(Food for though for all on the issue of an Article V convention written by Phyillis Schlafly.)

      Powerful Leftists have joined forces with some misguided conservatives on the Right and together, they are promoting a national convention to revise the U.S. Constitution. Your most valued freedoms could be utterly destroyed.

      The most vocal Leftists, like Wolf Pac, Lawrence Lessig, and George Soros, want to rewrite and limit your First and Second Amendment rights.
You can bet there will be anti-family, pro-abortion delegates to such a convention, seeking to enshrine their favored amendments in the Constitution, too.  Even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came out in support of the idea But sadly, attacks on the U.S. Constitution aren't just coming from the extreme Left -- they're coming from all sides.

      Convention of States, a group that has gone to great lengths to smear and attack conservatives opposed to this idea, isn't even pretending to want a convention "limited" to a single issue; rather, they want a convention that covers a wide array of issues. These groups boldly claim a series of amendments can put our country on a wiser path.

      But why would politicians uphold their oaths to a new Constitution if they are violating their oaths to the Constitution we have now?  Is it worth the risk of losing our most cherished rights to find out if they will?
 
     The authority for such a procedure is Article V of our Constitution, so they are calling their plan of action an Article V Convention.  However, they are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a "convention of states."
  In a convention setting, the U.S. Congress would have a major say in how the process will work.  The only power the states have under Article V is the opportunity to submit an "application" (petition) asking Congress to call a convention.

      Hundreds of such applications have been submitted over the years, with widely different purposes and wording. Many applications were later rescinded, and some purport to make the application valid for only a particular amendment such as a federal balanced budget or congressional term limits.

      Article V states that Congress "shall" call a convention on the application of two-thirds of state legislatures, or thirty-four (34) of them.
If Congress ever decides to act, Article V gives Congress exclusive power to issue the "Call" for a convention to propose "amendments" (plural).

      The "Call" is the governing document which determines all the basic rules such as where and when a convention will be held, who is eligible to be a delegate (will current office-holders be eligible?), how delegates will be apportioned, how expenses will be paid, and who will be the chairman.
Article V also gives Congress the power to determine whether the three-fourths of the states required for ratification of amendments can ratify by the state legislature's action or by state conventions.

Do you trust the current U.S. Congress to determine the rules for how the Constitution will be rewrittenThe most important question to which there is no answer is this: how will convention delegates be apportioned?

      Will each state have one vote (no matter how many delegates it sends), which was the rule in the 1787 Philadelphia convention?  Or will the convention be apportioned according to population (like Congress or the Electoral College)?

      Nothing in Article V gives the states any power to make this fundamental decision.  If Congress decides apportionment will be determined by population, more populous states will control the outcome.  Do you want California or New York deciding how the U.S. Constitution should read?  Article V doesn't give any power to the states to propose actual constitutional amendments, or to decide which amendments will be considered by the convention.

      Now imagine Democratic and Republican conventions meeting in the same hall and trying to agree on constitutional changes. Imagine the gridlock in drafting a constitutional plank by caucuses led by Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton.  Everything else about how an Article V Convention would function -- including its agenda -- is anybody's guess.

      Advocates of an Article V convention can hope and speculate, but they cannot assure us that any of their plans will come true.  If we follow the model of the 1787 Convention, will the deliberations be secret? Are you kidding me? Nothing is secret any more.

      What are the plans to deal with protesters at what would surely be the biggest media event of the year, if not of the century? It will be flooded with agitators from the gun-control lobby, the gay lobby, the abortion lobby, the green lobby, plus experienced protesters -- like union thugs -- trained and even paid with George Soros money.

      There is no proof that the VIPs promoting an Article V convention have any first-hand knowledge of the politics or procedures of a contested national convention. Don't they realize that the convention will set its own agenda and that states will have no say over which amendments are considered?

      To see how a convention chairman wielding the gavel can manipulate outcomes, take for instance the 2012 Democratic National Convention. A delegate tried to add a reference to God to the party platform, but the chairman ruthlessly called the vote wrong even though we all saw on television that the "Noes" won the vote.


The whole Article V "Convention of States" process is a prescription for political chaos. (Isn't that what the Cloward-Piven strategy is?)

