It’s time for a Convention of States, particularly since Congress doesn’t think so

You’ve probably heard this story before. Following the Constitutional Convention in September 1787, Elizabeth Powel, the premiere “Saloniste of Philadelphia” approached Benjamin Franklin on his way out of the Pennsylvania State House and asked what form of government the delegates of the Congress had agreed upon. He replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

It was a simple challenge presented almost 220 years ago that resonates with a stentorian echo to this day.

When I travel the country, many folks ask what they can do, what can be done when the rule of law — the US Constitution — is clearly being violated?

Well, it seems more than a few Americans have an answer and have accepted Franklin’s challenge – although it’s not something you’ll see widely reported in the media.

As Bryan Anderson writes for Investors Business Daily, “A very important meeting is being held in Washington this week, but career politicians, lobbyists and most in the media don’t want you to know about it. More than 100 state legislators from around the country are meeting at the Naval Heritage Center.”

“The Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL) will discuss the rules for the first-ever Article V Constitutional amendment convention. This is their third meeting. They’re preparing to take on Washington, and Congress doesn’t like it.”

“The Framers of the Constitution had the foresight to anticipate what Congress has become: a dysfunctional mess. In Article V they wisely provided a means for the states to step in and amend the Constitution largely without congressional approval. The state legislators in ASL are determined to convene an amendment convention. Our situation is that dire.” Sounds like it’s high time for a Convention of States.

Now of course the crowd inside the beltway will portray these patriotic and concerned Americans as “right-wing extremists” — but fi seeking to implement procedures the Founding Fathers bequeathed is extreme, then what is the future of our Constitutional Republic?

I find this to be a truly noble endeavor in understanding the constitutional basis of our country — and the application of the rule of law, which has been so clearly assaulted. Read my friend Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments, which clearly presents the sound legal and constitutional basis for this venture — and offers a series of amendments which could be instituted.

Consider this, we wrote just yesterday about the massive $1 trillion omnibus — or as it’s being labeled, “Cromnibus” (Continuing Resolution/Omnibus) – a spending measure being considered in a lame duck session, or else, we go into a government shutdown.

And how is it that the U.S. Senate did not pass a single appropriations bill this entire year — what are they doing? We have $18 trillion in federal debt, 20 percent of American households on food stamps, the Social Security Disability Income Trust Fund nearing depletion and an immigration reform debacle.

Some folks believe the country hasn’t been this mired in critical problems and so divided since the Civil War. And in all of this, Congress apparently cannot do the nation’s business.

The recent report on the CIA released by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, Dianne Feinstein, was just partisan political antics — certainly not good policy. Getting re-elected and the gimmickry of political chess are the only areas where Capitol Hill is successful. And challenging the status quo is frowned upon by both party establishments.

However, despite an 8 percent approval rating, over 90 percent of incumbents were just re-elected. Americans are beheaded and executed by Islamic terrorists, yet no one wants to declare war and properly prosecute a combat operation to defeat the enemy.

Is it any wonder the country feels helpless and is crying out for reform? What’s the solution?

As IBD writes, “The good news is: State legislators can force reform on Congress. The most important question for the Assembly of State Legislatures is: Which reforms are so popular that they could be adopted by 38 states and become Constitutional amendments? It won’t be enough for 34 states to pass applications and simply hold an amendment convention. Having support for reforms from 38 states must be the goal. (Thirty-eight states are required to adopt Constitutional amendments, 34 to call an amendment convention.) Doing otherwise — pushing for reforms that can never achieve approval from 38 states — plays directly into Congress’ hands. Congress and the Washington insiders want the states’ reform efforts to fail.”

The interesting point is that after the midterm elections of 2014, there are 69 of 99 state legislatures under GOP control — but the question is are they constitutional conservatives? If only 34 states can be mustered, then all efforts must be taken to Congress for a “mother, may I” application vote — and we know where that would end up.

I’d like to know where the new head of the Republican Governors Association, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslem, stands on this issue, and if he would support this constitutional initiative.

What type of amendments would I recommend? Well for starters those which are easy to grasp, such as equal application of the law (“Congress shall make no law applicable to the citizens of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress”), a balanced budget amendment, and term limits for federal office holders. For other great ideas, read Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments.

If this initiative could be successful and set a precedent it could be continually used — after all, that’s why we have the 9th and 10th Amendments. This isn’t meant to be a way for states to take power away from the federal government but rather a necessity to ensure the feds operate within their constitutionally prescribed parameters. It’s not a punitive weapon.

