Category Archives: Constitutional Convention

How a Balanced Budget Amendment would give the Government Lawful Unlimited Power

 By Publius Huldah
Does our existing Constitution permit the federal government to spend money on whatever they want?
No! It contains precise limits on federal spending.
Federal spending is limited by the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. If you go through the Constitution and highlight all the powers delegated to Congress and the President, you will get a complete list of the objects on which Congress is permitted to spend money. Here’s the list:
The Census (Art. I, §2, cl. 3)
Publishing the Journals of the House and Senate (Art. I, §5, cl. 3)
Salaries of Senators and Representatives (Art. I, § 6, cl. 1)
Salaries of civil officers of the United States (Art. I, §6, cl. 2 & Art. II, §1, cl. 7)
Pay the Debts (Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & Art. VI, cl.1)
Pay tax collectors (Art. I, §8, cl.1)
Regulate commerce with foreign Nations, among the several States, and with Indian Tribes (Art. I, §8, cl.3)
Immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
The mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
Attorney General to handle the small amount of authorized federal litigation involving the national government (e.g., Art. I, §8, cls. 6 & 10)
Post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
Patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
Federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9 & Art. III, §1)
Military and Militia (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)
Since Congress has general legislative authority over the federal enclaves listed in Art. I, §8, next to last clause, Congress has broad spending authority over the tiny geographical areas listed in this clause.
The President’s entertainment expenses for foreign dignitaries (Art. II, §3); and
Since Congress had general legislative authority over the Western Territory before it was broken up into States, Congress could appropriate funds for the US Marshalls, federal judges, and the like for that Territory (Art. IV, §3, cl. 2).
That’s what Congress is authorized by our Constitution to spend money on. Did I leave anything out? I’m not infallible; so take a few minutes and, armed with a highlighter, read carefully through the Constitution and see for yourself.
Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out this handful of delegated powers; and it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes.[1]
Pursuant to Article I, §9, clause 7, the federal government is to periodically publish a Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures. Citizens could use this Statement and Account – which would be so short that everyone would have time to read it – to monitor the spending of their public servants.
So that’s how our existing Constitution limits federal spending:
If it’s on the list of enumerated powers, Congress may lawfully spend money on it.
But if it’s not on the list, Congress usurps powers not delegated when it appropriates money for it.
It was unconstitutional spending and unconstitutional promises (Social Security, Medicare, etc., etc., etc.) which got us a national debt of almost $19 trillion, plus a hundred trillion or so in unfunded liabilities.

Since the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money; the Constitution doesn’t provide for a budget.

We never had a federal budget until Congress passed the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. By this time, the Progressives controlled both political parties and the federal government.
The Progressives wanted a federal budget because they wanted to spend money on objects which were not on the list of delegated powers.
A balanced budget amendment (BBA) would substitute a budgetfor the enumerated powers, and thus would legalize the current practice where Congress spends money on whatever they or the President put in the budget.
The result of a BBA is to legalize spending which is now unconstitutional – it changes the constitutional standard for spending from whether the object is on the list of enumerated powers to a limit on the total amount of spending.
And to add insult to injury, the limits on spending are fictitious because they can be waived whenever Congress[2] votes to waive them.
And because a BBA would permit Congress to lawfully spend money onwhatever is put in the budget, the powers of the federal government would be lawfully increased to include whatever THEY decide to put in the budget.
So a BBA would fundamentally transform our Constitution fromone of enumerated powers only to one of general and unlimited powers – because the federal government would then be authorized by the Constitution to exercise power over ANY object they decide to put into the budget.
You must read proposed amendments and understand how they change our Constitution before you support them.
All federal and State officials take an oath to support the federal Constitution (Art. VI, clause 3). When people in Congress appropriate funds for objects not listed in the Constitution; and when State officials accept federal funds for objects not listed, they violate their oath to support the Constitution. According to the PEW Report, federal funds provided an average of 30% of the States’ revenue for FY 2013. Look up your State HERE. Were those federal funds used to implement unconstitutional federal programs in your State?
Power over education, medical care, agriculture, state and local law enforcement, environment, etc., is not delegated to the federal government: those powers are reserved by the States or the People. Congress spends on objects for which it has no constitutional authority; and bribes States with federal funds to induce them to implement unconstitutional federal programs. It was the unconstitutional spending which gave us this crushing $19 Trillion debt.
How do we go about downsizing the federal government to its constitutional limits?
We stop the unconstitutional and frivolous spending one can read about all over the internet.
We begin the shutdown of unconstitutional federal departments and agencies by selecting for immediate closure those which serve no useful purpose or cause actual harm such as the Departments of Energy, Education, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency.[3]
Other unconstitutional federal departments and agencies must be dismantled and their functions returned to the States or The People.
An orderly phase-out is required of those unconstitutional federal programs in which Citizens were forced to participate – such as social security and Medicare – so that the rug is not pulled out from American Citizens who became dependent. The phase-out could be funded by sales of unconstitutionally held federal lands.
The federal government is obligated (Art. I, §8, cl. 11-16) to provide forservice related injuries suffered by our Veterans.
Since our Constitution was written to delegate to the federal government only the few and defined powers enumerated in the Constitution, we don’t have to change the Constitution to rein in federal spending. The Constitution isn’t the problem – ignoring it is the problem. Let us begin to enforce the Constitution we have.The Constitution delegates to Congress the power to appropriate funds for “post Roads” (Art. I, §8, cl. 7). While there may be room for argument as to what is included within the term, “post Road”; clearly, some federal involvement in road building is authorized by our Constitution. State dependence on federal highway funds might be reduced by eliminating or reducing federal fuel taxes, and the substitution of fuel taxes collected by individual States. And there is nothing immoral about toll roads.
1. Our original Constitution authorized only excise taxes & tariffs on imports (Art. I, §8, clause 1), with any shortfall being made up by an apportioned assessment on the States based on population (Art. I, §2, clause 3).