Alas, I don't see any George Washingtons, James Madisons or Ben Franklins around today who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I'm worried about the men who think they can.
 
     Do you trust the U.S. Congress to determine the rules for how our Constitution will be rewritten?  Do you want California or New York deciding how the U.S. Constitution should read?

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Replies to This Discussion

"Don't they realize that the convention will set its own agenda and that states will have no say over which amendments are considered?"

This is 100% false.  The delegates are under the control of their respective state legislatures.  If the delegates get out of line, they get a little tweet to come on home, no doubt with a meme of someone in handcuffs since that's most likely how any rogue delegate would be received in his home states.

As a reader, you should ask yourself this:  If the author can this 100% wrong, what else in this article is also completely wrong?  

(Hint: it's a lot)

"Alas, I don't see any George Washingtons, James Madisons or Ben Franklins around today who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I'm worried about the men who think they can."

Both theology and history demonstrate that it is wrong to assume that that the Founders’ generation was composed of angels while ours is composed of devils.  The fact that over 90% of Americans distrust Congress tells us something very good about the wisdom of the current generation.

Theologically, the Framers correctly believed that men were born with a sin nature. That is why they created the form of government that we have. We have checks and balances, enumerated powers, and federalism all because the Framers knew that all men were sinful, and not just men of future generations, but men of their own.

The way that Virginia’s Baptists were treated by the political establishment in the 1770s was utterly shameful. Baptists were jailed, beaten, and driven from church services by officials—or by thugs protected by officials.  The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by the Framers’ generation—and the voters threw out the supporters of this horrible legislation in the next election.

So to those wondering where the Washingtons, Madisons and Franklins are of *this* generation, they are all around us.

And for a humorous debunking of the "runaway convention" conspiracy theory...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vPixDHg52Q

Posted for Eugene Cloud

COS Legislative Liaison, Florida

- - -

I never despair that the constitution-loving conservatives that compose the Eagle Form are beyond reason regarding an Article V Convention of States for Proposing Amendments to the United States Constitution. So I continue to present the case as well as I can. I continue to invite the Eagle Forum to reconsider their position and joint with the Convention of States Project of the Citizens for Self-Governance, before it is too late.

In the last email dated March 30, 2016, signed by both Phyllis Schlafly and Ed Martin the new President of Eagle Forum, the drum beat continues. The mixture of falsehood, misinterpretation and innuendo mixed with just enough truth to throw doubt into the minds of the casual reader is the focus of the scare tactics employed by Eagle Forum and their fellow travelers, the John Birch Society (JBS). True constitutional conservatives should embrace the convention approach contained in Article V. This provision was put there by the Founding Fathers to deal with a federal government who might abuse their powers, which they certainly are. The history of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 gives ample evidence that this is true.

Is there common ground among the Eagle Forum, The John Birch Society, U.S. Term Limits, The Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) movement and the Convention of States (COS) project? I suggest there are many areas of potential agreement:

o The Congress passes laws on issues that are not within The Constitutions' enumerated powers granted to the congress.
o The Congress delegate legislative powers to agencies of the Executive branch contrary to Constitutional prohibition.
o The Supreme Court has taken upon itself the power to re-write laws passed by Congress and signed by the President when the Court deems it better.
o The Supreme Court has misinterpreted provisions of the Constitution thereby granting to Congress and the President sweeping power over the States and the People.
o The Supreme Court has found ways to twist and bend the Constitution to allow laws that no Founding Father would have ever imagined.
o The President has revised laws as the president sees fit, unilaterally after they have been duly passed by Congress and signed.

Certainly there must be other areas of agreement.

When I first learned that Eagle Forum and JBS were vociferously opposing the States using their constitutional power to apply for a convention to propose amendments, I was dumbfounded. It was unbelievable. Those who have always upheld the Constitution were now opposing at every turn, in every way possible, the very Constitution they claim to revere.
Let us examine the letter:

"Powerful Leftists have joined forces with some misguided conservatives on the Right and together, they are promoting a national convention to revise the U.S. Constitution."

