Third Party & Independents Archives

How Hillary Can Knock-Out Obama

Now is the time for Hilary Clinton to take a bold position that in one brilliant, courageous stroke shows the nation that she is more willing to pursue true reforms of the two-party plutocratic political system than Obama is.

With this position she can reveal that all the Obama talk about change is just a clever campaign strategy to seduce people who rightfully are fed up with politics as usual.

With this single position she can transform herself from status-quo-political-establishment-candidate to a true believer in what the Founders gave us in the Constitution: the right to turn public mistrust and lack of confidence in the federal government into peaceful constitutional problem solving. When 81 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, then the constitutional path to reform should be used.

How can a true political leader do better than advocating use of what is sitting right there in our beloved Constitution?

How can a candidate advocating solutions for America do better than supporting what has already been used hundreds of times by the states, but has been blocked by fearful political forces for over 200 years at the federal level?

How could Obama tell the nation that he does not believe in using what the Constitution says we have a clear right to use? How could this self-professed change agent say he is against using the peaceful constitutional path to examining profound political reforms? Neither Obama nor McCain would find it easy to say that what the Founders gave us in our Constitution should not be used. Indeed, as Senators, would they introduce a bill to amend the Constitution to remove this option? I think not.

Sometimes, a great notion just needs to be articulated for people to see the clear way forward. Now is the ideal time for Hillary Clinton to say to Americans that she agrees that the political system must be fixed and that the time has arrived for a serious national discussion of political reforms that only can be achieved through constitutional amendments, because Congress has shown no inclination for pursuing deep, systemic political reforms.

The constitutional alternative is to use what is in Article V: a convention of state delegates that is given the constitutional power that so far only Congress has used, to debate and consider proposals for constitutional amendments. The Framers brilliantly created both this option and the safety net that proposed amendments, like those from Congress, must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Nor can a totally new Constitution be considered, only amendments to the present one.

Clinton would have history and facts on her side. The clarity of the Article V convention option in the Constitution is undisputed. Better yet, the one and only stated requirement for Congress to obey for convening the convention has already been satisfied – namely that two-thirds of state legislatures ask Congress for a convention. Indeed, there have been over 500 such state requests from all 50 states. Hillary could state very simply that the time is long overdue for Congress to obey the Constitution and convene a convention. She could introduce a bill that says exactly that to show that she is really true to her words.

There have been several important books from respected academics that provide the intellectual ammunition for taking this bold position. These include: “A More Perfect Constitution” by Larry Sabato; “The Second Constitutional Convention: How The American People Can Take Back Their Government” by Richard Labunski; and “Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)” by Sanford Levinson.

In other words, advocating the nation’s first use of an Article V convention is no far-out, brainless idea. Indeed, it is exactly what the nation needs at this time and exactly what any political leader that claims both to love our Constitution and see the need for political reforms should support.

Clinton can give many examples of what a convention could consider proposing, including amendments that: make universal health insurance coverage a constitutional right; replace the Electoral College with the popular vote for president and vice-president; take all private money out of political campaigns and replaces it with total public campaign financing; clarify that only Congress can declare war and must do so explicitly.

Be brave Hillary. Do what is both right and politically dazzling.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at April 23, 2008 7:18 PM
Comments
Comment #251305

Don’t do it, Hillary! Don’t listen to Joel! For most of this primary season I was cheering on Hillary in order to provide John McCain with easy prey. Now that Barack Hussein Obama has been brought back down to earth, it’s abundantly clear that he has a glass jaw. Christopher Hitchens said months ago that BHO was “a shallow, flaky candidate”, and I thought he was nuts. I was wrong. Obama has shown how to go for the big firepower when shooting oneself in the foot. I now want Obama to take the nomination soon so he can hurry up and implode in the general.

Posted by: Duane-o at April 23, 2008 11:57 PM
Comment #251308

Don’t do it, Hillary! Don’t listen to Joel! For most of this primary season I was cheering on Hillary in order to provide John McCain with easy prey. Now that Barack Hussein Obama has been brought back down to earth, it’s abundantly clear that he has a glass jaw. Christopher Hitchens said months ago that BHO was “a shallow, flaky candidate”, and I thought he was nuts. I was wrong. Obama has shown how to go for the big firepower when shooting oneself in the foot. I now want Obama to take the nomination soon so he can hurry up and implode in the general.

Posted by: Duane-o at April 24, 2008 12:41 AM
Comment #251309

Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: Duane-o at April 24, 2008 12:43 AM
Comment #251310

I totally agree with the above…
The chance is there. If she become il Presidente she definitely will pursue major reforms… She has the brain, the will and the strength…
Obamatics have become so blind, they can not see further than their noses…
Obamatics have become so blind, they can not see further than their noses…
Ideological rhetoric without the any solid plan of how to deal with those three major issues (1. the WAR; 2. weak Economy; 3. the Environment) that are affecting our lives is just a hole in the water…
Obama’s speech after he lost in Pennsylvania, was long, boring, repetitive, talked more against McCain than analyzing why he is not able to win in big states and metropolitan cities!!! Obama is lost in his narcistic believes that the American society owes him the presidency because he is black… It is a kind of a Presidential Affirmative Action. Doesn’t matter that the others are far more prepared than him…

Posted by: ARBEN Camaj at April 24, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #251313

Joel,
You must be kidding. Here is the text of Article V:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

Where, pray tell, does the Executive Branch come into play with an Article V convention? Why should any presidential candidate advocate this kind of convention, when they would have absolutely no say over who the delegates would be, or what issues would be addressed?

Posted by: phx8 at April 24, 2008 2:06 AM
Comment #251318
Joel Hirschhorn wrote: Now is the ideal time for Hillary Clinton to say to Americans that she agrees that the political system must be fixed and that the time has arrived for a serious national discussion of political reforms that only can be achieved through constitutional amendments, because Congress has shown no inclination for pursuing deep, systemic political reforms. The constitutional alternative is to use what is in Article V: a convention of state delegates that is given the constitutional power that so far only Congress has used, to debate and consider proposals for constitutional amendments.

Good idea!

There are so many simple things like that one simple idea, which raises genuine questions about the politicians’ sincerity about real reforms, problem solving, and their oath to protect and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

However, upholding the Constitution is not only out-of-style these days, but it isn’t politically correct, even if one of the candidates (Barack Obama) taught Constitutional law.
After all, all members of Congress are in violation of Article V, not to mention these other constitutional violations.

It’s blatant lawlessness, which is at the top of the list of abuses hammering most Americans and creating the worst economic conditons ever, and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elected (and deserve), and repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates isn’t working, is it ?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 24, 2008 9:08 AM
Comment #251320

Just to be clear: I am totally against Clinton and Obama because they are both servants of the corrupt two-party plutocracy. My aim in writing the article was to show the absurdity of Americans counting on major-party candidates for true political reforms. Clinton, more than Obama, could make use of advocacy for an Article V convention, but make no mistake — if Obama had any real integrity he would be supporting a convention. And be clear: as Senators Clinton and Obama could definitely ACT NOW to show the public they support a convention, and even though a president has no role in a convention, they could use the power of their office to build public support for the first convention!!!!

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at April 24, 2008 9:29 AM
Comment #251321

Hillary can knock out Obama by making him think for himself rather than depending on soundbytes generated by former John Edwards speechwriters. He is the epitome of the “Being There” candidate- a man who says bland platitudes in answer to difficult questions and then benefits from the the vacuous (or self deceiving) hopefulness of the audience to fill in the empty space with profundity.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 24, 2008 9:31 AM
Comment #251323

I don’t understand where people get the idea that the people at such a convention would not be the normal partisan political operatives. Would political virginity be required to be a member? That said I think we need an amendment to eliminate the electoral college. There should be something about the budget too, zeroing out many programs and departments that continue to exist, even though they duplicate eachother’s missions. Is it too much to hope for a balanced budget amendment, or would the politicians just keep figuring out ways to get around it? It would be nice if they could get two states to combine so we could have even numbers of stars in the rows on the flags. 50 seems like an unlucky number, I think 49 would be better.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 24, 2008 9:42 AM
Comment #251325

And let’s move the capital from Washington DC, to Nauvoo, Illinois. The rest of DC should become a museum didstrict, and be part of Maryland.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 24, 2008 9:44 AM
Comment #251331
ARBEN Camaj wrote: Obamatics have become so blind, they can not see further than their noses…
Perhaps it only appears that way because most (if not all) of the politicians are
can not see further than looking down their noses … ?
Joel Hirschhorn wrote: My aim in writing the article was to show the absurdity of Americans counting on major-party candidates for true political reforms.
Joel, You are absolutely correct. The hypocrisy is so easily revealed by your simple test (i.e. merely obey the U.S. Constitution).

There are other simple, no-brainer things that could be done if politicians were genuinely serious about problem solving and badly needed reforms.

Many common-sense, no-brainer reforms are needed, but an Article V Convention is very unlikely when the incumbent politicians holding the reins of power (i.e. Congress) are also very unlikely to ever call a peremptory Article V Convention, since they know damn well things like a balanced budget amendment, Term-Limits, Campaign Finance Reform, Tax Reform, Election Reform, One-Purpose-Per-BILL amendment, etc. will be on the table.

ohrealy wrote: That said I think we need an amendment to eliminate the electoral college. . . There should be something about the budget too.
I agree (for more information about the process and protections (e.g. 3/4 states required to ratify any amendment), see the Article V FAQ.

However, will it do any good to make new laws or changes (amendments) when our existing laws and the U.S. Constitution are so blatantly ignored, such as existing illegal immigration laws, spying without a warrant, Habeaus Corpus, eminent domain abuse, torture, Article 1 - Section 8, Article 1 - Section 9, Article 3 - Section 1, Article 4 - Section 4, Article 5, the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Amendments, possibly the 16th Amendment, etc.? - one-simple-idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm

Besides, if enough voters are upset enough about it, why do they repeatedly reward Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates? - one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm

So, perhaps the politicians’ disdain of the voters is understandable, since too many voters continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible most incumbent politicians in do-nothing Congress in the two-party duopoly with 93%-to-99% re-election rates ?

What are the politicians supposed to believe, when the voters repeatedly reward the incumbent politicians for being corrupt, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and irresponsible?
What are the politicians supposed to believe, when 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money?
What are the politicians supposed to believe, when they give Congress dismal approval ratings, but reward the incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates?
What are the politicians supposed to believe, when 40%-to-50% of voters don’t even bother to vote, and too many of those that do vote blindly pull the party-lever?

ohrealy wrote: And let’s move the capital from Washington DC, to Nauvoo, Illinois. The rest of DC should become a museum didstrict, and be part of Maryland.
Let’s move D.C. to a cemetary, since Congress is where good ideas go to die.

Whoever the next president is, how effective will that president be if sabotaged and saddled with the same irresponsible, incompetent, corrupt Congress?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 24, 2008 10:02 AM
Comment #251332

And something about gerrymandering too, there should be a nonpartisan commission after each census to draw districts that don’t look like the Illinois 17th:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois’s_17th_congressional_district

Posted by: ohrealy at April 24, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #251357

“D.C. to a cemetary”, absolutely brilliant, Arlington is full. Veterans could be buried on the grounds at the White House and the Naval Observatory, and other choice spots.

I’m worried about that 3/4 of the states requirement. I don’t know if we can get rid of the electoral college if the 13 smallest states can block it. It might be pretty close.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 24, 2008 6:53 PM
Comment #251363
ohrealy wrote: I don’t know if we can get rid of the electoral college if the 13 smallest states can block it. It might be pretty close.
You’ve been doing your homework.

That’s right. The smallest states (in population) could block a ratification.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 24, 2008 8:09 PM
Comment #251376
That’s right. The smallest states (in population) could block a ratification.

By design. Thank god.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 24, 2008 11:01 PM
Comment #251392
Rhinehold wrote: By design. Thank god.

Rhinehold, the Constitution should be obeyed.

But ohrealy is discussing amendments.

The election of year 2000, as did several elections before it, called the wisdom of the Electoral College system into question.
Whether the Electoral College is changed remains to be seen, and is the subject of one of ohrealy’s (and many others’) list of potential amendments.

The 3/4 requirement of all states to ratify an amendment is the current constitutional threshold.
Still, ohrealy’s point is valid.
Should the requirements be based on states, or populations?
If by states, then smaller states, being far less than 1/4 of the total population, could easily obfuscate, amplify, and/or blur that threshold further?
However, I personally do not think this is a huge issue with regard to amendments.
The bigger problem is that Congress has decided to blatantly violate Article V.
Already, 38 states have submitted a BALANCED BUDGET amendment, and Congress has refused to allow that amendment to be put to the states for ratification.
Just think, if a BALANCED BUDGET amendment has been passed a long time ago, the nation may not be now facing a $9.4 Trillion national debt, and $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching?

Thus, ohrealy makes a valid point about the electoral college and the 3/4 requirement versus a consensus by population.
The electoral college and other over-complexities only serve to make government more dysfunctional than it already is.
Also, as we have witnessed several times (in presidential elections), with the popular vote was beat-out by the electoral college.

Certain votes require different thresholds for plausible and defensible reasons. That is why it takes 2/3 of the states to require Congress to call an Article V Convention (something Congress is violating), and 3/4 of the states to ratify the amendment. The unfortuate part of that formula is that the smallest states could represent less than 1/4 of the total U.S. population.

At any rate, the U.S. Constitution should be obeyed until it is amended. Until amended, the Constitution requires 3/4 of the states to ratify an amendment.

ohrealy’s point is valid. An amendment to eliminate the eloectoral college is a reasonable request since we have already witnessed its obvious flaws in several presidential elections.

Here are some more ideas for amendments:

  • (01) BALANCED BUDGET (38 states have already requested; Congress has violated Article V)

  • (02) Eliminate automatic citizenship to new-born by illegal aliens in the U.S.

  • (03) Campaign Finance Reform - reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns (0.15% currently make 83% of all federal campaign donations), and by mandating partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns.

  • (04) Term Limits for Congress

  • (05) Term Limits for the Supreme Court - eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.

  • (06) Remove all party designations from ballots

  • (07) War Powers - Limit some Presidential war-making powers and expand Congress’s oversight of war-making.

  • (08) Remove abused presidential pardons that put politicians abuve the law.

  • (09) Tax Reform

  • (10) ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment

  • (11) Election Reform - prohibit Gerrymandering

  • (12) Election Reform - provide receipt for vote that can be verified by a unique (but anonymous) number.

  • (13) Election Reform - eliminate blocked access to ballots for 3rd party and independent candidates and voters.

  • (14) Election Reform - switch to an approval voting system.

  • (15) Make English the National Language

  • (16) Require proof of Citizenship to vote in federal elections

  • (17) Article V - settle once and for all Congress’ peremptory duty to call a convention.

  • (18) Stare Decisis amendment - precedence does not trump the Constitution

  • (19) Make Senate proportional to state populations.

  • (20) Convene a new Constitutional Convention every 10 years using the state-based mechanism left to us by the Framers in the current Constitution.

  • (21) Secession - Allow states the right to secede from the union - criteria to be determined

  • (22) Define Individual versus Collective Rgihts and Precedence

  • (23) Require more education of government, and the importance of transparency, accountability, and participation of citizens in public school.

  • (24) NSA - create a secure operating system to reduce (or eliminate) vulnerability of the nation’s security, networks, and distributed computer systems.
Has the United States retained the essential principles outlined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Or has 2 centuries of Court review, misused Stare Decisis, and judicial activism rendered the Constitution a paper tiger?
As it stands now, it appears that many parts of the U.S. Constitution are being blatantly violated.
We also know, given time, some people will find a way to abuse almost anything (if not everything).
Thus, the Constitution may require updating from time to time, to address certain abuses (and there are many abuses; some of which are not Constitutional problems, but out-right lawlessness).
After all, it is not written in stone; it is supposed to be a living docuemnt.
Unfortunately, Congress has seized control of it by making Congress the sole decision maker (in violation of Article V) of when amendments can be offered for ratification.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 25, 2008 9:17 AM
Comment #251452

We have to force the issue. We, as in the people. We have to tell the government to do one thing.

Right now we’re all offering things to do, and agreeing they all make sense, and wonder why the government isn’t listening to us.
They’re not listening to us because we, the people haven’t told them to do anything. Not one thing!

We can insist:

(01) BALANCED BUDGET (38 states have already requested; Congress has violated Article V)

(02) Eliminate automatic citizenship to new-born by illegal aliens in the U.S.

(03) Campaign Finance Reform - reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns (0.15% currently make 83% of all federal campaign donations), and by mandating partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns.

(04) Term Limits for Congress

(05) Term Limits for the Supreme Court - eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.

(06) Remove all party designations from ballots

(07) War Powers - Limit some Presidential war-making powers and expand Congress’s oversight of war-making.

(08) Remove abused presidential pardons that put politicians abuve the law.

(09) Tax Reform

(10) ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment

(11) Election Reform - prohibit Gerrymandering

(12) Election Reform - provide receipt for vote that can be verified by a unique (but anonymous) number.

(13) Election Reform - eliminate blocked access to ballots for 3rd party and independent candidates and voters.

(14) Election Reform - switch to an approval voting system.

(15) Make English the National Language

(16) Require proof of Citizenship to vote in federal elections

(17) Article V - settle once and for all Congress’ peremptory duty to call a convention.

(18) Stare Decisis amendment - precedence does not trump the Constitution

(19) Make Senate proportional to state populations.

(20) Convene a new Constitutional Convention every 10 years using the state-based mechanism left to us by the Framers in the current Constitution.

(21) Secession - Allow states the right to secede from the union - criteria to be determined

(22) Define Individual versus Collective Rgihts and Precedence

(23) Require more education of government, and the importance of transparency, accountability, and participation of citizens in public school.

(24) NSA - create a secure operating system to reduce (or eliminate) vulnerability of the nation’s security, networks, and distributed computer systems.

and all of those deserve merit, but which one did we specifically instruct the federal government to implement? How do we specifically instruct the federal government to begin the process?

Phx8 pointed out and provided the text of Article V in his post #251313.

…, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, …

and has also provided the answer.

We, the people must instruct our state legislatures to instruct the federal government to call a convention to propose amendments. period (that’s the reknowned period! fini!, kaput!)

Ad campaigns resembling newscasts imbedded in news shows would give this simple idea a root. Once the root takes hold local organizations will make it so.

It’s that simple. 50 state legislatures submitting legislation, using the exact same wording to the federal government to “call a convention to propose amendments.”

How hard is that? What happens if we do and they don’t listen? We deputize Gomer to go arrest our rep and senator!


Posted by: Weary Willie at April 25, 2008 6:38 PM
Comment #251455
phx8 wrote: Where, pray tell, does the Executive Branch come into play with an Article V convention? Why should any presidential candidate advocate this kind of convention, when they would have absolutely no say over who the delegates would be, or what issues would be addressed?
None of them are El Presidente yet.

All 3 are in Congress.

And all 3 have ignored Article V, violating their sworn oath to protect and uphold the Constitution.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 25, 2008 6:53 PM
Comment #251459

The 13 smallest states have a total population just over 13 million people, or a little more than the population of IL, but less than the populations of CA, NY, TX, or FL. So less than 5 per cent of the population can block any of the necessary changes. I’m not optimistic.

Boeing is in trouble again on the virtual border fence they are supposed to be building.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 25, 2008 8:04 PM
Comment #251461

The 13 smallest states also have a total of 46 electoral votes, basically more than double the influence that their population warrants, equal to the electoral votes of TX plus Mass.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 25, 2008 8:15 PM
Comment #251462

Joel-
I would kindly request that you give me a break the size of the Mid Atlantic Ridge.

First, it’s obscure. Practically no-one would know about it. It’s not exactly something that’s ranking with Iraq and the economy as an issue.

Second, Barack Obama would probably have her guts for garters. He’s a constitutional law professor. He’d probably be happy to point out what I’ve pointed out: that nobody in American history has interpreted this article in this way. You can even look at Alexander Hamilton’s language in discussing this in the Federalist Papers, and find him talking in terms of Majorities and states working together.

To put it plainly your notion of this article is radically different from the intuitive meaning, and the constitution is meant to be interpreted according to that meaning, not construed in convoluted ways that suit the literal words but not the spirit.

If the states, by a large margin, call for a convention, then it should be brought. These were never meant to be called casually, nor called by the accident of long-term accumulation. This was meant to be a process engaged in altogether, the states uniting to rewrite the constitution that they wrote together and ratified together. This is a process of changing the founding charter of the UNITED states, and so should be changed only by the common will of a supermajority of those states.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2008 9:26 PM
Comment #251465

Dude, that was lame, but I respect it. Welcome to the dark side, Stephen Daugherty.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 25, 2008 9:31 PM
Comment #251487

Dark side, nothing. I’m no strict constructionist, because the constitution was meant to be interpreted by regular citizens, not lawyers.

The trouble with literal interpretation is that it never guarantees consistent interpretation. It in fact frees the arguer from having to address issues of context, precedent, and other extra-textual clues to the meaning of the law, and makes their interpretation of the literal words the critical factor.

There are different forces at work with literal (or strict) constructions, socially speaking. What some are looking for is a break from the continuum of legal jurisprudence before, as practiced by judges they consider too liberal, cases they consider too hostile to their sensibilities, but nonetheless constitutes precedence for the interpretation of law.

Another angle on this is that of compulsion; they want to be able to say, with a scientific degree of certainty, “this is what the law means, and this is what you must do or allow to be done on that account”. This is meant by others in order to overrule matters of judgment, matters of political difference. If the constitution says it cannot be done, or should be done this way, then what can you dirty so-and-so’s do about it?

The closer an issue like this gets to real life, the less, though, strict construction can survive. Joel can argue that literal readings require that we believe a cumulative standard to be the law of the land, but years of the law in practice, the original defenses of these parts of the constitution, and the context of how the meaning is taken in the surrounding text support the other construction more robustly.

We try to reduce a lot of things beyond that because we have a love in this high-strung, high-octane society for short and sweet messages, for pseudo scientific certainty in things like Business, law, and education.

The only trouble is, these fields deal with human beings in all their complexity, so the unrealistic, oversimplified rules and processes people come up with in their quest to reduce complexity just ends up squeezing it out somewhere else. Joel hasn’t even begun to consider the unintended consequences of doing things that way, or that these consequences were not the desired results, politically speaking, that the framers wanted.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2008 11:49 AM
Comment #251494
Stephen Daugherty wrote: To put it plainly your notion of this article is radically different from the intuitive meaning, and the constitution is meant to be interpreted according to that meaning, not construed in convoluted ways that suit the literal words but not the spirit.
Nonsense.

First of all, it is not merely Joel’s notion.
If there are any strange notions, it is the notion that the “literal words” of the Constitution should somehow be ignored or re-interpreted, or that the “spirit” is different than the “literal” meaning.

Article V is not complicated:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The Supreme Court has already conceded that there is no “same-subject” requirement (especially since more than 2/3 of the states submitted a request for BALANCED BUDGET amendment).
The Supreme Court has already conceded that there is no “contemporaneous” requirement (reinforced by the length of time for ratification of some amendments and no time-limit which are allowed, but none were specified for the ratification of some amendments).
The Supreme Court has simply refused to rule on the issue, using the same old Catch-22 it has been using for years: “no standing”
All in Congress explicitly and knowingly chose to violate Article V in Walker v. Members of Congress (represented by DOJ attorney Karen D. Utiger), and inappropriately advised by Judge Coughenour’s ruling in Walker v. United States.

And you obviously have an issue with the literal meaning of Article V, based on your own words: “suit the literal words”) ?
Interesting.
However, the “literal” and “intuitive” meanings are consistent with each other.
And the Supreme Court has already ruled and stated many times that there is “no room for construction” and re-interpretation of the constitution (as demonstrated below over and over).
Thus, your argument is extremely lame, and is what in fact relies on “construction” and “re-interpretation” to overcome the “literal meaning”.
Also, there is nothing in the Federalist papers or Federalist #85 that reveals any other meaning for Ariticle V other than the literal meaning.
Nothing in the Federalist papers implies that “whenever” or “amendments” meant “contemporaneous” or “same-subject”.
Besides, again, the Supreme Court has alread conceded that there are not “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements.

The Supreme Court has already (many times) dealt with cases in interpreting the Constitution (including Article V) and its provisions:

  • [#01] Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803): “It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect.”

  • [#02] Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): “Words of [the] Constitution are to be taken in natural and obvious sense, and not in sense unreasonably restricted or enlarged.”

  • [#03] Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): “Where the text of the constitution is “clear and distinct”, no restriction on its plain and obvious import should be admitted unless the inference is irresistible.”

  • [#04] Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): “The government of the United States can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the Constitution.”

  • [#05] Ogden v. Saunders, 25 U.S. 213 (1827): “Where provision in United States Constitution is unambiguous and its meaning is entirely free from doubt, the intention of the framers of the constitution cannot be inquired into, and the supreme court is bound to give the provision full operation, whatever might be the views entertained of its expediency.”

  • [#06] Prigg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. 539 (1842): “[The] Court may not construe Constitution so as to defeat its obvious ends when another construction, equally accordant with the words and sense thereof, will enforce and protect them.”

  • [#07] Dodge v. Woolsey, 59 U.S. 331 (1855): “The departments of the government are legislative, executive and judicial. They are coordinate in degree to the extent of the powers delegated to each of them. Each, in the exercise of its powers, is independent of the other, but all, right-fully done by either, is binding upon the others. The constitution is supreme over all of them, because the people who ratified it have made it so; consequently, any thing which may be done unauthorized by it is unlawful. … It is supreme over the people of the United States, aggregately and in their separate sovereignties, because they have excluded themselves from any direct or immediate agency in making amendments to it, and have directed that amendments should be made representatively for them, by the congress of the United States, when two thirds of both houses shall propose them; or where the legislatures of two thirds of the several States shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, be-come valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths of them, as one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by congress.”

  • [#08] Jarrolt v. Moberly, 103 U.S. 580 (1880): “A constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose, but rather so as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it was aimed.”

  • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

  • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”

  • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”

  • [#12] U.S. v Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931): “Where intention of words and phrases used in Constitution is clear, there is no room for construction [re-interpretation] and no excuse for interpolation.”

  • [#13] Wright v. U.S., 302 U.S. 583 (1938): “In expounding the Constitution, every word must have its due force and appropriate meaning.”

  • [#14] U.S. v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941): “Where there are several possible meanings of the words of the constitution, that meaning which will defeat rather than effectuate the constitutional purpose cannot rightly be preferred.”

  • [#15] Ullmann v. U.S., 350 U.S. 422 (1956): “Nothing new can be put into the constitution except through the amendatory process, and nothing old can be taken out without the same process”.

  • [#16] Ullmann v. U.S., 350 U.S. 422 (1956): “As no constitutional guarantee enjoys preference, so none should suffer subordination or deletion.”
It requires significant explaining, contorting, reaching, stetching, and clever re-interpretations of the definitions of words to attempt to re-interpret “whenever” as “whenever contemporaneously” and/or “amendments” as “same-subject amendments”. For more information, see Article V F.A.Q.