2. Compact for America’s (CFA) version of a BBA permits spending limits to be waived whenever Congress and 26 States agree. CFA’s version also authorizes Congress to impose a national sales tax and a national value added tax in addition to keeping the income tax! See THIS Paper.

3. George Washington’s Cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of Treasury, and Attorney General.
Article reposted with permission from Publius Huldah, the opinions and views shared do not necessarily reflect the views of Freedom Outpost.


Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2016/01/how-a-balanced-budget-amendment-would-give-the-government-lawful-unlimited-power/#16HJuFotDcx1qUMB.99

Elected Officials Beware: You Better Support an Article V Convention or You May Be Accused of Bribery

by Bill McNally
An organization founded by Mark Meckler called “Convention of States” has its lobbyists in state houses across the United States promoting an Article V Convention. Their paid lobbyists and supporters have every right to promote one but what they don’t have a right to do is to smear honorable people who oppose one, and that is what they recently did in New Hampshire.
Recently, Hal Shurtleff, New England Coordinator for The John Birch Society, was contacted by a friend who shared the following E-mail sent out by the New Hampshire Convention of States:

Good Morning Supporters,
One of the members of the NH State Senate Committee Kevin Avard is now opposing SCR4 due to a donation he recently received for his campaign by the John Birch Society who is against us.  Senator Avard is from District 12 which includes Brookline, Greenville, Hollis, Mason, New Ipswich, Rindge, & Wards 1, 2, & 5 in the City of Nashua.  Make a call and leave a voice message to Senator Avard today at 603-271-4151 and tell him to support SCR4!  Don’t forget to leave your name and the town you are calling from.

Priscilla Mills
Grassroots Coordinator
Convention of States Project

Senator Kevin Avard was informed off this outrageous slander and accusation of bribery and contacted Ms. Mills by email only to receive an arrogant reply to the effect that if he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t be in politics. Senator Avard then contacted the New Hampshire director of Convention of States, and he went into damage control mode and issued this weak apology:

On behalf of Convention of States Action New Hampshire, I would like to publicly apologize to Senator Avard for the email message that was sent yesterday by our former volunteer Grassroots Coordinator, Priscilla Mills.  The information in the message was inaccurate and I am truly sorry that it was sent. Please disregard it in its entirety.
I believe that Senator Avard continues to seriously consider both sides of SCR4, and I hope that this recent error in judgment by one of our former volunteers will not prevent him from focusing his attention on the critical substance of this issue for our nation.
For the foreseeable future, I will be the only volunteer sending out communications on behalf of COS Action New Hampshire, and I will ensure that no further incorrect information is disseminated.
I sincerely hope that Senator Avard will forgive us and will not hold this error in judgment (made by one volunteer) against our entire statewide or national movement.
Sincerely,
John Therriault
New Hampshire State Director

Mr. Therriault called Ms. Mills smear “inaccurate information”, and her deed simply “an error of judgment.” Hal Shurtleff didn’t agree… “It was not inaccurate information, it was a bold face lie, Shurtleff said, “An error of judgment?” No, it was a hateful attempt to destroy the reputation of an honorable elected official, and the good men and women who make up The John Birch Society.” Readers should note that no apology was forthcoming to members of The John Birch Society. Mr. Shurtleff wanted to make it clear that the sponsor of the resolution calling for an Article V Convention, Senator Gary Daniels of Milford, NH is “an honorable man who has nothing to do with this ugly tactic.” Please note that if wasn’t for Mr. Shurtleff’s friend, this lie would not have been uncovered. It begs the question: How many E-mails of this nature went out to Convention of States supporters that were not detected?
Convention of States has enjoyed the support of many good, decent Americans who are well-meaning. Let us hope that they will do a little research into this group that is only a few years old. May I suggest a visit to this web site for starters:
http://www.livingroomconversations.org
Yours for America’s future,
Bill McNally
7 Blueberry Road
Windham, NH 03087
603-434-9695
Mr. McNally is the host of the radio show “Literacy Matters” heard on WSMN in Nashua on Mondays 9-10am, and the recipient of the NHCCS 2015 Loalty Award (National Center for Constitutional Studies).
Mr. McNally is a NH Section Leader for The John Birch Society

Recipe for Chaos in Arizona

Reprint from http://www.eagleforum.org/
From: “Phyllis Schlafly” <Phyllis@eagleforumalerts.org>
Date: January 29, 2016 at 11:56:38 AM MST
Subject:Recipe for Chaos in Arizona
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 contact your state representative and urge them to vote against all forms of a dangerous Article V “Con Con” in Arizona.
Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly Signature
Founder, Eagle Forum

Who has the power to do what at an Art. V Convention?

