Constitutional Convention - a dangerous idea

Article V Constitutional Convention - a dangerous idea

Everything is so bad we have to do something - so let¹s have a An Article V
Constitutional Convention, by Janine Hansen, National Constitutional Issues
Chairman for Eagle Forum. August 2014

Last week I spoke at Carole Fineberg¹s Conservative Talk Lunch in Reno,
about the dangerous threat of an Article V Constitutional Convention now
being promoted by such ³conservative² elitist as Mark Levin, Glenn Beck,
Michael Farris, Mark Meckler, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity.

Most recently, in the June 2014 Newsletter, I included an article by Phyllis
Schlafly about the threat to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms from an Article
V Constitutional Convention. I have fought this dangerous idea for more than
30 years and serve as the National Constitutional Issues Chairman for Eagle
Forum.  But now more than ever before, the extreme hazards of this bad idea
have been exposed.

A Constitutional Convention will be the Greatest Political event in the
history of our nation since the original Constitutional ConventionŠ   Do you
think that the liberals will sit back and let the Conservatives control the
Convention?  Are you dreaming?

Just ask yourself: Do we control our City Council, County Commission, State
Legislature or Congress?  How in the world are ³conservatives² going to
control a Constitutional Convention of the States? This is the myth being
promoted by the Convention of the States groupŠthat the people, of course
the conservatives, will control a Convention.
A proponent of a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) said to me at the
Conservative Talk Lunch, ³That¹s what¹s the matter with you. You don¹t trust
the people!²  Am I supposed to trust the people who voted for Obama for
President? Or perhaps the people who voted for Harry Reid? Did the Founding
Fathers trust the people?  Absolutely not! That¹s why they gave us a
Republic not a Democracy and that Republic had lots of checks and balances
to restrain the government and the people.

Some Background: Article V of the U.S. Constitution states:  ³The 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, which, in either Case shall be valid to all Intents and
Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of
three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths
thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the
CongressŠ²  Notice that Congress Calls the Convention and will set the
rulesŠnot the States.

All we know for sure about an Article V Convention is what Article V states.
There are no precedents because there has never been one called.  All else
is speculation. However, proponents tell us that the safeguard is that any
amendments coming out of an Article V will have to be ratified by
three-quarters of the states. As history tells us the original
Constitutional Convention CHANGED the ratification process in the Articles
of Confederation which required unanimous agreement to a requirement of only
nine states.

A Convention cannot be Limited: Former Chief Justice Warren Burger stated:
³I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to
limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention
could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit
the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to
assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it
will be too late to stop the convention if we don¹t like its agendaŠ²

Interesting note: Michael Farris/Mike Meckler¹s Convention of the States
organization is proposing three amendments and Mark Levin¹s book promotes
Ten separate amendments.  There can be no legitimate discussion of limiting
a convention to a single subject.

How will Delegates be chosen? We don¹t know. Will there be one vote per
state like the original Constitutional Convention?  Can you imagine
California or New York putting up with that? If delegates are based on
population the large liberal states will control the convention. And don¹t
forget recent experiences at Republican and Democrat Conventions. He who has
the gavel makes the rules.

Who else is interested in Changing the Constitution besides the Conservative

Liberal Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently published a
book about the Six Constitutional amendments he is promoting.  Specifically
he wants to change the Second Amendment. Stevens proposes that the Second
Amendment should be modified by adding five words, as follows: ³A well
regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the
right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall
not be infringed.² This change adding ³when serving in the militia²
eliminates the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  A Convention would
be a real opportunity for the Gun Grabbers.

Move to Amend is a leftist organization which opposes the U.S. Supreme Court
Decision in Citizens United. Move to Amend wants to take away our right of
free speech by eliminating independent contributions for campaigns and limit
campaigns to government money only (which will silence dissent). They
support an Article V Constitutional Convention.  This year Vermont became
the first State Legislature to pass this radical proposal calling for an
Article V Constitutional Convention to implement it. If you go to Move to
Amend¹s website you will see nine pages of leftist organizations across the
nation supporting this radical idea. "We will win our amendment through
Congress or through a Constitutional Convention (Article V)Š²

Their radical amendment prohibits candidates from spending their own money
on their own campaigns.  Their claim is that money is not free speech.
Really? I guess we can stand on the corner and shout at passing cars with
our message, because you won¹t be able to purchase literature, pay for a
website, place ads on TV, put up campaign signs, pay for phone calls or
campaign workers or print and mail a newsletter. Screaming on the corner
would be about all that would be left to us if we can¹t spend any money to
exercise free speech.

Conservative Republicans who claim to support a Balanced Budget Amendment
are blowing smoke!
All States receive a significant portion of their budgets, between 19% and
45%, from the federal government. Nevada receives 25.48% of its budget from
the federal government.  You could look high and low and not find a
conservative Republican legislator willing to refuse the federal money and
mandates. They want to cut the federal budget but not their state¹s budget!
This is why conservatives who say they want a Balanced Budget Amendment are
blowing smoke. Legislators, conservative or not, will not vote to reject
federal funds and mandates. Do you think they will go to an Article V
Convention and vote to cut their own state budgets by 25%?  This is why a
Balanced Budget Amendment won¹t work.

BBA supporters admit a BBA Article V Convention will raise your taxes, not
cut spending

Fritz Pettyjohn, a former Alaska Legislator, is the Co-Founder of the
Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and currently the Field Director of Lew
Uhler¹s National Tax Limitation Committee. Feb. 26, 2014, during a meeting
of the Utah Legislature¹s Conservative Caucus in a room full of Legislators,
Pettyjohn was asked, ³What would prevent the Congress from raising our taxes
to balance the budget?²

Pettyjohn responded by saying, ³They probably will raise our taxes, but
there¹s nothing wrong with that. It would make the people so mad they would
throw them out.² WOW! The Article V BBA failed at the Utah Legislature. Many
Legislators were not willing to support a measure that would result in taxes
being raised.

I often hear the argument in favor of an Article V Constitutional Convention
that everything is so bad that we have to do something. If my house was on
fire and the only liquid available was gasoline I would not throw gasoline
on my burning house because I had to do something. That¹s what an Article V
gives usŠthe real chance of throwing gasoline on an already burning

I was asked what is the alternative to an Article V Convention? I agree that
the situation is truly bleak. The solutions to our nation¹s plight will not
be legislated by corrupt politicians representing morally bankrupt citizens.
The only real solutions to this problem is the answer given by the Lord in 2
Chronicles 7:14 KJV, ³If my people, which are called by my name, shall
humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked
way; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal
their land.²

Originally published in the Nevada Families for Freedom Newsletter,                       11/14