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HomePatriot DispatchesArticle V Opinions ~ Open Thread

Article V Opinions ~ Open Thread

I am working on something and looking for some opinions related to Article V of the US Constitution and the idea of an Article V Convention.

We see Herman Cain’s 999 plan for example which might require an Amendment or if SCOTUS were to uphold ObamaCare an Amendment might be needed to fix that problem. Many support a Balanced Budget Amendment or Term Limits as well.

In spite of these needs, congress seems incapable of doing anything “BIG.” Only the states are in a position to pressure congress with the threat of an Article V Convention, or if that fails they could hold an actual Article V Convention. You may disagree with that premise altogether.

For those not familiar with it:

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.

Some questions;

1. What is your general opinion of an Article V Convention?

2. Does the “shall call” language of Article V mean congress has no choice if the requisite states make application?

      a. If “shall call” leaves congress no option but to call a convention, and if congress reneges on that obligation, can the states assemble in an Article V Convention anyway? If the product of such a convention were ratified by 3/4ths of the states, would it be legal?

3. What are your thoughts on a “runaway convention” often cited as the overwhelming reason to avoid an Article V Convention?

4. There have been hundreds of applications by the states. Far exceeding the numbers required to call such a convention. Two reasons for not calling the convention in spite of this are:

      a. The requests have been on a variety of topics and are therefore not “germane.” Do you believe it is necessary for applications to be “germane?” Whichever position you take, how do you support it from a constitutional perspective?

      b. The requests have been spread over a number of years and are not contemporaneous. Again, how is your position supported?

5. Did the founding fathers make a mistake adding the state based Article V Convention option?

      a. Can we reasonably ignore the provisions of the Constitution where we think the founders made a mistake?

If you respond please add your own opinions in an independent comment before commenting on somebody else’s opinion.

You may be adamantly opposed to the very idea of an Article V Convention. I would particularly like to hear from you.

Thanks for helping.

 

 

Roguehttp://sago.com
A father of eight, manager of a small business, concerned American.

11 COMMENTS

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11 COMMENTS

  1. The thought of an Article V Convention gives me the shudders. How could we Conservatives who (mostly) have to show up for work every day keep a lid on the full-time lib/dem/communist/union thugs to actually deal with the issues WE want instead of ending up with the whole Constitution gutted and thrown on the dust heap of history?

    If we can get past that issue I will be ABLE to think about the finer details.

        • I guess what I mean by scenario is for example:
          A convention is called and puts forth an amendment to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Do the states ratify it?
          Or more outrageously,
          The amendment passed is guts the constitution and replaces it with the Cuban constitution. Do the states ratify that?

          I understand the argument related to the original Federal Convention being a runaway convention yet 9 of 13 states still had to ratify the product and that result was by no means certain.

          It seems if they strayed far, or attempted to give DC more power, it would just be rejected by the states.

          Sorry if this seems contrarian. Just wanting to grasp a complete picture of how both sides see it.

          • The State Legislatures are the ones responsible for ratification, right? The Blue and Purple States can be trusted to further the liberal agenda, quickly or slowly by color but further it they will, all in the name of Holy Bi-Partisanship. Even in the solidly Red States once they ratify the new amendment they’ll be sued by the ACLU, ACORN, Planned Parenthood and a thousand different community organizers. Then the Ninth Circus or some other leftist judiciary organization will step in and nullify the ratification.

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of questions and opinions. While I have a plethora of opinions, I’ve probably got more questions than you do. I’ve discussed this previously with multitudes of people and am looking forward to running through the answers, opinions and arguments associated with this issue and hearing the opinions of others here.

    1. What is your general opinion of an Article V Convention?
    Dangerous. Look what happened when they called a con-con to fix the Articles of Confederation. The delegates decided to throw out the original and devised their own replacement. We are the fortunate benefactors of that replacement document but we actually had Statesmen at the helm then, now… Well Statesmen isn’t the adjective I’d use to describe any of them, Republican or Democrat.

    2. Does the “shall call” language of Article V mean congress has no choice if the requisite states make application?
    I believe it does leave Congress no choice. That and Congress’ own hunger for power, may be our saving grace. Were an ever increasing number of States to call for a con-con, Congress would feel ever increasing pressure and, rather than see its (Congress’) own power usurped by the con-con they would propose amendments to mirror those proposed for the con-con. Thereby preserving Congress’ ability to steer the direction of the resulting Amendments and preserve their own power while averting the necessary number of States throwing their weight behind the request.

    a. If “shall call” leaves congress no option but to call a convention, and if congress reneges on that obligation, can the states assemble in an Article V Convention anyway? If the product of such a convention were ratified by 3/4ths of the states, would it be legal?
    I believe it would but the findings of the judiciary may vary greatly from my unlearned but common-sense opinion.