REPOSTED FROM RENEWAMERICA.COM

By Judi Caler
Article V, United States Constitution, says:
“The 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 [mode #1], or by Conventions in three fourths thereof [mode #2], as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…”
So, there are two ways to propose Amendments to the Constitution:
1. Congress proposes them and sends them to the States for ratification or rejection; or
2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress calls a convention.
All our 27 existing amendments were proposed under the 1st method: Congress proposed them.
We have never had a convention under Article V.
So what’s the Truth? WHO has the power to do WHAT?
The Constitution grants only the following powers to four different bodies regarding an Article V convention:

But what are convention proponents telling State Legislators?

© Judi Caler

  Is a Balanced Budget Amendment a Good Idea?

 BY SUE LONG
At first blush, a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) outright or a petition for Congress to call a constitutional convention under the guise of proposing a BBA sounds like a good idea, but it needs to be given more consideration.
A Balanced Budget Amendment would actually increase the power of the federal government, because the only restriction on spending would be the amount of money to be spent on what is now unconstitutional rather than the restrictions of limiting spending to the listed actions authorized in the Constitution. A BBA would 
legitimize the longstanding usurpations of powers by federal officials, thereby further moving our nation away from its founding as a constitutional republic (rule of law) and toward being a democracy (rule of men).
If spending cuts could not be agreed upon, and what are the odds on that one, then it would be necessary to raise taxes or print more money in order to achieve the balance. For more: http://www.newswithviews.com/Publius/huldah136.htm/ Most drafts of BBAs have loopholes; exemptions from balancing the budget could
be allowed such as in the event of variously defined national emergencies. How hard would it be to do that? It could be a war, or if our national security is threatened. How often is that not the case?
A Balanced Budget Amendment Article V Convention would be a threat to the Constitution because it would have the inherent power to be a runaway convention that could make harmful changes in the Constitution, including a new ratification procedure; or, it could even be completely rewritten and substituted with a Sovietstyle
The Constitution is not the problem. Changing it is not the solution.
Legislators who do not honor their oaths of office and abide by the Constitution are the problem. Changing the legislators is the solution.
What can you do about it? Contact your state delegate and senator. Virginia has been targeted to pass a petition to Congress to call a constitutional convention in order to get a BBA. There are only seven more states needed to reach the required number of 34 to pass such a petition. Although it would ostensibly be for the purpose of getting a BBA, once convened the delegates can make the rules and vote
on anything.
Ask your legislators to vote NO to any and all petitions for such a convention.
The Committee for Constitutional Government, Post Office Box 972, Gloucester, VA 23061 4theconstitution@va.metrocast.net
Sue Long
“Abide By The Constitution, Not Change It!”
 

Let's Go Over The Constitution A Little At A Time. New Feature.

Friends I think we all could use a refresher course on the Constitution, and the Bill Of Rights, and the rest of the Amendments. So I’ll be running a little bit each day so when we are arguing to save our Constitution we actually know what the hell we are talking about. OK?  
        ~Steve~

(Preamble)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article I (Article 1 – Legislative)

Section 1

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2

1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.2  The actualEnumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed onefor every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolinafive, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3

1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,3 forsix Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of thesecond Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.4

3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

5: The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

7: Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4

1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusingSenators.

2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,5 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5

1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with theConcurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6

1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.6 They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

2: No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7

1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

3: Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8

1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powersvested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9

1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.7

5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

6: No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10

1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

This finishes Article 1 which deals with the Legislative branch. May I suggest we go over this for a day or two and see what is or not being followed.

~Steve~

http://constitutionus.com/

Assembly of State Legislatures Changes Article V Text in Call for “Convention of States”

Written by for THENEWAMERICAN.COM
Assembly of State Legislatures Changes Article V Text in Call for &quot;Convention of States&quot;

From November 11-13, an estimated 100 state legislators from 30 states met in Salt Lake City to draft a blueprint for a constitutional convention to be called (they claim) according to the process set forth in Article V of the Constitution.

The gathering hopes to establish rules to keep such a convention from departing from its designated purpose.

“We’re not focused on a specific amendment, so we’re not advocating for a balanced budget or any other amendment that is being proposed out there in the world of the Internet, and there are many of them,” said Utah state senator Wayne Niederhauser in a statement published in the Salt Lake Tribune. “What we’re focused on is establishing the rules and procedures under which a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution could be held.”

