The Convention of the States

As I write, the South Carolina Senate is considering a bill calling for a Convention of the States (COS) or ConCon (Constitution Convention).

S.547 Con Con (Article V Convention) Bill is before the SC Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and has been under discussion in Columbia, in the Gressette Room 209, since 9AM this morning.

The Constitution provides two ways of proposing Amendments and two ways of ratifying them. Since the adoption of the Constitution, Congress has itself proposed every amendment that has been ratified and ratification of every amendment except one, has been by 3/4 of the state legislatures; the one was the 21st which repealed prohibition.

The unused way to propose Amendments is for 3/4 of the state legislatures to call for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. Proponents want ratification to be the more traditional route, that is by 3/4 of the state legislatures.

 

The ConCon or Convention of the States (COS) is not a good idea because it is not possible to limit the powers of a convention – in fact, that is how our Constitution came into existence. Lightly educated people criticize the delegates to the Constitutional Convention (the Founders) for exceeding their authority, but that is incorrect. We inherited the British tradition of allowing every convention to set its own rules. A ConCon that cannot set its own rules would be something strange and innovative. Conservatives are naturally skeptical of such breaks with Western tradition because the can be precedent setting and the fallout could be dangerous to self-government everywhere.

Every convention makes its own rules (and some of them, the ones not run by Communists, or other lawless thugs, are conscientious about following the rules they adopt and going by the universally accepted Robert’s Rules. Democrats, Progressives, Communists and others willing to cheat in order to advance their agenda, cannot be counted on to play by the rules – they may also pretend to be conservative in order to elected to the COS.

The problem with the COS is at least two-fold: First, to agree on a set of rules that no one will try to change in convention; and Second, to get those who agree to a set of rules to follow them once the Convention starts – we live in corrupt times, people’s word is not their bond and sometimes their bond is fake too, so it is very difficult to guarantee either one in our godless era. Ergo, it seems to me, that we had better stick with what we have and try to make it work – there are still people who respect the Constitution, will there be more people who respect the new and improved Constitution? Will the people now pushing it like the results? Too many questions – I say, let’s not do this.

I posted a version of this argument on my FB page (this one is just a little more cleaned up) and got some interesting responses to share with my readers:

 

Comments
Jeff Duncan
Jeff Duncan Any amendments to the Constitution would still need to be ratified by 2/3rds of the states, correct? [This is Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.]
Evan Mulch You have a hard time obeying the U.S. Constitution yourself. Do you really think the Convention delegates would obey the U.S. Constitution? A runaway Convention may be what takes place if a Convention is called. [I don’t think Evan means Jeff personally, but rather, the Congress as a whole.]
Barbara Wilson Yes…38 states [editor’s note – that’s 3/4 – Barbara is correct and the good Congressman is wrong] would have to ratify any new amendment(s), from my understanding. I am against any ConCon. I will never forget all the lawyers arguing for an entire evening at the Convention center, among the Greenville County GOP Executive Committeemen, over wanting just one English word being changed from “shall” to “will”! What a waste of time! (I said the verse, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” does NOT mean “maybe”!! “Shalt” (shall) meant a definite “WILL”! No need to change the old English! We just need good scholarly men and women who know how to study the Bible and the original Constitution!
Eric Buss What we are witnessing is political feudalism. As in the European middle ages, men (and armies) would shift to the most beneficial circumstance at the moment. It is the Nature of man to factionalize. What is expedient in the moment is not necessarily what will further his final goal. That is where we are. The fight has defeated the cause.
When the lords of the land shift loyalties, the foot soldier must determine his oath to the final goal or to the lord.

Immediate master or final goal is what we are deciding.
COS is the means by which the footsoldiers can reaffirm their commitment to the final goal or pledge allegiance to a man/cause. Liberty is a messy affair. Neglected liberty is doubly so. What we are living under resembles nothing of the liberty that was inherited by our generation. I strongly affirm that any means we have at our disposal should be brought to bear in the restoration of our constitutional republic. The progressive/communists are defeating us by using the law against us. Unless a patriot is willing to bear arms in defense of liberty, there are few options available to the citizens for the redress of grievances. If one were so inclined to take up arms, remember this:
1. No strategy
2. No Unity
3. No tactical advantage.
The only option left is to use their own strategy against them. Know the law. Educate citizens about the law and to illustrate through a COS that the law works both ways. Chains can be used universally. The federal government has already usurped their role and exceeded their jurisdiction. Apart from a full recital of the declaration​ of independence, the COS is all we have left in our peaceful arsenal. My thoughts as one who knows the inner workings of the 3% and oath keeper groups and their lack of will.

————–

I confess I do not fully understand what Eric Buss is saying, but I have heard John Eastman on this subject and he is very convincing, but while he is the most convincing and the most reliable advocate of this cause I know, he’s still not convincing enough. But you decide. Hear the former Dean of the Chapman Law School here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24iPESIPmms.

See also here, a refutation of the good Dr. Eastman as well as a treasure trove of related Constitutional information: https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/convention-of-states-project/

What do you think of these plans for and objections to a ConCon. After reviewing the arguments, for the umpteenth time, I am more convinced than ever that the COS/ConCon is a bad idea.   I would love to know what you think.

Check back here to find out what happened at the SC State Senate Judiciary hearing on the ConCon/COS.

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