With the federal government operating well out of its Constitutional boundaries, different solutions have emerged that claim to have the “silver bullet” answer to unconstitutional federal activity. One of the most dangerous and insidious is the call for a Constitutional Convention a/k/a Convention of States under Article V of the Constitution. While the promoters may have good intentions, they fall far short on historicity and understanding of the words and intentions of America’s Founding Fathers.
A Convention of States would open up the US Constitution and all its protections of rights, to meddling by contemporary politicians, many whom have already failed to hold back federal usurpations against it. The failure of elected officials to act to hold back federal power grabs suggests a fundamental lack of knowledge by the very elected officials who are sworn to uphold and protect the US Constitution. Yet a Constitutional Convention would be in their hands.
This very dangerous and chilling effort to rewrite the Constitution under the banner of a Convention of States could easily lead to a total remake of the Constitution and elimination of many protections now afforded US citizens. Here’s an example of how just five words could make a difference in an amendment. From The New American on-line comes a quote from Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; “Stevens proposes adding five words to the present version of the Second Amendment. Stevens’ revised Second Amendment would read:
Chief Justice Warren Burger had this to say about a Constitutional Convention, “I 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.” Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg said, “one of the most serious problems Article V poses is a runaway convention. There is no enforceable mechanism to prevent a convention from reporting out wholesale changes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
The last Constitutional Convention in the US was 1787 and it resulted in the Articles of Confederation being tossed out and a completely new Constitution written.
In these times of bitter partisan bickering over different issues, does it really make sense to call a Constitutional Convention and risk a major rewrite to our precious document?
Promoters of a Constitutional Convention have legitimate goals and concerns. However, there are other far less dangerous methods to solve the nation’s ills. One is nullification. Founding Father James Madison had this to say about nullification, “The Constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the states, given by each in its sovereign capacity. … The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal, above their authority, to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated. “ In other words, the states are the highest authority – not the federal government.
Please contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to vote against any support for a Constitutional Convention and Convention of States.