The Assembly of State Legislatures is the group sponsoring this conference, and it has held three similar meetings since 2013. The first of these “rules and procedures” conferences was held at George Washington’s beloved Mt. Vernon estate. When the legislators met at Mt. Vernon, they went by the name of the Mt. Vernon Assembly.

At a confab held the following year in Indiana, the group officially changed its name to the Assembly of State Legislatures.

The organization’s purpose is set out on its official website:

The Assembly exists for the primary purpose of defining the rules and procedures under which a Convention of the States to propose amendments would operate. Article V of the Constitution provides the states the authority to call a convention for the specific purpose of drafting a proposed amendment, but the rules of such a meeting are not outlined in the Constitution.

Constitutionalists will instantly recognize the slick bit of syncope perpetrated in that paragraph.

“Syncope” is defined as “the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle.” While the term is usually applied to spelling and grammar, it has some analogy to this claque’s repeated attempts to call a constitutional convention, as well.

Here is the actual text of the relevant clause of Article V of the Constitution:

The 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 Congress…

See the difference?

The Assembly of State Legislatures does something that those of us who cherish our founding charter loathe: when this or that party leaves out key words of the Constitution to suit their interests.

Article V does not “provide the states the authority to call a convention for the specific purpose of drafting a proposed amendment.”

No, Article V provides for a process that is much more powerful and thus much more potentially dangerous than the revision printed on the Assembly of State Legislatures’ website.

Typically this brand of constitutional contraction involves highlighting portions of the provision in order to convince those in the audience that the process is safe and that rogue amendments (such as those being promoted by George Soros and others) will never make it into the Constitution.

Take note also of the deception attempted by this group in its assurance that Article V gives power to the states to call a convention. There are a few significant misrepresentations in that short statement.

First, the Constitution does not give the states anything. The states created the federal government and retain the authority to resist the exercise by Congress of any powers not specifically granted to it by the states in the Constitution.

The documents sent by the states to Congress announcing their ratification of the Constitution provide additional evidence of the founding generation’s appreciation of the states’ and federal government’s respective roles as creator and creation. In nearly every one of these letters, the state legislature or ratifying convention delegation explicitly reminds Congress that the consent of the states formed the federal government.

The ratifying conventions called throughout the 13 states understood that the delegates sent to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 created a general government of limited power, retaining for themselves nearly the full panoply of powers they had exercised successfully for over a century.

In other words, the states are the creator, the federal government is the creation, and the latter cannot control the former, regardless of the revisionist history promoted by the Assembly of State Legislatures.

The second problem is the assertion in their mission statement that Article V provides for the drafting of “a proposed amendment.”

Again, the plain language of Article V is subtly, yet significantly different from the version published by the Assembly of State Legislatures.

Anyone can read the actual text of Article V, and nowhere does that provision contemplate confining a convention to the consideration of one amendment.

In fact, in light of the roster of leftist groups present in the con-con camp, there is no limit to the lengths these delegates would go to change our charter.

The mind boggles at the potential proposals that could come out of a convention occupied by such radical enemies of the rule of law and the liberty of a Republic.

Furthermore, the results of these conventions could be an outright scrapping of the Constitution written by the Founders in favor of one more in line with the progressive ideologies of many of these Article V convention advocates.

Another irrefutable fact of political reality is that George Soros and other globalists are spending billions to fund these fringe groups, and contemporary politicians — no matter how “conservative” — aren’t exactly known for their ability to resist hefty campaign contributions.

All those who are at this moment involved in the battle to protect our Constitution, when confronting those of any political stripe should make particular mention of the fact that there is no limiting clause in Article V, no matter what their propaganda says.

The website of the Assembly of State Legislatures doesn’t disclose when the next meeting featuring slick and comforting presentations by the corps of “convention of states” spokesmen will be held.

But whenever and where ever these lawmakers gather to write the agenda for an Article V convention, remember to stand up and point out their constitutional contractions — their syncope — and the fact that adding and deleting words from the Constitution is a tactic used by enemies of our Republic, by those pretending to sail under the colors of the Constitution.

This is particularly true of state legislators, who each swore an oath as mandated by Article VI of the Constitution “to support this Constitution.”

It’s unlikely that deleting key words from the Constitution and misleading constituents is the sort of “support” the Founders had in mind.

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Related articles:

Gay Rights Activist Would Use Article V Convention for “Whacking Away” at Constitution

Mt. Vernon Assembly Plans to Adopt Rules for Future Con-Con

Nullification vs. Constitutional Convention: How to Save Our Republic

Convention of States and Article V: Tearing Up the Talking Points

OPEN LETTER TO STATE LEGISLATORS: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ARTICLE V CONVENTION ISSUE

By Publius Huldah
November
21, 2015
NewsWithViews.com

If there is an Article V convention, we will lose the Constitution we have, and another Constitution will be imposed.

You are not getting both sides of this issue. Throughout the Country, those of us who are warning of the dangers of an Article V convention are marginalized, ridiculed, smeared, shut out of meetings, and barred from speaking in public forums. THIS short essay from the Principled Policy Blog describes what we face every day.

