Thursday, April 11, 2024

Oppose the proposed Article V Constitution Convention

by Rod Williams, April 11, 2024 - The below I received in an email from a local Republican activist. This originated from an organization with which I have major differences on other issues, but on this issue, we are aligned. This does a good job of explaining the danger of an Article V Constitutional Convention. 

The contact information for your state legislature can be found at this link

URGENT UPDATE: The Tennessee Senate has rescheduled its planned debate and vote on term-limits Con-Con resolution HJR 5 for Monday, April 8, around 4:30 pm Eastern Time. This would be the final vote before HJR 5’s full enactment. Please continue emailing, calling, and meeting with your senator, and urge him or her to oppose this disastrous resolution and prevent it from being enacted.

When speaking to your legislators, emphasize the following irrefutable facts about an Article V convention for proposing amendments:

1.    There is no constitutional authority for a limited convention.

2.    There is no guidance on how delegates would be selected.

3.    There is no guidance on who could qualify as a delegate.

4.    There is no guidance on how many delegates each state could send.

5.    There is no provision for stopping a runaway convention.

6.    There is no provision for how rules would be established.

7.    There is no provision for how rules would be enforced.

8.    There is no role provided for the people to play in the process.

9.    There is no power provided for the people to stop a convention once it starts.

10.  There is no description of the ratification conventions Congress could choose to call.

11.  There are no rules governing the ratification conventions Congress could choose to call.

12.  There is no means provided for either the states or the people to challenge Congress’s choice of the method of ratification.

13.  There is no test provided for a qualifying application submitted by a state.

14.  The acceptance by one Congress of a state application for a convention does not bind subsequent Congresses from accepting that application.

15.  Application for a convention submitted by one state legislature does not prevent subsequent state legislatures from revoking the previous application.

16.  All these issues would be challenged in court and would take years to be decided.

17.  The issues to be addressed at a convention to propose amendments would likely be moot by the time the challenges reached the U.S. Supreme Court for final adjudication.

18.  If 100 percent of registered voters opposed an amendment proposed by a convention, but the requisite number of state legislatures or ratifying conventions (according to the process determined by Congress for consideration of proposed amendments) supported it, then that amendment would become part of the Constitution regardless of the will of the people.

19.  The same scenario is true if a proposed amendment were approved by 100 percent of registered voters but rejected by the ratification conventions or state legislatures (according to the process determined by Congress for consideration of proposed amendments).

Term limits is one of the main excuses for applying for an Article V convention. Here are some points refuting a congressional term limits amendment:

1.    Term limits don’t tackle the fundamental issue of public understanding and responsibility for electing representatives. 

2.    Imposing term limits would limit the electoral choices of voters and potentially remove good, constitutionalist congressmen. 

3.    Imposing term limits contradicts the American government system established by the Founders. The Constitution’s provision for frequent elections effectively serves as term limits, as intended by the Founders like James Madison. 

4.    Alexander Hamilton, in The Federalist, No. 72, criticized the superficial appeal of term limits, a view applicable to many COS proposals. At the Constitutional Convention, Gouverneur Morris warned against term limits for their negative impact on motivation and good governance. 

5.    The Constitution already sets “good behavior” as a term limit for federal judges, with removal power vested in Congress. COS’s push to limit Supreme Court justices’ terms overlooks the existing constitutional provision and responsibility of Congress to impeach underperforming judges. 

6.    Effective governance can be achieved by enforcing the existing Constitution, not by amending it to limit terms.

Any Article V convention could lead to a runaway convention, which could reverse many of the Constitution’s limitations on government power and interference. In other words, a Con-Con could accomplish the same goals that many of its advocates claim to be fighting against. 

Above all, urge your state senator to oppose HJR 5, and all other pro-Article V convention resolutions


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1 comment:

  1. My guess is that given the push of MAGA populism this has picked up steam. I agree, bad idea.