Stephen Daugherty, why are you so fearful of Article V?
Is it possibly because it goes against an anti-anything-not-Demcorat philosophy?
I guess you realize that all 50 states have had hundreds of constitutional conventions over the centuries:
books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=bHcCRNFLhvwC&dq=state+constitutional+conventions&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=dyAYYKZKBd&sig=GrwT5Dph4j_RqEeQRZB4cnvqolQ

Why do you find it so hard to accept that Congress is violating Article V, since other constitutional violations exist.
Why turn one’s self into a pretzel trying to defend the indefensible, and re-interpret what is declared above as being:

  • “clear and distinct”
  • ,
  • “plain and obvious”
  • ,
  • “unambiguous”

  • “calls for no resort to rules of construction”?

  • and states there is “no room for construction”

Posted by: d.a.n at April 26, 2008 1:03 PM
Comment #251520

Dan-
Let me let you in on a little secret: language isn’t a one to one code. Two people can read something literally and get two different impressions of what it means.

That’s why we have judges in the first place: to be disinterested third parties mediating disputes on matters of law.

To understand why literalism can be problematic, lets take the preceding paragraph and parse it literally:

That’s why we have judges in the first place: to be disinterested third parties mediating disputes on matters of law.

Why do I have judges in the first place? What did they win? Or did I put legislators in a second place, and bureacrats in a third and fourth? If they’re disinterested, how do we get them to pay attention to the case? If they’re third parties, does that mean they’re not Republicans or Democrats?

Seriously, you can see there the potential for abuse. We’re not talking about true literalism, then. But what are we talking about then? The phrase “first place” means to begin with. Disinterested means not having a stake in the dispute. Third party is essentially the same thing. Law tends to be like that, sometimes, repeating the same idea in different words. You know: cease and desist, last will and testament.

That’s regular language.

The question here is not whether those words can be taken to mean what you mean, it’s whether they should be. The real operative question is what the framers intended.

Alexander Hamilton, selling this to the American people talks about concurrence of the states, of the difficulty of states uniting around certain points. You can parse the language according to literal meaning any number of ways, but he seems to be talking as if the reader should understand the fractions of state legislatures required to be high, and difficult to reach on a piecemeal basis.

In other words, in a manner contrary to what you are suggesting. Such a standard is incredibly easy to meet. Concurrence isn’t necessary. They don’t even have to agree anymore.

Which poses a problem: it’s obvious from the parts of that Article surrounding it that it takes a substantial proportion of the Legislature and the states to otherwise propose and/or ratify these amendments. What makes more sense? That the Framers raised consistently high standards for amendment of the constitution, or that for some unknown reason they made one method ridiculously easy?

A bit of historical background on that count: the Federalists, you should know, abhorred the prospect of their precious expansion of federal powers being undermined by their rivals. That’s why the set the bar high, why they gave in on the Bill of Rights in part. They had no interest in somebody coming along and radically reworking the whole thing at the drop of a hat. They were quite happy with the constitution as it was, thank you very much.

But hey, that was just their opinion, right?

Problem what, the other side never interpreted things this way. They accepted the original interpretation as-is. So have two centuries worth of legal scholars, judges and Supreme Courts. Your justification, as it is, is strung together from any number of cases that have no direct bearing on the subject in question.

You can’t just make up constitutional interpretation on the spot, no matter how literal you make it. Literalism doesn’t make that intepretation law. Precendent, previous jurisprudence, original intentions for the law all factor in. You can cherrypick court cases to support an informal argument all you want, but that doesn’t make it law. The law is decided by the courts, and if I’m not mistaken, they haven’t rule in the favor of your fellow believers on this subject.

Why are you afraid of admitting that? That your interpretation isn’t law? Even if you think the courts are wrong, that the law as it is doesn’t rightly express the meaning of Article Five, isn’t admitting that distinction a crucial part of advocating for change.

I am not afraid to admit that I do have a healthy fear of the inappropriate use of the Convention Clause. Logically speaking, the Constitution can be amended to eliminate the high thresholds for Amendment. You could declare this country a monarchy. You could do more subtle damage in any number of other ways. Article V is our escape hatch, not merely from constitutional crises, but from democracy itself, should we choose. If that doesn’t scare you, then you don’t fully comprehend the stakes. Amendment of any kind is not to be entered into lightly.

The high thresholds for Amendment purposefully make the process difficult. People in my neck of the woods see their foundations head in all kinds of different directions, and it’s no fun. America benefits from a stable foundation of law. It also prevents what you might call constitutional quibbling, where we start making amendments to cover the pettiest little things.

We don’t need to be some Banana Republic, the founding charter changed at the drop of the hat. The constitution has authority because it was approved by the country as a whole, and changes to it are approved by the vast majority of Americans together. It’s not one person or faction pushing this down people’s throats.

Which is why, apart from it being the firmly upheld constitutional intepretation, that I favor the concurrent interepretation of that clause. When we do decide on convening a convention, it should be together, as a nation, not piecemeal, region by region, state by state. We’re the United States, and we should revise our fundamental law accordingly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2008 9:27 PM
Comment #251539

http://www.foavc.org/file.php/1/Articles/Table_Summarizing_State_Applications.htm#SameSubject

Considering this list of applications, what qualifies the response from congress which I interpret to be:

(chirp, chirp, chirp)

That’s to mean “Silence”, interpreted to be “void of sound”. Not literally an absence of sound, but interpreted to portray a lack of sound. That’s what I interpret a lack of sound to sound like.

Is that a vague enough reason why Article V applications have been ignored by congress?
Or could it be interpreted as a challenge to their power and to ignore them is an effective way to undermine the will of the people?
and also…


… prevents what you might call constitutional quibbling, where we start making amendments to cover the pettiest little things.

Never mind the process for ratification of those petty little things. To avoid all things is an effective way to avoid all those petty little things.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 27, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #251548
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Let me let you in on a little secret: language isn’t a one to one code.
Nonsense.

The language in Article V is:

  • “clear and distinct”
  • ,
  • “plain and obvious”
  • ,
  • “unambiguous”

  • “calls for no resort to rules of construction”?

  • and states there is “no room for construction”
… and turning one’s self into a pretzel trying to prove otherwise won’t change it the literal and intended meaning.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Two people can read something literally and get two different impressions of what it means.
True. Some people, for nefarious reasons, choose to turn themselves into a pretzel trying to defend the indefensible.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s why we have judges in the first place: to be disinterested third parties mediating disputes on matters of law.
Nonsense.

As if nefarious motives do not exist.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Seriously, you can see there the potential for abuse.
The abuses are obvious, and your comments and position on Article V are a perfect example of it.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The question here is not whether those words can be taken to mean what you mean, it’s whether they should be. The real operative question is what the framers intended.
That’s right, and the “literal” and “intended” meaning are consistent.

If it were not true, you would not be so distressed and frustrated by it, you could make a convincing case, and you would not be turning into a pretzel trying to prove otherwise.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Alexander Hamilton, selling this to the American people talks about concurrence of the states, of the difficulty of states uniting around certain points. You can parse the language according to literal meaning any number of ways, but he seems to be talking as if the reader should understand the fractions of state legislatures required to be high, and difficult to reach on a piecemeal basis.
False. There is nothing in the Federalist papers that supports the idea of “contemporaneousness” or “same-subject” amendments, any assertions as such are merely more re-interpretation, reaching, and construction.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: They had no interest in somebody coming along and radically reworking the whole thing at the drop of a hat.
Duh. That’s why it takes 2/3 to call a convention, and 3/4 to ratify.

And guess what. More than 2/3 of the states have already requested a BALANCED BUDGET amendment.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can’t just make up constitutional interpretation on the spot, no matter how literal you make it.
Nonsense.

The “literal” and “intended” meanings are consistent, and the rules of construction are also clear and consistent.

Thus, your extremely weak arguments about “literalism” have no credibility.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can cherrypick court cases to support an informal argument all you want, but that doesn’t make it law. The law is decided by the courts, and if I’m not mistaken, they haven’t rule in the favor of your fellow believers on this subject.
Don’t need to cherry-pick. Besides, Stare Decisis has its flaws too.

The “literal”, “intended”, “unambiguous”, and “clear and distinct” text of Article V is “plain and obvious”.

The problem is that Congress has chosen to violate Article V, by claiming an fictitious ambiguity that does not exist.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why are you afraid of admitting that? That your interpretation isn’t law?
I’m not afraid of admitting anything. It is you that are turning into a pretzel rather than admit the “literal”, “intended”, “unambiguous”, “clear and distinct” text of Article V is “plain and obvious”, and the numerous Supreme Court cases and statements with regard to construction and interpretation, and several explicitly about Article V itself.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Even if you think the courts are wrong, that the law as it is doesn’t rightly express the meaning of Article Five, isn’t admitting that distinction a crucial part of advocating for change.
No. The violation of the Constitution should never be rationalized or trivialized.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am not afraid to admit that I do have a healthy fear of the inappropriate use of the Convention Clause.
That’s obvious. That, and anti-anything-Democrat.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Logically speaking, the Constitution can be amended to eliminate the high thresholds for Amendment.
Not when Congress is violating Article V and refusing to allow states to propose amendments.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You could declare this country a monarchy.
Nonsense. No one person has that power.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You could do more subtle damage in any number of other ways.
Your fear is irrational, since it requires 3/4 of the states to ratify any amendments.

If you fear Article V, then you fear your own constitution.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Article V is our escape hatch, not merely from constitutional crises, but from democracy itself, should we choose.
Article V is the safety mechanism against what we are now witnessing today.

Article V is only one of many constitutional violations.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If that doesn’t scare you, then you don’t fully comprehend the stakes. Amendment of any kind is not to be entered into lightly.
I fully understand the stakes, and your fear is irrational. All 50 states have had hundreds of constitutional conventions over the centuries, and they did not self-destruct.

38 States have already requested a BALANCED BUDGET Amendment.

The inability of the states to reign in the abuse of power of the federal government is the danger you should be comtemplating.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The high thresholds for Amendment purposefully make the process difficult.
The threshold of 2/3 of the states to propose amendments (not already written, not “same subject”, and not “contemporaneous”) has already occurred and Congress has violated Article V by refusing to call a convention to “propose amendments”. Note the word “propose” from Article V. That does not mean only a single amendment, and it does not mean it has to be the “same subject”, nor “contemporaneous”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: People in my neck of the woods see their foundations head in all kinds of different directions, and it’s no fun. America benefits from a stable foundation of law. It also prevents what you might call constitutional quibbling, where we start making amendments to cover the pettiest little things.
Lawlessness is the problem. Congress is violating the Constitution, most Americans are totally unaware of it, and too many Americans simply don’t care.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: We don’t need to be some Banana Republic, the founding charter changed at the drop of the hat.
That’s why there is a 2/3 requirement to propose amendments, and a 3/4 requirement to ratify amendments.

So your comment has no credibilty.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The constitution has authority because it was approved by the country as a whole, and changes to it are approved by the vast majority of Americans together. It’s not one person or faction pushing this down people’s throats.
That’s right, and your implying that one faction is trying to do that is nonsense.

Article V is very simple, the thresholds are very simple.
And turning into a pretzel rather than admit the “literal”, “intended”, “unambiguous”, “clear and distinct” text of Article V is “plain and obvious” is what is truly the act of “pushing this down people’s throats”, and condoning the violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Which is why, apart from it being the firmly upheld constitutional intepretation, that I favor the concurrent interepretation of that clause.
There is not current interpretation stated by the Supreme Court that supports Congress’ position that it is not required to call an Article V Convention.

In fact, if you had researched the court cases closely enough, you’d see that the court dismissed the entire issue in Walker v. Members of Congress (due to “no standing”).
By doing so, it admitted as fact that there is no “same-subject” requirement, there is no “contemporaneous” requirement.
The Supreme Court has not yet been forced to deal with it, but those days are numbered and I am very confident that eventually, the Supreme Court will be forced to rule that Congress must obey the “literal” meaning of Article V. Whether members of Congress will ever be held accountable for violating Article V is unlikely.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: When we do decide on convening a convention, it should be together, as a nation, not piecemeal, region by region, state by state. We’re the United States, and we should revise our fundamental law accordingly.
Yes, according to Article V, of which the “literal”, “intended”, “unambiguous”, “clear and distinct” text of Article V is “plain and obvious”.

Also, all 50 states have already submitted 567 amendment applications to propose amendments, and Congress has ignored all of them.

How many does it take?
567 Million ?
567 Billion ?
567 Trillion ?
567 Quadrillion ?
567 Quintillion ?
567 Sextillion ?
567 Septillion ?
567 Centillion (i.e. 567 x 10^303) ?
How ridiculous does it have to get ?

What’s obvious and what you refuse to acknowledge is that Congress is corrupt and has a clear conflict of interest, because they know damn well some of the amendments that will be introduced will be things like:

  • (01) BALANCED BUDGET (38 states have already requested; Congress has violated Article V)

  • (02) Campaign Finance Reform - reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns (0.15% currently make 83% of all federal campaign donations), and by mandating partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns.

  • (03) Term Limits for Congress

  • (04) Term Limits for the Supreme Court - eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.

  • (05) War Powers - Limit some Presidential war-making powers and expand Congress’s oversight of war-making.

  • (06) Tax Reform

  • (07) ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment

  • (08) Election Reform - prohibit Gerrymandering

  • (09) Election Reform - provide receipt for vote that can be verified by a unique (but anonymous) number.

  • (10) Election Reform - eliminate blocked access to ballots for 3rd party and independent candidates and voters.

  • (11) Article V - settle once and for all Congress’ peremptory duty to call a convention when 2/3 states submit amendment requests.

  • (12) Monetary System Reform - eliminate usury and inflation/deflation (for example: one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Solution).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 27, 2008 2:27 PM
Comment #251550
What makes more sense? That the Framers raised consistently high standards for amendment of the constitution, or that for some unknown reason they made one method ridiculously easy? Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2008 09:27 PM

They made the process identical except for the people charged with implementation. So far it’s been the congress dominating the process by refusing to acknowledge state applications.
The only time states have come near their constitutional right to have a convention called in in the direct election of senators. Congress was forced to act and they chose to control the process throughout.

These were never meant to be called casually, nor called by the accident of long-term accumulation. This was meant to be a process engaged in altogether, the states uniting to rewrite the constitution that they wrote together and ratified together. Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2008 09:26 PM

Having said that, Stephen Daugherty, how would you explain the ratification of the twenty-seventh amendment? Ratified on your watch, Stephen Daugherty.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 27, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #251551

1-10 represent the people
11 the judiciary
14 corporations
25 president
27 congress
What’s not to notice here!?!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 27, 2008 3:55 PM
Comment #251552

I forgot this one!

16 money

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 27, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #251556
What’s not to notice here!?! Hmmmm … any amendments proposed by 2/3 and ratified by 3/4 of the states?
Posted by: d.a.n at April 27, 2008 5:27 PM
Comment #251557

How could I forget the 16th amendment!? The root of all evil. The fuel of the damned!

I must be carl, or impared. Perhaps I’m legally drunk.
I entertain you when you have nothing to offer.

Or, we freeze the assets of the federal government using the local judiciary.
It’s up to you.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 27, 2008 5:44 PM
Comment #251563

Weary Willie-
If the states took your claim seriously, they would not take over 500 applications to come to the conclusion that they were being shortsheeted on convention calls. This would have been a court case long ago.

No state, not one, has brought a suit on such grounds, and nobody but a state or an official thereof has standing to bring the case.

Which means the standard interpretation of a concurrent set of calls being the requirement stands as the law of the land.

You guys, however strongly you feel about this, neither have the law nor the states themselves(the supposedly aggrieved party), on your side.

Is that a vague enough reason why Article V applications have been ignored by congress? Or could it be interpreted as a challenge to their power and to ignore them is an effective way to undermine the will of the people?

You’re under some mistaken impressions here.

First, it’s not the will of the people, at least, not directly. State Legislatures must call these conventions. This cannot be done by popular referendum. The language of the Article is clear on this. The proper term here would be “will of the states”.

Second, what will of the states?

With cumulative standards applied, the threshold becomes an abstract number, and any number of applications, whether one, or fifty can bring one about. Hell, if you only count up to the requisite thirty-four, then if the states all call for a convention at once, you can have two conventions for the price of one!

Convention calling becomes a game of a few states being able to drag all the rest into a convention they don’t want to hold, simply by virtue of being the states to put the count over the top.

I don’t know how you argue that this was the intention of the framers, who valued stability in government, not to mention consistency in standards.

The purpose of the standard is plain: to force anybody planning to put together a convention to get the backing of most of the states from the beginning. In fact, the linked Federalist Paper that I provided talks about just that aspect of it. The whole point is to make it to where broad common cause is required to get these changes emplaced within the constitution, the charter the states had agreed to in a similar manner.

Or put another way, the point is to make sure that it is the full will of the states that a convention will be held and that the amendments are ratified.

I don’t know how you establish what the will of the states is, contemporary to the period in question, if a standard has the calls coming in peacemeal over many years and sessions of these states legislatures.

Another real question here is, especially before modern times, why did the states never protest about this, make it into a huge public issue? If they felt aggrieved they had the standing to go and sue over it. What substantive reason exists for their not doing that?

Dan-
I think I demonstrated well enough that literal and intended meaning can be two different things. If you wish to elevate this to some kind of melodrama, with you riding to the rescue of the constitution, and me tying it to the rails, by all means, feel free to indulge in fantasy roleplaying. Meanwhile, find me the presumption of innocence in the constitution.

Wait, trick question. There is no such thing. It’s an implied right. So’s your right to travel. So’s your right to privacy.

Hell, your people were making use of an implied right by trying to avail yourselves of the court’s ability to declare a law or action unconstitutional, and end it.

You cited cases to support this where the judges cautioned against parsing the words of the constitution because it was written in plain language and not legalese; it had to be interpreted more broadly than just the parsed words alone would provide for to be interpreted well according to the thinking of the framers.

For example, if you take the Fourth Amendment absolutely literally, then what comes of electronic communication? Look it up: no reference there at all. Do we let the government snoop on our e-mail?

No, we consider that there’s a deeper meaning to the Amendment that they were getting at that’s applicable to the situation. Literalism or strictness in a construction, an interpretation, does not translate to correctness when it misses the principle behind the law. The framers were not looking to write a boilerplate document here, but rather a common language document that they were going to present to the people of this country for ratification.

Congress must obey what was meant in the constitution, and what was meant goes beyond the literal surface of the documents words. There were complex ideas at play with this document, and historical background for many of its aspects.

I think some people want the constitution to be as simple as reading the literal words, and interpreting them in a self-contained way. But what we want to be simple and what actually is simple are two different things, and for law to work effectively in society, it must be interpreted. Interpretation in law rests on more than just literal text, it deals with what the text refers to. When you try to restrict it to the text, everything becomes quibbling over the meaning of words, without the brakes of reality to clamp down on the rim of the wheels of justice and bring things to a sensible conclusion.

I’m no fan of fantastic leaps of jurisprudence which do not base themselves on the plain reading of the law. But I’m also experienced enough with the ambiguities, and inconsistencies of language to know better than to see literalism as a solution to that.

What’s really happening here is that people are trying to take the judgment out of judging. They’re trying to force judges to a certain kind of political position of theres, and they want to use the constitution or the law as a bludgeon to this end. Literal interpretation doesn’t make things simpler, it just squeezes the complications of a decision out somewhere else, like jelly coming out of PBJ sandwich and landing on your shirt.

Your intepretation complicates things incredibly, for the price of being one of a number of literal interpretations possible. The number required to call a convention at any given moment becomes uncertain, subject to any number of different possiblities.

With the concurrent standard, it becomes a simple equation: 34 states together can call a convention. Easy to enforce, and if enough states want it badly enough to make that threshold, it will be taken seriously. If they aren’t, then the States, who have appropriate standing, can take Congress to court over it.

Additionally, if the States can get together enough calls together to get a convention, they are much closer to bringing about real change than a convention triggered by only a few states.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2008 8:06 PM
Comment #251569

Pretzel

Posted by: d.a.n at April 27, 2008 9:07 PM
Comment #251573

The house represents the will of the people or population, the senate the interests of the particular states, the executive the interests of the union of states or United States. If we eliminate the electoral college, we will have two branches of government that represent the population and that would upset the checks and balances instilled into our system. The purpose for electors is to give each state a say in who is executive over the union. Changing this would allow The larger cities to control this branch. It would save presidential campaign finances however, since there would be no reason to advertise in the smaller states, as they would completely lose their say and become irrelevant.

Posted by: Kruser at April 27, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #251577

Public financing is a poor way to take money out of politics. The only reason lobbyists exist is because so much is at at stake for their interested party in these elections. The way to remove money would be to reduce the influence candidates would have in these areas.
For instance, Quit campaigning for confiscating guns and the NRA would gladly use their money elswhere. Balance the budget, get rid of numerous pork and intitlements and you remove another group of lobbyists.
The more control government assumes, the necessity for affected parties to be represented is increased. This should be the third party’s stand I would think. It used to be a Republican ideal but doesn’t appear to be anymore.
Public funding will give control of our elections to the bureaucrats who disperse it. Lobbyists represent groups of actual interested people.

Posted by: Kruser at April 27, 2008 10:56 PM
Comment #251578

d.a.n., do you have a link on the 567 amendments? All I could find was this:

The Texas Constitution originally was adopted in 1876. Since then, the Legislature has
proposed 567 amendments, of which Texas voters have approved 390…

Posted by: ohrealy at April 27, 2008 10:59 PM
Comment #251591

ohrealy-
As a Texas resident, I can tell you directly about the trouble with constant revisionism of a constitution. It’s better in the long run to take a - dare I say it? - conservative approach to amendment of a constitution, and to interpret deeper than literal surfaces, because the alternative is a mind numbing and often bizarrely misinterpretative focus on details.

It wasn’t 567 amendments, but 567 convention calls, spread over this country’s +210 year constitutional history. Their basic argument is that the two-thirds number of the state legislatures should be counted over as long a time as they like (the advocates of this, not the states themselves), and that it’s Congress’s duty, with all those calls, and no convention held, to bring one about.

The case their organization brought, though, was thrown out of court, owing to a couple of things: First, the court says Congress has authority over these things that they can’t touch by judicial review. Second, the court says they aren’t even the right people to bring this case, that they lack for “standing”. Essentially, the premise here is that if you and I were involved in an accident, and some bystander sued me over what happened to you, the Bystander’s case would get thrown out, since only I or those I appointed as my representatives have that standing (at least that’s how I understand, my brother’s the lawyer in the family).

Essentially, though, it boils down to this: despite well over 210 years of constitutional history, not once has a state brought suit on being denied this, so the people supposedly being denied their constitutional capacity as states have not once in our history complained, despite their claim that this is the proper literal reading of the constitution.

In short, their claim has thin historical, legal, and logical support. Their intepretation is a product of the modern conflation of literal readings and proper readings. The truth is, language is more complex than that. Dan has replied with “Pretzel”, this being his shortest entry ever, supposedly referring to what he sees as twisted arguments on my part.

But the truth is, sometimes you need a little more complexity in your reading, in your communication, to efficiently transmit and recieve information.

I gave the example of the Fourth Amendment. If you take merely a literal reading, electronic communication and other modern advances in communication and what we would consider our space of privacy would not be covered, since the constitution never mentions them.

It might seem simpler and truer to believe that the literal word encompasses the full intent and effect of the constitutional amendment here, but the jelly squeezes out of the sandwich somwhere else, in that you’ve just given the government free license to eavesdrop on electronic communication. Did the framers intend for advances in technology to make the bill of rights obsolete? Obviously not.

The way out of this is to consider that what these articles and amendments were intended to do. The Fourth Amendment was intended to keep our communications, our persons, and our private property free from arbitrary search and seizure by the government, for example. Acknowledging that this was the principle behind it, we can then argue that the lack of an explicit listing of such technology does not invalidate protection from unwarranted search and seizure.

In the case of Article V, we have some clear facts that obviate the need for tortured, complicated, cherrypicking arguments to figure out what’s meant.

I’ve already given you the historical background: nobody else has ever interpreted the constitution that way. Not one court case has been brought with plaintiffs to the Supreme Court arguing this point. If you read what’s on the linked page in this comment, you’ll find Alexander Hamilton talking in ways that indicate that he’s thinking of states bringing these calls together, not apart and piecemeal.

It is this that the national rulers, whenever nine States concur, will have no option upon the subject

To concur is to go along with somebody else’s decision, somebody else’s opinion. It’s to agree on something at the same time, the root of the word in latin being to flow together.

Nor however difficult it may be supposed to unite two thirds or three fourths of the State legislatures, in amendments which may affect local interests, can there be any room to apprehend any such difficulty in a union on points which are merely relative to the general liberty or security of the people. We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.

I’ve highlighted the relevant word choices. Additionally, looking at the over all argument, he’s selling Article V on the basis of the notion that if an amendment is of great enough value to the state legislatures, that they will act together in accordance with the high priority most of them put on it. The states will act together to rollback encroachments of federal power.

Alexander Hamilton was essentially trying to sell the Constitution to the American people in these Federalist articles he wrote, along with others among the Federalists.

Here, another bit of context becomes important: The federalists weren’t big fans of easy revision of the Constitution. They only agreed to the Bill of Rights because it would work to guarantee the ratification of the constitution, and would prevent their foes, Thomas Jefferson and the anti-Federalists, from upsetting the applecart with another convention right after the first.

So the chances are very small that the Framers of the Constitution intended such an interpretation.

So, essentially, we have little chance that this was original intent, little if any record of this interpretation being practiced or espoused either in contemporary times or later on, even as the rivalries intensified into partisan politics, and the people bringing these cases now cannot even speak for the supposedly aggrieved parties who aren’t really acting all that aggrieved.

Pretzel? No. The argument is a straight line of historical fact and context, of a traditional interpretation which appears to be the original intention of the framers, which has not been challenged once by the interested parties in well over two centuries.

It is the advocates of this measure that have to bounce around from court case to court case, who have to create this logical pretzel of an argument, arguing legalistic literalism even as one of their cases argues that plain language is the standard by which constitutional law should be interpreted.

Well, in plain language, we don’t make ourselves plain through parsed boilerplate wordings, we describe things a little more generally, a little more broadly. That’s why the Fourth Amendment doesn’t exaustively list what is searchable and what is not. It relates the idea in a way the average person could understand it, and assumes the person can fill in the blanks on the rest of what that means.

That’s why the Federalist represents such a crucial bit of context for Article V. With the way he discusses it, we know that the Article was referring to the States acting together, in union, united, concurring, in general interests that affect all of them. the contemperaneous aspect of these words and these meanings helps us eliminate the notion that this was what was originally intended.

And understanding this, the standard bearers for a cumulative standard lose validity their most powerful assertions: that the constitution is to be read with parsing literalism, and that it was intended precisely the way they interpreted it. Neither is true, so their assertion is false.

