Third Party & Independents Archives

How to Celebrate Constitution Day

Today, September 17 is Constitution Day, but very, very few Americans know this or will celebrate it. If you think of yourself as a politically engaged, civic-minded and patriotic American, then I urge you to celebrate today by expanding your mind about a critically important but never-used part of our Constitution.

All you have to do is go to www.foavc.org the site of Friends of the Article V Convention and spend some time learning the truth about the option given to us by the Framers because they anticipated that Americans would lose trust and confidence in the federal government. That day has surely arrived. So I beg you to suspend your current beliefs and fears and open your mind to learning the truth about this option.

An Article V convention was envisioned as a temporary fourth branch of the federal government that, once convened, was not under the control of Congress, the President or the Supreme Court. The convention of state delegates could only propose constitutional amendments, just as Congress has done during our history, and like those they would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

So why have we never had an Article V convention?

Congress has refused to obey the Constitution and the oath of office by not respecting the one and only requirement for a convention given in Article V. That is applications from two-thirds of the states. Well, here is an indisputable fact that you can verify by going to www.foavc.org: there have been over 600 such state applications and our group is the first and only group to make these available to the public (our job of posting these is not quite yet complete).

Why has Congress refused to allow us to have an Article V convention? They and all established political interests on the left and right fear direct democracy as manifest through such a convention. They fear many kinds of constitutional amendments that are the only way to obtain major, systemic political reforms. Many examples of possible amendments are on our site, though our organization does not advocate for any amendment, staying totally committed to a nonpartisan advocacy to compel Congress to grant us the first Article V convention.

Want to rid the political system of corruption by moneyed interests? Then contemplate an amendment that would remove all private money from all political campaigns and activities, replacing it with strict and pure public financing. This approach has been called Clean Money/Clean Elections and has worked when adopted by several states.

Want to eliminate the perverse impacts of using the Electoral College for presidential elections? Then contemplate an amendment replacing it with the popular vote.

Want to reduce the excessive powers accumulated by the presidency? Then think about an amendment prohibiting presidential signing statements that undermine the legislative actions of Congress, and also making unconstitutional for Congress to, in any way, transfer its power and authority to declare war to the president.

Not only go to www.foavc.org to expand your knowledge, please consider becoming a member of our organization so that we become strong enough to impose effective pressure on Congress to obey the Constitution. What a fine way to celebrate Constitution Day.

[Joel S. Hirschhorn is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention.]

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at September 17, 2008 4:27 PM
Comments
Comment #263217

Wow. Joel wrote another Article V article. Cue the exact same arguments as the last dozen times he’s said the same thing.

Yawn.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2008 4:31 PM
Comment #263223

What have you done to solve the problems of our country, LawnBoy?
If you’re not part of the solution. you’re part of the problem.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 17, 2008 4:40 PM
Comment #263227

It is the height of irony to celebrate a document nearly no one in government observes anymore, save for a few protocols to keep up the pretense before the C-Span cameras.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 17, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #263248


Delusional Democracy : Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government (Paperback)
by Joel S. Hirschhorn

With false information, fake patriots uphold America’s pseudo-democracy that no longer works for the good of its citizens. Taxation with rampant misrepresentation requires a second American Revolution to restore America’s democracy. Delusional Democracy connects far-ranging dots for a compelling account of America’s steady decline and presents specific actions that can reverse it. Written for conservatives, libertarians, liberals, moderates, independents, greens, and progressives, as well as dissatisfied Democrats and Republicans, Delusional Democracy will convince readers that we the people have the power to begin American democracy over again.
Posted by: Weary Willie at September 17, 2008 6:05 PM
Comment #263252

Joel, thanks for reminding me, it makes me, it reminds me I want to talk about zzzzzzz

Posted by: Edge at September 17, 2008 7:41 PM
Comment #263258

It seems to me that I looked into this topic of the applications by the states for amendments, and the ones from Illinois were very old, and were all about a constitutional amendment aimed at making plural marriage illegal.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 17, 2008 8:57 PM
Comment #263294

ohrealy, with over 600 of them, you drew a judgment based on one?

And where in the Constitution does it specify a time limit for consensus for a majority of the States to call for a Convention? I have read that passage many times, and I don’t see it. Maybe your version is different than mine?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 4:52 AM
Comment #263295

Lawnboy, the same arguments about economy have been written about voluminously for over 2 centuries. Does that mean we should dispense with the debate for each new generation of voters coming into the political arena with each election?

I think not. Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 4:54 AM
Comment #263414

In my research, I’ve come to the following observations:

Nobody EVER used this interpretation, even within living memory of it, even during the painful pre-civil war period, as America’s territorial acquisitions and slave controversies yielded greate motivation for it. People have used convention calls for political purpose, but never in this way, during the relevant time periods.

The Framers never seem to have mentioned what’s supposed to be the original interpretation. How that squares, I don’t know. It’s sort of like claiming Gershwin wrote the Bohemian Rhapsody. Unless somebody finds lyrics among Gershwin’s papers saying “Mamma mia let me go”, what might be a neat idea for some has no credibility.