THIS article is an account by Donny Harwood, a Citizen of Tennessee, describing how he was shut out of the public meeting which the Convention of States people held on October 19, 2015 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. According to The Leaf-Chronicle, a number of Tennessee Legislators were at the meeting. A prominent Tennessee radio talk show host was also present.

And everyone at the meeting was prevented from hearing the other side of this issue.

The reason convention proponents forbid dissenting voices is that we prove, by means of Facts and original source documents, that the claims and promises of the convention proponents are false. HERE are some of the original source documents Legislators would hear about if they were presented with the other side of this issue.

We are in the final stage of a takeover. Leftists of every variety want a new Constitution to legalize our transformation from the constitutional Republic created by our existing Constitution to a dictatorship.

To get a new Constitution, they need a convention. So they are telling conservatives that our Constitution is causing our problems and we need to amend the Constitution. And they say we can only make the amendments they say we need at a convention.

Article V of our Constitution provides two methods of amending our Constitution. Congress:

1. Proposes amendments, or
2. Calls a convention to propose amendments if 34 States apply for it.

The first method was used for our existing 27 amendments: Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

Under the second method, Congress calls a convention. We have never had a convention under Article V. Such conventions are extremely dangerous. THIS is one of many articles which illustrate the danger, sets forth warnings from two of our Framers and two former US Supreme Court Justices, and explains why Delegates to a convention can NOT be controlled by State laws.

National conventions are dangerous because the Delegates have the plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. The video by Chuck Michaelis at the bottom of THIS page explains these plenipotentiary powers. Such Delegates are the Sovereign Representatives of The People and have the power to impose a new Constitution. This has already happened in our history:

At the Federal Convention of 1787, this plenipotentiary power was exercised to replace our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, with the Constitution we now have. On February 21, 1787, The Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments to our first Constitution, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution – the one we now have.

Furthermore, the new Constitution had a new and easier mode of ratification: Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation (p 8-9) provided that Amendments to the Articles had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But the new Constitution, drafted at the “amendments” convention of 1787, provided at Art. VII thereof that it would be ratified upon approval by only nine of the then existing 13 States.

So! Not only do Delegates to a national convention have this plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution; the precedent to do so has already been established.

The Left has been pushing for a convention for 50 years – ever since the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. They need a convention to get it imposed.

Several other Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention.

If there is a convention, the only issues will be (1) whose Constitution will be imposed by the Delegates; and (2) what new mode of ratification will be set forth in the new Constitution.

The Constitution for the Newstates of America imposes a totalitarian dictatorship. Article XII, § 1 thereof provides for ratification by a Referendum called by the President. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

The Revolutionary Communist Party USA has a Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America.

 George Soros, Marxist law professors all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder want a Marxist Constitution in place by the year 2020.

The “Convention of States” project wants a “re-written” Constitution which legalizes powers the federal government has already usurped, and delegates new powers to the federal government such as total power over children. Yet they are telling conservatives that they want a convention so they can get amendments “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government”!

Under the planned North American Union, Canada, the United States, and Mexico will surrender their sovereignty to a Parliament set over the three countries. The United States will need a new Constitution to transform us from a sovereign nation to a member state of the North American Union. This is what the Establishment wants. And it is being imposed on us by stealth. Read the Task Force Report of the Council on Foreign Relations HERE. And to see how the European Union is working out for the formerly sovereign nations of Europe, watch this 7.5 minute video by Pat Condell.

In the past, conservatives defeated the periodic pushes for a convention. So the Left changed tactics: Now, they are marketing it to appeal to conservatives: they are telling conservatives that a convention is the only way to rein in the federal government. These leftists, some wearing conservatives’ clothing, are using the classic techniques of the Left: They are not telling the truth; they are smearing their opponents; and they have divided conservatives. Conservatives who fell for the marketing have been induced to attack and exclude conservatives who are warning of the dangers of a convention. And they won’t let us address their groups.

Our existing Constitution really was a 5,000 year miracle. We delegated only a handful of enumerated powers to the federal government – you can see what we delegated HERE. Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – we need to restore the Constitution we already have. We begin the Restoration by reading and learning our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And enforcing it! See, in this regard, the Tenth Amendment Center’s 2015 State of the Nullification Movement Report.

For the Love of God and Country, heed this warning.

Very truly yours,
Publius Huldah

Publius Huldah is a retired attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She also shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs.h

E-Mail: publiushuldah@gmail.com

 

THE PLOT TO IMPOSE A NATIONAL SALES TAX OR A VALUE ADDED TAX

By Publius Huldah
August
22, 2015
NewsWithViews.com

A devilish plot is afoot to impose new national taxes on the American People. It is a masterful piece of trickery because the authorization for the new national taxes is buried within Compact for America’s version of a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.

Furthermore, the balanced budget amendment does nothing to control federal spending; and transforms our Constitution from one of limited and defined powers to one of general and unlimited powers.[1]

Yet this monstrosity is pending in Michigan as SB 306, [2] and in North Carolina as HB 366. [3] Legislators in four States, Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota, have already passed it.

