“I just knew it! Elect some people to go and fix a few things and look what happens! It’s a runaway convention! Just like everybody feared it would be! They wound up throwing it all out and starting from scratch! Who knows what will happen now! All we can do is pray!”
— Anonymous, early September 1787.
Well, the prayers worked. On September 17, 1787, the greatest foundational document ever written for the formation of a government of men by men was completed and signed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nestled in the midst of it was the very unassuming and seemingly innocuous Article V. It recognizes that Congress can present amendments to the Constitution for ratification when it seems advisable to do so. But it also says that upon petition by two-thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention of states for the express purpose of drafting amendments that the states find to have become necessary. Now the only reason that an Article V convention of states would become necessary is that the Federal Government has become unresponsive to the will of the people and must, by modification of the Constitution itself through the amendment process, be brought to heel! The Federal Government has come to the point that it will not govern itself.
Mark Levin has written a book (The Liberty Amendments) in which he gives eleven specific examples of amendments that could be made and used to rein in the out-of-control bureaucracy that has become so much a shackle to freedom and free enterprise. But there are several seemingly conservative entities that categorically refuse to admit that an Article V convention would be beneficial. Indeed they rant and rave about the possibility of a “runaway” convention that would throw the baby out with the bathwater. Their fear seems to be that we would lose what we have shed so much blood over the last two hundred and forty years to “protect”.
The Eagle Forum has presented a list of twenty questions they say cannot be answered to assure that such a “Con Con” would not destroy what we have. Well not to put too fine a point on their objections yet, but do we really want to continue on the same road and hope that the Federal Government will fix itself if we just keep sending emails and signing petitions? Good luck with that! They won’t even indict Hillary or censure the Administration in any way for running guns and giving other aid and comfort to our sworn enemies! How many petitions have been signed and sent begging them to close our border and actually enforce immigration law?
So, about Article V and the twenty questions: The majority of the questions have to do with authority; whose authority determines the details/rules of how the convention is organized, committees, quorum, venue, officers, etc. What about the authority this convention wields, can it simply discard the Constitution and start over? The fears are, I am very sorry to say, unfounded and out of ignorance. I’m sorry to say that because the conservative organizations that are opposed to the Article V convention are, otherwise, very laudable in what they do and support! But to put their objections in a nutshell, let’s start with the first question of authority.
We the People are the final authority. The output of the Convention of States, whoever its officers, whatever its committees, however they got there in the first place from their respective states, are proposed amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America. As such, they must pass the bar of ratification by three-fourths of the various states just as all the other amendments after the Bill of Rights have done. The Convention is not a sovereign body! It is convened for one purpose: to present back to we the people, the best, most necessary amendments to stop the overreach of an out-of-control Federal Government, We the People in the several states can then agree or disagree with their proposals and those passing muster through the ratification process given elsewhere in the Constitution, will become valid amendments.
The Article V Convention is not something to be feared and fought! If we trust the Founders wisdom at all, it is time for us to stand united and demand of our states legislatures that they push back and require that Congress call an Article V Convention of States. The Founders didn’t trust the Federal Government to do the right thing over time. In fact, they knew it would not. That is why this innocuous sounding little Article is there. I trust the wisdom of the Founders. It is past time to ask yourself, do you? If you are not part of the solution to the ills of this nation then you are definitely part of the problem! Get off the fence! Let’s take our freedoms back!
The Founders gave birth to a nation governed by law, not men. I for one, believe it is time for that vision to be redeemed! It was courage and vision that made it possible. We either have it or we don’t. History will definitely show which.
This article was first published on Constitution.com. Please pay them a visit also.