No "Powerful Leftists" have joined the COS project activities. Every organization can petition or lobby their State Legislatures to propose that the legislature apply for a Convention for proposing amendments. Many organizations have, throughout the years. It is their right under the constitution to do so. Even the JBS had supported applying for a convention in the past.

It is untrue, false to say that "…together, they are promoting…" COS Project has not joined forces with nor embraced nor accepted any endorsement from any organization that espouses increasing the powers of the federal government. And further, Article V only allows for a Convention to propose amendments. It cannot by its self nor does it have within its powers the ability "…to revise the U.S. Constitution." Any proposed amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths (38) states before it could become part of the Constitution.

"Your most valued freedoms could be utterly destroyed."

This is a scare tactic intended to elicit a reaction. How in the world could your most valued freedoms be destroyed if 38-States have to ratify any amendment? Only 13-states legislatures have to do nothing to prevent any such dire consequence.

"The most vocal Leftists, like Wolf Pac, Lawrence Lessig, and George Soros, want to rewrite and limit your First and Second Amendment rights.

You can bet there will be anti-family, pro-abortion delegates to such a convention, seeking to enshrine their favored amendments in the Constitution, too.

Even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came out in support of the idea.

But sadly, attacks on the U.S. Constitution aren't just coming from the extreme Left -- they're coming from all sides."

Nothing will stir up conservative's more than mentioning bogeyman George Soros and implied threats to the 1st and 2nd amendment in the same sentence. If you want to know what Wolfpac, Lessig, Soros, Clinton or Sanders want, go look it up. COS does not speak for or with them, nor do they speak for us.

COS is not anti-family nor pro-abortion, nor is it partisan. And who the delegates will be is in the hands of the State Legislatures. As citizens it is our civic responsibility to know our legislators and what they do.

Then Ms. Schlafly asserts that using a provision that is contained in Article V of the U.S. Constitution is and attack on that very same Constitution. This is ridiculous.

"Convention of States, a group that has gone to great lengths to smear and attack conservatives opposed to this idea, isn't even pretending to want a convention "limited" to a single issue; rather, they want a convention that covers a wide array of issues."

COS presents the truth as found in the history of our country and the Constitution. We do not lie. If we make an error, and it is proven, we will correct our error. We will defend ourselves in the arena of ideas. And we will continue to work tirelessly to educate any who will listen.

The issues that we support for discussion at a convention are presented in our model application: " to impose fiscal restraint on the Federal Government; to limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government; and to impose term limits on Congress and Federal Officers." This is limited scope of issues designed to reduce the scope of the federal government. It is inaccurate to imply a "wide array of issues" is included in our effort. Was this phrase designed to support the claim regarding threats to your most cherished freedoms? Of course it was. COS has proposed these three topics as the minimum needed to address the egregious behavior of the federal government.

"These groups boldly claim a series of amendments can put our country on a wiser path."

Ah Ha! A glimmer of truth! COS does believe that well-crafted amendments proposed and debated at the convention, passed, and debated and ratified by the States, can put the Federal government on a path toward its constitutionally designed place.

"But why would politicians uphold their oaths to a new Constitution if they are violating their oaths to the Constitution we have now?"

Two problems with this sentence: 1) We will not and can not produce a "new Constitution" under this application, only amendments can be proposed. 2) Politicians will claim they are upholding the Constitution and will do so in good faith because they are looking at the constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court rather than as written in its original textual meaning by the Founding Fathers.

"Is it worth the risk of losing our most cherished rights to find out if they will?"

Our most cherished rights are being eroded, constrained, and diminished every time the Congress delegate authority to an agency, every time the Supreme Court issues a new decision and every time the President revises a law unilaterally. If we don't act now, then when? If not this way then How?

Skipping of the link to their petition, lets continue to analyze their letter.

"The authority for such a procedure is Article V of our Constitution, so they are calling their plan of action an Article V Convention."

A convenient short hand

'However, they are fooling themselves when they suggest that Article V creates a path to bypass Congress with a "convention of states." '

We read the history of the Philadelphia Convention and the words of Col. Mason, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton regarding this part of Article V. It was adopted by the 1787 Convention for just this purpose, to correct errors and bypass Congress.