Of course, sometimes we get carried away with our own passions about a subject, so we don’t always hit the brakes when somebody takes the wind out of our arguments. You can tell when that happens, or when it is apt to happen: they argue by melodrama, putting on the white hats and arguing that you’re wearing the black hat by not seeing things their way.

There’s nothing evil about buying either literalist doctrines, or this notion of a cumulatives standard for calling a convention.

They’re just wrong, that’s all.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2008 10:11 AM
Comment #251596
Ohrealy wrote: d.a.n., do you have a link on the 567 amendments?
Here is a summary of all 567 amendment requests. The originals are in the NARA in Washington D.C., and we are currently getting copies of those. Here’s a few samples obtained from NARA:Tracking these down has not been easy. Congress does not want to make it easy for the people to find these. However, the original copies are at NARA, and other state court records provide the evidence of at least 567 amendment requests.

567 applications by state legislatures since 1787.
554 applications by state legislatures since 1900.
432 applications by state legislatures since 1950.
384 applications by state legislatures since 1960.
221 applications by state legislatures since 1970.
071 applications by state legislatures since 1980.
044 applications by state legislatures since 1990.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I think I demonstrated well enough that literal and intended meaning can be two different things.
True, since there are always some people that want to be pretzel while trying to resort to re-interpretations and construction to attempt to explain away the “literal” meaning of Article V.

But such re-interpretations and contruction still do not explain away the:

  • “clear and distinct”
  • ,
  • “plain and obvious”
  • ,
  • “unambiguous”

  • which “calls for no resort to rules of construction”?

  • and which requires “no room for construction”

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you wish to elevate this to some kind of melodrama, with you riding to the rescue of the constitution, and me tying it to the rails, by all means, feel free to indulge in fantasy roleplaying. Meanwhile, find me the presumption of innocence in the constitution.
Nonsense.

Clearly, what appears to frustrate you so much is the “literal” meaning of Article V, and that the “literal” and “intended” meanings are consistent (as does most likely anything that is even remotely anti-anything-Democrat).

What is truly delusional (even if entertaining) is observing:

  • the rejection of the “literal” meaning of Article V and the possibility that the literal and intended meanings are consistent,

  • turning into a pretzel trying to twist the meaning into some other meaning that can not possibly make any sense and defeats the entire purpose of Article V,

  • rejecting the ridiculousness of Congress ignoring 567 amendments from all 50 states (the most popular being a BALANCED BUDGET amendment from over 2/3 of the states on 4 separate occassions)

  • rejecting the Supreme Court’s established rules with regard to interpreting the Constitution (including Article V) and its provisions,

  • ignoring Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): “Words of [the] Constitution are to be taken in natural and obvious sense, and not in sense unreasonably restricted or enlarged.”

  • ignoring Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): “Where the text of the constitution is clear and distinct, no restriction on its plain and obvious import should be admitted unless the inference is irresistible.”

  • ignoring Ogden v. Saunders, 25 U.S. 213 (1827): “Where provision in United States Constitution is unambiguous and its meaning is entirely free from doubt, the intention of the framers of the constitution cannot be inquired into, and the supreme court is bound to give the provision full operation, whatever might be the views entertained of its expediency.”

  • ignoring Prigg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. 539 (1842): “[The] Court may not construe Constitution so as to defeat its obvious ends when another construction, equally accordant with the words and sense thereof, will enforce and protect them.”

  • ignoring Dodge v. Woolsey, 59 U.S. 331 (1855): “The departments of the government are legislative, executive and judicial. They are coordinate in degree to the extent of the powers delegated to each of them. Each, in the exercise of its powers, is independent of the other, but all, right-fully done by either, is binding upon the others. The constitution is supreme over all of them, because the people who ratified it have made it so; consequently, any thing which may be done unauthorized by it is unlawful. … It is supreme over the people of the United States, aggregately and in their separate sovereignties, because they have excluded themselves from any direct or immediate agency in making amendments to it, and have directed that amendments should be made representatively for them, by the congress of the United States, when two thirds of both houses shall propose them; or where the legislatures of two thirds of the several States shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, be-come valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths of them, as one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by congress.”

  • ignoring Jarrolt v. Moberly, 103 U.S. 580 (1880): “A constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose, but rather so as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it was aimed.” {so what mischief is suppressed by ignoring the literal meaning of Article V ?}

  • ignoring Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. {Can you read Stephen Daughterty? That shoots your theory about the literal meaning not being relevant all to hell. Will you still reject it in favor of being a pretzel?} It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

  • ignoring Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”

  • ignoring United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.” {Stephen Daugherty, that is yet more evidence that your theories about the literal meaning of Article V being irrelevant are nonsense.}

  • ignoring U.S. v Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931): “Where intention of words and phrases used in Constitution is clear, there is no room for construction [i.e. re-interpretation] and no excuse for interpolation.” {Stephen Daugherty, is any of that sinking in yet? It really can’t be any clearer. Perhaps mere stubborness is the problem, in rejecting the possibility that the “literal” meaning is also the “intended” meaning. After all, why would anyone prefer to become a pretzel in trying to defend such a weak and lame position?}

  • ignoring U.S. v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941): “Where there are several possible meanings of the words of the constitution, that meaning which will defeat rather than effectuate the constitutional purpose cannot rightly be preferred.” {So Stephen Daugherty, what is defeated by ignoring the “literal” meaning of Article V? Ignoring the literal meaning of Article V defeats the entire purpose of proposing amendments. Is any of this sinking in yet. No?}
  • >
  • ignoring the fact that many requests by states to propose amendments did not even provide a specific amendment. Many states are under the interpretation that 2/3 of the states only need to request a convention, and many states for over 200 years have done exactly that (567 times).

  • ignoring the fact that Congress is corrupt and has an obvious conflict of interest.

  • ignoring the fact, despite all the talk about high thresholds that it requires a 3/4 threshold of the states to ratify any amendment, but that still doesn’t discourage the blatant fear mongering about Article V.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Hell, your people were making use of an implied right by trying to avail yourselves of the court’s ability to declare a law or action unconstitutional, and end it.
“Your people” ?

Interesting choice of words, and an obvious attempt to portray people who care about the violations (one-simple-idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations.htm) of the Constitution as some sort of group to be looked down upon.

Still, such nonsense still does not explain away the “literal” and “intended” meaning of Article V, which is “plain and simple”, and “unambiguous”, and “clear and distinct” (as stated by the Supreme Court).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s nothing evil about buying either literalist doctrines, or this notion of a cumulatives standard for calling a convention. They’re just wrong, that’s all.
False.

Stephen, the court has already conceded that there is no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements. When the court dismissed Walker vs. Members of Congress (for “no standing”), it had a duty to identify any false statements in the amicus brief. By not doing so, the court accepts that there is no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirement (foavc.org/file.php/1/Articles/FAQ.htm#Q8.4). The fact is, the Supreme Court has not yet been forced to make any ruling (ever) on whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V. What is sad is that the Supreme Court must be forced to uphold and protect the Constitution.

Federal law requires that before the Court determines whether or not it will hear a case under certiorari, it must first establish the facts and law of the suit as required by the Constitution. The federal law governing the filing a certiorari certiorari to the Supreme Court requires the appellant (the party bringing the appeal) to assert what is correct and true as to fact and law in the suit. The opposition party (appellee) is required by federal law to declare formally and officially for the public record whether these assertions of law and fact are correct and true or not. This requirement in the law is described by the phrase misstatement of fact or law. If the appellee believes the stated fact and law are not true and correct, they are required to so declare this and state the reasons why these asserted facts and law are not correct. If the appellee waives their right to challenge the assertions by appellant of fact and law, the appellee has formally and officially acknowledged the assertions made by the appellant in the suit are correct and true as to fact and law.

In Walker v Members of Congress, the Solicitor General of the United States as authorized by federal law represented the members of Congress as attorney of record. In this dual official capacity the Solicitor General decided to waive any challenge that the assertions of fact and law made by appellant in Walker v. Members of Congress were misstatement of fact and law. By waiving this right, under federal law, the attorney of record formally and officially admitted these assertions were true and correct as to fact and law. That admission refuted the “patently frivolous” remarks of DOJ attorney Karen D. Utiger and created a final irony (foavc.org/file.php/1/Articles/The%20Final%20Irony.htm) in Walker v. Members of Congress.

On October 30, 2006 the Supreme Court denied certiorari but not before it was established and admitted for court and public record that all assertions made in the writ of certiorari were true and correct as to fact and law. Also, no advisory opinion nullifies Article V.

Stephen Daugherry wrote: My brother is a lawyer.
And that does not mean you know what you are talking about. FOAVC has attorneys that know a lot more about than you do.

But there will no doubt be more entertaining imitations of a pretzel, while trying to re-interpret what the Supreme Court already said about Article V:

  • “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction.
… and prop up an extremely lame position that is clearly refuted by numerous court cases, not to mention the “literal” meaning of Article V.

Good luck! It’s really doing wonders for the credibility of your comments.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 28, 2008 11:23 AM
Comment #251608

Illinois evidently had a bug up their butt about polygamy long after the Mormons left Nauvoo, to want a constitutional amendment. I think it would be helpful if there was a more detailed explanation on what happened with direct election of senators, and why the state legislators wanted to do that, and how the process worked.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 28, 2008 4:51 PM
Comment #251624
True, since there are always some people that want to be pretzel while trying to resort to re-interpretations and construction to attempt to explain away the “literal” meaning of Article V.
Reinterpretation? According to all the evidence, yours is the reinterpretation. The first interpretation seems to be my interpretation, which, might I add, doesn’t conflict with a plain reading of the Article. It’s the first assumption many people make reading it, the first assumption that Alexander Hamiltion gave to his readers selling the document, and the assumption the states have been making from the very beginning, from the looks of it.

I’m not rejecting the literal interpretation, I’m rejecting a literal interpretation.

The difference is plain if you consider how the Senate and the House could stage a vote one congresscritter at a time on proposing an amendment, and stretch it out for five years, and still be true to the literal meaning of the text. So would the regular kind of vote. Literal readings, depending how you parse, can bring forth any number of different interpretations. That’s why it’s a common lawyerly tactic to exploit the letter of the law, in spite of its spirit.

You think it clarifies things, but it doesn’t, because words can be and often are interpreted according to pre-existing biases; something always gets added. That’s why all the literalism in religious fundamentalism hasn’t created unity in interpretation among those people. People all take their own literal interpretation, and add what they think should be read into things.

It is not natural and obvious to read things so literally. Typically, those interpreting the law are asked to factor in legal traditions, context and original intent, and the precedent of the cases.

You talk about the natural and obvious sense, but how do we determine that? Context. In the text of the document, we have three other standards which by common practice are taken to be concurrent measures, votes and ratifications. It may sometimes take a couple centuries for a Amendment to be ratified, but I believe that most others have done so within just a few years of their passage. Context also extends to what the framers said about what the clause meant. In this case, and you have yet to contradict me substantively on this, Alexander Hamilton seems to indicate he’s in my camp.

Ask most people what that section means, and they’d agree with my position without many problems. My position isn’t the result of tortured logic, but a soundly supported interpretation of the constitution which the wording does not deny, and which context indicates was intended.

All the case you cite, you borrow from not to prove the main point, but in fact to borrow from them the sort of language you believe you need to repudiate a certain style of interpretation that you attribute to me. You’re cherrypicking references to plain and obvious, unambiguous, simple, and all that, but nothing you cite supports the legal interpretation you offer of Article V. That, you surmise, is self evident once you read the constitution the right way.

Except you’re not.

First, it is not clear what period of time is recommended, because none is. A vote in a millisecond, if we are going by text alone, is as valid as a vote that takes a millenium.

What does Ogden v. Saunders really say?

Where provision in United States Constitution is unambiguous and its meaning is entirely free from doubt the intention of the framers of the constitution cannot be inquired into,, and the supreme court is bound to give the provision full operation, whatever might be the views entertained of its expediency.”

Seeing as how there is no explicit period of time given or forbidden, there is inherent ambiguity. Both standards satisfy it, regardless of your view of my standard’s expedience.

But more to the point, the intention of the framers can and has been inquired into!

Moving on to Prigg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you have the same problem: the obvious end of Article V, given Alexander Hamilton’s explanation of it, is that the provision requires the states to come together, to concur, to be operative. It is intended to require common action on the part of the states, and to have votes be spread out indefinitely defeats the intended unity. So my interpretation once again wins, because it no only satisfies what is written, but what is demonstrably intended.

That loses you Jarrolt v. Moberly as well. One part of the mischief that Hamilton states that the high threshold was made to prevent was the possiblity of parochial, local interests overwhelming the general interests of the states together. Your literal meaning undermines that, my plain meaning upholds that. The constitution wasn’t meant to be revised like a script being written by insecure screenwriter. The United States wrote and ratified the constitution, and so United shall they call the convention to change that charter.

As for Hawke v. Smith, I can read, and I have read that case, and you leave out the facts that this particular section was aimed at. This is one site’s description of the case:

In the Hawke v Smith (1920), for example, the Court upheld Ohio’s ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment over objections that the Ohio Constitution provided for a referendum on the issue by voters that might have overridden the Ohio legislature’s ratification of the amendment. The Court concluded that the federal law set for in Article V providing specifically for ratification by state legislatures preempted conflicting state procedures for ratification.

That was what that last sentence was about. They weren’t making a general statement, but were describing what Article V said about the Ohio legislature’s attempt to use the popular vote to undo their ratification. They’re saying there was only one set of solutions prescribed, and the constitution was very specific about it. But this wasn’t even about the convention clause, which was not at all applicable to the matter at hand.

This is the danger in your approach: You’re ignoring important context for these words, ignoring the subject matter that alters their plain meaning.

As for your people? I was referring to FOAVC. They are your people aren’t they? You’re getting all your arguments and cases from them, aren’t you? You agree with them, don’t you? Your people, therefore.

As for my brother the Lawyer? I’ve learned some things from him, but I’m nowhere near as much the expert. However, I’ve learned enough to know that you’re getting it wrong. You’re citing cases for the sake of a few words supporting literal interpretations in your mind, but you’re failing to see that these cases don’t have direct relevance. Your first case, in fact, is about Supreme court jurisdiction on treaty cases.

What you lack for is precedent or historical evidence backing your interpretation directly. You rely on a failed case, but insist that it is the law; not merely what should be law, but what is law. I’m sorry, you don’t have that privilege.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2008 8:32 PM
Comment #251628
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m not rejecting the literal interpretation, I’m rejecting a literal interpretation.
Wonderful.

So, it all depends on what the meaning of “is” is?

Is that the best you can do?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for my brother the Lawyer? I’ve learned some things from him, but I’m nowhere near as much the expert. However, I’ve learned enough to know that you’re getting it wrong.
Nonsense. I have worked for a law firm, have worked in litigation support, and have worked on gathering evidence. Also, FOAVC has attorneys with a lifetime of experience, and they know heaps more about it than you. But that isn’t even required, since the “plain and obvious” text of Article V is
  • “clear and distinct”
  • ,
  • “plain and obvious”
  • ,
  • “unambiguous”
  • “calls for no resort to rules of construction”?
  • and requires “no room for construction”
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re citing cases for the sake of a few words supporting literal interpretations in your mind, but you’re failing to see that these cases don’t have direct relevance.
False.

Several cases explicity reference Article V itself. For example:

  • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

  • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”

  • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
  • Did you notice the explicity references to Article V?

    That sort of shoots your statement all to hell.

    But don’t stop there. Please continue to entertain us with imitations of a pretzel.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 28, 2008 9:06 PM
    Comment #251630
    Hamilton admired the British systems of finance, law, and trade, and sought to emulate their success in the United States. He believed in the importance of a strong central government, and convinced Congress to use an elastic interpretation of the Constitution to pass far-reaching laws, including: the funding of the national debt; the federal assumption of the state debts; the creation of a national bank; and the creation of a system of taxes through a tariff on imports and a tax on whiskey that would help pay for it. _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandar_Hamilton
    In 1798, the outbreak of the Quasi-War with France led Hamilton to argue for, organize, and become de facto commander of a national army.
    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was commonly made (and used as a form of currency) by most of the community. In response to the rebellion—believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority—he accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the War for Independence. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.

    Kinda like laraido but not wako.


    ..there was a well-known procedure, available to everyone involved, for doing so. Hamilton did not follow this procedure (If so, Burr might have followed suit, and death may have been avoided).

    However, on July 11, 1804, Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with his nemesis, Aaron Burr, and died the following day.


    Hamilton and the other Cabinet members were vital to Washington, as there was no president before him (under the Constitution) to set precedents for him to follow in national situations such as seditions, foreign affairs, etc.

    Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of states. Thus, as Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson—the country’s first national bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other increased federal powers, on Congress’s constitutional powers to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and anything else that would be “necessary and proper.”

    Why would anyone want to associate with this guy?

    http://www.article-5.org/mod/forum/search.php?search=Nancy+Polosi+and+Billary+believe+the+right+to+an+abortion+is+guaranteed+by+the+commerce+clause%21&id=1

    Power.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at April 28, 2008 9:17 PM
    Comment #251640

    Dan-
    If we take a plain reading of Article Five, Congress has to convene a Convention if Three-Fourths of the states make calls for it. Doesn’t mention whether they have to take it together, or whether they have to consider them cumulatively.

    More than one interpretation, therefore, is possible. You don’t like one of them, I don’t like another. If we take a purely literal reading, then this is the impasse we are at. You rather pointedly refer to Clinton’s evasion, so I’ll respond to that: his is a lawyerly response, when the meaning of individual, literal words take on such magnfied importance. the difference between the literal interpretation (that is, the one and only one possible), and a literal interpretation becomes crucial.

    In short, literal interpretation is imperfect. Individual words can have different meanings. Phrasing and word order can be parsed in any number of directions, and never break the holy sanctity of literalism. Try and put any good lawyer in that straitjacket, and they’ll twist out of it like Harry Houdini.

    Hell, even regular people can do it. Our basic adaptation as biological creatures is the ability to creatively vocalize. There’s no way to reduce language and logic so far, to such constituent logical pieces, that their relationship to the truth is inviolable.

    The letter of the law, in fact, is one of the easiest things for Lawyers to twist. Why? Because once you strip all the content off, then the real world doesn’t moderate the result.

    The real world is, your interpretation has never been used or applied. No state has brought a case on those grounds, only somebody that didn’t have the standing to make the case. The Framer given the task of explaining it seems to favor that standard interpretation as well.

    One of the cases you site says that we’re only to resort to trying to read intent solely from the law itself if we’ve exhausted other options for figuring out what it means. Context and history play their parts before we start trying to figure out what the meaning of “is” is.

    The Number 9 case drives home the problem with your approach. You take the statement generally, claiming it applies to all laws, but in actuality, its usage is integrated into the case decision, which rested on other parts of Article V. These were the parts that didn’t need to be creatively intepretated, the court said, since the language on how Amendments were ratified was unambiguous on the subject. You’ve taken the statement beyond its intended scope, and thereby derived an inappropriate conclusion about what it meant.

    I don’t say this emptily. I read through these cases. Yes, they deal with Article V, but the legal questions they deal with do not relate to the convention clause. They talk about the plainness of what is prescribed regarding the regular amendment process, which is pretty clear.

    You will likely pull your usual rhetorical tricks. Wrong! False! Twisted like a Pretzel! Easy, flippant remarks. Repeat things for the people in the cheap seats, why don’t you?

    Reference does not equal relevance. They mention the convention clause in passing. Sprague was essentially the court shooting down the notion that Congress couldn’t pick the means of ratification, that it had overstepped it’s bounds in requiring that it be ratified by legislature. That was where there was no ambiguity in Article V. Ratification by legislature was an option for congress provided to it explicitly.

    In your zeal to prove your position, you misinterpreted the intentions behind those words, did not take into consideration which part of Article V was in question with the case at hand. You were looking to confirm what you believed, and thereby missed the fact that the case hinged upon the first method of proposing amendments. The same is true of both of the other cases; each dealt with questions concerning the ratification of the 18th Amendment. Now, you can’t reference this without referencing Article V itself, but Article V was never at the center of the decision.

    You can’t just interpret law without reference to the facts or the object of the arguments made. This becomes a real problem for you with Dillon v. Gloss, since that case says that Congress doesn’t have to stick with just what is in the article, so long as the necessary conditions are met.

    Just what can you argue here, then? Dillon looses you the battle on literalism. None of the listed cases directly addresses what the appropriate method of calling a convention is; it’s a side issue, beside the main point. Ogden v. Sanders tells us that before we try to use the language to divine intent, we should have already looked to the framer’s intent, which I can demonstrate within Federalist #85’s concluding paragraphs. You have no evidence anybody ever used or considered in use this interpretation, which was meant to be the originally intended interpretation

    Who is shooting who’s statements to hell? Who has yet to produce one shred of evidence that your interpretation was the framer’s? Who can’t produce one case showing somebody before Johnny-come-lately Mr. Walker pushing this line? Who can’t demonstrate one state being unhappy with the standard as it is?

    The evidence for is greater than the evidence against. That simple.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2008 1:07 AM
    Comment #251654

    A correction:

    In your zeal to prove your position, you misinterpreted the intentions behind those words, did not take into consideration which part of Article V was in question with the case at hand. You were looking to confirm what you believed, and thereby missed the fact that the case hinged upon the first method of proposing amendments. The same is true of both of the other cases; each dealt with questions concerning the ratification of the 18th Amendment. Now, you can’t reference this without referencing Article V itself, but Article V was never at the center of the decision.

    Should read:

    In your zeal to prove your position, you misinterpreted the intentions behind those words, did not take into consideration which part of Article V was in question with the case at hand. You were looking to confirm what you believed, and thereby missed the fact that the case hinged upon the first method of proposing amendments. The same is true of both of the other cases; each dealt with questions concerning the ratification of the 18th Amendment. Now, you can’t reference this without referencing Article V itself, but the convention clause in Article V was never at the center of the decision.

    Hopefully that clarifies what I meant, before some misinterpret it. Article V is clearly involved in those cases, although not the parts that are relevant to the current discussion about the convention. Other comments and parts of my comments said things to this effect, and I just wanted to make sure my message came out consistently.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2008 7:43 AM
    Comment #251663
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If we take a plain reading of Article Five, Congress has to convene a Convention if Three-Fourths of the states make calls for it.
    Wrong again.

    It is two-thirds (not three-fourths) of the states that are required for Congress to call a peremptory Article V Convention.

    “Three-fourths” is the threshold for ratification.

    • Article V of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Doesn’t mention whether they have to take it together, or whether they have to consider them cumulatively.
    That’s right. And in the absense of any “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements, there is “no room for construction”, as stated in U.S. v Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931): “Where intention of words and phrases used in Constitution is clear, there is no room for construction [re-interpretation] and no excuse for interpolation.”

    Also, again, the court has already conceded that there is no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements. When the court dismissed Walker vs. Members of Congress (for “no standing”), it first had a duty to identify in a writ of certiorari of any false statements in the amicus brief. By not doing so, the court accepts that there is no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirement or any other false statements of fact. On October 30, 2006 the Supreme Court established and admitted for court and public record that all assertions made in the writ of certiorari were true and correct as to fact and law. Also, no advisory opinion by any judge nullifies Article V or trumps any part of the U.S. Constitution. Again, the fact is, the Supreme Court has not yet been forced to make any ruling (ever) on whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V, but that day is coming. What is sad is that the Supreme Court must be forced to uphold and protect the Constitution.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: More than one interpretation, therefore, is possible.
    Sure, if one doesn’t mind turning into a pretzel in the process.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You don’t like one of them, I don’t like another.
    Your burden is huge, since you have to become a pretzel to somehow explain how the literal meaning is not consistent with the intended meaning.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we take a purely literal reading, then this is the impasse we are at.
    That’s right. But there is considerable evidence that the literal and intended meanings are consistent.

    It is also obvious that Congress is corrupt and has a clear conflict of interest which motivates it to ignore Article V.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You rather pointedly refer to Clinton’s evasion, so I’ll respond to that: his is a lawyerly response, when the meaning of individual, literal words take on such magnfied importance. the difference between the literal interpretation (that is, the one and only one possible), and a literal interpretation becomes crucial.
    Yep. Your comment …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m not rejecting the literal interpretation, I’m rejecting a literal interpretation.
    … and Clinton’s are both perfect examples of the lengths and tactics that some people will go to to prop up a weak position/argument.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In short, literal interpretation is imperfect.
    Not when it is clearly consistent with the intended meaning, the court has already conceded the literal meaning, and no court rulings exist that refute the literal meaning.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Individual words can have different meanings. Phrasing and word order can be parsed in any number of directions, and never break the holy sanctity of literalism. Try and put any good lawyer in that straitjacket, and they’ll twist out of it like Harry Houdini.
    Maybe if it all depends on what the meaning of “is” is, or the difference between “the” and “a” is. That hole your diggin’ is getting deeper and deeper.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Hell, even regular people can do it. Our basic adaptation as biological creatures is the ability to creatively vocalize. There’s no way to reduce language and logic so far, to such constituent logical pieces, that their relationship to the truth is inviolable.
    Gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The letter of the law, in fact, is one of the easiest things for Lawyers to twist. Why? Because once you strip all the content off, then the real world doesn’t moderate the result.
    Yes, especially when they try to twist literal meanings for nefarious purposes, and try to redefine the words “is”, “a”, and “the” They hole just gets deeper and deeper.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The real world is, your interpretation has never been used or applied. No state has brought a case on those grounds, only somebody that didn’t have the standing to make the case. The Framer given the task of explaining it seems to favor that standard interpretation as well.
    Just because the law is violated doesn’t mean it is legal. And the violation of Article V is only one of several Constitutional Violations. OR, are you now telling us that has not and can not happen? It is only a matter of time before a state attorney general re-files a new case in the Supreme Court. People are working on it this very minute.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: One of the cases you site says that we’re only to resort to trying to read intent solely from the law itself if we’ve exhausted other options for figuring out what it means. Context and history play their parts before we start trying to figure out what the meaning of “is” is.
    Don’t forget the meaning between “a” and “the”. More gobbledygook and obfuscation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Number 9 case drives home the problem with your approach. You take the statement generally, claiming it applies to all laws, but in actuality, its usage is integrated into the case decision, which rested on other parts of Article V. These were the parts that didn’t need to be creatively intepretated, the court said, since the language on how Amendments were ratified was unambiguous on the subject. You’ve taken the statement beyond its intended scope, and thereby derived an inappropriate conclusion about what it meant.
    Nonsense. No about of gobbledygook and obfuscation can twist the literal and intended meaning into something else, and the court (in [#09]) stated: “The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation.” For exmaple:
    • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t say this emptily. I read through these cases. Yes, they deal with Article V, …
    Now you are finally admitting that? Previously you erroneously stated they have nothing to do with Article V.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … but the legal questions they deal with do not relate to the convention clause.
    Nonsense. [#09], [#10], and [#11] deal precisely with the meaning of Article V. For example:
    • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”
    • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”
    • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
    Did you notice the explicity references to Article V?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You will likely pull your usual rhetorical tricks. Wrong! False! Twisted like a Pretzel! Easy, flippant remarks. Repeat things for the people in the cheap seats, why don’t you?
    Funny. Only one can turn one’s self into a pretzel. You don’t need my help.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Reference does not equal relevance.
    Right. Like “is” doesn’t mean “is” and the difference between “a” and “the” ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They mention the convention clause in passing. Sprague was essentially the court shooting down the notion that Congress couldn’t pick the means of ratification, that it had overstepped it’s bounds in requiring that it be ratified by legislature. That was where there was no ambiguity in Article V. Ratification by legislature was an option for congress provided to it explicitly.
    More nonsense and obfuscation. “No ambiguity” in Article V means “no ambiguity” anywhere in Article V. But your desparation to cloud the literal and intended meaning is valiant, even if futile.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can’t just interpret law without reference to the facts or the object of the arguments made. This becomes a real problem for you with [#10] Dillon v. Gloss, since that case says that Congress doesn’t have to stick with just what is in the article, so long as the necessary conditions are met.
    More nonsense. [#10] Dillon v. Gloss confirms the peremptory requirement of Congress to call an Article V Convention if two-thirds of the states request it (not the three fourths as you erroneously stated above).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Just what can you argue here, then? Dillon looses you the battle on literalism.
    Nonsense. There’s nothing in [#10] Dillon v. Gloss that changes the literal and intended meaning of Article V.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: None of the listed cases directly addresses what the appropriate method of calling a convention is; it’s a side issue, beside the main point. Ogden v. Sanders tells us that before we try to use the language to divine intent, we should have already looked to the framer’s intent, which I can demonstrate within Federalist #85’s concluding paragraphs. You have no evidence anybody ever used or considered in use this interpretation, which was meant to be the originally intended interpretation
    Nonsense. There are ample cases supporting the literal and intended meaning of Article V. Just because Congress is violating Article V, and it has not yet been tested in the Supreme Court, doesn’t disprove the literal and intended meaning of Article V.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Who is shooting who’s statements to hell? Who has yet to produce one shred of evidence that your interpretation was the framer’s?
    You have already conceded the literal meaning, and the possibility that it may indeed agree with the intended meaning.

