Tavares, FL Dec. 4, 2015 by Vance Jochim Important Update added May 20, 2016
This FiscalRangers.com Fact Sheet describes the Article V Convention of States method of changing or adding Amendments to the US Constituion and includes rebuttals to various criticisms.
This factsheet will be periodically updated or expanded.
The short URL to reach this FiscalRangers.com FactSheet is:
A Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also called an Article V Convention, or Amendments Convention, is one of two procedures for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution described in Article Five of the Constitution.
The other method is a vote by two-thirds of each house of Congress. We won't discuss that here but "only 33 such Congress led proposals have been adopted by Congress since 1789 and presented to the states for ratification, and of these, only ... Twenty-seven Constitutional Amendments have been ratified since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789. The first ten amendments were adopted and ratified simultaneously and are known collectively as the Bill of Rights." One example is the Congress approved 1919 18th Amendment on Prohibition of manufacturing or sale of alcohol, which was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933.
The Article V Convention of States, which is run entirely by the States (not true - see video below) and Amendments can be proposed and approved by 2/3 of the States (34) by their legislators. Congress is not involved in this process. (NOT TRUE - See video below)
Update May 20, 2016 - The John Birch Society published a very good 60 minute video by Robert Brown analyzing all the legal claims about the benefits of Convention of States methods and found many legal and historical precendent loopholes. It is enough for me to NOT trust ANY of the four types of processes he describes. He points out that liberal Obama advisor Lawrence Lessig has ties to three of the four methods being pursued now, is behind the WolfPAC group pursuing one method, and how propoonents use many lies to push the process. The goal of the liberals is to use the process, control the outcome and rewrite the Constitution the way they want.
"This video has four parts: (1) 4 Conflicting Approaches; (2) What Article V Really Says; (3) The 1787 Precedent — 3 Indisputable Facts; and (4) Conclusion.
This video provides an up-to-date analysis of the Article V convention issue. It is especially useful for informing state legislators on the reasons why all Article V convention applications should be rejected."
The speaker does propose the solution to modifying the Constitution can be found in Article VI instead and explains why.
Watch the entire video to understand and decide what should be done.
Recommendation: Unless I see or read credible factual information to contradict the information in this video, I do not recommend pursuit of the Article V Convention. There are too many facts not disclosed by proponents and too many ways liberals can take over the process to "rewrite the Constitution" the way THEY want.
The information below was published before I encountered the above video. I left it here for reference. VJ
This Convention of States method has NEVER been used before so there is much anxiety on how it will work. But in 2015, three different groups are leading efforts to use this method to add proposed Amendments.
In 2014, many state representatives met to start an Article V Convention of States
In 2014, a group of many State Representatives, including local Lake County, FL Rep. Larry Metz and FL Sen. Alan Hays met with many other state representatives to discuss holding a Convention of States to propose and move forward some conservative Amendements to the US Constitution. This was in reaction to the heavy handed liberal actions led by Obama.
They started the process, which requires defining what Amendments are proposed, and getting 3/4 or 34 of the States to support the Convention. The process is run by CSG (see below) and is moving forward to add conservative derived Amendments as of December, 2015.
From the Wikipedia Page on the Article V Convention of States (Dec. 4, 2015):
In recent years some constitutional scholars have argued that state governments should call for such a convention. They include Michael Farris, Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Levinson, Larry Sabato, Jonathan Turley, and Mark Levin.
As of 2015, there is an active nationwide effort by Conservatives to call an Article V Convention. Citizens for Self-Governance(CSG), through a project called Convention of the States, is promoting Article V legislation in all 50 states in a bid to rein in the federal government. CSG's resolution has passed inGeorgia, Alaska, Florida, and Alabama.
Similarly, the group Wolf PAC chose this method to promote its cause, which is to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. That decision allowed corporations to establish SuperPACS and contribute much more to election campaigns, which is opposed by liberals and unions. Their resolution has passed in Vermont, California, Illinois, andNew Jersey. (Note: This effort is funded by George Soros, according to the video below, and he is not supporting any other Article V Convention Amendment, so this effort is separate from the conservative supported CSG effort described above.)