All the court cases cited are cited for out of context quotes about Article V, but often come to conclusions at odds with their interpretations.

Plainly interpreted, most people would think of the convention calls as the states making the call together, more or less. However, the FOAVC folks act like any isolated call added to another meets the standard. Obvious comparisons are made to the amendment proposal clause in the same article, which absolutely no-one, not even the FOAVC interprets to be arbitrarily indefinite. They do bring up ratification, due to the isolated case of the most recently ratified amendment, but ratification covers different ground than proposal, and few amendments have been proposed more than several years from their ratification. Most have been ratified even faster than that.

Extraordinary claims, these are, and extraordinary evidence is not provided to back the claims. Instead, the standard partisan rhetoric of offense is employed, in the place of the critical evidence that would prove that the FOAVC’s point is correct.

We live in a Democracy, and from the perspective of the framers, a union of states. The effective result of the FOAVC’s simple interpretation is the constitutionally indefensible subversion of the obvious meaning of the two-thirds threshold: an overwhelming agreement between the states that the federal constitution needs amendment. It is true that this was meant as an alternative to an unwilling Congress, but it was mean, more or less to be equivalent in its effect; in the case of congressionally proposed amendments, two thirds agreement, a unified response, is necessary for the proposal of such amendments. With similar language in the other part of Article V, the conclusion even a school child would draw would be that the same overwhelming consensus, overwhelming majority would be required to successfully call the convention.

What are the benefits to calling a convention that the overwhelming majority of the states haven’t agreed to? For those who want to force their views on the majority, this might seem tempting, but for those who accept that Democracy implies compromise and consensus-oriented politics, such heavy-handed calls for convention would be problematic at best.

Whatever the problems we have as a nation, the solutions cannot be forced on our Democracy. The majority must agree, must unite. If folks have a problem with that, the constition makes it clear that this is their problem, not the nation’s. This is government by a constitutionally bound majority, and that entails that all sides must think beyond their own partisan sensibilities if they wish to see their interests even partly attended to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 5:45 PM
Comment #263429

Well put, Stephen. This idea that the state requests for an Article V convention is an open roll-call that lasts for decades until a certain threshold is reached flies in the face of what we all know voting to mean. Is a politician running for office allowed to count the votes he got in previous elections? The very idea is absurd.

What I can’t get over is how these Article V agitators suggest this as a remedy for what they believe is a hopelessly corrupt system run by corrupt and incompetent politicians. We have a mechanism for this already—voting the bums out.

Instead of keeping the focus on this remedy which is clearly defined in our Constitution, what do the Article V people propose?

Simply this: giving the same people they consider corrupt and incompetent the absolute freedom to rewrite the Constitution however they see fit.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 18, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #263433

I don’t see the congress being able to pass an amendment to the constitution such as removing private money from political campaigns or allowing lobbyist to meet only committes instead of individual representatives. The place is to corrupt and voting them out with the curent corporate corruption and bribery will only ensure more of the same.
The states need to pursue this Article V convention if we are to see any real reform. I believe the focus should be on getting the Govenors of each state to set up a plan to call for a convention all together. Perhaps next Sept 18 which would be Constitution day 2009.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 18, 2008 10:25 PM
Comment #263435
I don’t see the congress being able to pass an amendment to the constitution such as removing private money from political campaigns or allowing lobbyist to meet only committes instead of individual representatives.

I don’t see the congress being able to do those things either—considering that you’d have to repeal the Bill of Rights to accomplish them.

No private money to campaigns? Never going to happen. Absolutely nobody will go for it.

Personally, I think that ANY system which says who can spend their money to get their message out and who can’t needs to be abolished. And that includes the system that we have now.

Here’s why. Are you ready to abridge the freedom of the press? Either you have to be ready to censor a free press or allow everybody the same rights that the press has—to say whatever they want and spend as much money on saying as they it as they wish.

Are Fox News, CBS, CNN, the National Review, or The New Republic prevented from attacking or supporting candidates however they see fit and spending as much money on it as they want?

No. And the media, more than anything, is what moves our political discourse.

Sean Hannity and Keith Olberman can go on the air and rant and rave for hours day after day, month after month, and year after year about the candidates they hate and the candidates they love, but the steelworker’s union or the steel manufacturer can’t contribute money so their favored candidates can air a 20 second ad in the weeks before the election?

I’m sorry, but we really only have two choices: just admit and accept that the media is an unelected and unregulated fourth branch of government or get out of the business of regulating free speech altogether.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 18, 2008 10:47 PM
Comment #263442

We don’t have free speech. We have very expensive speech. One out of every 1,000 can speak, the other 999 can only listen.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at September 19, 2008 12:30 AM
Comment #263451

Mike the Cynic, you struck cleanly through to the heart of the issue. Well done.

When 1 of a thousand has the ear of the representatives, democratic process is non-existent and plutocracy reigns supreme.

As for Loyal Opp’s retorts, he utterly fails to recognize that political time was radically different in the 18th century than today. The Founders DID intend that calls for a convention should be aggregated over years since, in their time, some states did not even convene session but every other year, and not in synchrony with other state’s sessions.

But that convenient failure to acknowledge the historical context is repeated again and again by those AFRAID of our Constitution and the potential power of the people actually having a say over what government does.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2008 2:46 AM
Comment #263512

David R. Remer-
It took a period of less than two years for the original convention to be called, and for the required number of states to ratify the constitution that came out of it. The challenges of travel and communication in those days did not preclude either the calling of special legislative sessions, nor the swift call and answer of the ratification. Only a few years passed between the bill of rights being submitted and ratified.

The Framers didn’t take their time or drag these things out. They called that convention with urgency. People showed up. They deliberated, but didn’t do it at deliberate pace. When they were done, did they waste time with the ratification? No. Nearly every Amendment we have was proposed fairly quickly, and ratified within a few years.

The Framers also valued consensus, and the implementation of law only if broad agreement could be reached. They created a bicameral legislature, a veto for the president, and then a two-thirds overide for that veto. They set up high thresholds for proposal of amendments, and ever higher thresholds for ratification. To interpret this FOAVC interpretation as original, you must believe that the framers wished all subsequent conventions to be held upon the commencement of a mathematical accident.

How does this square with the other part of the article? Two thirds of both houses of Congress and then three quarters of the states to ratify. Let’s keep in mind.

With the traditional standard on conventions, the threshold is clear, the consensus required quite stark. The States must want it bad. This is no different than the arrangement in the other part of the article. It gets even more compelling when you realize that at this point in history, Senators are appointed by the State Legislatures.

It is obvious that the state-called convention is an alternative means of proposing amendments. The question is why it would not operate with a similar consensus.

What in the document argues against an equivalence of threshold? Nothing. It’s not coincidence that the thresholds for proposal in either method are exactly the same proportion.

You might argue that the accumulation satisfies this, but that strains the meaning of consensus.

It use to be that the Democrats in Congress were the biggest states rights proponents. Now the Republicans claim that. Does that mean that there is a consensus between the two now? No. Both sides changed their minds.

The point of a concurrent approach is to get the snapshot, the immediate picture. Is this supermajority of the states asking for a convention, or is it not? Remember, think like a pre-civil war citizen, think like somebody who talks of these United States, rather than the United States. The states had a far more autonomous attitude.

Now consider this in terms of what the states would agree to. Let’s say that a controversy early on brought about six convention calls to congress, a number insufficient to call that convention.

Then, five or ten years later, after everything has calmed down and the matter has been settled, three states make another call. Ten other states, who are more or less happy with the constitution as it was, are drug into a convention they weren’t interested in having.

If you read Federalist #85, Hamilton talks about the States coming together to defend their interests. The above hypothetical, plausible under your interpretation, matches the intentions he spoke of not at all. Three states with a minority interests can call a convention that nobody else wants.

Why attach a high threshold to the number of states required, if you’re going to arrange the system like an odometer, to automatically rollover and call conventions? Such accumulative structure makes the threshold irrelevant, meaningless, and takes an obvious parallelism in the language of the constitution, and disrupts utterly it’s harmony with its counterpart in the article. Either the Framers were intending the same thing to be done through two different methods, a conclusion supported by the similar language, or they were intending to do two wildly different things with the amendement process, a conclusion for which little evidence can be cited.

I believe the framers meant for one thing to back each method of proposing amendment: an overwhelming consensus of the states. Whether that came through their representatives in Congress, or by the action of the states itself, the framers wanted the states to be the deciding bodies, and they wanted their to be a supermajority consensus for even the proposal of changes to the national charter that tied them together into a strong nation.

They did not want a convention to be something that just happened. They wanted it to be something brought about deliberately by the states, acting together.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 1:42 PM
Comment #263514

Mike the Cynic-
There will always be those who can broadcast their voices further than others. However, the laws in this country do not prevent you from speaking your peace.

Ten million people saying the same thing can be more powerful at times than one person saying the same thing to ten million people. The Republicans lost their majority because despite all the advantages they held, they did not hold the center, and could not escape the spread of the news of their sins.

The majority the Democrats hold in the Senate now can be traced in some part to a video of one senator using a racist epithet against the guy taping it. That one man changed history. The right message in the right place by one person can change the course of history.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 1:49 PM
Comment #263515

Stephen D. said: “It took a period of less than two years for the original convention to be called, and for the required number of states to ratify the constitution that came out of it.”

Thank you for agreeing with my point. Years, you said. And there was no time limit placed on that Convention either, in days, weeks, months, OR YEARS!

BINGO. A Democrat finally gets it, one can only hope! :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2008 2:17 PM
Comment #263519

David R. Remer-
Don’t try that angle. Given travel times and time for deliberation, they weren’t taking their sweet time. It took nine months to get word out, have legislative sessions, get word back. The only reason for the wait was to make sure that everybody ratified it, when all was said and done, at once, and together.

That doesn’t argue for a convention called by numerical accident.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 2:38 PM
Comment #263554

DRRemer, I only looked at the local applications. I saw what it was about and concluded that this would be a method used by people with some specific interest or axe to grind, to get something that wouldn’t pass the laugh test in a more traditional forum for legislation. Remember Prohibition? Some of the people that foisted that on our country, were shortly afterward complaining about an amendment giving women the right to vote, being an infringement of the rights of their state legislatures.

One thing I would like right now, is something that would prevent W from leaving the country at all.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 19, 2008 6:32 PM
Comment #263591

John De Herrera, a member of FOAVC, has an opinion

In this opinion it states talking about Article V does not invalidate Article V. Article V must be obeyed and it is not being obeyed now. In it’s present form Article V is being ignored by the federal government.

Posts have mentioned the Revolutionary period, the pre civil war period, the post civil war period, and the present.

Yet the second clause of Article V has never been implememted to solve the problems of the day!


John De Herrera has a plan for a movie.

A movie about Article V and it’s purpose would go along way towards educating people of this opportunity.

A movie about how our constitution originated via. a convention, how the bill of rights was ratified, and the value of those processes denied our forefathers leading into the civil war and beyond, would be very valuable now.

A movie of how an Article V convention could solve problems would move people towards participating in their government.


Posted by: Weary Willie at September 20, 2008 1:51 AM
Comment #263599

Stephen, more than 600 petitions for a convention by a majority of the States is NOT a numerical accident.

You view is as bad as Republicans when it comes to injecting your intentions and meaning into the Constitution where such verbiage is CLEARLY absent.

Article V contains NO TIME LIMITS. Arguing it should have is as scurrilous as some Republicans arguing unitary executive authority in which the Executive Branch has total dominion over government provided that executive officer is a Republican. Such arguments do not respect nor uphold our Constitution, nor defend it. Such arguments seek to subvert and undermine the Constitution and the system built upon it. Such assaults on our Constitution by you and others is at the heart of many of the crises we face in this country in this 21st century.

If Democrats are to be viewed as any better than Republicans they will have to let go of the same foibles exercised by Republicans. Projecting time limits into the verbiage of the Constitution where the Constitution CLEARLY lacks any, on the basis that times have changed as in your argument, is an end run around the Constitution.

If you want a time limit for conventions, Amend the Constitution and install them. But, don’t act like GW Bush, circumventing the Constitution on the basis of personal interpretations that imbue the Constitution with verbiage that does not exist. Democrats have no more justification for literal or figurative ‘signing statements’ than GW Bush has.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 20, 2008 6:11 AM
Comment #263691

Okay, I looked this up again, and apparently there was an amendment from 1789 about pay raises, which which was ratified 200 years later http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html :

AMENDMENT XXVII
Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

///

The problem with the following article, apparently is that a new convention could propose an entirely new constitution, as with state constitutional conventions, not just any amendment or amendments that were the reason for calling the convention. It would literally precipitate a constitutional crisis, since most Americans would not want the constitution replaced, even if they wanted a specific amendment.


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.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 2:57 PM
Comment #263702

Barney Fife and the Preamble to the Constitution
More Lies The Media Tells!

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 20, 2008 4:28 PM
Comment #263707

Weary Willie-
I mention the period after the Constitution’s initial adoption to make a point: Nobody said “Hey, the requisite number of states have made calls! Let’s have a convention!”

If that was the original interpretation, then logically, somebody would have applied it as such.

Apparently, it never was done, never was asked for in that period.

David Remer-
No time limits exist for Senate or House Votes. No time limits exist for the ratification of treaties. No explicit schedules are laid out for how many days Congress must be in session.

Not everything has to be directly derived from the constitution to be constitutional. That is the view of literalists who forget that the Constitution was written in plain language, not in today’s complex legalese.

The real question would then be this: would the unspoken assumption of the colonists be that the calls would just build up, or that it would be part of a coordinated effort on the part of the state legislatures?

Hamilton’s Federalist #85 indicates that the latter was what the framers intended. This was something the states could use together against the encroachment of the Federal Governnment’s interests.

The legitimacy of a vote, which this is, depends on its polling of the sentiments of the voters. The big question here is “What do these calls represent?” Are they mere tokens thrown in a bucket, or an exercise of expressing the will of the state? And is the vote a mere collection of token calls, or are the calls supposed to meant something together, to represent something together?

All around this part of Article V, we see provisions obviously meant to force a consensus on those proposing and ratifying these amendments. Why should this part be interpreted any differently? If we aren’t interpreting it any differently, then the two thirds majorities in both chambers of congress and the two third majority of calls from the States MUST be interpreted to reflect the same sentiments from the states, and must operate in a similar manner, a timely representation of the will of the states made in the vote. The very similarity of the standards invites such an interpretation. Ratification can take as long as it needs to, as long as the language of the amendment allows it to, but proposal must be backed by a properly measured two-thirds majority agreement of the states however it is done.

I’d say the important element here is that the states are together on it, that it’s a united political decision on their part. If it’s all part of different efforts, then the reasonable question comes: are two-thirds of the states really calling for a convention together here at this time, or are these just a bunch of failed efforts that don’t meet the threshold?

You’re basically advocating for the counting of calls made by legislatures long superceded by new congresses in their states, for counting calls made, often enough, by men long dead. Do these calls reflect what the states want now? No.