    There are also ample court cases to support the literal meaning first. Especially when other interpretations don’t make any sense and defeats the entire purpose of Article V.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Who can’t produce one case showing somebody before Johnny-come-lately Mr. Walker pushing this line? Who can’t demonstrate one state being unhappy with the standard as it is?
    Ample cases exist to support the interpretation of the Constitution.

    Again, no one has yet forced the Supreme Court to rule on whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V, but those days are numbered.
    The court dismissed Bill Walker’s case due to “no standing”, which is a common Catch-22 tactic, and does not prove that Bill Walker’s case was without merit.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The evidence for is greater than the evidence against. That simple.
    Only in the mind of a pretzel.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Hopefully that clarifies what I meant, before some misinterpret it.
    Article V is clearly involved in those cases, although not the parts that are relevant to the current discussion about the convention. Other comments and parts of my comments said things to this effect, and I just wanted to make sure my message came out consistently. Yes. Consistently prezel-like.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If we take a plain reading of Article Five, Congress has to convene a Convention if Three-Fourths of the states make calls for it.

    It is two-thirds. Not three fourths.
    You clearly do not know what you are talking about on that point.
    You also claimed the cases provided had nothing to do with Article V, despite several explicitly referred to Article V, and the “unambiguous” meaning.

    If you want to know more, read the Article V - F.A.Q..

    And here is one question to ponder:

    • Where is the law or case that trumps Article V, and why did the court not dispute Bill Walker’s amicus brief as to the statement of fact on the non-existence of any “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements in Article V?
    Had you researched it thoroughly, you would know the implications of waiving the duty to challenge the statements of fact, even though the case was dismissed for “no standing”. Also, the “no standing” argument used by the court is questionable too. If the U.S. Constitution is being violated, any American should have “standing” in protesting any violation. When Judge Coughenour’s ruling (which was based on Coleman) in Walker v. Members of Congress that members of Congress have a choice as to whether or not to obey the law of the Constitution as to calling an Article V Convention under the political question doctrine is an advisory opinion only, and not a binding authority. In order for Judge Coughenour to have made an actual binding decision, he would have first had to have dealt with the legal contradiction of standing, and then refuted Coleman as the basis for his ruling as that decision mandated that all similar rulings were only advisory opinions in nature, and therefore not binding.

    As the Coleman decision specifies, any decision by a federal court on the amendatory process is an advisory opinion, any court opinion rendered after Coleman based on the Coleman opinion cannot be a binding court ruling as it is only an advisory opinion, which is a court opinion which has no weight or force of law whatsoever. Any binding decision would therefore be based on Supreme Court rulings (Dodge v. Woolsey, Hawke v. Smith, Dillon v. Gloss, United States v. Sprague ) made prior to Coleman, all which state Congress must call an Article V Convention if two-thirds of the states apply for a convention call. The Coleman ruling did not overturn these earlier rulings. The Coleman decision did not even discuss the Article V Convention. While Judge Coughenour, in his opinion, in Walker v. Members of Congres, ignored these rulings, he did not state anywhere that he was nullifying them. Thus, these “missing” Supreme Court rulings which are not advisory opinions, remain in effect. As they merely restate the literal and intended meaning of Article V, and carry the full weight and force of law, specifically the law of the Constitution itself. Since an advisory opinion has no weight or force of law whatsoever, clearly it cannot trump the law of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Thus, neither Coleman nor the Walker lawsuits altered the “peremptory” requirement of Article V on Congress to call an Article V Convention.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 29, 2008 10:23 AM
    Comment #251697

    Yeah, I got the ratio’s mixed up for a moment. Thank you for pointing it out.

    Yes, as I pointed it out, it doesn’t mention it. You instantly take that as license to have things your way, but you’re forgetting something important: nothing says that your interpretation is not a construction itself. You’re imagining a great deal that the document doesn’t mention. You’re imagining a cumulative system, when this plainly written constitution gives no hint of accumulation as a standard. It doesn’t say “a number equal to two-thirds of the several states”, it states “on the application of two thirds of the several states”. The former would leave the door wide open. The latter only gives that license if you broadly interpret it to only be a numerical quality.

    The trouble is, if we’re applying this to real life, is that your intepretation might find several or more of the states that originally made such calls having changed their minds, or changed their governments.

    The longer and longer the calls are allowed to accumulate, the less likely it is that they are all part of the same effort by the states as a group to deal with an issue together.

    If we take the words of the Federalist as any guide, then we know that there was an original purpose to these Article V provisions, one that related to the former colonies’ common interests. We also know, from that context, that the framers also intended the convention clause to be something called by a united group of states within the nation at large, a common concurrence of concern about a matter that Congress was not dealing with.

    The court cases you reference state that your literalist interpretation doesn’t hold. Another also states that it’s important to consider, when trying to deal with ambiguities in the rules, what the framers opinion was about the matter.

    Overall, they also don’t provide any explicit support for the convention to be convened according to your notions of it. You just cherrypick trying to support a literal interpretation of the Article in question, not even taking into account, in some cases, what the words you’re quoting are referring to.

    You say they support a literal reading, but in one case, the courts opinion actually says that Congress has the authority to work beyond the literal meaning of the text, providing they satisfy the requirements.

    The concurrent standard and the cumulative standard both satisfy the requirements of the letter of the law. But then we have to factor in other things in deciding between these two standards. The sticking point is a plain one: what was intended by the framers. The court cases you cite say that original intentions and meanings overrule novel reinterpretations, no matter how closely they follow the letter of the law. Also, they state that the purpose of the rules in question must be supported by this interpretation. As that one case says, you can’t employ a standards that obeys the letter of the law, but defeats its purpose.

    Which brings us back to the purpose of the high thresholds: to make change in constitutional law difficult, requiring broad political support among the states and their constituents. Otherwise, the framers wanted folks to live with what was written, or legislating as they deemed fit. You don’t like that, but the framers were intending to create a stable system, not necessarily one everybody would like.

    A concurrent standard serves that purpose better, and also reflects the original intent and ongoing interpretation of the law by the states better.

    The problem with standing is not a shaky one. Your friend simply isn’t a state. He has no stake in the matter, because he’s not a party to that constitutional clause. The relevant players are Congress and the States. Where do you see him on that list?

    At the end of the day, You haven’t answered any of that, just delivering some legalese on statements of facts, advisory opinions. I think they were just trying to get rid of you and yours. I mean, your guy, supposed to be this legal genius, shows up with a several hundred page brief. Most people don’t try the courts patience in such a way. You say you have lawyers in your corner. However, they suggest cases that openly contradict major premises of your argument, or which deal with issues at best marginally related.

    The truth is, no state has ever complained, despite all the hundreds of applications. Either these people were the kind of folks who spend an hour trying to start a mower when the spark plug’s loose, or they held the standards concurrent interpretation of the law, and had no interest in challenging it as unconstitutional.

    Which is why no state has ever brought a case against Congress for it.

    Why are you guys carrying out this fight where the states aren’t? Impatience is my guess. You got a whole lot on your agenda, and you’re tired of trying to convince other people about it.

    Trouble is, the system was designed to stop vocal minorities and bare majorities from pushing agendas to gain greater political power. The system is rigged against you, but for good reason: the whole point of Democracy is to ensure that people aren’t subjected to the will of political minorities that don’t enjoy majority support.

    With such contempt for the opinions of others, there seems good reason why you folks have sene frustration in trying to get your agenda forwarded. You have to realize, it is not our job to back your political play, it is your to sell your own. Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2008 2:59 PM
    Comment #251699
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Yes, as I pointed it out, it doesn’t mention it. You instantly take that as license to have things your way, but you’re forgetting something important: nothing says that your interpretation is not a construction itself.
    I don’t need construction.

    The literal meaning is enough.
    Especially since the intention is to limit a mischief.
    For example:

    • [#08] Jarrolt v. Moberly, 103 U.S. 580 (1880): “A constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose, but rather so as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it was aimed.”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re imagining a great deal that the document doesn’t mention.
    Nonsense.

    I don’t have to imagine anything. It is you that invent Clintonian ambiguities (e.g. with “a” and “the”) where none exist, such as …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    … the difference between “the” literal interpretation (that is, the one and only one possible), and “a” literal interpretation becomes crucial.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re imagining a cumulative system, when this plainly written constitution gives no hint of accumulation as a standard. It doesn’t say “a number equal to two-thirds of the several states”, it states “on the application of two thirds of the several states”. The former would leave the door wide open. The latter only gives that license if you broadly interpret it to only be a numerical quality.
    Nonsene. You are forgetting that the court has already conceded that there is no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirement. The court’s reason was entirely different. It was based on Coleman v Miller (307 U.S. 433 - year 1939), and the “Political Doctrine Question”. However, that will not last forever. It can not trump Article V. Nothing trumps the Constitution.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The longer and longer the calls are allowed to accumulate, the less likely it is that they are all part of the same effort by the states as a group to deal with an issue together.
    It does not matter, since it takes 3/4 of the states to ratify any amendment.

    Thus, that issue is yet another red herring.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we take the words of the Federalist as any guide, then we know that there was an original purpose to these Article V provisions, one that related to the former colonies’ common interests. We also know, from that context, that the framers also intended the convention clause to be something called by a united group of states within the nation at large, a common concurrence of concern about a matter that Congress was not dealing with.
    False. There is nothing in the federalist papers or federalist # 85 that supports the “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirement.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The problem with standing is not a shaky one. Your friend simply isn’t a state. He has no stake in the matter, because he’s not a party to that constitutional clause. The relevant players are Congress and the States. Where do you see him on that list?
    That is highly debatable, since anyone subject to the Constitution (or violations of it) should have standing.

    But just to be safe, an attorney general of the state will be filing the next case in the Supreme Court.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The truth is, no state has ever complained, despite all the hundreds of applications.
    True. But not for much longer.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Which is why no state has ever brought a case against Congress for it.
    Nonsense. The states, due to a lack of any decent central database, were also unaware that the 2/3 threshold has been reached. Many are now aware of it. Now it is only a matter of time before a state files a new case to force the Supreme Court to deal with whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why are you guys carrying out this fight where the states aren’t? Impatience is my guess.
    Standing up for the Constitution is better than being a pretzel trying to support its violation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Trouble is, the system was designed to stop vocal minorities and bare majorities from pushing agendas to gain greater political power.
    That’s truly laughable with all the lobbyist crawling all over D.C.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The system is rigged against you, but for good reason:
    Yes, it is rigged. That’s obvious. And any violation of the Constitution can not be “for good reason”.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: the whole point of Democracy is to ensure that people aren’t subjected to the will of political minorities that don’t enjoy majority support.
    AAhhhhhh … anything that is anti-Democrat ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have to realize, it is not our job to back your political play, it is your to sell your own. Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.
    Nobody is forcing anything on anyone. The closest thing to that are your orders to “stop” this or that.

    You don’t have to keep reading this, nor repeatedly responding to it.
    But I suspect you do because it perplexes you.
    You want to win the argument, but you can’t find a credible way to do it.
    Thus the pretzel dance we see above.

    But please don’t stop. Watching the imitation of a pretzel is quite entertaining.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 29, 2008 3:50 PM
    Comment #251707

    Dan-
    I’m not inventing ambiguities. They exist. You claim that a literal reading denies it, but what about would deny a concurrent push by the states for a convention? Would that be invalid?

    Of course not. If 34 states all at once asked for a convention, it would be done, or there would be hell to pay. The real question is whether or not you can stretch that out. literally speaking, you could, but the trouble then becomes filtering failed efforts from trying to convene a convention from successful.

    Under the conventional standard, as it has been put forward and practiced without complaints from the states for over 200 years, the standard would be whether the states are calling for this together, as part of one overall call for a convention. You can argue with their criteria, but the ones to object would be the states.

    You talk about how the threshold for ratification would keep bad amendments from passing. However, in doing this, you create a bit of a double standard within Article V. With the Amendment clause, we see a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate being required to propose an amendment. As we know, they represent the States, and the people of the states. The intuitive and plain way of looking at the two-thirds threshold on the states is to consider that it operates the same way, just down a different track; none of the complications inherent in making the standards cumulative over the years. Either a bunch of states get together to call the convention, and it’s called as mandated in the constitution, or they don’t.

    This would mirror rather nicely the arrangement with amendments: Two-thirds majority in both houses, or the proposal is defeated. You’re arguing we should complicate things by keeping a running count, and disregarding whether the states are calling together or not. A majority, a union of states, a concurrence of states, as described by one of the framers requires them to do things together.

    If the problem is the purpose, then there’s a simple solution: write into the proposal of the convention a time limit for that proposal’s calling. Don’t list a purpose, just list a time after that. Then organize the states together. Then, it cannot be argued that they are calling different conventions, nor that they aren’t of common purpose.

    Nonsense. The states, due to a lack of any decent central database, were also unaware that the 2/3 threshold has been reached. Many are now aware of it. Now it is only a matter of time before a state files a new case to force the Supreme Court to deal with whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V.

    It is only a matter of time? Sure. It’s also only a matter of time until the nerds of the Earth band together to overthrow our jock overlords.

    What? It’ll happen! Why are you looking at my hypothetical so skeptically?

    I strongly doubt, seriously speaking, that the states were unaware that many calls had been made, at least enough to cross that threshold, if they applied it your way.

    Someone might file a case on this, in which case I would like to see what happens with it. However, until that actually happens, there’s a much safer assumption you don’t allow yourself to make: that they’re well aware that many calls have been made, but because they don’t buy your theory on what the literal meaning of the article is, they don’t consider the crossing of your de novo threshold to be a problem. They accept the notion that 34 or more states must call for the convention together, and that is why hundreds of such calls have been made: not out of ignorance of some fact, but with an interpretation that makes that fact immaterial to whether a convention is called. They consider the concurrent amount more important than the cumulative.

    The system of amendment was created to make it difficult to amend the constitution frivilously. That was the system I was refering to. THAT system is what’s rigged against folks like you, who are so blind in their pursuit of political change that they run roughshod over other people’s rights and interests.

    People who intend to do good, intend to reform a corrupt system can become monsters and tyrants. That’s the charm of a Democracy like ours, with constitutional protections. There in Article V lie the weapons with which to end those protections. If you think people can’t be panicked into betraying their own liberties, just remember the last eight years. Thankfully, our constitution gives our civil liberties the robustness to endure those periods when we hamstring our own freedoms.

    The truth about many amendments nowadays, is that they are aimed at forcing things down people’s throats. Whether it’s school prayer or the outlawing of abortion, anti-flagburning, or aimed at giving frightening levels of powers to our government, a lot of them are intended to short circuit political arguments.

    In many political fights, the fights take place in what you could call rounds. The interested parties could focus on fighting each round. Now, if they tried to get many of these amendments through the usual way, they’d have two hurdles to cross. But with a convention, we’d move past proposal to ratification. If held in a time similar to the period after 9/11, the effects could be dire.

    Or it could be just a joke, nothing much of note coming out of it.

    If, however, there was massive support for the convention from the start, it is more likely the amendments will pass, and should pass, as intended by the framers. If the states literally unite to call the convention and ratify the amendments, then it is the will of the people. The run up to that call, though, gives people the chance to figure out whether this is what they want. This would have to be a massively coordinated political effort.

    And that’s the point: they would have to unite a broad coalition of political parties and people among the states. The support of the people would be critical. It would give the whole process the integrity and the authority it should have when we take such profound steps to change the basic charter of the union. Words do not matter as much as principles, and a short-circuit to a convention betrays the consensus called for by the plain meaning, the spirit of that article.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2008 5:08 PM
    Comment #251719
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n= I’m not inventing ambiguities. They exist. You claim that a literal reading denies it,
    That’s right.

    Along with:

    • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

    • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”

    • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
    More …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … but what about would deny a concurrent push by the states for a convention? Would that be invalid?
    Again, there are no “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements.

    Aritcle V states “whenever”

    • Article V of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
    Also, there is no court ruling anywhere that supports any “same-subject” or “contemporaneous” requirements. Congress simply took it upone themselves to conveniently adopt the interpretation that suited them and in the process, they all violated the Constitution.
    • Federal Criminal Penalty for Violation of Oath of Office

    • Federal criminal law is explicit and direct regarding a violation of oath of office by federal officials which includes all members of Congress. The law requires the removal of the office holder as well a prison term or fine for the offender.

    • 18 U.S.C. 1918:

    • “Whoever violates the provisions of section 7311 of title 5 that an individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government [and] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and a day or both.”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Of course not. If 34 states all at once asked for a convention, it would be done, or there would be hell to pay. The real question is whether or not you can stretch that out. literally speaking, you could, but the trouble then becomes filtering failed efforts from trying to convene a convention from successful.
    It would not surprise me one bit if Congress still refused to call an Article V Convention. After all, they clearly all believe Coleman v Miller (307 U.S. 433 - year 1939), and the “Political Doctrine Question” gives them the right to refuse the states an Article V Convention. However, Coleman is only an advisory opinion, and can not trump Article V. In time, the Supreme Court will have to deal with this. The question is, if the Supreme Court finds that Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V, will the Congress persons be punished per Federal Criminal Law (18 U.S.C. 1918) ? Probably not.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If the problem is the purpose, then there’s a simple solution: write into the proposal of the convention a time limit for that proposal’s calling. Don’t list a purpose, just list a time after that. Then organize the states together. Then, it cannot be argued that they are calling different conventions, nor that they aren’t of common purpose.
    States do not have to even submit a reason for requesting an amendment. Many states have simply submitted requests for a convention. That is all that is required. There are no time limits. Old and unpopular amendment requests are either not proposed and passed on to Congress, or fail to ever be ratified.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is only a matter of time? Sure. It’s also only a matter of time until the nerds of the Earth band together to overthrow our jock overlords.
    Hmmmmm … you might want to see a doctor about that. Perhaps a psychiatrist?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What? It’ll happen! Why are you looking at my hypothetical so skeptically?
    Because it makes no sense.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Someone might file a case on this, in which case I would like to see what happens with it. However, until that actually happens, there’s a much safer assumption you don’t allow yourself to make: that they’re well aware that many calls have been made, but because they don’t buy your theory on what the literal meaning of the article is, they don’t consider the crossing of your de novo threshold to be a problem.
    Such naivety. You’d be surprised how little some Congress persons know about the Constitution, much less state legislatures.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They accept the notion that 34 or more states must call for the convention together, and that is why hundreds of such calls have been made: not out of ignorance of some fact, but with an interpretation that makes that fact immaterial to whether a convention is called. They consider the concurrent amount more important than the cumulative.
    Some may believe as you do, but that is contrary to the literal meaning, and absence of “same-subject” and “contemporaneous” requirements.

    It still does not diminish the strength of the literal meaning of Article V.
    Especially in view of [#09], [#10], and [#11] above.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People who intend to do good, intend to reform a corrupt system can become monsters and tyrants.
    That is not too fare from being an accurate description of the current Congress, since they are violating the Constitution in more than one way.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The truth about many amendments nowadays, is that they are aimed at forcing things down people’s throats. Whether it’s school prayer or the outlawing of abortion, anti-flagburning, or aimed at giving frightening levels of powers to our government, a lot of them are intended to short circuit political arguments.
    True, and that’s the reason why it takes 3/4 of the states to ratify an amendment.

    The most requested amendment (by 38 states) is the BALANCED BUDGET amendment. Another is TERM-LIMITS.
    Perhaps we wouldn’t be swimming in massive debt had Congress called a convention as it was supposed to.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Words do not matter as much as principles, and a short-circuit to a convention betrays the consensus called for by the plain meaning, the spirit of that article.
    The short-circuit is a corrupt Congress that is violating Article V.

    The literal meaning is consistent with the intended meaning of Article V.
    The intention of Article V is to allow states to fight abuse of power, or inaction, or incompetence by Congress (via amendments).
    Whenever there are ambiguities in the Constitution, the interpretation that defeats the tartgeted mischief is the intended meaning.

    That is why your interpreation is weak. It requires more explaining and defeats the purpose of Article V.
    But you have put up a valiant effort.
    Unfortunately, all that was gained was improved pretzel imitation skills; which were pretty good to start with.

    If you’d like to know more, see FOAVC.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 29, 2008 6:51 PM
    Comment #251728

    Stephen Daugherty, do you play chess?

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 29, 2008 7:38 PM
    Comment #251737

    Dear Mr. Daugherty,

    My name is Bill Walker. I was the plaintiff in Walker v Members of Congress and its earlier suit, Walker v United States.

    I’d like to take a moment to correct couple of points you made. First of all regarding your interpretation of constitutional language. In Fedrealist 85 you will note that Hamilton describes a convention call as “peremptory.” The meaning of that specific legal term is exactly the same now as it was then which is why Hamilton used it. It means “without option, no discretion, mandatory.” Further, Hamilton states, “the national rulers shall have no option” on the calling of an Article V Convention. Given this word sir, any interpretation by you of saying the words of the Constitution are subject to the interpretation you attempt fail.

    Secondly, you asked for a suit that proves Dan’s assertion. The legal fact is that Walker v Members of Congress is that legal case. As pointed out in our FAQs, under federal law, the opposition, in this case the United States government is required, before the Supreme Court decides whether or not it will hear a case, to state whether that which was asserted in the case by the plaintiff (in this case myself) was true as to “fact and law”, meaning that if the government did not so object, that which was stated in my brief to the Supreme Court was correct as to “fact and law.”

    I stated Congress must call a convention and such a call is peremptory. I stated that by refusing to do so, all members of Congress have violated federal criminal law. I stated that several subjects had received sufficent applications by themselves to cause a convention call but that the proper legal interpretation of the Constitution was a simple numeric count of applying states and that no other terms or conditions such as timeliness or contemporaneous could effect or be applied to prevent a convention call.

    As a matter of public record, as stated by the Solicitor General of the United States acting in his official capacity both as Solicitor General and as official counsel of record for the defendants, the United States Congress before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Solicitor General of the United States raised no objection as to fact and law regarding what I stated above.

    Therefore, under federal law, what Daniel has stated is correct and under the terms of the same federal law is now a matter of public record and official government policy. Congress must call a convention; sufficent applications exist to compel it to do so; a call is based solely on a numeric count of states; a call is peremptory and refusal to do is a violation of federal criminal law on the part of the members of Congress.

    I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

    Posted by: Bill Walker at April 29, 2008 8:52 PM
    Comment #251756

    Dan-
    You’re so intent on filtering out your catchphrases that you miss lines like:

    The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

    There’s a logical sequence in there that alters the plain meaning of the words, and it goes from being a simple declarative statement in general about Article V to being descriptive of the prescribed methods of ratification. As it says, “Ratificaton might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than selected.” To say the language of the article is plain and admits no doubt in its interpretation is not to say that any literal argument you might make about Article V could be true. Rather it meant to say that the subjects of this case, the available methods of ratification, , were explicitly described in the Constitution, with little doubt as to their meaning. In this case, that a state could not ratify or unratify an amendment based on a popular referendum.

    As for Dillon v. Gloss, here’s more reason to read the decisions before using them for support:

    First, proposal and ratification are not treated as unrelated acts but as succeeding steps in a single endeavor, the natural inference being that they are not to be widely separated in time. Secondly, it is only when there is deemed to be a necessity therefor that amendments are to be proposed, the reasonable implication being that when proposed they are to be considered and disposed of presently. Thirdly, as ratification is but the expression of the approbation of the people and is to be effective when had in three-fourths of the States, there is a fair implication that that it must be sufficiently contemporaneous in that number of States to reflect the will of the people in all sections at relatively the same period, which of course ratification scattered through a long series of years would not do.

    Sprague basically involves the court refusing to buy an argument concerning some principle of political science meant that certain amendments had to be ratified by convention.

    When asked about concurrent pushes, you brushed aside the question by saying no same subject or contemperaneous requirements, but that missed the point: would such a position be valid under a literal intepretation?

    Yes. It could be. Yet ambiguity creeps back in. Why? If 20 states pushed for a convention a decade back, and only fourteen states applied for a new one a decade later, your interpretation would call a convention, despite the fact that less than two thirds of the states voted for it. Not only that, fourteen states voting at a time have more influence on whether a convention is called than the Twenty who first voted, who might not even want it anymore. A smaller and smaller share of the Fifty states, for every miss of the number, is required to call the convention. Is this the plain meaning of Article V? It might be literal, but would this be what anybody really intended when they framed the constitution?

    The whole point of this exercise in thresholds is to ensure supermajority support for making these proposals. The reasonable assumption is that this is the states acting together. That’s why we have election days and periods for absentee votes and the like; if we just had things spread over the campaign season for one vote, it would hardly represent the will of the people.

    You intepret “whenever” without considering it’s role as a conditional. There’s a test to be met. Under your intepretation, it’s an inconsistent one for the, dare we say it, conventional method, while Congress’s requirement for proposing amendments remains the same supermajority.

    Given what the court said in Dillon v. Gloss, isn’t it kind of silly to say that there’s no push for the votes and the ratification to be as concurrent as possible? Some use the latest Amendment as a counter example, most amendments took less than four or five years to be proposed and ratified. While no time limit is explicit, there’s a lot of precedent for saying one is assumed, that proposals and ratifications are supposed to reflect the will of most Americans.

    If that is the purpose, then the language in many of the cases you cite works against you, since many of these decisions talk about the importance of the not merely choosing an intepretation that satisfies the wording, but which functions to carry out the law’s intent.

    What bothers you so much about making these calls a straight test of the will of the state legislatures, as prescribed by the constitution, each and every time? Do you not think you can get that level of agreement all at once?

    You could argue that it would be good to have this become cyclical, but that’s not what Article V describes. No reference shows up for “every so many convention calls, a convention being convened.” Like one of these decisions says, these people weren’t fooling around. If they had wanted things cyclical, they would have written it that way.

    You could argue that Congress is corrupt, and a way around them is needed, but as Ogden v. Saunders says, expedience is the last reason to interpret something some way.

    You can regale me with all your charges against them, but you really don’t have the legal authority, and I doubt they’d buy your arguments. It’s like a military private holding out on how he’d win all the battles if he were general.

    As for Chess? Don’t get your hopes up. Bill’s next.

    Bill Walker-
    Yes, it’s peremptory. That’s not the axis on which my dispute turns. What satisfies that pre-emptive requirement? 34 states call for a convention together, as described in the federalist

    You say your case is the suit that proves this otherwise. With all due respect, I don’t accept that argument. If your case is the first to set the standard, if you don’t have precedent, If you can’t even cite people in history who have your idea of things, then how exactly do you argue the claim that your interpretation is the original, intended interpretation?

    After years of another interpretation being the operative one for both States and the Federal government, logic would dictate that we term the concurrent standard the original, since none seems to precede it. Logic also dictates, given the controversy over original intention, that the very words of Hamilton talking about concurrences, unions and unification of states tell us more about the original intentions of the framers than the silence accompanying your standard.

    Lastly, you’ve got a problem. Namely, you’re not a state. More silence accompanies their acceptance of this longstanding interpretation. Why, over the long and contentious history of this country, has somebody not used your supposedly originally intended interpretation to force some changes.

    As for fact and law? You can state that it is a fact that it’s a federal crime to disobey the call for a convention. Very well. But they have to disobey first. You can state 567 calls have been made. Very well, but agreeing to that doesn’t immediately mean you’re agreeing to the argument you’re making. Just stating facts and law and having somebody agree those are accurate and valid does not mean the overall point they have made, collectively speaking, has been won. They may have even just been stipulating that you referenced the right laws, and that the events described did indeed happen.

    I don’t think you understand the law as much as you think you do. Likely enough, you’re inferring these victories from evidence that would not support it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2008 1:37 AM
    Comment #251765

    Mr. Daugherty,

    You admit the matter is peremptory. That ends the matter. If you are at all intellectually honest, you have to admit you have lost the argument and any loyal, patriotic American would, instead of trying to figure ways to defeat the Constitution he says he supports, spend his time solving any issues in order to effectuate the Constitution.

    Obviously you are not a loyal patriotic American. You admit the convention call is peremptory then try to go around the word.

    As to proving my point. The government itself, that is the Congress admitted I was right officially and formally as required by law. Never before have they been so cornered but the federal law demands it. The fact I am not a state does not change that fact. The law applies before standing is determined, not afterwards.

    Now if the matter is peremptory, and you admit it is, then the only question is whether the states have numerically applied which they have. I also point out the government admitted it was in criminal violation for not doing so.

    As to your agreeing argument, it makes no sense. If someone agrees to something, they agree, meaning they no longer object or have objections. If they do not agree or disagree this means they do have objections. As to referencing the laws, if I was correct in my reference and the laws are criminal laws, which they are, and they contain no exemptions, pauses, waiting periods ect. which you are attempting to create, which they don’t, then they apply immediately, which they do.

    Admiting for the public record in a criminal action that the right laws have been referenced and the events described happened is known as a confession sir. And I remind you the Solicitor General was acting in that position and as attorney of record. Under federal law he was doing what the Congress instructed to him to do.

    As to inferring a victory, I did not say there was a victory. I merely stated the government said I was right as to fact and law and that therefore all members of Congress were criminals. The government agreed. I stated they had to call a convention and the basis of such a call was a simple numeric count of states applying for a convention. The government agreed. I stated all 50 states had applied 567 times for a convention and that all that was required for a convention call was 34 applications from 34 states. The government agreed.

    You state that was a victory. Hence, according to your statement, I won. I’ll accept that as I’m sure you realize you are conceeding that if I am correct, your position must be incorrect as it disagrees not only with me, but the United States government as well including the entire Congress and, based on four of its rulings, the Supreme Court.

    Thank you for your concession. Further argument sir, will only prove that you are unpatriotic and disloyal to America as you don’t believe in supporting its Constitution or even its government in its decisions and/or you can’t read. When you admit something is peremptory, as did the government, that ends the argument. There is nothing you can state, once you have conceeded something is peremptory that can defeat what you have already conceeded that the matter is peremptory. Further protest merely proves your ignorance regarding not law, but comprehension of basic English language.

    Posted by: Bill Walker at April 30, 2008 8:27 AM
    Comment #251790

    Bill Walker-
    That does not end the matter. It is peremptory only so long as the condition is satisfied. I believe that condition has never been satisfied.

    It should be obvious at this point that I have a different view of what the Constitution requires than you, and given that view am defending what I see as its proper interpretation. You imply that I somehow know you are right, but are just not being intellectually honest, but I will treat that as the argumentative bluster it is.

    I’m not going to question your patriotism, nor even your regard for the constitution. I’m just going to question your claim about Article V, and also about facts and the law.

    I think you’re missing an important distinction. In law, lawyers and judges speak of facts as Something that exists or has happened; an irreducible element of real existence or occurrence.

    Which means they’re not certifying what you might see as fact, but instead the occurence or evidence presented. When they certify the law, much the same, they are not agreeing with your interpretation, rather than what you claim and the law you’re trying to invoke are actually related.

    What you present as a victory is nothing more than a formality. Congratulations, the law you site is relevant, and they’re not disputing what you said happened.

    That, in law, is seperate from determining whether your case is right. There’s a such thing as alternative pleading, where an attorney argues multiple, sometimes mutually exclusive facts as part of an entire case. As is quoted in this wikipedia article:

    At a late 1970’s American Bar Association seminar in New York [1], Richard “Racehorse” Haynes gave this example: “Say you sue me because you say my dog bit you. Well, now this is my defense: My dog doesn’t bite. And second, in the alternative, my dog was tied up that night. And third, I don’t believe you really got bit. And fourth, I don’t have a dog.” Normally such arguments would seem to cancel each other on their face, however, legally “even if” and “anyway” clauses need not be argued; mutually exclusive defenses can be advanced without excuses for their relationship to each other. Of course jurists might be influenced by dual defenses such as “my dog was tied up” and “I don’t have a dog”, but this must be weighed against the fact that defenses may not be allowed if they are introduced too late.

    So, saying they accepted your facts doesn’t mean they’ve decided your claim as a whole is factual.

    Thank you for your concession. Further argument sir, will only prove that you are unpatriotic and disloyal to America as you don’t believe in supporting its Constitution or even its government in its decisions and/or you can’t read. When you admit something is peremptory, as did the government, that ends the argument. There is nothing you can state, once you have conceeded something is peremptory that can defeat what you have already conceeded that the matter is peremptory. Further protest merely proves your ignorance regarding not law, but comprehension of basic English language.

    Peremptory means that once it is set in motion, Congress can’t stop it. It all depends, though, on whether your standard for when the two-thirds majority is reached is agreed to. If it’s not, then there’s no peremptory requirements on Congress. If nobody else, not states, not framers, not the courts, not some young man on a computer agrees with your interpretation, then nobody agrees that the peremptory threshold has been reached.

    You can call me a traitor, an idiot, an enemy of the constitution, illiterate, or whatever, but that doesn’t change that crucial point.

    Besides your ad hominem argumentation here, your use of court decisions regarding what happens after this threshold is passed doesn’t help your case as to what should be considered proper procedure in order to get to the threshold in the first place. You can hold out self-righteously that the plain text of the constitution must be honored, but unless you have external evidence that the procedure you advocate actually is seen to satisify the requirements, that just makes for a circular argument: my argument is correct because the clause self-evidently supports me.

    Given that there is an alternative interpretation that has been there from the very beginning, and Hamilton was one of the framers of the constitution, without countervailing evidence, we cannot say that your claims of self-evident meaning hold water. What documentation from the framer’s time, from their discussions do you have? What states in the course of history in this country actually attempted to used this standard? What cases that have come before the court actually dealt with states claiming this interpretation?

    Answer these questions, and you will have better footing. Don’t answer them, and your case rightly fails.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2008 3:21 PM
    Comment #251802

    If ratification of the amendment is accumulative then the procedure for proposal should also be accumulative.

    The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) is the most recent amendment to the United States Constitution, having been ratified in 1992, 202½ years after its initial submission in 1789. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
    Posted by: Weary Willie at April 30, 2008 5:35 PM
    Comment #251809

    Weary Willie-
    It’s the only one ever ratified that way. Most Amendments were ratified within three or four years of their proposal. Additionally, all proposals have so far been straight up and down votes, two chambers of Congress both registering concurrent majorities of two-thirds.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2008 6:24 PM
    Comment #251810

    So why don’t we have a convention called that way. The only one ever called that way?

    Posted by: Weary Willie at April 30, 2008 6:29 PM
    Comment #251813
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That does not end the matter. It is peremptory only so long as the condition is satisfied. I believe that condition has never been satisfied.
    Yes, the condition has been met.

    You simply don’t believe the literal meaning of Article V agrees with the intended meaning.
    So, since your entire lame argument relies on a fictitious “contemporaneousness”, what is the time period?

    001 year?
    002 years? (1 term in the House)
    004 years? (1 term of President)
    006 years? (1 term in the Senate)
    018 years? (3 terms in the Senate)
    036 years? (6 terms in the Senate)
    100 years?
    200 years?

    There have already been …

    • 567 applications by state legislatures since 1787.

    • 562 applications by state legislatures since 1900.

    • 433 applications by state legislatures since 1950.

    • 378 applications by state legislatures since 1960.

    • 211 applications by state legislatures since 1970.

    • 160 applications by state legislatures since 1975.

    • 116 applications by state legislatures since 1978.

    • 057 applications by state legislatures since 1980.

    • 025 applications by state legislatures since 1990.

    • Subject ______________________Total _ MinYear _ MaxYear
    • Apportionment ________________ 84 __ 1963 ____ 1992
    • Balanced budget ______________ 80 __ 1957 ____ 1992
    • Direct election of senators ______ 49 __ 1901 ____ 1992
    • Limited taxation _______________ 47 __ 1939 ____ 1992
    • Right to life ___________________ 44 __ 1975 ____ 1992
    • Mode of amendment ____________ 31 __ 1953 ____ 1992
    • General call for convention ______ 30 __ 1789 ____ 1992
    • Presidential electors ____________ 24 __ 1957 ____ 1970
    • Anti-polygamy _________________ 20 __ 1906 ____ 1916

    Only 34 are required (i.e. 50 x (2/3) = 67%).
    After a while, as more people learn about this, it will become clear that Congress has an obvious conflict of interest, and is in clear violation of the literal meaning of Article V.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It should be obvious at this point that I have a different view of what the Constitution requires than you,
    True. The pretzel viewpoint.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … and given that view am defending what I see as its proper interpretation.
    Only by ignoring the literal meaning, and calling the other viewpoint “literalism”. That’s a very weak and lame position.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re missing an important distinction. In law, lawyers and judges speak of facts as Something that exists or has happened; an irreducible element of real existence or occurrence.
    Yeah, yeah, we know. Your brother is a lawyer.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can call me a traitor, an idiot, an enemy of the constitution, illiterate, or whatever, but that doesn’t change that crucial point.
    No need. No help is required for that.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can hold out self-righteously that the plain text of the constitution must be honored, but unless you have external evidence that the procedure you advocate actually is seen to satisify the requirements, that just makes for a circular argument: my argument is correct because the clause self-evidently supports me.
    True. There’s always a pretzel around to create circular obfuscations.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What cases that have come before the court actually dealt with states claiming this interpretation?
    Walker vs. Members of Congress is the first, and the court weaseled out using the common Catch-22 “no standing” excuse.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Answer these questions, and you will have better footing. Don’t answer them, and your case rightly fails.
    Wrong. Your burden of proof to over-come the literal meaning of Article V is larger.

    Especially with numerous other cases that address literal meanings:
    Along with:

    • [#09] Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221 (1920): “The framers of the Constitution realized that it might in the progress of time and the development of new conditions require changes, and they intended to provide an orderly manner in which these could be accomplished; to that end they adopted the fifth article. This article makes provision for the proposal of amendments either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states; thus securing deliberation and consideration before any change can be proposed. … The fifth article is a grant of authority by the people to Congress. The determination of the method of ratification is the exercise of a national power specifically granted by the Constitution; that power is conferred upon Congress, and is limited to two methods, by the action of the Legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or conventions in a like number of states. The framers of the Constitution might have adopted a different method. Ratification might have been left to a vote of the people, or to some authority of government other than that selected. The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation. It is not the function of courts or legislative bodies, national or state, to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed.”

    • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”

    • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
    More …

    Weary Willie wrote: The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) is the most recent amendment to the United States Constitution, having been ratified in 1992, 202½ years after its initial submission in 1789.
    Good point. If there’s no time limit on ratification, why should we assume there is a hidden (unknown to anyone) time limit on the proposed amendment requests.

    Stephen Daugherty, Your postion is very weak.
    The denial of the literal meaning, and the assertion that there is some other hidden meaning is extremely weak, and no amount of obfuscation and pretzel dancing will change the literal meaning and the supporting court cases and statements with regard to interpretation of the Constitution.
    Especially this part …

  • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
  • See the words “article 5”
    That alone makes a strong case for the literal meaning of Article V.
    No where does the Supreme Court ever go to any effort to explain that the literal meaning is confusing.
    See the words “clear in statement and meaning”.
    See the words “contains no ambiguity”
    See the words “calls for no resort to rules of construction”
    That too is an awfully strong case for the literal meaning.
    See the words “A mere reading demonstrates that this is true”.

    That sort of shoots your theory of a hidden meaning all to hell.

    But don’t stop there.
    We’re having fun watching the entertaining imitations of a master pretzel trying to turn everything into circular obfuscations.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 30, 2008 7:05 PM
    Comment #251815

    Makes you wonder why any states bother at all since it is obvious Congress has no intentions of calling an Article V Convention.

    Since the time limit on amendment applications is unknown, and Congress doesn’t have to define it, Congress can continue to violate Article V.

    But not for much longer.
    This issue will appear before the Supreme Court again, and the Supreme Court will eventually be forced to decide whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V (or not).

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 30, 2008 7:09 PM
    Comment #251830

    Weary Willie-
    Why indeed? If We’re talking a convention held according to the concurrent standard, not enough states have called for it together. As for the other? Because the states operate on the concurrent standard.

    Take notice: neither Dan, nor Bill have brought evidence that the framers ever saw their work in Article V this way. If you’re going to argue original intentions, much less literal strict construction, it’s critical to find the evidence to support that. They haven’t.

    They haven’t gathered the historical evidence necessary to substantively argue that todays standard interpretation wasn’t the one intended by the framers.

    Dan-
    Here’s what I’d argue: it’s getting things together politically. The formalities of just how long that takes are beside the point. The folks campaigning for the convention could take years to form the coalition necessary, so long as the end result is such, that if pressed, this coaliton would be able to, as a united group, cast the necessary calls to invoke the convention.

    The political unity is the point of all this, the point of the high thresholds. The concurrence can develop over time, over a series of failed calls for the new convention, but the important thing here would be for this to be a political action the states take together.

    That’s no lame argument, unless you consider the other parts of Article V, which involve similar hurdles, to be lame.

    You’ve noticed that I don’t use contemperaneous much anymore. There’s good reason for that: concurrence is the better word: It’s not merely votes at the same time, but votes with common purpose, common thought. It is two different things to be in a room with somebody at the same time and to be together with somebody at the same time. Concurrence better matches the sense of togetherness and common purpose.

    It’s a matter of organization. You’re wanting it to happen in what seems the least common denominator way, not by the will of the states coming together voluntarily, but on the arbitrary turnover of a number. I want it to be the result of something two thirds of the states actually intend at the same time.

    Yeah, yeah, we know. Your brother is a lawyer.

    You’re very good, it seems, at creatively bashing me for my position. Pretzel, weakness, lameness.

    Problem is, you’re making claims about the deficiencies of my argument that you’re failing to back up as well. My argument is extraordinarily simple: The founding fathers intended this intepretation, the states have practiced it for almost 220 years, none of them, having the standing to sue, have sued. What proves that your ideas and the framers were one and the same.

    It’s real simple, if true; Just follow up on the history. Get a quote from Madison about it. What you’re doing instead is namecalling. It’s your burden of proof because its a change from longstanding intepretation.

    Spare me the bluster. Get me the history of this so-called origiinally intended interpretation.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2008 11:57 PM
    Comment #251853
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Weary Willie- Why indeed? If We’re talking a convention held according to the concurrent standard, not enough states have called for it together. As for the other? Because the states operate on the concurrent standard.
    Stephen, your statement is false.

    38 states have already requested a APPORTIONMENT amemdment.
    37 states have already requested a BALANCED BUDGET amemdment.
    34 states have already requested a DIRECT ELECTION OF SENATORS amemdment.
    32 states have already requested a LIMITED TAXATION amemdment (there were only
    NOTE: In year 1911, there were only 46 states in the Union. So two-thirds of 46 was 30.67.

    Also, again, there are no time limits mentioned anywhere in Article V.
    Article V uses the word “whenever”.
    “whenever” does not imply any sort of expiration time limit on proposed amendments.
    Your argument of some sort of time limit is ludicrous.
    Especially since you can’t tell us what it is.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Take notice: neither Dan, nor Bill have brought evidence that the framers ever saw their work in Article V this way.
    False. The literal meaning of Article V is sufficient.

    Just because the law is violated does not validate the violation, nor set any so-called standard.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you’re going to argue original intentions, much less literal strict construction, it’s critical to find the evidence to support that. They haven’t.
    False. Here is ample evidence … three of which refer explicitly to Article V.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Here’s what I’d argue: … blah, blah, blah
    Your arguments are all very weak.

    Your major hurdle is twisting and re-interpreting the literal meaning of Article V.
    It’s not working.
    Not even close.
    Especially when there are numerous Supreme Court cases and statements about the interpretation of the Constitution and explicitly about Article V itself.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s no lame argument, unless you consider the other parts of Article V, which involve similar hurdles, to be lame.
    Yes, your argument is very weak and lame.

    No amount of obfuscation and clouding the issues can twist and distort the text of Article V, which is:

    • “plain and obvious”

    • “clear and distinct”

    • “unambiguous”

    • “calls for no resort to rules of construction”?

    • and requires “no room for construction”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve noticed that I don’t use contemperaneous much anymore.
    AAHHhhhhhh … a new obfuscation, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s good reason for that: concurrence is the better word: It’s not merely votes at the same time, but votes with common purpose, common thought. It is two different things to be in a room with somebody at the same time and to be together with somebody at the same time. Concurrence better matches the sense of togetherness and common purpose.
    More obfuscation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s a matter of organization. You’re wanting it to happen in what seems the least common denominator way, not by the will of the states coming together voluntarily, but on the arbitrary turnover of a number. I want it to be the result of something two thirds of the states actually intend at the same time.
    “same time” and “contemporaneous” mean the same thing.

    That’s some interesting (circular) logic.
    But that is a part of the pretzel dance … going in circles.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re very good, it seems, at creatively bashing me for my position. Pretzel, weakness, lameness.
    One can truly bash themselves, by setting themselves up by adopting weak positions, and then turning into a pretzel trying to defend those weak positions.

    That’s what is truly frustrating, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Problem is, you’re making claims about the deficiencies of my argument that you’re failing to back up as well.
    Your position is weak and your argument is severely deficient. That is the source of your frustration. The literal meaning of Article V is your burden to overcome.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My argument is extraordinarily simple: The founding fathers intended this intepretation, the states have practiced it for almost 220 years, none of them, having the standing to sue, have sued. What proves that your ideas and the framers were one and the same.
    Another flawed and circular obfuscation.
    • (1) Only because no state has yet sued does not disprove the literal or intended meaning of Article V.
    • (2) It is only a matter of time, before a state sues. Attorneys are working on it this moment. They have a strong case.
    • (3) Only because a law is violated for a long time, that does not invalidate the law, nor change its literal and intended meaning.
    • (4) The framers did not place time limits and expirations on amendment applications. Article V says “whenever”. Not “whenever contemporaneously”.
    • (5) The literal meaning is simple. It’s not hard to understand why a corrupt Congress chooses to obfuscate the literal meaning.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s real simple, if true; Just follow up on the history. Get a quote from Madison about it. What you’re doing instead is namecalling.
    Nonsense.

    Trying to defend the indefensibile will turn one into a pretzel, and that is the true source of your frustration.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Spare me the bluster. Get me the history of this so-called origiinally intended interpretation.
    I don’t have to get you anything.

    That literal meaning of Article V and the word “whenever” is right there in Article V.
    That is all that is needed.
    And the literal meaning will eventually be upheld.
    It is only a matter of time.

    It’s too bad if that pains you so much.
    People are not going to stop trying to uphold the Constitution merely because you don’t like it.
    They are true patriots.

    Your burden to twist the literal meaning of Article V and ignore the meaning of the word “whenever” is huge, since one has to become a pretzel to somehow explain how the literal meaning is not consistent with the intended meaning.
    That sort of shoots your postion all to hell.
    What does the word “whenever” mean to you?
    Since you say there’s a time limit, what is it?
    So, since your entire lame argument relies on a fictitious “contemporaneousness”, “concurrence”, or whatever you want to call it today, what is this fictitious time limit?

    001 year?
    002 years? (1 term in the House)
    004 years? (1 term of President)
    006 years? (1 term in the Senate)
    018 years? (3 terms in the Senate)
    036 years? (6 terms in the Senate)
    100 years?
    200 years?

    There have already been …

    • 567 applications by state legislatures since 1787.

    • 562 applications by state legislatures since 1900.

    • 433 applications by state legislatures since 1950.

    • 378 applications by state legislatures since 1960.

    • 211 applications by state legislatures since 1970.

    • 160 applications by state legislatures since 1975.

    • 116 applications by state legislatures since 1978.

    • 057 applications by state legislatures since 1980.

    • 025 applications by state legislatures since 1990.

    Your incredibly weak and twisted obfuscations to re-interpret the meaning of “whenever” and the literal meaning of Article V are not convincing in the least.
    But don’t let that stop the entertaining pretzel dance, while digging a deeper and deeper hole trying to re-interpret and twist the meaning of “whenever”, “peremptory”, “plain and obvious”, “unambiguous”, “clear and distinct”, etc.
    We’re all wondering how deep this hole is going to go.

    For more information, see the Article V - F.A.Q.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 9:19 AM
    Comment #251855

    Dear Steve,

    You ask for historical proof. No problem. First of all in Federalist 85 Hamilton, who sat on the committee that wrote Article V, the actual language of it, describes it as peremptory and that Congress shall have no option. He then goes on the describe the call as a “mathematical proposition.” Meaning a numeric count of states.

    Now most normal people having read just that would accept what has been stated as fact. You however seem to want to cling to anything to keep your flawed argument afloat. You refine a word for example. “Peremptory means Congress can do nothing after the convention starts.”

    You deliberately misread Federalist 85. Hamilton specifically and directly was discussing the obligation of Congress to call a convention based on a numeric count of states.

    Now you ask for historic evidence. I’m going to take a big chance here and assume you can read and comprehend. Because I’ve got it but I’m not going to try and stuff it all in this reply. Instead I’ll refer you to the first case Walker v United States, www.article5.org/webbrief.pdf.
    In that is a two hundred page review of the entire issue with numerous citations by numerous founders and others of that era all stating the exact same points: the call is obligatory on the part of Congress and it is a simple numeric count of states that cause it.

    In that you’ve got all these historic founders and oh yes, let’s not forget the extensive record of the convention itself in which you can read the language of the actual motions concerning Article V. No one who is actually honest, can read those motions and come to any other conclusion except the above peremptory/numeric conclusion.

    You asked for a quote from Madison about such an obligation. Actually there are several in the brief including a letter by Madison regarding the obligation of Congress to call which is even more explicit and direct than even Hamilton’s description in Federalist 85.

    Your point about states not suing regarding Article V is incorrect. Dan has cited several SC cases nearly all of which involved the states, particularly Hawke v Smith, the state of Ohio which stated emphatically that neither state legislature nor federal legislature nor national or state court could alter or change the language of Article V. In making all these decisions the court has never excluded the convention process in its comments. Therefore it must be presumed the effect of the ruling applied to ALL of Article V, not just part.

    Finally, your idea of concurrence as you apply it is false. As I will explain in a moment there is concurrence but not as you think. The Supreme Court long ago ruled that what the Founders wrote must be taken as written in their natural and usual sense. Thus, you cannot substitute one word for another. The word concurrence is used in the Constitution for a vote by the senate regarding treaties. It is not used in Article V. Thus, if the Founders wanted to have used that word in Article V they would have. As the court itself pointed out in Hawke, the Founders clearly understood the English language (which obviously you do not) and therefore if they intended there would be a concurrent vote by the states using any other method other than prescribed, they would have put it in. They did not and therefore any concurrent vote such as you describe is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court knocked out your argument 90 years ago.

    And then there is the little matter of the fact in the Walker suit which you have directly ignored. The language of the federal law I cited does not agree with your interpretation of it. It clearly requires and states the United States, in this case, must object as to the issue of fact and law. They did not object meaning that as of right now, this moment, even the federal government does not agree with you and that is historic fact. And I remind you, under federal law Congress is required to instruct the counsel of record as to what position to take meaning they told him whether or not to object to the statements of fact and law. And, you have entirely ignored the fact that the government admitted their actions were criminal and violation of federal criminal law. In fact, and this I was suprised at, none of the federal law applying to Congress being obligated to call an Article V Convention is civil law. All applicable federal law is criminal law. That is why they conceeded it because there is no other law on the books but criminal law.

    Now the historic fact of Walker is this: for the first time in United States history the Congress of the United States was legally obligated to take a public position on its obligation to call a convention as required by federal law. They could not spin it. They could not ignore it. They had to respond as a matter of public record in an official government proceeding specifically a court proceeding, meaning that such a statement can be used as evidence in any future lawsuit. The historic fact is when that moment arrived, they ordered their counsel to accept without any reservation whatsoever that the call was peremptory, was numeric and that a sufficent count of states had applied for a convention call (which is what the language of Article V specifies) such that Congress was obligated to call. Now before you attempt to look any more foolish, I strongly suggest you go to the FOAVC website and read our FAQs and you read the cited brief. The fact you ask for historical referrences and say I haven’t any when, in fact I have numerous ones, shows you are do not know your subject.

    This point, that Article V requires the states to apply for a convention call. Remember the language is, “on the application of two-thirds of the states legislatures, Congress shall call a convention to propose amendments.” The action of the application clearly is for the call. The historic record of the 1787 convention, which I cite in the above reference, backs this statement up by the way. As such therefore the states have acted concurrently under the terms of Article V, each, all 50, requesting a convention call and thus concurrently have created the numeric count of applying states necessary to satisfy the terms of Article V. The article establishes no other term necessary and the historic record and the rulings of the Supreme Court clearly indicate that no interpretation is possible of the proceedure. In sum, a numeric count is the correct interpretation because it is the only way to interpret the 2/3rds word.

    Two-thirds is a number or specifically a numeric ratio representing a numeric count, in this case, a numeric count of states. Now, as to final proof, I use your own citation. You cite the vote in Congress for amendment proposals which you refer to as a “simple up or down vote”. Article V is one sentence Steve. Under the clear rules of the English language, if a word is used in one part of a sentence and used again in that same sentence it means the same unless the sentence states otherwise which Article V does not. You have conceeded two-thirds means a simple up or down vote meaning a simple numeric count of members of Congress present to vote. By your own words you therefore acknowledge two-thirds is a simple up or down vote by the states and the historic record of applications shows and proves all the states have approved a convention call be issued by Congress.

    The fact is, if you actually read my citation above, that even the opposition to a Constitution in 1787 agreed with my interpretation, which is nothing more than restating what the Founders stated. It is a historic fact that no one at that time, so far as can be determined, made any other interpretation except as I have stated. I repeat none.

    The fact is Steve, you stand alone. Now I give you a challenge. Give me historic evidence that backs your position where anyone in the days of the Founders made or stated the position you have made of concurrence or whatever word you wish, that Congress had the right to veto or ignore the Constitution, that the call is anything but a numeric count. The fact is you won’t be able to. I can provide numerous historical and legal references to support my position. You have yet to cite one legal or historic citation except your own opinion.

    So, Steve, either put up or shut up. Back your position with historic and legal citations. I’ve done as you asked. Your turn.

    Posted by: Bill Walker at May 1, 2008 10:04 AM
    Comment #251867

    Dan-
    Concurrence means they do it together, as part of one call. They don’t have to get it together on the first vote, but the point is for them to organize and work together. WHENEVER two thirds of them do, we will have our convention, no questions asked, just as WHENEVER two thirds of the Senators and Representatives in each house vote for a proposed Amendment, it moves on to the states to see if it will be ratified, no questions asked. You have me pegged, according to your philosophy, as a non-believer in the constitution, but I’m not. I see your rationales for saying that the threshold has been reached as creative misinterpretations of the clause which undermine its clear intent.

    While it’s true no clear time limit exist, time in term of duration is not the matter at hand. It’s the event of the call. The question becomes whether these calls are part of the same overall call. You count each individual call as if it where automatically part of some whole, but that’s not necessarily the case. The point is for these things to be called on matters of common interest, and for that call to fall short if it fails to meet that standard. It’s the same reason to put virtually the same standard on the vote by Congress to propose an amendment, and the same reason for amendments to be ratified only after they surmount the three-quarters threshold: to ensure that the United States, in the most literal sense of that term, are together for the most part on these changes.

    Dillon v. Gloss discusses this. It’s actually the worst possible case you could have picked, since in its text is my basic argument for why indefinite periods shouldn’t be allowed for such a call. These aren’t arbitrary numbers we’re talking here, but thresholds put in place to ensure that nobody could complain, amongst the states, that other states were ganging up on them and passing amendments hostile to their interests. Given that such mechanisms could propose and see ratified just about any amendment, including ones that could affect the roles states played in the larger government, the agreement on high thresholds is only natural. The general interests would have to greatly outweigh the special interest of the states it worked against. Even with that, anxieties were great enough that a provision was specifically put in place preventing any amendment from reducing a state’s representation in the Senate without its permission.

    It is not in the interests of the many states for the few to be able to call conventions without their involvement. The requirement ensures that a supermajority of states, by a two-to one margin, will be required to drag the remaining unwilling third or less of them into the convention.

    This is the intuitive reason for such a high standard. But you would trade that for a standard where potentially a single state could drag the other 49 unwillingly into the process. The Framers did not arrange it so that a handful of representatives or a pair of Senators from the same state could force proposals on everybody else. They put a hard and fast requirement on them, and I am inclined to believe, with good evidence supporting me, that this hard and fast requirement extended to the proposal of a convention by the states. I am inclined to believe that if the framers put the same requirement in two different places in the same clause, they meant the same thing by it in each case. You have to believe that they would allow variation where they did not write it in, and where no historical record indicates otherwise that they intended it.

    In short, you have to allege a dissimilarity in intentions within the same clause, between two means of proposal, whose thresholds are described with the same words. This is the kind of wordplay that one or more of your decisions cautions against, the expedient re-reading of the text in order to create a desired outcome, even it it works against the framer’s intended function of the law.

    My impression is, you’ve come to a conclusion, and challenged on it, you’re resorting to citing sources that deal with Article V in general, hoping that the things they say in interpreting a different clause in the Article can be generalized, thereby proving the case you already had.

    Well, you can do law that way, if you wish, but I think the truly conservative method of interpretation investigates what was originally meant and works to preserve that interpretation as much as possible. You update your interpretation of the fourth amendment to preserve it’s application to a world with changing technology, for example.

    The research obviously indicates what the original intepretation was: concurrent. The states had to call together, politically united, in sufficient numbers to overcome the threshold. When they did, then and only then would the peremptory language demand the convention.

    I have no problem with that. The instant that happens, the instant the states can say together, with enough numbers, “we want a convention”, the convention will be held, or Congress will face the consequences.

    Bill Walker-
    Like I was saying to Dan, the peremptory language only becomes operative language once the threshold is met. You’re simply assuming that, then telling me I’m an idiot or a traitor for not taking you at your word.

    You keep on running past my argument about what gives authority to that call: the concurrence, agreement at the same time, that marks the kind of political unity Alexander Hamilton describes. Given that kind of standard, it is insufficient for just a few states to independently make these calls at one time, just the way that it is insufficient for just a handfull of Representatives or a couple Senators to vote for a bill or a proposal of an amendment.

    It is the joining of these calls that matters, the togetherness of their political will. The process is automatic if and only if that strong political will among the states backs it. sufficiently.

    With your standard, a cumulative one, things get complicated. If Fifty states call for a convention at the same time by the cumulative standard, we get an interesting situation.

    With the cumulative standard there is always a remainder. Since, by your interpretation, there is no literal way of preventing this, no way to reset the counter, you must, under your system, count the number over the convention requirement to the next convention.

    If your remainder is over eighteen, then if all fifty states make the call, then, you will have 68 total calls, meaning you will have to call one convention to satisfy the first 34, then a second to satisfy the next 34. Any greater than eighteen, and you’ll have another remainder left over to cause even more problems.

    Or, you can define things by the calls the states make together. Doing that, there’s no remainder. You have a binary result, clear every time: No convention convened, or a convention convened, all around one clear standard: 34 states acting together, a two thirds margin identical in practical terms to the two thirds margins in both houses required for Congress to propose an amendment.

    Plain language means clarity in meaning. The concurrent standard provides clarity. There are no ambiguities in what it takes to call the convention this way, no differing standards for differing periods of time. One consistent threshold.

    As for citation, I’ve excerpted counterarguments from the relevant documents, some the same ones you’ve used, and then some. You can bluff, bluster and insult me all you want, it will not change the fact that I have been making an argument based on those sources.

    I think its sad you feel it necessary to make this personal, to make accusations, to be disrespectful. I think its a sad thing for anybody to do who’s aiming to influence others. Back your threshold and its application with evidence. Make the rest of us, who do not share your thoughts and feelings, believe in the clarity and the quality of your arguments. Stop trying to offend me into agreement with you. It hasn’t exactly worked.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 1, 2008 1:16 PM
    Comment #251883
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Concurrence means they do it together, as part of one call.
    That hole your diggin’ just gets deeper and deeper

    Where does is say “together” or “one call” ?
    That would require the states to organize in advance to do it all at the same time.
    That was never the intention of Article V.
    Trying now to redefine “whenever” is silly.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: While it’s true no clear time limit exist, time in term of duration is not the matter at hand… .
    That’s right.

    There is no time limit of any kind.
    “whenever” simply means when the threshold of two-thirds is met.
    And there is no same-subject requirement either.
    And until you can prove there is, your position has no credibility.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Dillon v. Gloss discusses this. It’s actually the worst possible case you could have picked, …
    Nonsense. It clearly states “on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”
  • [#10] Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Court reaffirmed its previous interpretations of Article V saying: “An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the senate. A further mode of proposal—as yet never invoked—is provided, which is, that on the application of two thirds of the states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose.”
  • Whatever else you are reading into is pure nonsense, obfuscation, and more imitations of a pretzel.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: These aren’t arbitrary numbers we’re talking here, but thresholds put in place …
    Duh. Two-thirds of the states to call a convention. Three-fourths to ratify.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is not in the interests of the many states for the few to be able to call conventions without their involvement.
    UHHHMmmmmmm … two-thirds is not a few. It is most (e.g. 67%).

    Thus, that statement, like most (if not all) of your statements have no credibility.
    No amount of pretzel dancing is going to change reality.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The research obviously indicates what the original intepretation was: concurrent.
    False. There’s nothing anywhere that supports that twisted interpretation.

    If it did, you would have provided it a long, long time ago.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Plain language means clarity in meaning.
    That’s right. Something you obviously don’t get.

    For example, notice the words below …

  • [#11] United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931), the Supreme Court stated: “The United States asserts that article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction. A mere reading demonstrates that this is true. It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them.”
  • See the words “article 5”
    That alone makes a strong case for the literal meaning of Article V.
    No where does the Supreme Court ever go to any effort to explain that the literal meaning is confusing.
    See the words “clear in statement and meaning”.
    See the words “contains no ambiguity”
    See the words “calls for no resort to rules of construction”
    That too is an awfully strong case for the literal meaning.
    See the words “A mere reading demonstrates that this is true”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for citation, I’ve excerpted counterarguments from the relevant documents, some the same ones you’ve used, and then some. You can bluff, bluster and insult me all you want, it will not change the fact that I have been making an argument based on those sources.
    Your argument is extremely weak. Ridiculous actually.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think its sad you feel it necessary to make this personal, to make accusations, to be disrespectful.
    Your interpretation of Article V makes no sense at all, and you stubbornly refuse to entertain the literal meaning as the intended meaning also. You also refuse to consider the possibility that the literal meaning is a stronger case than some fictitious time limits that have never been revealed in over 220 years, and flys in the face of common-sense and the simple meaning of the words “whenever”, “peremptory”, “shall call a convention”. You even admit there’s no defined time limit but insist there is a time limit.

    So you think there’s a time limit.
    I, and most people I known, upon reading Article V also do not see a time limit or anything to support “same-subject” and “contemporaneous” requirements.
    In all fairness, there’s a chance that your interpretation could be right, but it is extremely small chance, because it defeats the purpose of Article V.
    Without any defined time-limits, Congress can refuse to call a convention indefinitely, and claim it wasn’t contemporaneous enough.
    Since it is unknown, it is the perfect Catch-22.
    So the odds are against your interpretation since there has never been any mention of a time limit, the court has already conceded there are no “same-subject” and “contemporaneous” requirements, there are many Supreme Court cases and statements (some explicitly about Article V) that define the rules of interpretation, the rules of construction, and the guidelines for ambiguities.

    If you don’t get all that, and see that the odds are against your interpretation, then it is a fair assumption that you have no respect for the Constitution.
    One can only assume that you choose to side with the violation of Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
    If true, that indeed is not a patriotic act, is it?

    You claim because Congress hasn’t called a convention, that they must be right, and your interpretion must be right.
    Is that like possession is 9/10ths of the law?
    Just because the law is allowed to be violated does not mean it is right and lawful.
    So there is no standard.
    There is no precedent.
    The Supreme Court has not yet been forced to deal with it, but it will soon.
    It’s only a matter of time before states understand that Congress is violating Article V.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think its a sad thing for anybody to do who’s aiming to influence others. Back your threshold and its application with evidence. Make the rest of us, who do not share your thoughts and feelings, believe in the clarity and the quality of your arguments. Stop trying to offend me into agreement with you. It hasn’t exactly worked.
    Your position and argument is very weak.

    Article V, all by itself, is crystal clear:

      Article V of the U.S. Constitution states: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight [1808] shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

    What is obvious to many is that any other interpretation is reaching, strectching, and twisting.

    There are no time limits. Article V states “whenever” (Not within 1 year, 2 years, or any number of years).
    There are no “same subject” requirements.
    There are no “contemporaneous” requirements.
    The Supreme Court states “article 5” is “clear in statement and meaning”, “contains no ambiguity”, “calls for no resort in rules of construction”, and “a mere reading demonstrates that is is true”.

    Also, notice the time-limit (i.e. 1808) regarding the 1st, 4th, and 9th causes in the 9th section of the 1st article?

    If the framers intended for Article V, why was it omitted, but a very specific time-limit was specified with regard to the 1st, 4th, and 9th causes in the 9th section of the 1st article?

    That too also helps to shoot your theory of a time-limit at to hell.

    When you can explain away all of that above, your argument may have some credibility.

    But no amount of obfuscation and pretzel imitations is helping make your argument more credible.
    But please don’t stop.
    We find the pretzel imitations entertaining, while observing the twisting and obfuscation to twist the “plain and obvious” language of Article V into something entirely different and contrary to the common-sense and literal interpretation.
    We’re all wondering how deep this hole is going to go.

    For more information, see the Article V - F.A.Q.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 5:12 PM
    Comment #251887

    Steve,

    It’s time to end this charade of yours once and for all.

    Let’s just assume you are right about concurrence. Which you are not. The problem is it is a fact the states have concurrently asked for at least three specific amendment subjects each in total sufficent number for ratification of each thus well in excess for each to cause a convention call.

    Now, the states have acted in concurrence. According to you there should be a convention. Congress refuses to obey Article V and call one. So the fact that Congress has refused to call is the finish to your argument. The fact they have not called when the states have acted in concurrence means your argument is incorrect. Otherwise they would have called.

    Now before you go jumping through the ceiling and think Ah-ha! Same for your argument. I remind you of Walker. The government, the Congress, said I was right. Your argument is based on your opinion. Mine is based on quoting official government record. That the difference between posting on a blog like you’ve done and accomplishing nothing and going to the Supreme Court like I’ve done.

    If you’ve think I’m so wrong then write up your arguments and present them in a federal court.

    The point is there are so many applications, you can’t present an argument I can’t satisfy with sufficent numbers of applying states to satisfy the two-thirds requirement of Article V unless you attempt to contrive something so convoluted and curved that it defies all logic and reason.

    You want numeric. I can produce numeric. You want same subject; got scads of them. You want concurrent, no problem applications within a few years of each other sufficent to call a convention. You want all three, no problem.

    Now each time you’ve posted I’ve turned your point right on you. BTW you should know that brief I suggested you read has 208 Supreme Court decisions supporting the views I’ve advanced. The brief is some 800 pages long with over 1600 reference footnotes in it. This does not include the government admissions, letters, statements and so forth, all supporting my position, that were not used in the brief that I can also reference. In sum, I know my subject matter which is more than I can say for you.

    Oh and remember this I took this to the Supreme Court and the attorneys, actual lawyers you understand, never once refuted a single factual or legal statement I made, not one. Now if there is anything lawyers love it is a weak or non factual brief or argument. If it had been there they would have found it and used it. Why argue standing when you can defeat the issue based on lack of factual presentation. Like I said, with two federal lawsuits behind me facing government attorneys PAID to defeat my arguments, my assertion of fact and law, they couldn’t do so. Now you can make all the statements you want voicing your opinion but the facts speak differently.

    As to Dillon. It is acknowledged by everyone who knows that the ratification of the 27th Amendment effectively ended the “contemporaneous” or as you try to use it “concurrent” argument. The ratification was accepted 203 years after the amendment was proposed meaning the literal interpretation of Article V was and is accepted officially by the government. And yes, if you want me to dig around I can provide quotes from legal authorities backing this statement up. One of them is the Congress of the United States which formally accepted the determination of the Archivist of the United States that the 27th Amendment had been ratified and thus by obvious implication accepted that the method, means and time period needed to achieve such ratification satisfied the terms, conditions and intent of Article V. I can also pull out the Attorney General of the United States opinion on the matter if you want but I would think that a vote in Congress would be enough to satisfy even you that your argument is toast. I believe the vote was unanimous by the way.

    Your problem Steve is you keep twisting yourself into a smaller and ever smaller corner and each time I make it smaller with documented facts. As to your discussion, I asked for references and historic proof. That means either reference a distinct, documented statement by someone of recognized authority, such as the Supreme Court or other historic information such as the records of the 1787 convention. You’ve provided none. In other words provide your own evidence, something I or Dan have not cited or used.

    Com’on Steve. If you’ve got something that defeats all that has been said, produce it. We’ve heard your opinion ad nausium. Now give a quote from someone else. Just one quote from a founder, a federal judge, the Supreme Court of YOUR choosing, not just going over our evidence. Produce your own.

    Posted by: Bill Walker at May 1, 2008 6:10 PM
    Comment #251893
    your argument is toast.
    Posted by: Bill Walker at May 1, 2008 06:10 PM

    http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/soundfx/applause_sounds/crowdapplause1wav.html

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 7:14 PM
    Comment #251895

    Stephen Daugherty,

    Your position is going to be obliterated when a state attorney general finally forces the Supreme Court to deal with Article V. That day is not far away. The Supreme Court may agree with your interpretation (but not likely), or our interpretation (most likely). After all, Congress’ obstructionism will become all too obvious. Most Americans, when sufficiently informed and educated, are not stupid.

    - - - - - - -
    Dr Hubert, Lt Col, USAF Retired (2005),

    None of the candidates have very good voting records.

    Whoever the next El Presidente is, the voters would be wise to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 7:21 PM
    Comment #251897

    Weary Willie,

    How apropos.

    I’m still wondering how deep this hole will be dug.

    Especially when the Supreme Court will most likely be forced to finally deal with Article V.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 7:27 PM
    Comment #251902

    The Nine gods are just the first hurdle.
    They are the supreme beings in this country. Elections are won on their word. Entities are created in their name.

    Amendment 11 modified the supreme court’s authority. Amendment 14 gave corporations citizenship. Amendment 16 funded all of our problems. 25 redirected succession from the exec. to the congress. 27 gave congress a raise every year.

    Is there an amendment initiated by the people here? These are amendments granting power to the government.

    We need our own amendments. i.e. repeal the 11, 16, 25, 27 th amendments.

    Redefine the 14th amendment to erase ambiguity.

    I’d also support an amendment that modified equal sufferage in favor of one vote for one contributor. This would create more contributors and reduce the number of dependants voting for people providing handouts.

    If we rethink the 14th amendment we may also rethink our country’s future!

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 8:37 PM
    Comment #251903

    Weary Willie,

    Yes. We need our right to propose amendments.

    Stephen Daugherty refuses to acknowledge that Congress has a huge conflict of interest.

    Do-Nothing Congress doesn’t want a convention, because they know some of the amendments will be Term-Limits, Campaign-Finance-Reform, One-Purpose-Per-BILL, Election Reform, Tax Reform, etc., etc., etc.

    Congress doesn’t want to address these abuses causing the worst economic conditions ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

    While our U.S. Troops were risking life and limb to nation-build and police the Iraqis’ civil wars, Congress was giving itself a raise 9 of the last 10 years. Cha-Ching!

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 8:48 PM
    Comment #251904

    I try to tell my dad what a do-nuthing congress is. He refuses to listen to me. It starts with a d so he’s satisfied.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 8:55 PM
    Comment #251905

    Weary Willie,

    I know what you mean.

    There are many people that are anti-anything-not-Democrat.

    They are so addicted to wallowing in the circular partisan warfare.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government they elect, and deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 8:59 PM
    Comment #251906

    BTW, not that the OTHER party is any better.
    Which ever wing wins, I’m sure they will fly around in cirles.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 9:03 PM
    Comment #251907

    CORRECTION: cirles circles.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 1, 2008 9:06 PM
    Comment #251911

    Hey! d.a.n
    It’s good to see you and your Friends of Article FiveC again!

    I say!

    Give Stephen Daugherty what he wants.
    A single subject application from 50 states instructing the congress of the U.S. to call a convention to amend the constitution of the United States.

    I’m in Indiana and I know the current surveyor of Starke County, Indiana responded to this subject and his responce is posted on foavc.org.
    Mark Killpatrick is a candidate for an Indiana State Representative position. He may be running against the incumbent “Nancy Dembowski”.

    Vote smart has Nancy Dembowski accepting most of her campaign financing from the Democratic Party and members of the Democratic Party. Government labor unions also provided a share of money to Nancy Dembowski’s campaign.

    Mark Killpatrick is a blank slate on Vote Smart.

    Nobody knows anything about him except me. I know he actually knows what article V means.
    I think my question instigated his quest for an Indiana State Representative position. I believe Mark will insist and make appearant the need for a convention to propose amendments.

    Mark will insist the State of Indiana stands behind her applications for a convention.
    When he responded to my inquiry concerning Article V and it’s validity he was the only one from Starke county to respond.

    Send all of your money to Mark McKillop’s campaign in Starke County, Indiana for the position of Indiana State Representative.
    O.K?

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 9:48 PM
    Comment #251914

    Did I screw that up? or what!

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 9:54 PM
    Comment #251927
    Weary Willie wrote: Give Stephen Daugherty what he wants. A single subject application from 50 states instructing the congress of the U.S. to call a convention to amend the constitution of the United States.
    They already have (567 times by all 50 states), unless you mean simultaneously (i.e. within a time-limit, such as the same year).

    Therefore, the states first need to know what this fictitious time-limit is that Stephen Daugherty claims exists, but can not tell us what it is (which is because no time-limit exists). The best we can get is another nebulous definition, such as “concurrent”, which means the same thing as “contemporaneous”. Clever eh? Just change a word here or there, but preserve the nebulousness to pave the way for more obfuscation.

    So what is this mysterious time-limit? Is it:

    • 12 years ?

    • 06 years ? (the legnth of one term in the House)

    • 04 years ? (the length of one term as President/Vice President)

    • 02 years ? (the length of one term in the House of Representatives)

    • 01 year ? (the period between Congress automatic annual raises in salary)

    • 01 month ?

    • 01 week ?

    • 01 day ?

    • 01 hour ?

    • 01 minute ?

    • 01 second ?

    Without first establishing what this unknown time-limit is, the Congress will simply continue to move the goal post, and cleverly avoid ever defining the so-called time-limit.
    That is, if 34 states somehow (which would be like herding cats) managed to call for an Article V Convention within 2 years, Congress might then say that still is not good enough. No one should ever underestimate the slipperiness of incumbent politicians in Congress, and the lengths they will go to to make their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies and opportunities for self-gain more secure.

    Actually, the issue of “contemporaneousness” was not the reason provided in Judge Coughenour’s statement, which was based on Coleman v. Miller (307 U.S. 433 - year 1939). For Walker v. Members of Congress, Judge Coughenour’s stated that the members of Congress have a choice under the “Political Question Doctrine” as to whether or not to obey Article V. But that is only an advisory opinion only, and not a binding authority.

    As the Coleman v. Miller decision specifies, any decision by a federal court on the amendatory process is only an advisory opinion, any court opinion rendered after Coleman v. Miller based on the Coleman v. Miller opinion, and can not be a binding court ruling, since Coleman v. Miller is only an advisory opinion. It has no weight or force of law whatsoever. Any binding decision would therefore be based on previous Supreme Court rulings (Dodge v. Woolsey, Hawke v. Smith, Dillon v. Gloss, United States v. Sprague) all made prior to Coleman v. Miller advisory opinion, all which state Congress must call an Article V Convention if two-thirds of the states apply for a convention call.

    And there is no doubt Congress and the Supreme Court both have an obvious conflict of interest, because they know there will be popular support for amendments, such as:

    • (01) BALANCED BUDGET (38 states have already requested; Congress has violated Article V)

    • (02) Campaign Finance Reform - reform campaign financing by preventing wealthy candidates from financing their campaigns (0.15% currently make 83% of all federal campaign donations), and by mandating partial public financing for House and Senate campaigns.

    • (03) Term Limits for Congress

    • (04) Term Limits for the Supreme Court - eliminate lifetime tenure for federal judges in favor of non-renewable 15-year terms for all federal judges.

    • (05) War Powers - Limit some Presidential war-making powers and expand Congress’s oversight of war-making.

    • (06) Tax Reform

    • (07) ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment (better than a line-item veto)

    • (08) Election Reform - prohibit Gerrymandering

    • (09) Election Reform - provide receipt for vote that can be verified by a unique (but anonymous) verification number.

    • (10) Election Reform - eliminate blocked access to ballots for 3rd party and independent candidates and voters.

    • (11) Article V - settle once and for all Congress’ peremptory duty to call a convention when 2/3 states submit amendment requests.

    • (12) Monetary System Reform - eliminate usury and inflation/deflation (for example: one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Solution).
    The Congress and Supreme Court make there conflict of interest obvious with their obvious refusal to uphold the literal meaning of Article V.

    However, what is more likely to happen first is that at least one state will file another case in the Supreme Court to finally force the Supreme Court to finally decide whether Congress must obey the literal meaning of Article V.

    If the Supreme Court rules that Congress must obey the literal meaning, that means Congress has violated the Constitution:

    • Federal Law Prohibiting Federal Officials From Advocating Overthrow of Government

      • Federal law specifically prohibits any individual from accepting or holding any position (including elected office) in the United States Government if he advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government.

      • 5 U.S.C. 7311 (1): “An individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States of the government of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government…”

    • Federal Criminal Penalty for Violation of Oath of Office:

      • Federal criminal law is explicit and direct regarding a violation of oath of office by federal officials which includes all members of Congress. The law requires the removal of the office holder as well a prison term or fine for the offender.

      • 18 U.S.C. 1918: “Whoever violates the provisions of section 7311 of title 5 that an individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government [and] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and a day or both.”

    In refusing to obey the law of the Constitution and call an Article V Convention when required to do so, the members of Congress not only violated federal income tax law but their oath of office as well. The Constitution requires that all members of Congress must take an oath of office to support the Constitution before assuming office. In order to comply with the Constitution, Congress has enacted federal laws to execute and enforce this constitutional requirement.

    Refusing to obey the law of the Constitution and call an Article V Convention when the states have applied in proper number as they now have is a violation of not only federal income tax law but federal criminal law. The withholding of an official mandated or peremptory act by an official in order to continue to collect money is known as extortion. The action by members of Congress where they are peremptorily required to do so to obey the law of the Constitution in order to continue to collect income tax, where, had the law been obeyed and income tax repealed, such tax would not have been collected is known as extortion, an act specifically forbidden in federal law.

  • (1) Unlike many laws where Congress has exempted itself from the effects and penalties of federal law. Congress is subject to income tax law, not only as taxpayers, but in their administrative or official capacities as elected members of Congress.

  • (2) An act of extortion on the part of a member of Congress is strictly forbidden under federal income tax law as well as other federal criminal laws all of which apply to members of Congress.

  • (3) The withholding of an official act, such as calling an Article V Convention, when mandated to do so that allows the collection of federal income tax when that otherwise would not occur is defined as committing an act of extortion.

  • (4) Federal law requires that the Attorney General must certify that any action taken by an official which is being challenged in a lawsuit is “within the scope of the office” before the United States can raise this as a defense in a lawsuit. The court record is clear. Neither the Attorney General nor any member of Congress ever asserted that refusal to obey the law of the Constitution and call an Article V Convention was “within the scope” of their office. Thus, while the Attorney General could defend the members of Congress in court, he was unwilling to officially state their actions over which they were being sued were in fact legal. While in the lower courts, the Attorney General could avoid the question of “scope of office” by taking no action on certification, this avoidance was impossible in later appeals.

  • (5) Under federal law, a citizen may seek reparation of federal income tax.

  • (6) Federal law makes it clear that the District Courts shall have jurisdiction in lawsuits brought for the reparation of income tax based on ether violations of federal law (extortion) or violations of the Constitution committed. Thus, an assertion of lack of standing to do so by the district court violates this law.

  • Conclusion: As the refusal to call an Article V Convention is not within the scope of office of the members of Congress and permits an act of extortion to occur. The refusal violates federal income tax law as well as the Constitution.

    What good are all of these laws if the politicians are above the law.
    How many times have politicians been given presidential pardons, putting the politicians above the law?
    Bill Clinton partdoned 546 felons, and 140 were on his last day in office, including Dan Rostenkowski who had pled guilty.

    Or, in time, enough states are likely to insist on an Article V Convention simultaneously, as the severely over-bloated federal government, and the corrupt and Do-Nothing Congress continues to grow more corrupt and irresponsible.

    Unfortunately, it may not happen until the damage is already done.
    Already, these 10 abuses (which did not all come about and continue to exist by mere coincidence) have resulted in the worst economic conditions

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 2, 2008 10:37 AM
    Comment #251928

    Bill Walker-
    My Charade? Sorry, I’m not one to communicate with useless gestures.

    I suppose you’re counting all the calls that have the same subject, but not differentiating between those made at different times, by different legislatures, or those repeated by the same states. That cannot be said to fit the standard I’m talking about. I’m not making up my own standard here, but applying pretty much the intentions of the framers as given out by Alexander Hamilton in that previosly mentioned Federalist #85.

    He’s not talking about same-subject calls, he’s talking about calls made by the states together. That is, you have 2/3rds of the states coming together and requesting this together, more or less as part of one movement. It’s not all kinds of separate political initiatives, one five years ago, one twelve, another three months ago which organized by themselves, and did not themselves reach that number. You’re still accumulating, still thinking in terms of abstract numbers alone, rather than considering that there was a consensus that Article V was asking for, a political movement with broad support.

    That is what you’re trying to get around, by taking a bizarre approach to literal interpretation. Nobody believes that the two thirds majorities spoken of with Congress’s power to propose Amendments is meant to be achieved piecemeal. Since the framers did not qualify that same threshold when applied to the states, how can you take a dissimilar reading regarding it in relation to the states? If they didn’t say this majority would be configured and gathered differently, are you not construing something beyond the text by insisting that this majority come together differently?

    You keep on reminding me of a case you lost. You contrive this notion that because certain facts ( in the very restricted sense of legal facts)were stated to be true and arguments were seen as germane to the law at hand, that you essentially pre-won the case, and were denied victory by a Government not playing fair.

    I remember that they rejected that brief of yours because of its length, and you had to resubmit it. The fact that you could break a desk with your brief does not lend it greater crediblity, especially since you’ve taken the position that your interpretation is a literal one. Could you not make such a simple case with simple citations and just a few references?

    They did not bother refuting anything because they didn’t have to. You don’t even qualify as an interested party here, since you are neither part of the federal government, nor a representative of the state. They aren’t going to prepare volumes of counterarguments just to throw you out of court on a question of standing.

    As for documented facts? Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to not only the constitution, but to the convention that called it the year before.

    As for its pertinence to the matter at hand, the wikipedia article says:

    At the end of the Convention, he declared that, although he still disliked the Constitution, he would sign it, and he urged his fellow delegates to do so also; since Lansing and Yates had withdrawn, his is the only signature for New York. He then took part in the successful campaign for its ratification in New York (1788), a crucial victory for national ratification. Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a defense of the proposed Constitution, now known as The Federalist Papers, and made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, Jay only five). Hamilton’s essays and arguments were influential in New York State, and elsewhere, during the debates over ratification. The Federalist Papers are more often cited than any other primary source by jurists, lawyers, historians and political scientists as the major contemporary interpretation of the Constitution.

    In other words, if you want to know what the Framers meant, the Federalist is a sound source to start with. And I did start with it. I’ve referenced it, time and again.

    What have you referenced? Or rather, what has Dan referenced? Court cases. But how?

    You’ve referenced them merely to get at phrases and sections that you say tells us we got to take your interpretation at face value. One problem: you have yet to provide evidence that Demonstrates than anybody besides yourself and the modern day supporters of this interpretation actually believe this is a valid method of reaching that threshold number. Sure, when that threshold is reached, Congress must convene a convention. That I’m not arguing against. It’s how you get there that I think is inconsistent with the meaning of the clause.

    Where’s your support for THAT? Where do we find a framer saying, “let the calls accumulate”, rather than saying what I’ve already quoted them as saying? Since you’re proposing not merely a major change to the way we intepret the constitution, but are also predicating that change on the basis of original intentions, I think it only fair that you prove that the framers or their contemporary generations saw things this way. If the original interpretation can’t be found to match yours, I don’t see how you can claim your intepretation to be the original one. I’ve done my part to reference a source which indicates that my interpretation, one which requires unified political action by the states to call such conventions, is the correct one.

    Where’s your source? Where your historical evidence that the framers were willing to let these calls drip in? Recall, if you will, that the Framers acted rather quickly for a time when horseback speed was the fastest you could muster, to both call the Philadelphia Convention and reach the threshold of ratification for it. Respectively, they took a year to bring it to order, and nine months to reach threshold. They could have stopped there, but they waited until all the states had ratified it. Since no other convention has ever been called, this is assumed to be the model for how a convention might be called. Not requests dribbling in here or there, but common consent, states deciding together in a timely fashion to hold the convention.

    Why did this matter to them? Perhaps, it’s expressed best in Dillon v. Gloss: the timeliness lets it reflect the will of the people better. These calls, these votes are meant to reflect and represent what people believe at any given time. The Framers and founders of this country depended on the backing of the will of the people to give legitimacy to this government.

    This is perhaps something you have not considered. The law cannot merely be applied in the letter, convenient to certain causes or certain people’s inclinations. The real meaning behind the words must be established. Literalism can produce misinterpretations just as well as an elastic intepretation of the document can.

    This is what makes it imperative that you not rest on your laurels, but instead provide us with the evidence that your interpretation would create a result satisfactory to the intentions of the framers. I’m not going to give you a free ride on this. Nobody is. Earn your agreement, don’t try to badger it out of people.

    Dan-
    The whole point is for them to organize. The likelihood of a convention just coming about spontaneously is low, as it should be. The amending process is inherently conservative, requiring greater than just simple majorities to become operative. This “whenever” is defined by very high standards to prevent constant revision of the Constitution, to force those lobbying for amendments to gain overwhelming support before they even begin.

    There’s no real time limit, but if an attempt to call one particular convention doesn’t succeed, and somebody later picks up and makes another call for another convention, it’s much simpler and much more in line with the intention of the document to consider the other convention a failed attempt and move on. Now, if somebody were to take up and reaffirm that previous call, why shouldn’t it count towards a revived effort? It, though, would be subject to the same threshold. You would have to add new states to get further support towards the required two thirds.

    It’s simple, Democratic, politically achievable if there’s a common push for it. But like Hamilton said, it’s difficult. And I think that’s why you and Bill don’t like it. You want your political change to be easy, automatic. But that’s not what our nation’s foundational law was intended to be.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 2, 2008 11:02 AM
    Comment #251959
    They already have (567 times by all 50 states), unless you mean simultaneously (i.e. within a time-limit, such as the same year).

    No. They haven’t. All 50 states will draft legislation instructing the Congress of the United States of America to call a convention to amend the constitution.

    That is in the future. Who gives a shit what happened in the past, except we now know, Article V is a necessary part of our constitution. It’s opponents define it as a last resort. It should be the front line!
    It should be happening many times over.
    Convoluted logic may prevail in the short term, but the language is too simple to be ignored.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 2, 2008 7:47 PM
    Comment #251962

    http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/005950.html#251911

    Hey! d.a.n
    It’s good to see you and your Friends of Article FiveC again!

    I say!

    Give Stephen Daugherty what he wants.
    A single subject application from 50 states instructing the congress of the U.S. to call a convention to amend the constitution of the United States.

    I’m in Indiana and I know the current surveyor of Starke County, Indiana responded to this subject and his responce is posted on foavc.org.
    Mark MacKillop is a candidate for an Indiana State Representative position. He may be running against the incumbent “Nancy Dembowski”.

    Vote smart has Nancy Dembowski accepting most of her campaign financing from the Democratic Party and members of the Democratic Party. Government labor unions also provided a share of money to Nancy Dembowski’s campaign.

    Mark MacKillop is a blank slate on Vote Smart.

    Nobody knows anything about him except me. I know he actually knows what article V means.
    I think my question instigated his quest for an Indiana State Representative position. I believe Mark will insist and make appearant the need for a convention to propose amendments.

    Mark will insist the State of Indiana stands behind her applications for a convention.

    When he responded to my inquiry concerning Article V and it’s validity he was the only one from Starke county to respond.

    Send all of your money to Mark MacKillop’s campaign in Starke County, Indiana for the position of Indiana State Representative.
    O.K?


    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 1, 2008 09:48 PM

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 2, 2008 8:12 PM
    Comment #251964
    Weary Willie wrote: Convoluted logic may prevail in the short term, but the language is too simple to be ignored.
    I think you are correct about that.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The whole point is for them to organize.
    They have.

    37 states have submitted 104 amendment requests for a BALANCED BUDGET amendment. Most of them in a 6 year period between 1963 and 1969.

    That shoots your contemporaneous theory all to hell.

    And if that isn’t enough, 35 states have submitted 109 amendment requests for the Apportionment amendment.

    Both are more than the 34 required.

    And most of those too were within a 6 year period.

    So again, Stephen Daugherty’s contemporaneous theory is not very credible. Actually, quite ridiculous.

    It’s quite a leap of logic to somehow explain away the literal meaning of Article V.
    But don’t ever underestimate the abilities of some obfuscators that make an art of clouding the issues, and twisting the truth.

    But none of Stephen Daugherty’s arguments regarding Article V are credible.
    Just because his brother is a lawyer does not make him an expert on Constitutional Law.
    Stephen Daugherty has still not provided one shred of evidence to support his theory of a mysterious and unknown time-limit.
    How convenient.
    Without ever knowing the time-limit, the goal posts can be conveniently moved.
    Also, Stephen Daugherty conveniently ignores Congress’ and the Supreme Court’s obvious conflict of interest.
    But none of that matters.
    So the pretzel dance continues.
    It will be interesting to see how twisted the pretzel becomes.

    Weary Willie sums it up very nicely …

    Weary Willie wrote: Convoluted logic may prevail in the short term, but the language is too simple to be ignored.

    And convoluted it is.

    We are still wondering how deep this hole will go.
    Please don’t stop.
    We are entertained by the contortionism and pretzel imitations.
    It’s almost like being at a Cirque Du Soleil show.

    It’s like a magic show, where the normal meaning of words are twisted into the nebulous.

    It reveals the talent some people have for obfuscation.

    But don’t be deceived by such cheating.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

    For more information, see the Article V - F.A.Q.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 2, 2008 8:30 PM
    Comment #251966
    Stephen Daugherty has still not provided one shred of evidence to support his theory of a mysterious and unknown time-limit.

    Stephen Daugherty has still not provided one shred of evidence to support Stephen Daugherty or his mysterious and unknown time-limit.

    His Democratic Party is buying candidates left and right. Many webpages can verify Democratic Party Candidates being financed with money provided by the Democratic Party, Democratic Party officials, Government employee Labor unions, and political action commities.

    Make an effort.
    Identify the pieces. Identify the problem. A process of elimination will identify the solution.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 2, 2008 9:45 PM
    Comment #251979

    Weary Willie-
    Article V should never be frontline unless absolutely necessary. The problem with this line of thinking is that people essentially try to bypass the critical first resort of working out things legislatively beforehand.

    Some people here seem to think they can bypass or should be able to bypass the troublesome work of coalition building and political negotiation in order to get what they want. Unfortunately, that’s no different from the thinking that’s afflicted this country the past few years, this belief that ways must be found to force our will on the system.

    What happens is that power becomes the primary object, rather than the proper use of that power, the consideration of the community’s needs beyond the party’s the consideration of mutual compromises on interests.

    We first got to recognize that the problem begins with us, with our all too great willingness to believe that we can manage to get our interests satisfied without having to satisfy others as well. World doesn’t work that way.

    The language of the Amendment is intended to force those who would bring amendments to build those coalitions, to look beyond just their own interests. Hamilton speaks about this when he goes into how i That, or have the changes be so uncontroversial as to just be stupendously easy to support. The 27th amendment is a good example of that, and its present-day applicability is part and parcel of why such a relic of the 18th Century managed to pass muster in the early 90’s.

    As for a threshold of 50? I used fifty as an illustration as to the absurdity of an cumulative standard. Above a certain level, any new surge of calls above a certain amount could trigger not one, but two conventions. If we’re still being literal, we’d have to call both, because there is no mechanism in the text for resetting the counter. Once you commit to a cumulative standard, there’s nothing in the text to prevent such absurdities.

    As for single subject? Screw that. You could have as many subjects as you want in that application, just so long as everybody was pushing to apply with that same thing for the convention together.

    Let’s say there was this call the state still wanted honored. Okay, they can reaffirm that call, and see if more people will join them, up to that magic number. If it takes them some time, but it’s clear that they’re working together, and its all organized around a single call, then time is not the factor. Unity is. I don’t know how you judge or even verify unity if you’re just counting any convention call over the history of the past few decades, because parties change, state governments change, and situations change. If the text itself of the call is different, then that’s a dead give away that it’s a different attempt, right? You don’t do a different attempt if you think your first is valid. You re-emphasize the first call.

    Which is what I say: get everybody together on the same call. It can be a process of over a decade, or within the year, as we saw in the Framer’s time, between Annapolis and Philadelphia. All that’s required is that 34 states make the same call together at the same time, speaking with the same voice. If the legislatures are willing to re-affirm the call, there it is. If they’re not, then they no longer agree with the call for a convention, and should not be counted. 34 states together. It’s not easy, but the requirements of Article V were never intended to be easy.

    As for evidence: I cited the Federalist #85, a respected and well cited primary source for arguing the intent of the constitution. I also sited relative passages in the decisions we were discussing, including ones in Dillon vs. Gloss that make a very solid and forceful case for timely proposal and ratification. Some might not acknowledge this, but whether it’s acknowledge it’s there

    As for the Democratic Party? We’re funnelling money to our candidates. I’m not sure why that’s a problem. These candidates are Democratic to begin with, we’re just trying to give them a better chance to win. This is modern politics, and if you think the people you support aren’t going after money to campaign, I don’t know what to say.

    Dan-
    You say 35 States have submitted 109 applications during a six year period. That’s about three apiece on average, thought it might be more depending on the state. Question is, if your definition is operative, why did they do such a foolish thing?

    There were contemporary, true enough. But what are they doing? They’re acting like the previous calls didn’t count! If that’s the case, then as contemporary as they might be, they are not concurrent- that is, they are not aggreed upon as being part of the same call by the same people.

    Again, as before, your picture of my standard is incomplete. I no longer use the term because contemporary votes are not necessarily politically connected. Concurrence means they are in it together, in agreement. You would settle for a nominal system, where the true intentions and wishes of the states at any given point are arbitrary to the process. My system makes sure they are in agreement, that they are making the call together. This isn’t some majority in name only, but a real majority of common cause that comes out of it. Why? Because the spirit of the threshold is honored. Those going to this convention aren’t going to complain about how they got dragged into it, for the most part. By a two to one margin, they will have decided to attend not long before. People will be interested from the start, rather than have to be browbeaten into it after the compulsion of the final few calls.

    I believe that was the substance of what the founding fathers were going for. They didn’t want this country tearing itself apart over controversial issues. Keeping thresholds low for propositions and amendments which might aggravate the situation there was not their intention. Hell, look at the exceptions: the slave trade was one of them. Wonder why they had to put that in.

    Nonetheless, they knew their document wouldn’t be without flaws, and those flaws needed to be dealt with. Thus, the fact that Article V even exists.

    I’ve been asking something straight forward. Already, I have quoted Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Entry, highlighting the phrases and sentences that seemed to confirm that the original intention related to a standard of concurrence. In fact, that’s where I got the word: Whenever the several states concur. I know concurrence is not merely together or simultaneous occurence, it is also agreement.

    That’s what it looks like he was looking for with his language about the article.

    The real question, though, is whather you have an evidence to back up your claim that this is the original literal intention of the framers. It would be rather inconvenient to your case if your interperetation doesn’t show up anywhere in the earliest days of our republic.

    It’s not original intepretation because it’s literal. Original intepretation requires a point of origin, and if you don’t have that, not one claim, insult or other means of discourse can change that.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 2, 2008 11:58 PM
    Comment #251987

    The hole is gettin’ deeper and deeper.

    The literal meaning and intended meaning of Article V are consistent.
    Nothing provided so far supports the theory of some mysterious and unknown time-limit.
    What is this mysterious time-limit? Is it:

    • 12 years ?

    • 06 years ? (the legnth of one term in the House)

    • 04 years ? (the length of one term as President/Vice President)

    • 02 years ? (the length of one term in the House of Representatives)

    • 01 year ? (the period between Congress automatic annual raises in salary)

    • 01 month ?

    • 01 week ?

    • 01 day ?

    • 01 hour ?

    • 01 minute ?

    • 01 second ?

    • 01 millisecond ?

    • 01 microsecond ?

    • 01 nanosecond ?
    What is it?
    Care to make a guess?
    Then let Congress in on the secret, eh?
    Without first establishing what this unknown time-limit is, Congress, other obfuscators, and master pretzels will simply continue to move the goal post, and cleverly avoid ever defining the so-called time-limit.

    And how convenient to ignore Congress’ obvious conflict of interest.
    No one should ever underestimate the slipperiness of incumbent politicians in Congress, and the lengths they will endeavor to make their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies and opportunities for self-gain more secure. Hmmmmm … ever considered a career in politics?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for evidence: I cited the Federalist #85 … blah, blah, blah
    There’s nothing in Federalist #85 about any time-limit, nor any “contemporaneous” or “same-subject” requirements.

    As for time-limits, there was a very specific time-limit within Article V:

      The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight [i.e. until year 1808] shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

    The framers took the time and trouble to carefully specify a time limit in Article V for restricting changes [i.e. until year 1808] to the 1st clause and 4th clause in the 9th section of the 1st article.
    So, if there really is a time-limit/expiration on proposed amendments, why did the framers not also specify that time-limit in Article V when they so carefully specified (within Article V) a time-limit for changes to the 1st clause and 4th clause in the 9th section of the 1st article?
    Eh?
    Seems strange that the Constitution is full of time limits, term limits, and other time limits, but not this so-called mysterious time-limit/expiration on amendment proposals.
    Why is that?
    The answer is simple.
    There is no time-limit, and there was never any intention of a time limit.
    And until proof of this mysterious time-limit is provided, any arguments insisting it exists are nothing more than asinine obfuscation.

    Thus, your argument still has no credibility whatsoever, despite the valiant efforts to obfuscate and twist the literal and intended meaning of something that is:

    • “plain and obvious”, (Ullmann v. U.S., 350 U.S. 422 (1956))
    • ,
    • “unambiguous” (Ogden v. Saunders, 25 U.S. 213 (1827)),

    • Article V: implies no time-limit by the word “whenever”,

    • “calls for no resort to rules of construction” (United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931)),

    • “The language of the article is plain, and admits no doubt in its interpretation.”

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 3, 2008 1:25 AM
    Comment #251989

    Stephen Daugherty, let’s see if you can obfuscate this …

    Once an amendment is provided to the states for ratification, Congress can and normally will set a time limit of (typically 7 years) for amendment to be ratified by 3/4 of the states.

    Beginning with the proposed 18th Amendment, Congress has customarily included a provision requiring ratification within 7 years from the time of the submission to the States. The Supreme Court, in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), declared that the question of the reasonableness of the time within which a sufficient number of States must act to ratify an amendment is a political question to be determined by the Congress.

    In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 states proposed 154 amendments.

    EXAMPLE # 1:
    Row, State, AmendmentsPerState
    01, Alabama, 6
    02, Arizona, 2
    03, Arkansas, 7
    04, Colorado, 6
    05, Florida, 7
    06, Georgia, 4
    07, Idaho, 10
    08, Illinois, 8
    09, Indiana, 2
    10, Iowa, 2
    11, Kansas, 2
    12, Kentucky, 2
    13, Maryland, 2
    14, Massachusetts, 5
    15, Minnesota, 3
    16, Mississippi, 5
    17, Missouri, 6
    18, Montana, 5
    19, Nebraska, 7
    20, Nevada, 3
    21, New Hampshire, 3
    22, New Mexico, 2
    23, North Dakota, 1
    24, Ohio, 1
    25, Oklahoma, 6
    26, South Carolina, 7
    27, South Dakota, 7
    28, Tennessee, 2
    29, Texas, 7
    30, Utah, 3
    31, Virginia, 6
    32, Washington, 1
    33, Wisconsin, 5
    34, Wyoming, 9
    ___________ Total = 154 amendments from 34 different states


    EXAMPLE #02:
    In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 states proposed 102 amendments:

    Row, State, AmendmentsPerState
    01, Alabama, 4
    02, Arizona, 2
    03, Arkansas, 2
    04, Colorado, 1
    05, Delaware, 1
    06, Florida, 5
    07, Georgia, 4
    08, Idaho, 4
    09, Illinois, 6
    10, Indiana, 2
    11, Iowa, 2
    12, Kentucky, 2
    13, Maryland, 2
    14, Massachusetts, 3
    15, Michigan, 1
    16, Minnesota, 3
    17, Mississippi, 8
    18, Missouri, 4
    19, Montana, 1
    20, Nebraska, 7
    21, Nevada, 1
    22, New Hampshire, 3
    23, New Jersey, 1
    24, New Mexico, 2
    25, North Dakota, 3
    26, Ohio, 3
    27, Oklahoma, 4
    28, Oregon, 1
    29, South Carolina, 3
    30, South Dakota, 5
    31, Tennessee, 2
    32, Texas, 3
    33, Utah, 1
    34, Virginia, 4
    35, West Virginia, 2
    ___________ Total = 102 amendments from 35 different states

    Thus, if there is a 7 year time-limit, the threshold to call a convention has been satisfied at least twice, and there are other time periods that are close to the threshold.
    So if 7 years is good enough for ratification by 3/4 of the states, it seems 7 years ought to be good enough for expiration on proposed amendments from 2/3 of the states.
    Yet, Congress has still refused to call an Article V Convention.
    It’s long overdue.

    Stephen Daugherty, Are you going to now argue that while 7 years is good enough for ratification, a shorter longer period applies to the amendment proposal process?
    Therefore, your argument of “concurrency and contemporaneousness” has no credibility.

    But it will not be the least bit surprising to see more obfuscation and pretzel imitations.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 3, 2008 3:53 AM
    Comment #252006

    Amendments (sorted by states, years, and subjects).

    NOTE: This also does not include ALL known amendments. There were several around the time of the civil war with regard to slavery, which have not been included.

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 3, 2008 1:30 PM
    Comment #252028
    Weary Willie- Article V should never be frontline unless absolutely necessary. The problem with this line of thinking is that people essentially try to bypass the critical first resort of working out things legislatively beforehand.
    I think it is absolutely necessary! Why don’t you? What are you protecting, Stephen Daugherty?
    Some people here seem to think they can bypass or should be able to bypass the troublesome work of coalition building and political negotiation in order to get what they want. Unfortunately, that’s no different from the thinking that’s afflicted this country the past few years, this belief that ways must be found to force our will on the system.
    Yet your party’s actions have stifled the coalition building process, and you’re defending those actions by claiming there is no coalition. Your method of interpretation is a very stifling one. One Hamilton would be proud of.
    What happens is that power becomes the primary object, rather than the proper use of that power, the consideration of the community’s needs beyond the party’s the consideration of mutual compromises on interests.

    Welcome to the dark side.

    We first got to recognize that the problem begins with us, with our all too great willingness to believe that we can manage to get our interests satisfied without having to satisfy others as well. World doesn’t work that way.

    Your world doesn’t work that way. Why should we be obligated to satisfy others as well?

    The language of the Amendment is intended to force those who would bring amendments to build those coalitions, to look beyond just their own interests. Hamilton speaks about this when he goes into how i That, or have the changes be so uncontroversial as to just be stupendously easy to support. The 27th amendment is a good example of that, and its present-day applicability is part and parcel of why such a relic of the 18th Century managed to pass muster in the early 90’s.

    Check you! Stephen Daugherty! Where? in your federalist papers? or in the Constitution is it intended to force? Where does it demand the government use force? Where is it stated our constitution uses force to support itself?

    Hamilton admired the British systems of finance, law, and trade, and sought to emulate their success in the United States. He believed in the importance of a strong central government, and convinced Congress to use an elastic interpretation of the Constitution to pass far-reaching laws, including: the funding of the national debt; the federal assumption of the state debts; the creation of a national bank; and the creation of a system of taxes through a tariff on imports and a tax on whiskey that would help pay for it. _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandar_Hamilton
    In 1798, the outbreak of the Quasi-War with France led Hamilton to argue for, organize, and become de facto commander of a national army.
    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was commonly made (and used as a form of currency) by most of the community. In response to the rebellion—believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority—he accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the War for Independence. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.

    Kinda like laraido but not wako.