    3. What are your thoughts on a “runaway convention” often cited as the overwhelming reason to avoid an Article V Convention?
    That would rely on the limited scope the delegates were given and upon the delegates themselves. In today’s political atmosphere I would expect nothing less and plan on something more closely related to FDR or the UN to be the resulting product.

    4. There have been hundreds of applications by the states. Far exceeding the numbers required to call such a convention. Two reasons for not calling the convention in spite of this are:
    a. The requests have been on a variety of topics and are therefore not “germane.” Do you believe it is necessary for applications to be “germane?” Whichever position you take, how do you support it from a constitutional perspective?

    The stated reason for requesting a con-con and the timeliness of the request must be considered. Merely because one State asked for one reason and 100 years later another asked for another reason does not justify combining the requests. They should come in a format requesting the same issues be considered in approximately the same time.

    b. The requests have been spread over a number of years and are not contemporaneous. Again, how is your position supported?
    For example, requests for consideration of the Equal Rights Amendment dated to the 1970s cannot be combined with requests to consider The Federalism Amendment in 2009.

    5. Did the founding fathers make a mistake adding the state based Article V Convention option?
    Not at all. They made it difficult to change the Constitution, as it should be. Changes should not be lightly considered or enacted willy-nilly. But the option, no matter how difficult, for the States to call a con-con serves as another check on Congressional power.

    a. Can we reasonably ignore the provisions of the Constitution where we think the founders made a mistake?
    No. Mistakes can be dealt with thru the provided amendment process but until dealt with they remain the law of the land. I disagree fervently with the 17th, that doesn’t mean my Senators are not elected by popular vote.

    • I like your take on 2. If a real movement seemed afoot to hold a con-con congress would be forced to capitulate and produce an amendment to relieve the pressure.

      But only if they thought the con-con was a real possibility. Faking it wouldn’t work, the movement would need real legs.

      • It would require much more growth in the States Sovereignty movement but that could spur movement in the right direction. A few Reps occasionally bring up a Balanced Budget Amendment but its not gaining any traction. Most of them just talk about it to feed us spoonful of pablum while they figure out more ways to be bi-partisan.

  3. The keys:

    Yes, Congress would have a hard time not “calling” a convention if 2/3 of the states sign off on a convention on “an application”. This “an application” language implies they make a singular application and all call for the convention at the same time, for the same reason(s) and via identical language. This would be the equivalent of Congress having a vote for same.

    An Ad hoc convention would probably be the only way to get 2/3 to agree.I don’t fear an ad hoc convention because 3/4 of the states would never agree to a liberal amendment. After all, more than 38 states already have state amendments and/or laws banning same-sex marriage. The problem with correcting unconstitutional SCOTUS rulings and legislative acts has been for decades the problem of so many Lib Dem senators in red states.

    It also seems clear that the states would choose who attends the convention since the whole reason for such a call is because Congress has refused to act. Congress would decide the method of ratification, ie conventions in the states or state legislature votes.

    I think that the convention attendees would decide if there would be a time limit for ratification.

    more later

  1. The thought of an Article V Convention gives me the shudders. How could we Conservatives who (mostly) have to show up for work every day keep a lid on the full-time lib/dem/communist/union thugs to actually deal with the issues WE want instead of ending up with the whole Constitution gutted and thrown on the dust heap of history?

    If we can get past that issue I will be ABLE to think about the finer details.

        • I guess what I mean by scenario is for example:
          A convention is called and puts forth an amendment to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Do the states ratify it?
          Or more outrageously,
          The amendment passed is guts the constitution and replaces it with the Cuban constitution. Do the states ratify that?

          I understand the argument related to the original Federal Convention being a runaway convention yet 9 of 13 states still had to ratify the product and that result was by no means certain.

          It seems if they strayed far, or attempted to give DC more power, it would just be rejected by the states.

          Sorry if this seems contrarian. Just wanting to grasp a complete picture of how both sides see it.

          • The State Legislatures are the ones responsible for ratification, right? The Blue and Purple States can be trusted to further the liberal agenda, quickly or slowly by color but further it they will, all in the name of Holy Bi-Partisanship. Even in the solidly Red States once they ratify the new amendment they’ll be sued by the ACLU, ACORN, Planned Parenthood and a thousand different community organizers. Then the Ninth Circus or some other leftist judiciary organization will step in and nullify the ratification.