These votes, these calls, are meant to represent that. The whole point of having elections and Democracy is to express the current will of the people. A cumulative system like yours does not work in this spirit. Instead, accidental accumulation of calls is set higher in priority than the current sentiment of the states and their current legislatures.

To allow time for the legislatures to debate and for the states to confer with one another is understandable. To demand that this vote must be kept open indefinitely so that a desired convention may be called is not so justifiable. It’s what the states want now that is important. Anything else is contrary to the Democratic spirit of the Constitution.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #263809

What would you say if it was asked for, Stephen Daugherty? What would you say if the requisit number of states asked for an article V convention in one year?
What would be your opinion if that happened?

I don’t understand the fear of an Article V convention when you consider the process used to ratify amendments is the same whether the amendment is originated by the states or by the federal congress.
An amendment must be submitted by a majority, whether it be by majority consisting of state legislatures or by congress. An amendment that is accepted by either must also be presented to the states for ratification be it by convention or by legislature.

What is generating the fear that envelopes the second clause of Article V?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 21, 2008 7:44 PM
Comment #263873

Weary Willie-
I’ll be honest with you. I might not like any particular drive for a convention. I might be happy with the constitution as it is.

But if they get Thirty-Four states together, my dislike for a convention I didn’t think was necessary would be mixed with an acknowledgment that the conditions have been met.

Democracy isn’t getting everything you want. It’s the constitutionally conditional rule of the majority.

As for my fear of a convention? *Sigh*.

I’m not afraid of it. At least not the way you think. The consequences of the last convention were quite profound, compared to what was intended to come out. We need to respect two things here: the capacity in this system for perverse outcomes, and the necessity to have popular support for this to be high. We could very easy add something or take something from the constitution we could regret. And a convention called without broad public support could at best do nothing and at worse become a competition of factional and regional interests.

Given that, I don’t want calling a convention to be easy, or frivolously done. I want two-thirds of the states calling this thing together, knowingly doing so. I want people carefully considering what they’re doing, not flying off half-cocked on emotion. Our system of government was designed for folks who had a rational sense about them. We should use them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #263947
Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if they get Thirty-Four states together, my dislike for a convention I didn’t think was necessary would be mixed with an acknowledgment that the conditions have been met.

All 50 states have already submitted 630 (probably more) applications for an Article V Convention.
In addition to that, more than 34 different states submitted applications within a 7 year period, even though no such period or time limits exist.
In fact, the

The fear-monerging about constitutional conventions is pure nonsense, since all 50 states have already had 679 (or more) constitutional conventons.

Also, please see the following 7 Congressional Records (and there may be many more than 7) that clearly demonstrates that the prerequisite number of states (i.e. two thirds) have already requested an Article V Convention, and Congress on 4 (or more) occasions (over the past 101 years) has ignored their peremptory duty to call an Article V Convention:

CR 042 Pg 00164 Yr 1907-NJ-Direct Election of Senators (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/042_cg_r_00164_1907_HL.JPG)
CR 043 Pg 02667 Yr 1909-SD-General Call for an Article V Convention (continued: Pg 02688) (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/043_cg_r_02667_1909_HL.JPG)
CR 045 Pg 07117 Yr 1910-NJ-Direct Election of Senators (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/045_cg_r_07119_1910_HL.JPG)
CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention (continued: Pg 07120) (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/045_cg_r_07119_1910_HL.JPG)
CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-UT-Direct Election of Senators (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/045_cg_r_07119_1910_HL.JPG)
CR 071 Pg 03369 Yr 1929-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/071_cg_r_03369_1929_HL.JPG)
CR 071 Pg 03856 Yr 1929-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention (foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments/071_cg_r_03856_1929_HL.JPG)
… which states:

  • Joint Resolution No. 83, S
    Joint Resolution memorializing the Congress of the United States to discharge the mandatory duties imposed upon it by Article V of the Constitution of the United States to call a convetion to propose amendments to the Constitution.
    Whereas the legislatures of the following 35 states have filed a formal application : Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Lousiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin; and
    Whereas Article V of the Constitution of the Unite States reads as follows: “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.” ; and
    Whereas this article makes it mandatory upon Congress of the United States to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution …

Therefore, Stephen, your opposition to an Article V Convention is baseless, since there are no contemporaneousness or same-issue requirements whatsoever in Article V or anywhere else in the Constitution, nor in the Federalist papers.

Your entire argument attempts to use those two lame excuses, which are mere reaching and construction to re-interpret the meaning of the word “whenever”, and the “clear and distinct”, “plain and obvious” and “unambigous” meaning of Article V.

Even if there was some ambiguity to the intended meaning, the “meaning which will defeat rather than effectuate the constitutional purpose cannot rightly be preferred” (per Supreme Court Rules for interpretation and statements from several previous Supreme Court cases).

By the way, one of the most frequent issues in the applicaitons for an Article V Convention is a BALANCED BUDGET amendment.
Over 34 states have requested it over 100 times.
Perhaps if the Congress had obeyed Article V of the Constitution, we wouldn’t be in the fiscal nightmare we have today?

At any rate, Article V is only one of many violations of the Constitution, and an Article V Convention alone is not going to solve the nation’s problems, growing dangerously in number and severity.

Weary Willie wrote: What is generating the fear that envelopes the second clause of Article V?
Weary Willey, Some people can rationalize almost anything to make it fit into their world of blind partisan loyalties.

They will oppose anything that may lose seats in Congress or power for THEIR party.
It’s all about THE PARTY.
It’s all about control.
They apparently love THEIR party more than their country.
All that matters is protecting THEIR party.
Obviously, an Article V Convention would probably entertain some common-sense amendments, such as TERM-LIMITS, BALANCED BUDGET, etc.
Partisan loyalists don’t want anything that may threaten the power of THEIR party.
Everything centers around their blind partisan loyalties.
They fuel and wallow in the circular, petty, distracting partisan warfare.
Their writings are non-stop bashing of the OTHER party, constantly fueling the partisan warfare.
They tell you the OTHER party is evil and disgusting, when the truth is, BOTH parties and too many voters in BOTH parties are the problem.
We’re all culpable, but it is easier to blame the OTHER party rather than admit THEIR own party is also so pathetically corrupt and incompetent, that any differences are insignificant.
As a result, they often twist themselves into a pretzel trying to rationalize their weak (if not totally ridiculous) positions.

Voters need reject the partisan warfare and:

  • learn and understand the importance of the Fundamental Principles:
    • Responsibility = Power + Education + Virtue + Transparency + Accountability

    • Responsibility = Power - Education - Virtue - Transparency - Accountability

  • learn to never under-estimate the tendency of some people (cheaters) to use and abuse others for their own self-gain;
  • learn how to identify and choose core guiding principles, instead of blindly accepting the philosophies and spin of other people or parties with nefarious motives;
  • learn how to become principle centered, instead of being manipulated and controlled by other people or parties with nefarious motives;
  • learn how to identify the requirements to satisfy your core principles, and don’t settle for anything less which would undermine those core principles;
  • learn how to recognize the clever manipulations, spin, and controlling mechanisms (e.g. partisan warfare) of cheaters and parties who want to pit people against each other for their own self-gain;
  • learn how to recognize over-complications designed to reduce or eliminate Transparency which paves the way for Corruption and other manifestations of unchecked greed and selfishness; for example, consider only one abuse (of several: One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm), which is the severely over-complicated and perverted tax system which is unfair and regressive;
  • learn and understand that straying from those core principles will lead to Corruption, which leads to more pain and misery;
  • teach someone else what you have learned;
  • and remember that no reforms will ever be possible until enough voters do the one simple, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, safe, peaceful and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along:
    • Stop Repeat Offenders.

    • Stop Repeatedly Re-electing Irresponsible Incumbent Politicians !

    After all, can you name 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable ?
    No? Well, it’s no wonder. Why should Congress persons be responsible and accountable when they are repeatedly rewarded for being corrupt, FOR-SALE, and irresponsible ?
    If you had a child, and you repeatedly rewarded that child for bad behavior, what sort of person do you think that child would become ?
  • But, perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, and blindly partisan when enough of the voters are deep in debt , jobless , homeless , and hungry ?
    What too few voters understand is that by the time they get upset enough to do something, there’s already years of pain and misery already in the pipeline.
    For example, in year 1933, voters ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress (One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm#GreatDepression), but it was already over 3 years into the Great Depression, and it lasted for many more years after (about 1929 to 1940).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2008 6:34 AM
    Comment #263948
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I might be happy with the constitution as it is.
    Then why support the violation of the Article V of the U.S. Constitition?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if they get Thirty-Four states together, my dislike for a convention I didn’t think was necessary would be mixed with an acknowledgment that the conditions have been met.

    All 50 states have already submitted 630 (probably more) applications for an Article V Convention.
    In addition to that, more than 34 different states submitted applications within a 7 year period, even though no such period or time limits exist.

    The fear-monerging about constitutional conventions is pure nonsense, since all 50 states have already had 679 (or more) constitutional conventons.
    In recent years, Constitutional Conventions have been held in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
    None of them were runaway conventions.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for my fear of a convention? *Sigh*.
    Despite that apparent denial, it is followed with more fear-mongering …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The consequences of the last convention were quite profound, compared to what was intended to come out.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We need to respect two things here: the capacity in this system for perverse outcomes, and the necessity to have popular support for this to be high.
    What should be respected first is the Constitution.

    Not your perverted re-interpretation of it.
    ALL 50 states have already submited 630 (or more) Article V Applications to propose amendments.
    That’s 12.6 per state.
    What is your notion of “popular support”?
    Besides, there is not time limit in Article V. It clearly states “whenever”.
    The word “whenever” does not imply any time limit whatsoever.
    Strange. If a time limit were intended, why not specify it, when they so explicitly included a time-limit in Article V (i.e. year 1808)

      “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.”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We could very easy add something or take something from the constitution we could regret.
    Nonsense. It takes three-fourths of the states to ratify any amendment. Even if a mistake occurred, it would probably be repealed later, such as the repeal of the 21st Amendment (prohibition).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And a convention called without broad public support could at best do nothing and at worse become a competition of factional and regional interests.
    More pathetic fear-mongering, despite the claims otherwise.