    ..there was a well-known procedure, available to everyone involved, for doing so. Hamilton did not follow this procedure (If so, Burr might have followed suit, and death may have been avoided).

    However, on July 11, 1804, Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with his nemesis, Aaron Burr, and died the following day.


    Hamilton and the other Cabinet members were vital to Washington, as there was no president before him (under the Constitution) to set precedents for him to follow in national situations such as seditions, foreign affairs, etc.

    Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of states. Thus, as Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson—the country’s first national bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other increased federal powers, on Congress’s constitutional powers to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and anything else that would be “necessary and proper.”

    Why would anyone want to associate with this guy?

    http://www.article-5.org/mod/forum/search.php?search=Nancy+Polosi+and+Billary+believe+the+right+to+an+abortion+is+guaranteed+by+the+commerce+clause%21&id=1

    The answer would be, Power.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 3, 2008 7:57 PM
    Comment #252031
    Weary Willie- Article V should never be frontline unless absolutely necessary. The problem with this line of thinking is that people essentially try to bypass the critical first resort of working out things legislatively beforehand.
    I think it is absolutely necessary! Why don’t you? What are you protecting, Stephen Daugherty?
    Some people here seem to think they can bypass or should be able to bypass the troublesome work of coalition building and political negotiation in order to get what they want. Unfortunately, that’s no different from the thinking that’s afflicted this country the past few years, this belief that ways must be found to force our will on the system.
    Yet your party’s actions have stifled the coalition building process, and you’re defending those actions by claiming there is no coalition. Your method of interpretation is a very stifling one. One Hamilton would be proud of.
    What happens is that power becomes the primary object, rather than the proper use of that power, the consideration of the community’s needs beyond the party’s the consideration of mutual compromises on interests.

    Welcome to the dark side.

    We first got to recognize that the problem begins with us, with our all too great willingness to believe that we can manage to get our interests satisfied without having to satisfy others as well. World doesn’t work that way.

    Your world doesn’t work that way. Why should we be obligated to satisfy others as well?

    The language of the Amendment is intended to force those who would bring amendments to build those coalitions, to look beyond just their own interests. Hamilton speaks about this when he goes into how i That, or have the changes be so uncontroversial as to just be stupendously easy to support. The 27th amendment is a good example of that, and its present-day applicability is part and parcel of why such a relic of the 18th Century managed to pass muster in the early 90’s.

    Check you! Stephen Daugherty! Where? in your federalist papers? or in the Constitution is it intended to force? Where does it demand the government use force? Where is it stated our constitution uses force to support itself?

    Posted by: Weary Willie at May 3, 2008 8:10 PM
    Comment #252033
    Hamilton admired the British systems of finance, law, and trade, and sought to emulate their success in the United States. He believed in the importance of a strong central government, and convinced Congress to use an elastic interpretation of the Constitution to pass far-reaching laws, including: the funding of the national debt; the federal assumption of the state debts; the creation of a national bank; and the creation of a system of taxes through a tariff on imports and a tax on whiskey that would help pay for it. _href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandar_Hamilton
    In 1798, the outbreak of the _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasi-War with France led Hamilton to argue for, organize, and become de facto commander of a national army.
    One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was commonly made (and used as a form of currency) by most of the community. In response to the rebellion—believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority—he accompanied to the rebellion’s site President Washington, General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the War for Independence. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.

    Kinda like laraido but not wako.


    ..there was a well-known procedure, available to everyone involved, for doing so. Hamilton did not follow this procedure (If so, Burr might have followed suit, and death may have been avoided).

    However, on July 11, 1804, Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with his nemesis, Aaron Burr, and died the following day.


    Hamilton and the other Cabinet members were vital to Washington, as there was no president before him (under the Constitution) to set precedents for him to follow in national situations such as seditions, foreign affairs, etc.

    Hamilton consistently took the side of greater federal power at the expense of states. Thus, as Secretary of the Treasury, he established—against the intense opposition of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson—the country’s first national bank. Hamilton justified the creation of this bank, and other increased federal powers, on Congress’s constitutional powers to issue currency, to regulate interstate commerce, and anything else that would be “necessary and proper.”

    Question:
    Why would anyone want to associate with this guy?

    Answer:
    Power.

    Posted by: pfclarue at May 3, 2008 8:17 PM
    Comment #252044

    Dan-
    Calls for a Convention, not amendments.

    You’re playing a game here of essentially saying your literal interpretation is both right and original. It’s a circular argument, where you don’t explain critical premises of your interpretation.

    You say it is so, because you insist that your opinion of what it says is right, and then reference a bunch of language backing a plain interpretation of Article V.

    When I read Article V, though, here’s what registers: the two thirds requirement on congressional proposals is nowhere regarded as meaning that you can get these votes anytime you like. Nor would anybody see it as legitimate, besides the partisans trying to push it, because our democratic tradition is that such votes are taken together. Even with ratification nowadays, its common practice to put sunset clauses in. Why?

    Because votes are meant to represent what peole think at a certain time. Even with the 27th Amendment, if you look at the ratifications, most of them come within a decade and a half of the final ratification, by a three to one margin.

    That calls be contemporary, and part of a consistent effort isn’t a twisted argument. It’s an argument based on the notion of preserving the legitimacy and integrity of the constitution.

    Your standard deprives the threshold of its falsifiability. Do we call something like fifteen or sixteen conventions to satisfy your literal requirements? Or do we call one, and not intepret the constitution literally for well over a dozen other thresholds. And how do we count? What calls would we group with what others? Afterall there are many repetitions, and some states have more repetitions than others.

    My word what a tangled mess it becomes with your standard? Maybe it’s simple to interpret the requirements of Article V as if it’s some kind of odometer rolling on with the miles, but the simplicity of interpretation doesn’t clarify much of anything. Do we counted repeated calls by the same state towards this total? Can we do that if we take your interpretation? How do we sort out these things?

    It gets even worse when you consider two facts together: the number of states has not been constant, and the threshold is a fraction. It gets to the point where literally or almost literally, you need calculus to determine whether a convention should be called.

    Or, you don’t need any of that. You just need the proportion of the states currently at any given time. When the states make their call together, and reach that threshold, the convention is called. Simple. It also makes the Convention Clause consistent with it’s brother in Article V, the regular amendment clause we’ve used already. With your standard, it falls out of sync with every other proportional measure of support in the constitution. None of the others are figured in any way remotely like this. Before you say amendments are ratified like this, I believe only rarely have amendment ratifications ever been repeated. Why? Because for the most part, once its done, its considered done. There’s no repetition, as if the states are hitting the side of a broken television trying to make it work.

    The Concurrent standard is what was intended from the beginning. It is a valid test of the convention’s support among the states, which is the obvious end to which the high standard for successful calling of the convention is applied. It is the functional equivalent, done this way, of the vote in the Senate and House concerning Amendments, which squares nicely with it’s use as an alternative to Washington power, when Washington won’t listen to the states. It is not one fact alone which supports this interpretation, but a broad array of evidence and logically derived arguments. Meanwhile, so much argues against the notion that anybody Before Bill Walker really seriously went down that direction of construction. You keep on aiming for those passages which deal with how we’re supposed to follow Article V, without having every fully backed up your interpretation. You say its the literal interpretation, but where is your historical evidence backing that interpretation with even a mention, or a discussion of it by the Framers? Why has no state, it seems, ever operated by this assumed standard of yours? How are we to believe that this is the obvious, literal, unquestionable, original interpretation, if you haven’t a shred of evidence anybody even thought of it this way at the time this Article was being drafted?

    For your argument, literal or otherwise to be truly compelling, there must be external evidence for it, that it actually existed at the time. Repeatedly, I have asked for this evidence. Without that evidence, your claim is just logical sophistry, and your claim of originality is at its basis unsound. Even the best argument is a mere philsophical fiction, a hypothetical, without validating evidence. I have provided evidence of what the Framers thought of this, noted the language and the tone, the general point that Hamilton was trying to make.

    You’ve provided nothing in counterpoint. No James Madison commenting on the process, no supreme court justice talking in the early 19th century to some state government. Your supposedly historically correct interpretation doesn’t seem to have any history.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 3, 2008 10:21 PM
    Comment #252059
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Calls for a Convention, not amendments.
    More pathetic obfuscation.

    Amendments applications from 2/3 of the states (different states) is the trigger. Are you now going to dispute that too?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re playing a game here of essentially saying your literal interpretation is both right and original.
    Nonsense. The literal meaning is consistent with the intended meaning.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s a circular argument, where you don’t explain critical premises of your interpretation.
    More nonsense. If there is an circular obfuscation, it is clearly demonstrated by your comments, and failure to provide the mysterious expiration time-limit on amendment applications.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say it is so, because you insist that your opinion of what it says is right, and then reference a bunch of language backing a plain interpretation of Article V.
    The literal meaning and intended meaning are consistent.

    The literal interpretation, and the multiple references to Article V by the Supreme Court explicitly about Article V proves it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: When I read Article V, though, here’s what registers: the two thirds requirement on congressional proposals is nowhere regarded as meaning that you can get these votes anytime you like. Nor would anybody see it as legitimate, besides the partisans trying to push it, because our democratic tradition is that such votes are taken together. Even with ratification nowadays, its common practice to put sunset clauses in. Why?
    Since the 18th Amendment, 7 years is the typical expiration time-limit on ratification.

    If 7 years is good enough for ratification, it ought to be good enough for amendment applications:

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    If 7 years is unacceptable, what is this mysterious expiration time-limit?

    Ohhhh … that’s right. You said you don’t know what the number is, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Because votes are meant to represent what peole think at a certain time. Even with the 27th Amendment, if you look at the ratifications, most of them come within a decade and a half of the final ratification, by a three to one margin.
    UHHHHhmmmmm … you obviously are not paying attention:
    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.
    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.
    If 7 years (or the “decade and a half” you mentioned) is acceptable, why is it not acceptable as an expiration time-limit on amendment proposals?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That calls be contemporary, and part of a consistent effort isn’t a twisted argument.
    Are you dense or something?

    You are obviously not paying attention, and just writing a bunch of gobbledygook without realizing what you want (e.g. contemporaneousness) already exists:

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 differnt states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    If 7 years is unacceptable, what is this mysterious expiration time-limit?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s an argument based on the notion of preserving the legitimacy and integrity of the constitution.
    Your comments do not show respect the Constitution.

    You argue contemporaneousness, then toss out a “decade and a half” figure as being contemporaneous, and then completely ignore the fact that more than 2/3 of the states (different states) have submitted amendment applications within a 7 year period (at least twice on BALANCED BUDGET and APPORTIONMENT).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your standard deprives the threshold of its falsifiability. Do we call something like fifteen or sixteen conventions to satisfy your literal requirements? Or do we call one, and not intepret the constitution literally for well over a dozen other thresholds. And how do we count? What calls would we group with what others? Afterall there are many repetitions, and some states have more repetitions than others.
    You already stated above that “a decade and a half” is what you consider contemporaneous.

    But you continue to ignore that fact that more than 2/3 of the states (different states) have submitted hundreds of amendment applications with in lesst than half that time period (e.g. 7 years):

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    I’m seriously beginning to think you are incapable of logical reasoning.

    First, you speak of a mysterious time-limit.
    While none exists, I asked you what this mysterious expiration time-limit is on proposed amendment applications.
    You said you don’t know.
    Then you said it was a “dacade and a half”.
    Then I tell you that more than 2/3 of the states (different states) have submitted hundreds of amendment applications with in a 7 year period.
    And you still argue that’s not sufficient.
    Serouously?
    There’s something seriously wrong with the logic in your comments.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My word what a tangled mess it becomes with your standard? Maybe it’s simple to interpret the requirements of Article V as if it’s some kind of odometer rolling on with the miles, but the simplicity of interpretation doesn’t clarify much of anything. Do we counted repeated calls by the same state towards this total? Can we do that if we take your interpretation? How do we sort out these things?
    No. You only need one amendment request from each of 34 different states (i.e. 2/3 of the 50 states).

    That is all.
    And that has occurred many times, and it has also occurred at least twice within a 7 year period, and several times within 9+ year period.
    What part of this are you not understanding?
    If 7 years is too long, then what is this mysterious time limit you speak of?
    Tell us. Otherwise, your comments and continued obfuscation is starting to look pretty silly.
    Seriously.
    If you can’t see the flaw in logic in your comments above, then it’s clear logic is a waste of time.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It gets even worse when you consider two facts together: the number of states has not been constant, and the threshold is a fraction. It gets to the point where literally or almost literally, you need calculus to determine whether a convention should be called.
    That’s what databases are for.

    FOAVC has 567 confirmed amendment applications in a database, and copies of most of the original applications from NARA in Washington D.C.
    Calculus is not needed.
    If you think Calculus is required, then you don’t know much about math and databases.

    Let me help you out.
    It’s not as complicated as you think.
    (2/3) = two thirds
    (3/4) = three fourths
    (2/3) x 50 = 33.333333 (round up to 34)
    (3/4) x 50 = 37.5 (round up to 38)

    The last 4 states added to the U.S. are:
    47th: New Mexico Jan. 6, 1912
    48th: Arizona Feb. 14, 1912
    49th: Alaska Jan. 3, 1959
    50th: Hawaii Aug. 21, 1959

    More than 2/3 of the states have submitted hundreds of amendment applications with in less than half that 15 year period you suggested (e.g. 7 years):

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.
    NOTE: both time periods were after the U.S. already had 50 states.

    So the number of states is really not an issue, since there are ample examples of 2/3 of the states (different) having submitted amendment applications.
    There may be other examples prior to that, but the most recent violations are sufficient.

    Again:

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    • 104 Balanced Budget/General Amendments have been proposed by 37 Different States

    • 109 Apportionment/General Amendments by 35 different States

    Did you not notice the words “different states” above?

    So what part of that do you not understand?
    Seriously, I’m beginning to wonder.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Or, you don’t need any of that. You just need the proportion of the states currently at any given time. When the states make their call together, and reach that threshold, the convention is called. Simple.
    Right. Now your gettin’ it (I hope). And you stated above that a “decade and a half” is a plausible expiration time-limit on amendment proposals.

    Now, since there have already been several instances where 2/3 (or more) different states have each made at least one amendment request in 7 years, Congress should call a convention.

    No?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It also makes the Convention Clause consistent with it’s brother in Article V, the regular amendment clause we’ve used already. With your standard, it falls out of sync with every other proportional measure of support in the constitution. None of the others are figured in any way remotely like this. Before you say amendments are ratified like this, I believe only rarely have amendment ratifications ever been repeated. Why? Because for the most part, once its done, its considered done. There’s no repetition, as if the states are hitting the side of a broken television trying to make it work.
    HHMMMmmmmm … just when it appears we are making progress.

    Again:

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    • 104 Balanced Budget/General Amendments have been proposed by 37 Different States

    • 109 Apportionment/General Amendments by 35 different States

    Why do you keep evading the simple questions.

    Let’s try this again (though it is looking more and more futile; logic doesn’t work with everyone; not even when it is their own logic).
    First, you speak of a mysterious time-limit.
    While none exists, I asked you what this mysterious expiration time-limit is on proposed amendment applications.
    You said you don’t know.
    Then you said it was a “dacade and a half”.
    Then I tell you that more than 2/3 of the states have submitted hundreds of amendment applications with in a 7 year period.
    And you still argue that’s not sufficient?
    Serouously?
    Are you still saying the conditions have not been met?
    If 7 years is good enough for expiration for ratification (per Coleman v. Miller), then why isn’t it OK for expiration of amendment applications?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Concurrent standard is what was intended from the beginning.
    There is no time-limit, but even if there was, what is it?

    If 7 years is good enough for expiration for ratification (per Coleman v. Miller), then why isn’t it OK for expiration of amendment applications?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why has no state, it seems, ever operated by this assumed standard of yours? How are we to believe that this is the obvious, literal, unquestionable, original interpretation, if you haven’t a shred of evidence anybody even thought of it this way at the time this Article was being drafted?
    Your comment is ignorant, since it is all too obvious that Congress and the Supreme Court have a clear conflict of interest.

    They don’t to call a convention.
    The Supreme Court and Congress said it can set a time limit of 7 years on ratification.
    If 7 years is good enough for expiration for ratification (per Coleman v. Miller), then why isn’t it OK for expiration of amendment applications?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For your argument, literal or otherwise to be truly compelling, there must be external evidence for it, that it actually existed at the time.
    Nonsense. None exists since Congress has been violating Article V for many decades.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Repeatedly, I have asked for this evidence. Without that evidence, your claim is just logical sophistry, and your claim of originality is at its basis unsound.
    Nonsense. There is ample evidence. You simply can’t and/or won’t acknowledge it.

    And your comments are actually looking pretty stupid.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Even the best argument is a mere philsophical fiction, a hypothetical, without validating evidence. I have provided evidence of what the Framers thought of this, noted the language and the tone, the general point that Hamilton was trying to make.
    Nonsense. There is nothing in the Federalist papers or Federalist 85# that supports requirements for “same-subject” or “contemporaneousness”. Since it doesn’t exist, you have proven nothing of the sort.

    But it is a moot point, since:

    • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.

    • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.

    • 104 Balanced Budget/General Amendments have been proposed by 37 Different States

    • 109 Apportionment/General Amendments by 35 different States

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve provided nothing in counterpoint.
    Nonsense. I provided:
    • a list of 567 amendment applications,
    • proof that 2/3 of the states (different states) have submitted amendment applications within a 7 year period (more than once).
    • tables for:
      • In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 different states proposed 154 amendments.
      • In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 different states proposed 102 amendments.
      • 104 Balanced Budget/General Amendments have been proposed by 37 Different States
      • 109 Apportionment/General Amendments by 35 different States
    • the literal text of Article V itself, which is very compelling by itself.
    • a list of total amendments per state
    • a list of total amendments per subject
    • references to Supreme Court cases and statements supporting the literal meaning of Article V (with explicit reference to Article V).
    So to say I have “provided nothing” isn’t helping the credibility of your comments. The hole just gets deeper and deeper.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your supposedly historically correct interpretation doesn’t seem to have any history.
    Nonsense. None of your comments have any credibility, and amount to one of the most extreme pretzel imitations I’ve ever witnessed.

    Stephen Daugherty, You obviously did not read my comment above. Othterwise, you would have noticed that your so called “decade and a half” threshold has been met and exceeded (only 7 years; less than half the time you suggested). Thus, your case has been decimated using your own circular arugments.

    In the 7 years from 1963 to 1969, 34 states proposed 154 amendments.
    In the 7 years from 1965 to 1971, 35 states proposed 102 amendments.
    So you are saying that while the typical 7 years is OK for ratification, it must be shorter for proposals?
    Are you now going to recant the “decade and a half” time-limit and say those states (in excess of 2/3) that have proposed amendments within a 7 year period is insufficient?

    The continued ubfuscation and pretzel dancing is not at all surprising. Please continue. We enjoy watching the pretzel imitations.
    The fact is, your comments have no credibility, and your lame positions have been thoroughly trounced, and few (if anyone here; as in times past on this subject) agrees with your lame position.
    Also, FOAVC has attorneys putting a lot of work into this, and I think they know a lot more about it than you, even if your brother is a lawyer.

    567 AMENDMENTS
    154 Amendments by 34 States (sorted by State) in 7 years from 1963 to 1969
    102 Amendments by 35 States (sorted by State) in 7 years from 1965 to 1971

    Posted by: d.a.n at May 4, 2008 12:59 AM
    Comment #252070

    Dan-
    Not Amendment applications or amendments. There is no such thing. It’s calls for a convention, the text of Article V says it right there. If you’re going to argue literal interpretation, argue consistently. I know you don’t like to concede any point, but this is ridiculous.

    You don’t seem to really read in depth. You needle me over a time limit I’m not arguing, berate me for evidence I haven’t provided when I’ve cited texts, corrected you with the text of the decisions you’re using, and used the written words of a framer as a foundation for my argument.

    You call me all kinds of names, cast all kinds of aspersions on my character, even, it seems, bring in your subject Bill Walker, who doesn’t seem any more respective or substantive in his arguments than you.

    You’re a true believer. Not even the fact that you can’t historically demonstrate the use of your supposedly original interpretation, the obvious one, you say, in the text, can lead you to doubt anything.

    I’ll tell you what I really believe. Deep down, I’m a stickler for rules. I am also, though, a person who knows that words do not carry meaning by themselves. We recover meaning from their pattern. Since different people will attend to different things in a sentence, and come to different conclusions, there has to be more than just an examination of the words to discern what the real meaning is. We must look to context, to what people said they meant, to what traditions these people had. To examine the constitution without examining the opinions and the words of the framers is to free one’s assertions from the moderating forces of fact. The framers meant something by their words, and an overly literal or letter of the law approach to interpreting the law can miss their intention.

    No human being can cram their entire intent into what they write. And writer can correct the notion of intent of those misinterpreting them, if they are not open to truly examining their thoughts, and merely want to get what they want to get out of it.

    That’s my last word on it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 4, 2008 8:26 AM
    Comment #252101
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Not Amendment applications or amendments. There is no such thing. It’s calls for a convention, the text of Article V says it right there.
    Nonsense.

    Many of the applications were General only, and many other applications were BOTH combined General and specific amendment applications.
    Besides, Article V makes no distinction between a specific amendment request and a convention call request. So that arguement also has no crediblity.

    Also, the word “or” (see below) in Article V is important here.
    The word “or” means that the trigger is amendments from Congress “or” the states.
    The trigger is the applications of proposed amendments from 2/3 of the states.
    What good is 37 different states submitting 50 Balanced Budget amendments, or 65 amemdments submitted in ONLY one year (1963), or 567 amendments from 49 states, if there’s no hope of them ever being considered?
    What is clear is that all of this obfuscation is clearly for the goal of defeating Article V, which is why an Article V Convention has never occurred, despite the 567 amenmdents from 49 states.

    • Article V of the U.S. Constitution: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Not Amendment applications or amendments. There is no such thing. It’s calls for a convention, the text of Article V says it right there.
    Nonsense. Notice the word “or”.

    The continued obfuscation and pretzel dancing is not at all surpising.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you’re going to argue literal interpretation, argue consistently.
    Funny, since your arguemnts started out arguing the literal interpretation was not consistent with the intended meaning.

    Your arguments are lame and all over the place, but it is entertaining to watch the pretzel imitation.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know you don’t like to concede any point, but this is ridiculous.
    What is ridiculous here is the obfuscation and changing the goal post as you paint yourself into a smaller and smaller corner.

    But it is entertaining, so please don’t stop now.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You don’t seem to really read in depth.
    Nonsense.

    There’s a difference between comprehension and intentional obfuscation and intellectual dishonesty.

    Here’s the track-record:

    • (01) Your first argument was for the “same-subject” requirement.

    • (02) When demonstrated that more than 34 states have already submitted “same-subject” amendments (e.g. Balanced Budget), you decided to move the goal post.

    • (03) Then, having lost that “same-subject” argument, you then argued the literal meaning and intended meaning of the word “whenever”.

    • (04) Then, having lost that “same-subject” and “whenever” arguments, you then argued the literal meaning and intended meaning of Article V in general.

    • (05) After being pressed for specificity, your argument then insisted on “contermporaneousness”, but you could not tell us what this mysterious expiration time-limit was.

    • (06) Then your next arguemnt was you meant “concurrent”. Never mind that “concurrent” and “contemporaneous” mean the same thing!

    • (07) Then your next argument was that the expireation time-limit was about a “decade and a half”.

    • (08) Then, when it was demonstrated that more than 34 amendment applications occurred (more than once) in only 7 years (the same time limit Congress can use for ratificaton), you decided to move the goal post again!

    • Having lost that “contemporaneous” argument, your decided to move the goal post again.

    • (09) Now your new argument is that “amendments” and “applications” are something distinctly different, despite the word “or” in the very same sentence (meaning Congress “or” the states can propose amendments; also despite the fact that 33 of the applications were in fact General calls for a convention).

    • (10) But that is yet another obfuscation that is very easily refuted, due to the word “or” in the same sentence within Article V, which means Congress “or” the states can submit amendments.

    Funny! Absolutely hilarious!

    And you don’t call that track record “ridiculous”?

    It’s actually quite entertaining to watch the pretzel imitation, and such a masterful twisting and contorting every which way possible to obfuscate and avoid admitting an error.
    That corner your painting yourself is getting smaller and smaller.

    So, what obfuscation is next?
    This is getting quite interesting.
    Are we to be told next that little green men from Mars wrote Article V and is therefore null-and-void?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You needle me over a time limit I’m not arguing,
    Nonsense. You argued “contemporaneousness”, then “concurrency”, and when pressed on it, you said a “decade and a half”.

    Perhaps what you portray as needling is actually a logical result of the lameness of your obfuscated, evasive, and twisted arguments?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … berate me for evidence I haven’t provided when I’ve cited texts, corrected you with the text of the decisions you’re using, and used the written words of a framer as a foundation for my argument.
    That’s because none of it was in the least bit convincing, and the track-record above reveals it all to be a long serious of obfuscations.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You call me all kinds of names, cast all kinds of aspersions on my character, even, it seems, bring in your subject Bill Walker, who doesn’t seem any more respective or substantive in his arguments than you.
    Nonsense.

    I asked questions, or wrote that your arguments have no credibility and the continual obfuscations resemble a pretzel imitation.
    There’s a big difference.
    Thus, that is yet another obfuscation and attempt to cloud the issues and obscure the facts.
    Your true frustration is not with being any called names.
    It is the lameness of your obfuscated and extremely weak arguements, substantiated by the long seriers of obfuscations demonstrated above.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re a true believer. Not even the fact that you can’t historically demonstrate the use of your supposedly original interpretation, the obvious one, you say, in the text, can lead you to doubt anything.
    It’s not mere faith.

    My opinion is based in facts, the text of Article V, Supreme Court cases and statements, Congress’ obvious conflict of interest and obstructionism, and the simple defeat of your many lame and obfuscated arguments.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ll tell you what I really believe. Deep down, I’m a stickler for rules.
    Or stickler for obfuscation?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: No human being can cram their entire intent into what they write.
    Not true.

    But what you have so masterfully demonstrated is that words have to be very carefully selected (e.g. such as in many contracts).
    Otherwise, some master obfuscator, pretzel, and/or wannabe-lawyer will come along and defeat the purpose, even when the literal and intended meaing is consistent to most people that read it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s my last word on it.
    Figures, since the corner being painted into was getting smaller and smaller.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at May 4, 2008 3:57 PM
    Comment #252809

    Clinton takes Indiana by a ‘razor’ and Obama wins North Carolina by a huge margin. Nevertheless, Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia are still to come.

    The Democratic race for nomination is still very much alive – and most likely to be decided by superdelegates

    If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton or Obama

    If you haven’t done so yet, please write a message to each of your state’s superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

    Obama Supporters:

    Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It’s that easy…

    Clinton Supporters too …. !

    It takes a moment, but what’s a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?! Those are really worth !

    Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It’s that easy…

    Posted by: Kathy at May 14, 2008 7:42 AM
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