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of questions and opinions. While I have a plethora of opinions, I’ve probably got more questions than you do. I’ve discussed this previously with multitudes of people and am looking forward to running through the answers, opinions and arguments associated with this issue and hearing the opinions of others here.

    1. What is your general opinion of an Article V Convention?
    Dangerous. Look what happened when they called a con-con to fix the Articles of Confederation. The delegates decided to throw out the original and devised their own replacement. We are the fortunate benefactors of that replacement document but we actually had Statesmen at the helm then, now… Well Statesmen isn’t the adjective I’d use to describe any of them, Republican or Democrat.

    2. Does the “shall call” language of Article V mean congress has no choice if the requisite states make application?
    I believe it does leave Congress no choice. That and Congress’ own hunger for power, may be our saving grace. Were an ever increasing number of States to call for a con-con, Congress would feel ever increasing pressure and, rather than see its (Congress’) own power usurped by the con-con they would propose amendments to mirror those proposed for the con-con. Thereby preserving Congress’ ability to steer the direction of the resulting Amendments and preserve their own power while averting the necessary number of States throwing their weight behind the request.

    a. If “shall call” leaves congress no option but to call a convention, and if congress reneges on that obligation, can the states assemble in an Article V Convention anyway? If the product of such a convention were ratified by 3/4ths of the states, would it be legal?
    I believe it would but the findings of the judiciary may vary greatly from my unlearned but common-sense opinion.

    3. What are your thoughts on a “runaway convention” often cited as the overwhelming reason to avoid an Article V Convention?
    That would rely on the limited scope the delegates were given and upon the delegates themselves. In today’s political atmosphere I would expect nothing less and plan on something more closely related to FDR or the UN to be the resulting product.

    4. There have been hundreds of applications by the states. Far exceeding the numbers required to call such a convention. Two reasons for not calling the convention in spite of this are:
    a. The requests have been on a variety of topics and are therefore not “germane.” Do you believe it is necessary for applications to be “germane?” Whichever position you take, how do you support it from a constitutional perspective?

    The stated reason for requesting a con-con and the timeliness of the request must be considered. Merely because one State asked for one reason and 100 years later another asked for another reason does not justify combining the requests. They should come in a format requesting the same issues be considered in approximately the same time.

    b. The requests have been spread over a number of years and are not contemporaneous. Again, how is your position supported?
    For example, requests for consideration of the Equal Rights Amendment dated to the 1970s cannot be combined with requests to consider The Federalism Amendment in 2009.

    5. Did the founding fathers make a mistake adding the state based Article V Convention option?
    Not at all. They made it difficult to change the Constitution, as it should be. Changes should not be lightly considered or enacted willy-nilly. But the option, no matter how difficult, for the States to call a con-con serves as another check on Congressional power.

    a. Can we reasonably ignore the provisions of the Constitution where we think the founders made a mistake?
    No. Mistakes can be dealt with thru the provided amendment process but until dealt with they remain the law of the land. I disagree fervently with the 17th, that doesn’t mean my Senators are not elected by popular vote.

    • I like your take on 2. If a real movement seemed afoot to hold a con-con congress would be forced to capitulate and produce an amendment to relieve the pressure.

      But only if they thought the con-con was a real possibility. Faking it wouldn’t work, the movement would need real legs.

      • It would require much more growth in the States Sovereignty movement but that could spur movement in the right direction. A few Reps occasionally bring up a Balanced Budget Amendment but its not gaining any traction. Most of them just talk about it to feed us spoonful of pablum while they figure out more ways to be bi-partisan.

  3. The keys:

    Yes, Congress would have a hard time not “calling” a convention if 2/3 of the states sign off on a convention on “an application”. This “an application” language implies they make a singular application and all call for the convention at the same time, for the same reason(s) and via identical language. This would be the equivalent of Congress having a vote for same.

    An Ad hoc convention would probably be the only way to get 2/3 to agree.I don’t fear an ad hoc convention because 3/4 of the states would never agree to a liberal amendment. After all, more than 38 states already have state amendments and/or laws banning same-sex marriage. The problem with correcting unconstitutional SCOTUS rulings and legislative acts has been for decades the problem of so many Lib Dem senators in red states.

    It also seems clear that the states would choose who attends the convention since the whole reason for such a call is because Congress has refused to act. Congress would decide the method of ratification, ie conventions in the states or state legislature votes.

    I think that the convention attendees would decide if there would be a time limit for ratification.

    more later

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