    There is widespread support.
    What would you call 630 (or more) Article V applications by all 50 states ?
    What would you call 104 Balanced Budget/General Amendments by 37 Different States ?
    What would you 109 Apportionment/General Amendments by 35 Different States ?
    What would you call 154 Amendments by 34 States (sorted by State) in 7 years from 1963 to 1969 ?
    What would you call 102 Amendments by 35 States (sorted by State) in 7 years from 1965 to 1971 ?

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2008 6:45 AM
    Comment #264010

    What is obvious is that Congress has intentionally refused to track the Article V Applications.

    Since Congress has tried to hide the Article V Applications by burying them in the Congressional Records, without any way to track and count Article V Applications, FOAVC.ORG, with the help of attorney Lynn Boughey and Archival Researchers, is searching the Congressional Records and making this information available to the public. Our findings have been very interesting. After viewing some of these Congressional Records, it is all too clear that Congress has no intention of every obeying Article V of the Constitution.

    Here is the current list and actual scanned images of 630 Article V Applications. We originally thought there were about 567 Article V applications. The number has been increasing every month since we started searching the Congressional Records at the National Archives and Records Administration near Washington D.C.

    That number of 630 will probably increase, because we are only up to year 1973 and we have been finding in some instances as many as 5 or 6 Article V Applications from other states on the same page.

    Here are 136 Article V applicaitons by 38 different states for a BALANCED BUDGET/General Call for an Article V Convention.
    And 34 different states submitted 134 Article V applicaitons for a BALANCED BUDGET/General Call for an Article V Convention since year 1901.
    And most of these applications are sumbitted after year 1955.
    Even if there was a same-issue requirement, that is a moot point, since over 34 different states have submitted 136 BALANCED BUDGET/General Call for an Article V Convention applications.