Let’s look at Sections 1-6 of Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment:

It does Nothing to Control Federal Spending

Section 1 allows Congress to spend as much as they take from us in taxes and add to the national debt. That’s a good idea?

Sections 2 and 3 permit Congress to raise the debt whenever 26 States agree. States are addicted to federal funds. Will 25 States agree not to take more federal funds?

Section 4 is a joke: Who believes Congress will impeach a President for refusing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress? Congress won’t even impeach a President for Treason.

How Authorization for the New Taxes is Hidden

Section 5 says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased general revenue tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….” [italics mine]

What is a “general revenue tax”? Section 6 defines it:

“…’general revenue tax’ means any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States…” [italics mine]

Now go back to Section 5 and substitute the definition of “general revenue tax” for that term:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….”

There it is: All that’s needed is approval of two-thirds of the members of each House and a new national sales tax and/or value added tax is imposed on us. And they can increase it, along with increasing the income tax, whenever they get two-thirds of the members to vote for it.

Section 5 also permits Congress to make laws to impose a new “end user sales tax”[4] which would replace the income tax – this “end user sales tax” is passed by a simple majority of both houses.

So! Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment provides two options to Congress:

Two-thirds of the members of both Houses can impose a new sales tax and/or value-added tax in addition to the income tax; or
 A simple majority of both Houses can impose “a new end user sales tax” which replaces the income tax.

Which option will Congress choose?

Our Constitution Doesn’t Now Authorize a National Sales Tax or Value-added Tax

Article I, §8, clause 1 says:

“The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…”

Principles of Compact for America say this clause already authorizes a national sales tax or value added tax. Board Vice-President Chip DeMoss said on Feb. 12, 2014:

“a national sales tax would be an “impost” (defined as a tax or similar compulsory payment) that is authorized under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1…” [see comment 19].

We may not properly use DeMoss’ redefinition of “impost”

We must use the definition of “impost” our Framers used: The Federalist Papers say an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports. Type imposts in the search box [at the link] and the Papers discussing imposts will come up. See for yourself that an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “impost” as:

“…Any tax or tribute imposed by authority; particularly, a duty or tax laid by government on goods imported, and paid or secured by the importer at the time of importation. Imposts are also called customs.”

Do you see?

National sales taxes and value-added taxes are also not “excise” taxes. Excise taxes are a tax on a unit of goods – such as the infamous whiskey excise tax of 1791 which led to the Whiskey Rebellion.[5] It imposed a flat tax per gallon. The tax was payable for domestic whiskey at the distillery (§17 of the Act) and the casks were numbered and marked to show the tax had been paid (§19 of the Act).

“Taxes” at Art. I, §8, clause 1 refers to the apportioned direct tax provided for at Art. I, §2, clause 3 of our Constitution.

Our Framers were specific about the kinds of taxes Congress is permitted to impose. Congress does not have the power to impose any kind of tax it wants. Our Framers limited Congress’ taxing power to:

the apportioned direct taxes at Art. I, §2, clause 3;
the duties or imposts on imports at Art. I, §8, clause 1; and
the excises at Art. I, §8, clause 1.

A sales tax is none of the above. A sales tax is a percentage of the retail price of goods. A value-added tax is a “turbo-charged national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production, not merely on retail transactions” and raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments worldwide”.

We have never had a national sales tax or value added tax in this Country. Why? Because they are not authorized by the Constitution.

We were manipulated into supporting the 16th Amendment. We were told the income tax would “soak the rich” – and the envious drooled at the prospect.

And so again today, statists are seeking to trick us into supporting a national sales tax or a value added tax: first, by concealing it within the verbiage of the bill;[6] and now by claiming the Constitution already authorizes these new types of taxes.

There is a Better Way: Downsize the Federal Government!

Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. The list of objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money is a short list. See the list HERE.

Most of what the federal government does today is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated by the Constitution. Let’s cut federal spending by downsizing the federal government to its enumerated powers and constitutional limits.

Endnotes:

1. Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers: If an object is on the list of enumerated powers (e.g., the patent & copyright office authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 8), Congress may lawfully spend money on it. That’s how our Constitution already controls federal spending.
All versions of a balanced budget amendment change the constitutional standard for spending FROM whether an object is on the list of enumerated powers TO a limit on total spending where Congress may spend money on whatever they or the President put in the budget. This is what transforms our Constitution FROM one of enumerated powers only TO one of general and unlimited powers. And that is the true purpose of a balanced budget amendment. It has nothing to do with limiting federal spending – the pretended spending limits are fictitious since they may be waived whenever the feds [and 26 of the States] want to waive them.
2. Leon Drolet’s article of July 10, 2015, and Sam Easter’s article of July 8, 2015, about SB 306 pending in Michigan don’t mention the new national taxes.
3. Matthew Burns’ article about the hearing on HB 366 before N. Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee (which passed HB 366) doesn’t mention the new national taxes. Burns quotes the Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Millis, as saying the problem is “Washington is unwilling or unable to limit itself.” So the solution is to massively increase Congress’ taxing powers?
4. “End user sales tax” is not defined in the balanced budget amendment.
5. Apparently, the practice of tarring & feathering “revenuers” began with the Whiskey Excise Tax.
6. The trickery was exposed over a year ago HERE. Since then, they have claimed the Constitution already authorizes the new taxes. Are we too gullible to be free?

