The following articles was written by Stan Meckler and published on The Union.
Earlier this month, I went to the Nevada County Tea Party meeting to listen to a guest speaker who would be talking on an interesting subject. I also had the opportunity to talk with many old friends that were with me when I started the local Tea Party in 2009.
The speaker was Pastor David Whitney from Pasadena, Md. His subject was to discuss the pros and cons of Article V of our Constitution. Unfortunately, the presentation was highly slanted against having a convention of states. We were allowed to ask questions, but were not allowed to share our position as the ground rules stated that there would be no debate. This is the first time in the history of the Nevada County Tea Party that, we the people, were not allowed to express our opinion.
Many of us were greatly disappointed at this turn of events. I surely hope that this never happens again.
This is a timely subject for many reasons. Washington, D.C. is broken. The federal government is spending this country into the ground, seizing power from the states and taking liberty from the people. It’s time the American citizens took a stand and made a legitimate effort to curb the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. The Founders gave us a tool to fix Washington, D.C. We must use it before it’s too late. This problem is not about Republican or Democrat, it is a problem about corruption.
There is a national movement called The Convention of States, which is attempting to get 34 state legislatures to call for a convention of states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. They are given this power to do this under Article V of the Constitution. It is not a “constitutional convention.” It cannot throw out the Constitution because its authority is derived from the Constitution.
Our country is in big trouble with millions of Americans unemployed, over 46 million people on food stamps, our military at its lowest strength in decades, and the world more dangerous than ever before. We basically have an open border with Mexico and are inviting more to come with promised benefits that have historically been reserved for our citizens. Crime along our borders has risen dramatically. Our politicians in Washington seem to only care about their party and how to raise money for the next election.
We all know that our courts have sometimes taken away the vote of the people when we have initiatives on the ballot. An initiative can win by a large margin and a single judge can overturn the will of the people. That’s tyranny! We have a Supreme Court that makes rulings not based on law, but based on the whim of the moment.
So what is all the fuss about Article V? Our Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution because they knew at some point the government would no longer listen to “We the People.” Article V allows the people, through their state legislatures to call for a Convention of States to propose amendments to the Constitution to correct serious problems.
James Madison, known as the “Father of the Constitution,” was instrumental in devising a system of checks and balances. In Federalist No. 43, Madison made clear that the state-led amendment option was intended to be just as valid as the Congress-led option, saying: “The Constitution equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience of one side or the other.” In Federalist 85, Alexander Hamilton makes clear that Article V allows states to hold the federal government accountable by allowing them to call an amending convention. Hamilton says, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachment of the national authority.”
Thirty-four states must pass a resolution called an “application” calling for a convention of states. The applications must request a Convention of States for the same subject matter. The applications are then delivered to Congress. The Congress must call the convention and then can name the time and place for the convention. This is Congress’ only role. In convention, each state gets one vote regardless of how many delegates they send.
Once in convention, it takes 26 states to pass out amendments for ratification by the states. In other words, amendments coming out of convention are only suggestions. The suggested amendments are then sent to the states for ratification, which must be done by 38 states (three-fourths of the states), before they become part of the Constitution. In other words, it takes the vast majority of the American public to agree, before any amendment becomes part of the Constitution. This is the ultimate safeguard.
It way past the time when “We the People” take back our government.
For information on the Convention of States program, please go to conventionofstates.com.