Single Subject Amendment (from Wikipedia)
A Super PAC called Single Subject Amendment registered with the Federal Election Commission on March 1, 2013. It is actively engaged in an effort to call an Article V Convention for the limited purpose of proposing an amendment to provide every law enacted by Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be clearly expressed in the bill's title. Forty-one state constitutions have a single subject provision but this provision is missing in the United States Constitution. Through its efforts, Florida, on April 24, 2014, became the first state in U. S. history to make application for an Article V Convention to constitutionally prohibit riders in Congress.
Mark Levin proposes 11 Amendments in his 2013 book "The Liberty Amendments" . These are Amendments he proposes, and some may be used by CSG below. Read the book, or see THIS video link of Levin on the Hannity Show in 2013.
- An Amendment to establish term limits for members of Congress. Founders never planned for professional legislative class and have 85% of incumbents re-elected. Needed to break up ruling class and mentality.
- No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress (term limits)
- Any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term.
- An Amendment to Restore the Senate
- The Seventeenth Amendment (as implemented by the Progressive movement in 1913, who were trying to weaken the States.) is hereby repealed. All Senators shall be chosen by their state legislatures as prescribed by Article I and the practice followed for over 100 hears. (Result - no separate voter elections for Senators, thus restores state rights and loyalty of Senators to the States, not uneducated voters, since their legislators would choose the Senators).
- This Amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. (Thus current elected incumbents finish their term.) Another alternative argument is term limits will limit their power.
- An Amendment to establish Term Limits on the Supreme Court - intended to reduce Judicial Tyranny.
- Two Amendments to limit Federal Spending and Taxing - prevent coming catastrophe of deficits, debt ceilings. Make election day same day as tax day.
- An Amendment to limit the Federal Bureaucracy
- An Amendment to promote Free Enterprise
- An Amendment to protect Private Property - intertwined with Liberty.
- An Amendment to grant the states authority to directly amend the constitution (by a 2/3 vote).
- An Amendment to grant the states authority to check Congress. (Override a Federal statute or regulation valued at $100-million or more by a 3/5 vote.) Skeptics worry about hijacking of the process. Would take 3/5 of states to get hijacked proposals approved.
- An Amendment to protect the vote.
- Video didn't cover it...will be added after I read the book!!
The Citizens for Self Governance (CSG) is in the process of defining and then approving conservative supported Amendments. I will add them here when I find them. Their project is the primary effort by Conservatives to add new Amendments (in 2015).
George Soros is funding the WolfPac effort for a Convention of States to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. See more details above. Soros is not supporting or involved in the other above efforts.
Sources for More Information
Addressing Criticisms of the Article V Convention of States
Many critics were concerned about the Convention becoming a runaway convention or it being hijacked by liberals.
THIS Dec. 3, 2015 video of a panel of experts addresses those criticisms, and in my mind, answered all of the ones that seem possible: (Update May 20, 2016 - the JBS video added at the top of this document clearly shows the Con-Con to be dangerous)
Here is outstanding video of panel workshop held yesterday for state legislators by ALEC, and excellent depth and answers to objections. State legislators and conservatives need to watch this.
Watch the video here:
There are many articles questioning the safety of the Article V Convention of States to add more US Constitution Amendments and this answered all of them for me.
Critics say it could become a runaway convention run by liberals, or there are workarounds. This video provides some clear reasons why some common objections are not true.
They answered all my questions.
One big answer is that there have been some 33 Conventions, some regional, others national, and not one was a runaway. (However, these were Congress driven events, not using this States Convention process).
This is a panel of 3 legal heavyweights and a US Senator, and most of the discussion are legal answers to opposition points but understandable.
As Lake County conservatives know, local FL Rep. Larry Metz and Sen. Alan Hays have been involved in the formulation meetings.
A convention of states is run by the STATES to propose and approve Amendments to the US Constitution, and Congress has no input.
This was live yesterday, Dec. 3, 2015. If you skip the introductory BS and go to 33 min as in this link below, the remaining video is about one hour.
I posted my NOTES in the video comments on YouTube, so you can read along if you wish or skim for relevant ideas. The notes are more specific answers to criticisms than I wrote here.
For more background: