convention-of-states

More Prominent Leaders Call for a Constitutional Convention of States

From a former Reagan DOJ Constitutional Lawyer, to a Texas Governor, state and federal lawmakers, and national organizations, leaders across the country are calling for a Constitutional Convention based on Article V of the Constitution (also referred to as Convention of States or Article V Convention).

Article V:

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; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

For several years, former Congressman Gen. Allen West has thrown his support behind it, stating:

“I support the efforts to gather a constitutional Convention of States consistent with Article V and honoring the 10th Amendment. Thank goodness the founders had the wisdom to provide us with Article V of the Constitution, which gives us the right and power to hold an Amending Convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to restrain the scope and power of the federal government. When you look at the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government a proposal for a federal balanced budget amendment is ideal to be taken up by the State’s legislatures, as many sovereign States have balanced budget amendments.”

Likewise, former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) left his office with the goal of spending several years pushing for a Convention of the States.

“Washington is never going to fix itself,” Coburn argues. “Politicians there care about the next election, not the next generation. The career politicians make promises knowing they will be out of office when the bills come due. And I don’t see that there’s any way Congress is going to fix this in the next 10 or 15 years.”

Conservative radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have advocated for it for years. Rush argues, “So if Washington will not reform itself, if Washington will not employ the techniques built into the Constitution to preserve the Constitution, Article V provides a mechanism for the states to do it.” Levin’s national bestselling book, Liberty Amendments, addresses the need for constitutional amendments in its fifth chapter.

Author and former U.S. Army Colonel Dr. Thomas E. Davis agrees, a Convention is necessary, but he takes it one step further: Impeach Barack Obama. He attests that gross misconduct and cowardice is rampant throughout Congress and most have a misunderstanding of Article V.

He argues:

“During the administration of Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Hussein Obama, it has been obvious that having a sycophantic, same-party Senate is the impediment to getting any meaningful legislation enacted into law. Having in office simultaneously a traitorous, unqualified and un-American Chief Executive, a sycophantic Senate and a lackluster, dilatory, do-nothing House, it becomes an indisputable fact of life: We must have an Article V Convention of States now.

“The House of Representatives has been grossly negligent by not impeaching Soetoro-Obama, thus leaving it up to the agencies within the Executive Branch to bring their boss to the bar of justice. This citizen accuses the so-called Republican Leadership of gross misconduct, blatant cowardice and Violation of their Oath of Office.”

Interestingly, however, a 2011 assessment by The Heritage Foundation and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, reports that such a convention wouldn’t solve America’s numerous problems, and its process and outcome “could be unpredictable.” According to the report:

“The lack of precedent, extensive unknowns, and considerable risks of an Article V amendments convention should bring sober pause to advocates of legitimate constitutional reform contemplating this avenue. We are not prepared to encourage state governments at this time to apply to Congress to call an amendments convention.”

However, it also suggests that, “advocating an Article V convention as part of a state-based strategy to press Congress to pass a constitutional amendment is not unreasonable. Precisely because of the potential chaos of the process.”

But Davis and others disagree, noting that such a convention has nearly occurred on several occasions– and is more than possible today. Only one state was needed when the Senate finally permitted passage of the 17th Amendment (direct election of U.S. Senators by popular vote). Davis cites other examples, ranging from a petition to add a constitutional amendment to limit income tax rates, to limit the Supreme Court’s legislative apportionment decisions, to add a balanced budget amendment. Each, he argues was within 1-2 states of the needed two-thirds to hold a convention.

Based on growing momentum, it may be only a short time before a Convention actually takes place.

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Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

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