America is a Republic and operates under the system and principle of federalism — as least we used to. There are countless instances when the federal government has superseded state law, some rightly so. However, with the unlawful immigration reform executive order along with Obamacare, we find our states being subject to the whims of the federal government. The convening of an Article V convention is a viable tool for the states and the people, to ensure they accept and stand up for Franklin’s challenge – a Republic, if we can keep it.

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28 Comments on "It’s time for a Convention of States, particularly since Congress doesn’t think so"

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Paul Sheridan
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How about an amendment to eliminate gerrymandering? Letting politicians draw the borders of their own districts is like hiring a fox to be the architect of your hen house.

Paul Adcock
Guest

I was thinking that too. They haven’t suggested it, but I think it’s possible. I was thinking of it ever since I saw them try to get it imposed on the Illinois state legislature. It failed due to crony Madigan and his friends in the court. However, if they are so terrified of term limits and gerrymandering limits, you KNOW it must be REALLY damaging and should definitely be imposed on the feds!

Southern Xposure
Guest

This is the first time I ever fully understood that we the people this much power. 1) We elect state represntatives to set state law with say so as to our federal governement as well as 2) a separate batch of federal government representatives to make and enforce federal law. Another set of checks and balance.

Vincent Hare
Guest
the constitution is an interesting read! The schools should stop cutting the teaching of All of American History. West, it is not just the Senate, but the House, led by Boehner, that has made congress the most useless congress in history. Lets see if they twist or remove that from the history books. The worst thing about it is that americans put the very ones back in office that were causing this. I never thot we would have to come to this kind of action again….even if the people can, you would think we would have learned from the first… Read more »
MikefromNC
Guest
It doesn’t seem that you understand what an Article V convention IS. You refer to “coming to this kind of action again”.. There is no “again”. We have never held an Article V convention. This is not the same as the constitutional convention in 1787. All that can happen is the proposing of amendments which would then require ratification by 38 states. It will not be used “to undo what has helped this nation become greta”. i strongly urge you to check out ConventionofStates dot com and learn about what Article V is. If you like it, you can sign… Read more »
Vincent Hare
Guest

I didn’t say I did understand it, but I do understand the gist of it. I plan on reading up on It to see just what it means to the states rights and to see how it can and will be misused when the time comes to interpret it. Thanks for the site info, MikefromNC!

Paul Adcock
Guest
No, it will, among other things, put a limit on the Supreme Court, which even Jefferson saw would one day go bad after Mauberry vs. Madison happened. They Supreme Court is allowed to “interpret” the Constitution and that has allowed almost all, minus the IRS stuff, which is the fault of Amendment 16, and the fact that we have useless Senators, for the most part (Amendment 17), the BS we are dealing with now! Also, the treaties with the UN could sell us out domestically yet the Founders never thought treaties could do such a thing nor could they have… Read more »
Vincent Hare
Guest

Yeah, Paul,……I agree!

Republic
Guest

The Dream of ’16 may have Mark Levin as part of the lawyer team. Time is short! Get the best, or mediocrity for the repubs is the best. Not much time.

And meanwhile, the Dream Candidate to the Republican Party is nowhere to be found, or allowed to participate in debates. Hello? You don’t ignore the repubs’ best candidate …

View AmericaIdea for the only GOP 2016 Dream Candidate.

InaudibleNoise
Guest
Mr. West, I’m very confident in my assessment of where Progressive Republican Governor Bill Haslam (new head of the RGA) stands on this issue. He stands with the Statists and would be totally against anything that would eliminate centralized power. He is one of BO’s favorite Republicans and the White House just loves his latest education based wealth redistribution policy. And then there is this website http://billhislam.com/ you should take a look at. Despite what many may think, Haslam is not a conservative in any shape, form or fashion. He has his heart set on being POTUS some day and… Read more »
Paul Adcock
Guest

Much like a state constitutional amendment, the governor can’t do squat (other than try and veto other things to blackmail the legislature into seeing things his/her way. However, in this case, I hope the legislature of that state tells him to pound sand if he tries that.)

Ted Goodridge
Guest

.

