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Rolf Yungclas

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Feb. 29, 2016

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states (my italics): “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…”

In his book The Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin gives a very in-depth look at the need for Article V Conventions, proposing amendments to:

  1. establish term limits for members of Congress,
  2. restore the senate (repealing the 17th amendment),
  3. establish term limits for Supreme Court justices,
  4. establish super-majority legislative override,
  5. limit federal spending,
  6. limit federal taxing,
  7. limit the federal bureaucracy,
  8. promote free enterprise,
  9. protect private property,
  10. grant the states authority to directly amend the constitution,
  11. grant the states authority to check congress,
  12. protect the vote.

Levin explains it this way: “It is time to return to self-government, where the people are sovereign and not subjects and can reclaim some control over their future rather than accept as inevitable a dismal fate. Unlike the radicalism of the governing masterminds, who self-servingly oversee a century-old, perpetual counterrevolution against the American dawn, the people must have as their goal the reestablishment of the founding principles and the restoration of constitutional republicanism, thereby nurturing the individual and preserving the civil society. (p. 9, The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin)

He further says: “Reacquainting ourselves with a legitimate constitutional remedy, which we, the people, cherish and our public officials swear to uphold, should not be perceived or dismissed as a radical deviation from normative principles but a prudent, rational, and civil response to their disembowelment. The state convention process is a product of the Constitutional Convention, envisioned for exactly this moment…” (p. 203, The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin)

Some groups, however, strongly oppose the movement for an Article V Convention of States. Veterans Today, the John Birch Society and the New American website, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), and others incorrectly attribute Soros as a supporter of the Article V convention of states, plotting to take away our right to bear arms.

Then after making the false attribution of Soros being a supporter of an Article V convention of states, they list whatever organizations he is affiliated with to “prove” that the Convention of States is a conspiracy whose goal is to have Leftist doctrine enshrined in the Constitution. And trying to “prove” that our Founding Fathers opposed the Article V Convention of States they use a quote from James Madison advising against having another Constitutional Convention, a whole different issue!


Says Bob Menges at

“In NAGR’s most recent mailing, they invoke the names of men like James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, as if to imply they would opposed the use of a constitutional provision they voted for and helped draft. That is preposterous, and it shows either a complete ignorance of constitutional history or a blatant attempt to deceive. It was James Madison himself in a letter to Edward Everett in August of 1830 that told us, ‘Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed be found not to secure the Government and rights of the States against usurpations and abuses on the part of the United States the final resort within the purview of the Constitution lies in an amendment of the Constitution according to a process applicable by the States.’ Madison knew that the Article V convention process was the right remedy for an out of control federal government.”

And since they go out of their way to oppose the Constitution they so adamantly try to defend, this leaves them with the option of “nullification” to oppose the overreach of the federal government. Of course the last time nullification was attempted by several states at a time it led to the Civil War.

One of the other main reasons given for opposing a Convention of states is that it would become a “runaway convention.” The fear is that once the 33 states meet, anti-Constitutionalist forces would take it over and begin to mess with the Constitution with the intent of destroying it.

First of all, they would have to hijack 33 state governments and send their representatives to the Convention. Then, the legislatures of three-fourths of the states would have to vote on whatever nonsense these disrupters come up with.

But if the legislatures are voting for a convention of states, it is because they have in mind certain amendments they would like to propose. Then, when the state legislators get enough votes to approve the convention, they send delegates of their own choosing and not some saboteurs that have suddenly taken over the citizen-elected legislature.

So at the Convention there would be those whose purpose is to propose amendments they had an expectation of being supported by the American people at large.

There would be no point in a “runaway convention.” A runaway Congress and runaway Executive Branch are already doing a fine job of undermining the Constitution, thank you.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Texas Plan” rel=“nofollow”>calls for the Texas legislature to support an Article V Convention of states (which was passed recently): “The Constitution also leaves it to the States to limit the scope of the convention itself. In fact, four States already have applied for constitutional conventions that include some portion of the Texas Plan, and all of them limit their applications to specific issues. Likewise, the Texas Legislature can limit its application for a convention—or its participation in a convention—to the specific issues included in the Texas Plan and discussed above. To the extent the convention strayed from those issues, Texas’s consent to the convention’s activities would automatically dissolve. State legislatures could even command in their laws authorizing participation in a convention that the state must vote against any constitutional convention provision not authorized by the state.” (p. 67)

The Texas Plan offers nine constitutional amendments, many of them similar to the ones proposed by Mark Levin:

  1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
  2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
  3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
  4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
  5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
  7. Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
  8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.”

While the Texas legislature voted recently to approve Governor Abbott’s plan, in the Kansas legislature, on February 22, the House of Representatives was 7 votes short of the 2/3 approval needed for their Convention of States proposal.

In the last year the legislatures of South Dakota, Utah, North Dakota, Alabama, and Tennessee have all passed similar calls for an Article V Convention of States. This is nowhere near the 34 states needed, but it could be a sign that a growing movement for states to create proposed Constitutional Amendments is in the works.