Publius Huldah is a retired attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She also shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs.h

E-Mail: publiushuldah@gmail.com

A State Senator Makes His Case Against a Constitutional Convention

BY JOE WOLVERTON, II, J.D. FOR THE NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE
A State Senator Makes His Case Against a Constitutional Convention

The Con of the Con Con: The Case Against the States Amending the U.S. Constitution, by Andy Biggs, Gilbert, Arizona: Free Man Press, 2014, 171 pages, paperback.
A seasoned veteran of the battle to protect the Constitution from those who would expose it to the dangers of a constitutional convention has just published a straightforward refutation of that proposal.
Andy Biggs, a state senator from Arizona and frequent foe of the con-con effort in the Grand Canyon State, is the author of The Con of the Con Con: The Case Against the States Amending the U.S. Constitution.
In 170 pages, Biggs exposes a dozen of the cons perpetrated by the pro-Article V convention crowd.
Each of these cons, Biggs argues, is rife with very risky and likely fatal flaws. Biggs believes the proponents of an Article V convention are so anxious to “do something” that they are willing to ignore these very clear and present dangers.
Article V of the Constitution establishes the methods of amending the Constitution:
The 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 Congress.
Biggs asserts that the forces behind the current con-con movement are purposefully pulling the wool over the eyes of their supporters by making them believe Article V is something that it is not: simple and safe.
The first of the cons exposed by Biggs is the (usually denied) belief espoused by con-con advocates that the Constitution is the root of the problem of federal overreach:
The position taken by Con-Con supporters implies that people simply don’t change unless directed. Indeed the natural conclusion is that they feel that the only way people change is by constraint. Thus, we need to change the structure; the Constitution. Con-Coners believe that we must change the Constitution in order to get the change we want.
True constitutionalists understand that the Constitution is not flawed, our enforcement of its provisions is, however.
The Constitution is our most valuable heirloom, and we can’t afford to expose it to the quick-fix repairs being offered in the name of “reining in the federal government.”
Instead, those of us committed to preserving, protecting, and defending our Constitution should begin devoting the time and attention necessary to the restoration of the powerful term limit control mechanisms included in the original design of the Constitution.
Biggs does an admirable job of informing Americans and the Article V advocates that we can take care of ourselves, and we can control the federal government, and we don’t need a constitutional convention to fix what we already have the power to restore.
Who is to blame for the precipitous decline in the adherence to constitutional principles? Biggs has a theory:
We are a self-governing society, or that’s what was intended. That means that the people are invested in America and how it is to operate. We must determine our government. We, the people, have ceded our governance over to an elite, who have abused us for over one hundred years. That cadre of rulers has built regimes, institutions, and infrastructure to support their positions of power. We have let them.
Americans are free no longer. We are no longer governed; we are ruled. In the current environment we cannot reasonably expect equal treatment before the law. Our right to succeed now comes with constraints imposed by a degenerate government elite.
Americans must reclaim the legacy of liberty bequeathed to them by the framers of our Constitution. We have the power, now we need the will. With our eyes firmly fixed on that noble goal, we can, Biggs believes, return the government to its constitutional moorings.
Biggs is no wide-eyed utopian, however. He recognizes that forcing the federal beast back inside its constitutional cage will not be easy. As a first step in pursuit of that worthwhile endeavor, Biggs advocates for a reinvigorated American electorate, willing and able to identify and elect trustworthy representatives:
It isn’t necessary to pass one, or a few or even many conservative amendments to the Constitution to rehabilitate the American idea. It is more imperative that we have leaders who will be true and faithful to their Oaths of Office. The American voter must become more vigilant and aggressive against governments’ ever increasing encroachments. Americans must seize the moral highroad. We must be good if we are to have good leaders.
Readers will see in Biggs’ suggestions a shift of obligation for rescuing the Republic away from the oligarchy currently in control of the federal government back to the ultimate sovereigns: the American people.
Rather than seeking to recover our liberty by placing new restrictions on federal power, Biggs recommends the re-enforcement of those restraints that already exist. In other words, Biggs promotes following, rather than fixing, the Constitution.
The bottom line is that when it comes to derailing the long train of federal abuses, Biggs trusts the people of the United States. “I believe that America’s salvation lies in two places,” he declares, “the people and the states.”
If those two forces could combine against the con-con promoters, the battle for freedom could be won.
The next con called out by Biggs is that of the misunderstanding of the details of the Article V process, a misunderstanding painstakingly promoted by the leaders of the con-con movement:
Even though much of the angst over the path of the United States is a result of Congressional action, the Constitution provides a role for Congress within the Article V amendment process. Other opportunities for mischief indicate that the difficulty of getting something just right out of the process is extremely unlikely. We ought to be discussing the likelihood of something just wrong emerging from the process that will accelerate our national dissolution. It is, unfortunately, a con that leaders in the Article V movement play down these issues. The con is the lack of transparency, or frankly, the lack of truth in explaining the parameters and pitfalls of the Article V process.
