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Times article misses the mark

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project

Michael Lofti’s arguments criticizing Mark Levin and the Article V movement haven’t stood up under closer scrutiny. As Jen Kuznicki explains, Lofti bases his arguments on out-of-context readings of founding-era documents, poor logic, and shoddy research.  Kuznicki takes Lofti’s arguments one by one, demonstrating where and how they fall short. Here are some highlights:

Lofti:  “Although Levin uses Madison to support his argument for an Article V convention, Madison himself never once made mention of using such a tactic for resisting tyrannical government.”

This is a lie.

Madison writes in Federalist 43,  “That useful alterations [to the Constitution] will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen.  It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided.  The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety.  It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults.  It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.

In the 1830 letter, Madison states,  “Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed, be found not to secure the government and rights of the states, against usurpations and abuses on the part of the United States, the final resort within the purview of the Constitution, lies in an amendment of the Constitution, according to a process applicable by the states.”

Lofti:  “In fact, Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” lays forth the plan to nullify unconstitutional federal acts.  In Federalist #46, Madison speaks of “powerful means” to oppose an unconstitutional federal government.  These powerful means include nullification.”

[By “powerful means,” Madison is referring to]  The right to protest, perhaps individual non-compliance, civil disobedience, and protest by State legislature (including resolutions)… [This is] is the recurring mantra of Madison in many of his papers.  He consistently reminds that the nullification as rendering federal law “null and void” is not conducive to the compact of the Constitution and is in open opposition to Constitutional government, more in line with those who reject the government as constituted and favor a confederacy. 

Lofti:  “In his book, Levin misinterprets Article V to support his argument that states can control a constitutional convention.  Levin says that Article V authorizes his “state convention process.”  It does not. Article V only allows states to apply for Congress to call for a convention.  Only Congress can call a convention, not the states.”

The argument Lotfi makes here is silly.  As if the States have the right to ask Congress to start amending the Constitution without any say in what amendments they had in mind.  But Madison does speak to this as I have highlighted his words in bold print, “It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.”

You can the rest of Kuznicki’s rebuttals here.

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