"In a convention setting, the U.S. Congress would have a major say in how the process will work."

This is not true and is a misinterpretation. Mason proposed this provision in Article V because; paraphrasing, no proper amendments will be obtained by the people if Congress should abuse their power. It is designed to bypass congress in most important respects. The only power Congress has is to issue the call, as designed by the States; name the date and place for the convention to convene, and once any amendments are proposed, to name the mode of ratification (by State Legislature or by State Conventions).

There is an implied duty on the part of the Congress to "count" the applications from the States.

"The only power the states have under Article V is the opportunity to submit an "application" (petition) asking Congress to call a convention."

In fact the State, acting through their delegates, have all the power regarding the Convention. The States determine how many delegates they wish to send, select their delegates however they chose, instruct the delegates, and provide for subsistence and lodging and any other details that may be necessary for the conduct of the convention including funding of the venue and technical and security support. Once Congress issues the call, the States' Delegates elect the conventions officers, adopt rules, propose, debate, draft and pass or reject propose amendments. If amendments are passed, they are presented to Congress to be forwarded to the States for ratification.

"Hundreds of such applications have been submitted over the years, with widely different purposes and wording. Many applications were later rescinded, and some purport to make the application valid for only a particular amendment such as a federal balanced budget or congressional term limits."

Again a true fact

"Article V states that Congress "shall" call a convention on the application of two-thirds of state legislatures, or thirty-four (34) of them."

Again a true fact

"If Congress ever decides to act, Article V gives Congress exclusive power to issue the "Call" for a convention to propose "amendments" (plural)."

Again a true fact. Yes the word is "amendments."

The "Call" is the governing document which determines all the basic rules such as where and when a convention will be held, who is eligible to be a delegate (will current office-holders be eligible?), how delegates will be apportioned, how expenses will be paid, and who will be the chairman.

This is a mixture of truth and misinformation. The "call" is the governing document but only insofar as naming the subject matter, the time and place of the convention. If this information is not included then it would not be a "call." Historically convention calls were explicit regarding the subject, place and date of any convention. These are the only "basic rules" that Congress controls

Congress does not have the power to dictate who is eligible to be a delegate, how the will be apportioned, how expenses will be paid or who will be the chairman. See the above answer regarding pay etc.

"Article V also gives Congress the power to determine whether the three-fourths of the states required for ratification of amendments can ratify by the state legislature's action or by state conventions."

Again true

"Do you trust the current U.S. Congress to determine the rules for how the Constitution will be rewritten?"

The Constitution is not being rewritten!! And Congress is not determining the rules! I feel the need to shout this because EF, JBS and others continue to say these things in the hope that repetition will make them true when they are not.

"The most important question to which there is no answer is this: how will convention delegates be apportioned? "

Of course there is an answer. The States legislatures decide; a very simple straight forward answer.

"Will each state have one vote (no matter how many delegates it sends), which was the rule in the 1787 Philadelphia convention?"

Yes, unless the Convention adopts some other rule.

"Or will the convention be apportioned according to population (like Congress or the Electoral College)?"

No, unless the Convention adopts some other rule.

"Nothing in Article V gives the states any power to make this fundamental decision."

But it is the States' Convention for proposing amendments. They States decide through their delegates.

"If Congress decides apportionment will be determined by population, more populous states will control the outcome.
Do you want California or New York deciding how the U.S. Constitution should read?"

This is not within Congressional power. It is unlikely that States will adopt any other rule than one-State, one-Vote.

"Article V doesn't give any power to the states to propose actual constitutional amendments, or to decide which amendments will be considered by the convention.

Now imagine Democratic and Republican conventions meeting in the same hall and trying to agree on constitutional changes. Imagine the gridlock in drafting a constitutional plank by caucuses led by Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton.

Everything else about how an Article V Convention would function -- including its agenda -- is anybody's guess.

Advocates of an Article V convention can hope and speculate, but they cannot assure us that any of their plans will come true."

While it is true that States are not given the power to propose actual amendments or to decide which amendments will be considered at the convention, the subject matter of the convention is established by the applications from 34-States. The instructions to their delegates will provide guidance to the delegates regarding what proposals might receive favorable consideration in the legislature. Since the legislature is the people representatives at the state level it is reasonable to assume that a ratification convention might hold a similar view.