    General Annals of Congress 1 (J. Gales Ed.) Pg 00248 Yr 1789-NY-General Call for an Article V Convention
    General Annals of Congress 1 (J. Gales Ed.) Pg 00257 Yr 1789-VA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    General Annals of Congress 1 (J. Gales Ed.) Pg 01103 Yr 1790-RI-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 033 Pg 00219 Yr 1899-TX-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 033 Pg 00280 Yr 1899-TX-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 035 Pg 00117 Yr 1901-MI-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 035 Pg 00117 Yr 1901-OR-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 041 Pg 03072 Yr 1907-KS-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 042 Pg 05906 Yr 1908-LA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 043 Pg 02667 Yr 1909-SD-General Call for an Article V Convention; over 2/3 of all states requirement already met (continued: Page 02688)
    CR 045 Pg 07113 Yr 1910-CO-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07114 Yr 1910-IA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07114 Yr 1910-ID-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07114 Yr 1910-IN-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07114 Yr 1910-IL-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07115 Yr 1910-KS-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07115 Yr 1910-LA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07116 Yr 1910-MO-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07117 Yr 1910-OK-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-IA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-KS-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-LA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 045 Pg 07119 Yr 1910-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention; over 2/3 of all states requirement already met (continued to: Page 07120)
    CR 045 Pg 07120 Yr 1910-WY-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 046 Pg 02411 Yr 1911-MT-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 046 Pg 03035 Yr 1911-WA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 047 Pg 01842 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 047 Pg 01842 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
    CR 047 Pg 01872 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall (continued to: Page 01873)
    CR 047 Pg 01873 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
    CR 047 Pg 02000 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
    CR 047 Pg 02188 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
    CR 047 Pg 03087 Yr 1911-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention, Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
    CR 071 Pg 02590 Yr 1929-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 071 Pg 03369 Yr 1929-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention; over 2/3 of all states requirement already met
    CR 071 Pg 03856 Yr 1929-WI-General Call for an Article V Convention; over 2/3 of all states requirement already met
    CR 101 Pg 08397 Yr 1955-OK-Balanced Budget (continued to: Page 08398)
    CR 103 Pg 06475 Yr 1957-IN-Balanced Budget (continued to: Page 06476)
    CR 107 Pg 02742 Yr 1961-WY-Balanced Budget
    CR 107 Pg 02759 Yr 1961-WY-Balanced Budget
    CR 107 Pg 02799 Yr 1961-WY-Balanced Budget
    CR 107 Pg 04454 Yr 1961-GA-General Call for an Article V Convention, State Legislative Review of Supreme Court Rulings
    CR 107 Pg 04715 Yr 1961-GA-General Call for an Article V Convention, State Legislative Review of Supreme Court Rulings
    CR 109 Pg 02768 Yr 1963-AR-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 109 Pg 03274 Yr 1963-ID-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 109 Pg 03855 Yr 1963-ID-Limitation on Federal Indebtedness
    CR 109 Pg 03982 Yr 1963-ID-Limitation on Federal Indebtedness
    CR 109 Pg 03982 Yr 1963-IL-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 109 Pg 04050 Yr 1963-ID-Limitation on Federal Indebtedness
    CR 109 Pg 04900 Yr 1963-WY-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 109 Pg 05014 Yr 1963-WY-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 109 Pg 10241 Yr 1963-NV-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 111 Pg 00094 Yr 1965-VA-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 111 Pg 03714 Yr 1965-MO-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 111 Pg 03714 Yr 1965-SC-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 111 Pg 18999 Yr 1965-IL-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 111 Pg 24720 Yr 1965-NE-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 112 Pg 00043 Yr 1966-AL-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 112 Pg 00044 Yr 1966-NM-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 112 Pg 00044 Yr 1966-TN-General Call for an Article V Convention
    CR 112 Pg 00199 Yr 1966-TN-General Call for an Article V Convention (continued to: Page 00200)
    CR 119 Pg 07282 Yr 1973-VA-Limitation on National Debt
    CR 119 Pg 08091 Yr 1973-VA-Limitation on National Debt
    CR 121 Pg 04730 Yr 1975-VA-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 05793 Yr 1975-AR-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 05793 Yr 1975-VA-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 12168 Yr 1975-MS-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 12175 Yr 1975-MS-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 24412 Yr 1975-LA-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 25312 Yr 1975-LA-Balanced Budget
    CR 121 Pg 28347 Yr 1975-AL-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 00931 Yr 1975-IN-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 01400 Yr 1975-IN-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 02740 Yr 1975-GA-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 03161 Yr 1975-GA-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 04090 Yr 1975-SC-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 04329 Yr 1975-DE-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 05572 Yr 1975-DE-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 08019 Yr 1975-VA-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg 08336 Yr 1975-VA-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg ????? Yr 1975-FL-Balanced Budget
    CR 122 Pg ????? Yr 1975-AL-Balanced Budget
    CR 123 Pg 02545 Yr 1977-MD-Balanced Budget
    CR 123 Pg 18419 Yr 1977-TN-Balanced Budget
    CR 123 Pg 18869 Yr 1977-AZ-Balanced Budget
    CR 123 Pg 18873 Yr 1977-AZ-Balanced Budget
    CR 124 Pg 12011 Yr 1978-OK-Balanced Budget
    CR 124 Pg 12397 Yr 1978-OK-Balanced Budget
    CR 124 Pg 14193 Yr 1978-KS-Balanced Budget
    CR 124 Pg 14584 Yr 1978-KS-Balanced Budget
    CR 124 Pg 14911 Yr 1978-SC-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 00134 Yr 1979-TX-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 00134 Yr 1979-TX-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03007 Yr 1979-FL-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03007 Yr 1979-NC-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03322 Yr 1979-NM-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03427 Yr 1979-SD-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03427 Yr 1979-FL-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03522 Yr 1979-ID-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03655 Yr 1979-FL-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03656 Yr 1979-SD-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03656 Yr 1979-NM-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03657 Yr 1979-ID-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 03906 Yr 1979-AR-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04071 Yr 1979-UT-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04152 Yr 1979-NE-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04372 Yr 1979-AR-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04372 Yr 1979-UT-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04627 Yr 1979-PA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04702 Yr 1979-NE-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 04861 Yr 1979-AL-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 05223 Yr 1979-TX-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 05368 Yr 1979-AL-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 05450 Yr 1979-VA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 05953 Yr 1979-OR-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 07920 Yr 1979-AZ-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 08108 Yr 1979-AZ-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 09188 Yr 1979-IN-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 09368 Yr 1979-IN-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 10144 Yr 1979-ND-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 11203 Yr 1979-NH-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 11584 Yr 1979-NH-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 11288 Yr 1979-NH-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 13387 Yr 1979-MD-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 15227 Yr 1979-IA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 15792 Yr 1979-IA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 15792 Yr 1979-IA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 16351 Yr 1979-IA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 19359 Yr 1979-LA-Balanced Budget
    CR 125 Pg 19470 Yr 1979-LA-Balanced Budget
    CR 126 Pg 00909 Yr 1980-NV-Balanced Budget
    CR 126 Pg 01104 Yr 1980-NV-Balanced Budget
    CR 128 Pg 00798 Yr 1982-AK-Balanced Budget
    CR 128 Pg 02917 Yr 1982-AK-Balanced Budget
    CR 129 Pg 04942 Yr 1983-MO-Balanced Budget
    CR 129 Pg 10594 Yr 1983-MO-Balanced Budget

    Regarding the issue of contemporaneousnous, that’s a moot point too, since there have been 154 Article V applications by 34 States in the 7 years from 1963 to 1969.
    There was also 102 Article V applicaitons by 35 different States in the 7 years from 1965 to 1971.

    Thus, anyone claiming the requirements for an Article V Convention have not been met is difficult to understand.

    But it is fun watching some people turn into a pretzel trying.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2008 3:23 PM
    Comment #264241
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We need to respect two things here: the capacity in this system for perverse outcomes, and the necessity to have popular support for this to be high.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And a convention called without broad public support could at best do nothing and at worse become a competition of factional and regional interests.

    I’m just a guy from Starke County, Indiana. I’m not a lerned person, but to me this sounds like fear.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at September 24, 2008 10:18 PM
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