After reminding readers of the myriad dangers of this deception, Biggs launches into a full-throated warning about just how easily an Article V convention could be “hijacked”:
It isn’t the process itself that “could hijack the convention.” It is the delegates to that convention, and other people at any number of other points in the process, who may attempt to take over the Article V Process. But, the biggest problem with the statement is that it indicates that Article V is a simple process when in reality it is a difficult procedure with many points at which it can be commandeered by malevolent actors.
This particular misdirection, Biggs insists, is being carried out by the Compact for America (CFA) organization.
This con includes a promise that the process can be “pre-packaged” to obviate many of the risks otherwise inherent in the Article V amendment mechanism. Specifically, the Compact for America guarantees a convention that is controlled from beforehand, a convention attended by delegates unable to push the process down a destructive path.
Described by Nick Dranias — one of the chief promoters of the Compact for America — as analogous to a “house loan closing,” the various steps laid out in his proposal actually work together to construct a Trojan Horse.
Many state legislators determined to stand up to Washington would likely welcome the Compact for America and the state compact it offers as an ally in their battle. In fact, the CFA is so thorough that the state compact contains “all the legislation necessary for the Article V process to work.” Therein lies the principle defect of this program.
As harried and overworked as they are, not all state lawmakers legitimately enlisted in the war against federal despotism would understand that by joining the CFA they would also be agreeing to set in motion a constitutional convention that could quite possibly throw the baby of the Constitution out with the bathwater of out-of-control federal spending.
The bottom line is that the outcome of such a con-con could range from a textbook following of the CFA script for proposing a balanced budget amendment and nothing else, all the way to a runaway convention based on the right of the People in convention to revise their government when it becomes destructive of the ends of securing our God-given rights. This is the crux of the argument against convening an Article V con-con, no matter how loudly the proponents of such a convention assure us that they can limit the number of amendments and/or the content of the amendments that would be considered.
As the preceding prediction demonstrates and as Biggs so ably explains, the Article V convention process is heavy on questions, but light on answers. Biggs asks a couple of these questions, questions habitually dodged by the con-con congregation:
Do the potential benefits outweigh the potential costs; and 2) Will any amendment proposed by the Con-Con-ers produce the transformational change in America? The answer to both of those questions is no!
Another problem pointed out by Biggs is the identity of those who would be elected (or appointed) as delegates to an Article V convention. In his book, Biggs predicts that the same cast of characters who have committed the crimes against our Republic would likely be in control of a con-con. That would be catastrophic for our Constitution.
The fact is that determined citizens and state legislators could rescue the United States from its financial peril without resorting to opening up the Constitution to tinkering by governors [as proposed by the Compact for America] and a sprinkling of state-appointed delegates, many of whom would be bought and paid for by special interests and corporations.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” A fundamental requirement of vigilance is holding elected representatives’ feet to the fire by compelling them to honor their oath of office and not exceed the limits of their power as set forth in the Constitution.
Make no mistake, if the Constitution is opened up to the tinkering of these tinhorns, the moneyed interests will be present and their irresistible influence will shape the product of the Article V process.
Take a look around the country; one can see what a new constitution would look like. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling forcing states to recognize gay “marriage” and another upholding the constitutionality of the legal plunder that is ObamaCare, there is no limit to the panoply of “rights” that would be pursued by the con-con 2.0 delegates.
Furthermore, balanced budget amendments (which overlook the fact that most of the spending is unconstitutional), term limit amendments, and the various “power to the people” amendments backed by the socialist wing of the Article V movement are all, in one way or another, contrary to the intent of the Founders and to the principles of liberty they enshrined in the Constitution.
Remember, no matter how “conservative” or “constitutional” a group or individual claims to be, if their proposed amendments change the basic structure of the Constitution or alter the delicate balance of power created by the Constitution, then you should realize that although their lips draw near to the Founders, their hearts are far from them.
Perhaps the principal theme of Biggs’ book is that the American people are the last and best hope for rescuing our Republic. If we expect things to change, we must stop relying on politicians and establishment elites to “fix” a Constitution that is not broken. In fact, these people are the prime perpetrators of the assaults on that sacred document.
Biggs calls on all of us to take up the burden of restoring the Constitution. His counsel reminds one of Benjamin Franklin’s warning that “it is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” Biggs predicts:
As we actively work to educate and make system changes within our state electoral processes, we will see people elected who will be true to their oaths to adhere to the Constitution.
The Con of the Con Con is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of those fighting to enshrine the Constitution as the law of the land and to protect it from the multitude of threats lurking in the shadowy recesses of Article V.
Andy Biggs’ book not only fearlessly exposes the errors shamelessly committed by the con-con crowd, but it exposes the questions that that movement just can’t — or won’t — answer.