 1 case the first 70 years of our nation and 9 until the 17th Amendment was ratified. Consider the number of people elected and only 10 cases found.
Please take a look at the facts behind the 17th Amendment in a study by Todd J. Zwyiki Senators and Special Interests: A Public Choice Analysis of the Seventeenth Amendment. This piece may help you understand that the argument you are making is completely backwards.
Consider that a removal of the 17th is exactly what is needed to return a strong Representative Republic. "In order to channel the potentially destructive forces of democracy, the Founders restrained the majority's will through federalism, separation of powers, and other "auxiliary" institutions designed to alleviate the excesses of democracy. The ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, providing for direct elections of U.S. senators, undermined the twin structural pillars of the Constitution: Federalism and the separation of powers."
The argument you make is that a return to the time before the 17th Amendment we would suddenly see lobbyist in the capitals influencing the specific votes on behalf of their masters. People buying elections to gain control of candidates.
What we have now is just what you fear. Only they travel to one city to gain influence and control, Washington DC. Instead, they would have to coordinate in 50 state capitals to achieve what they now get in 1 federal capital.
I hope this information will help you better understand the reasoning and the true impact of the 17th Amendment so you will not make such incorrect statements as, "Repealing the 17th amendment will do nothing to restore the constitutional republic."
Now, I again ask. What solution do you propose to restore the constitutional republic? And this time, take a little time to think it out if necessary.
The only way to stop influence pedelling and other legislative corruption is through term limits. Repealing the 17th Ammendment will not accomplish that. Its a waste of time. Thats my opinion. I don’t need ot provide you with any evidence. You seem capable of ferreting it out for yourself. :-)
If you are interested in learning, you can go to his site or conventionofstates.com. All of your concerns and more are addressed.
Do you understand why the framers created a senate of the states rather than a second popularly elected body?
You are under the impression that only red state America would want an Article V. Open the door and you might be surprised at who comes in. Of
There is absolutely no reason to believe that blue states wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to have an Article V.
While the senate is almost 50/50 R/D, this battle takes place far more at the level of state legislatures and governors. There the ratio is far more conservative than liberal, and the trend is for liberals to continue losing ground.