Paul Adcock
Guest
We could have an Amendment to eliminate pork. Of course, an Amendment prohibiting the feds from spending money on anything the states can (i.e. education, welfare, bridges, etc.) will take a huge chunk out of that and also kill them dangling money to do things like Race to the Top to entice states into surrendering more of their power to things like Common Core. However, another amendment that would only let them mentions what the bill can spend on or do in an opening section, and that anything on there not in that section couldn’t be spent on or enacted.… Read more »
Eugene McKinnon
Guest

yeah, I think you’re right Paul. A limit should be crucial to stop this multiple answer law quiz bullshit.

partswizard
Guest
They are calling for a Convention Of States (COS) per article 5 of our constitution. a COS is called for regarding 1 subject only. If 2/3 of our 50 states call for the same subject than a COS will be convened. If they all agree on the wording – than an amendment is listed for all 50 states to vote on . If 3/4 of all states ratify it than a new amendment is added to our constitution. It only deals with 1 subject. many COS can be called for but getting 2/3 to agree on then same subject is… Read more »
pb
Guest

Thank you so much for putting this out there to help with understanding this CoS……just one thing…..your second paragraph? You mentioned our “5th amendment”, should that not be Article 5 under the Preamble? As there’s so much talk about amendments it’s easy to be confused. I’ll be the first to admit to that.

Again, thanks for helping to simplify the process….. 😉

Donna
Guest
partswizard is not exactly correct in how he/she has laid this out for you. Article V does not require it be 1 subject. However 1 subject at a time is easier to deal with. At this time, I believe the COS is talking about Congressional terms limits and the second subject of requiring a balanced budget. These 2 subjects are currently making their way through the process and are being received with open arms by the PEOPLES STATE DELEGATES. Once the States agree that these two subjects are needed in the Constitution, then the wording will begin making its way… Read more »
pb
Guest

Thank you, and I understood it to be one subject at a time. And also that there were other “subjects” already in process, of which I couldn’t remember what they were other than the term limits. So thanks for clearing up what they were. I did think there was another one, but I could be wrong about that. I did get the process too.

Thanks again….it’s good to get this all out there, my point was that it was easier to understand. That’s what folks need, someone to make the process easier to get!!! 😉

dingy
Guest

The one amendment that could pass immediately is “Congress shall make no law applicable to the citizens of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress”

Donna
Guest

I think with the country in $1 trillion in debt, a balanced budget amendment would also be widely received.

pb
Guest

I can’t imagine, in light of what’s been going on with this current ASSministration, that anyone would object to at least this one item!! But I’m sure there will be plenty!!

truepatriotintx
Guest

This amendment alone would insure that we never get laws like the ACA again. Congress would never subject themselves to such an atrocity.

David Thompson
Guest

Please get on Amazon and order your copy of “The Liberty Amendments” by Mark R. Levin. Mark was The Chief Of Staff for Attorney General Ed Meese in The Reagan Administration…… That Book Would Be A Great Christmas Gift for a Friend or Loved One…. Merry Christmas and Thank You Allen B. West!

Judge Ely
Guest

No-No-No! You cannot trust todays politicians even at the state level. Look at California, New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, etc. All a bunch of stupid fools. None are as wise or trust worthy as our founding fathers. Look at Moonbeam Brown in California or Como the Communist in NY. Convention of States talked up to eliminate our great Constitution and our Bill of Rights. This talk is all a SCAM. Do not fall for it!

UnknownRider
Guest

If the representatives closest to you can’t be trusted, and those inside the beltway don’t care about your concerns, your self imposed solution is either suicide by corruption or authoritarian government.

Conservative Not Republican
Guest
Conservative Not Republican
I agree, none are as trustworthy as our Founding Fathers, but there is no other way to get the changes enacted. For example, you will never get term limits without a Covention of the States because congress will never allow a vote on it to be considered as an amendment. The same goes for a balanced budget amendment. Beyond that, the traditional amendment process takes an extremely long time in order to ratify anything. You are right not to trust the politicians, but in this case, it won’t be just the politicians who are involved. This is, and will be,… Read more »
Cynthia Matthews
Guest
I’m surprised so many are just led to this “Convention of States” thing! The Article V Convention of States is being sold as an easy route around Congress to obtain Amendments to the United States Constitution. “The Congress. . .shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments. . .” Article V. But, there is no easy route to amending the Constitution, no quick or short-cut procedure. Neither can we reign in a lawless President, or flagrant violators of the Constitution, now serving as members of Congress, through amending a document they refuse to obey! We have the Amendment process and that… Read more »
Cynthia Matthews
Guest
In the Military there is a practice known as being an”Oath Keeper,” but this kind of obedience to the U.S. Constitution, along with the refusal to obey violations of the same is and must be reaffirmed as the responsibility of every citizen, in the Military or not! This is how the Constitution is followed and upheld. Neglect of this practice, or hesitancy to follow it has resulted in a dysfunctional Congress and a runaway President. Illegal Executive Orders by a President, and idle complicity by our U.S. Congress! When any agency or official of the government makes an unconstitutional law… Read more »