If 34-four states have applied for a convention with similar subject matter, it is reasonable to assume that those states want to achieve a outcome as outlined in the application. They would not be polar opposites. If however, the delegates were unable to pass an amendment, then so be it.

The opposition cannot assure us they will survive the year. They cannot assure us that the country, as we know it, will survey for another 100-years. We know that the country of 50-years ago didn't survive. We know if we do nothing it cannot survive.

"If we follow the model of the 1787 Convention, will the deliberations be secret? Are you kidding me? Nothing is secret any more. "

No, we expect to be the most watched show on TV.

"What are the plans to deal with protesters at what would surely be the biggest media event of the year, if not of the century? It will be flooded with agitators from the gun-control lobby, the gay lobby, the abortion lobby, the green lobby, plus experienced protesters -- like union thugs -- trained and even paid with George Soros money."

Ah, there's George again. But seriously, in the modern age security is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

"There is no proof that the VIPs promoting an Article V convention have any first-hand knowledge of the politics or procedures of a contested national convention. Don't they realize that the convention will set its own agenda and that states will have no say over which amendments are considered?"

Not true. Delegates serve their respective State Legislatures. States can recall delegates at any time for any reason. Delegates are not ships launched to the winds without a tether.

"To see how a convention chairman wielding the gavel can manipulate outcomes, take for instance the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
A delegate tried to add a reference to God to the party platform, but the chairman ruthlessly called the vote wrong even though we all saw on television that the "Noes" won the vote. The whole Article V "Convention of States" process is a prescription for political chaos."

With all due respect, we are already suffering political Chaos.

"Alas, I don't see any George Washingtons, James Madisons or Ben Franklins around today who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I'm worried about the men who think they can."

We do not claim to be the peers of our Founding Fathers. But our Founding Fathers knew that if we are going to keep our Republic, leaders would have to step up, face the challenge, overcome adversity and accomplish the tasks that need to be done to insure that our Country as we know it, and want it to be, will survive for another 250-years. With all humility, we implorer God's divine guidance and we pray for his mercy, guidance, and support.
Since Ed Marin's post script to Ms. Schlafly's letter repeats I will not address it further

Ms. Schlafly, please rethink your position. Please enter into a dialogue with us. Please let us discuss the issues and better yet start making the plans for a successful Convention for Proposing Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Eugene L. Cloud
COS Legislative Liaison - Florida

An Article V Convention of States is not a Constitutional Convention. It operates within and derives it's powers from the current Constitution. It is an amending convention with the focused purpose of proposing Amendments that would reign in the power of the Federal Government. Any amendment proposed must be ratified by 38 states. If the collective wisdom of the states' Legislatures cannot be trusted to propose and approve reasonable Amendments that will fix anticipated problems with a Tyrannical Federal Leviathan, than who can? My money is on the collective wisdom of the elected representatives in the states to take back their power and restore balance.

I am shocked and saddened at how uninformed and shallow American's have
become.Those opposed to an Article V Convention of States are driven by
fear and ignorance. They allow themselves to be manipulated and controlled
by the big government state media and ruling elites. They are the sheep that
are afraid of their own shadow. many are angry, but are not able to see
or understand the root cause of our country's problems. WE ARE THE
ROOT CAUSE of our country's problems. We want to blame everyone
else for our problems but never want to take responsibility for our own
ignorance and inaction. We need to be brutally honest with
ourselves:
1. Do we expect Congress to pull back on their Constitutional
overreach? Impossible
2. Do we expect the Supreme Court to undo all of their previous
Unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions? Impossible
3. Can we trust a new President (maybe we can find the
smartest and most honest American
on Earth) to "lead" Congress and the Supreme Court to undo all
of the Unconstitutional legal precedents and dismantle the huge
federal bereaucracy? Impossible
We need an Article V Convention of States!! So please don’t just
dismiss this idea because of what you hear or you think you know,
Get Informed.. Please join us, sign the petitition and get involved at
http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1862102 ,

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