Citizens Dedicated To Preserving Our Constitutional Republic
Oren Long has asked me if I could transfer his PDF to the site.I'll try
WHY WE NEED AN ARTICLE V CONVENTION OF STATES AND WHAT IT COULD ACCOMPLISH
We all know something must be done to save the America we love. But what? We have basically three options: 1) Keep working within the current, corrupt system, 2) Armed rebellion, or 3) An Article V Convention of States (COS).
It has been over 200 years since the Constitution and Bill of Rights went into effect. In that time history has seen the Original Intent of the Constitution slowly whittled away and changed until we now live under an increasingly oppressive Federal Government, a government moving relentlessly towards Authoritarianism.
Happily, the Founders wisely gave us a remedy – a COS. The Founders knew that times and circumstances would dictate that the Constitution be amended to accommodate them. Therefore, they wrote Article V, allowing Congress to propose necessary changes. But, Colonel George Mason, in Convention, noted that he could foresee a time when the Federal Government, itself, would become so onerous and corrupt that IT would be the enemy of the People and the States. He therefore proposed that Article V be modified so that, if and when the Federal Government became the enemy, the States themselves could convene a Convention to propose amendments designed to bring the Federal Government back under control. His impassioned plea resulted in the addition of a mechanism where the States could convene their own Convention and go around an intransigent Federal Government.
There currently exists a Movement to gather the necessary 34 State Legislature Applications for a COS. Twelve States have signed up so far. We need another 22 States. Government being what it is, it will take the PEOPLE DEMANDING it to make it happen. This is where YOU come in. ONLY when We The People FORCE our State Legislators to act will it happen!
But, this begs the questions, “What could we expect from a COS? What would come out of Convention? Could a Convention get out of control? Could they throw the Constitution away? Could they act on their own without any recourse by We The People or the States that convened them? And a thousand other concerns?
To answer all the above questions would take far to much time and space for a single Discussion Topic. Therefore, I want to start with what we could hopefully expect from a COS.
To that end, I am posting for your perusal, input, and discussion a series of proposed amendments that I have been working on for over NINE YEARS. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think they are very good. I have repeatedly revised and refined them to their current form and format. It is my hope that they will stimulate a vigorous debate and, hopefully, stimulate people to get on board with the COS Movement.
Following each of my proposed amendments is an explanation of my thinking. Yes, they are long and many will not read them (TLDR, I suppose), but there is simply too much at stake. Those who will not even read them will almost certainly not bother to actively support the Movement. That is their choice.
They are as follows:
The Fourteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States are hereby repealed. All Federal Laws, Agencies, Programs, Rules, Regulations, and/or Orders created, passed, or handed down as a direct or indirect result of the Fourteenth, Sixteenth, and/or Seventeenth Amendments are hereby stricken from Law, declared null and void, and without force of effect.
EXPLANATION: Some say that past laws, rulings, etc. cannot be undone in one stroke under the “no ex post facto law” clause of the Constitution. I beg to differ. The “no ex post facto” clause deals with LAWS, not the Constitution. The Constitution can do whatever three fourths of the States want it to do.
Others say that repealing all past laws, rulings, etc. would be too disruptive and possibly create chaos. But, repealing the 14th, 16th, and 17th Amendments will do that, anyway. We are talking about [legal] major surgery. An Article V Convention of States may be the ONLY chance we get to save the country as envisioned and founded, so let’s just do it. If we don’t do it while we can it WOULD take 20 to 50 years to undo the damage, and with no guarantee of success.
Section One: The Constitution of the United States is the Supreme Law of the Land, shall not be subservient to or subjugated to any Foreign Law, International Treaty, or International Agreement, and shall be read, interpreted, applied, and adhered to literally. No words or phrases shall be changed or substituted and no part of the Constitution shall be used to expand or increase Federal Power or Authority beyond that EXPRESSLY granted and enumerated in the Constitution. The language of the Constitution shall be interpreted according to the definition of words at the time of their inclusion in the Constitution.
Section Two: The words “and general Welfare” are hereby stricken from the Constitution of the United States. All Laws, Rules, Regulations, Orders, and/or Court Rulings based upon or reliant upon “and general Welfare” are hereby stricken from Law, declared null and void, and without force of effect.
Section Three: This Amendment shall be retro-active upon its ratification. Any and all Laws, Rules, Regulations, Orders, Treaties, and Agreements that directly or indirectly suborn or subjugate the Constitution of the United States as the Supreme Law of the Land, as read and interpreted literally, are hereby stricken from Law, declared null and void, and without force of effect.
EXPLANATION: The Founders considered adding “expressly” into the Constitution, but decided that it was unnecessary. The Founders were men of honor and could not imagine anyone even wanting to suborn the Constitution to political or ideological precepts. They were wrong. They grossly underestimated the creativity and lust for power of corrupt lawyers, judges, and politicians.
Words change over time. “And general Welfare” has been intentionally redefined from its original meaning until it now means something entirely different.
“Section Three” is added for the express purpose of preventing the Executive, Legislative, and/or Judicial Branches from declaring that previous Laws, Treaties, etc. are “Established Law” that should not be violated.
Section One: No person shall be nominated for or appointed to the Federal Bench who is not a Natural Born Citizen of the United States, who has not attained the age of thirty five years, who is not a member of the Bar in good standing, who has not been a member of the Bar in good standing for a minimum of ten years, who is not law-abiding and without criminal conviction, who is not confirmed by a two thirds vote of the Senate of the United States, and who has not demonstrated a clear and consistent adherence to Constitutional Principles as envisioned by the Founders.
Section Two: The Power and Authority of the Federal Judiciary shall be strictly limited to only those powers EXPRESSLY enumerated in Article III of the Constitution of the United States. No Federal Judicial Ruling shall insert Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Power, Authority or Interpretation, direct or indirect, into the Constitution of the United States that is not EXPRESSLY enumerated in the Constitution of the United States.
Section Three: Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judges of inferior Federal Courts shall stand for reconfirmation by the Senate of the United States every six years. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of inferior Federal Courts, ensconced on the Bench before the ratification of this amendment, shall also stand for reconfirmation by the Senate of the United States every six years.
Section Four: Congress shall have, by two thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the power to override individual rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States and/or inferior Federal Courts. The President shall not have veto authority over Congressional overrides of Federal Court decisions.
EXPLANATION: Article III is badly flawed. The Founders spent much time and energy on Articles One and Two, but precious little time and energy on Article III. In my view this was an error. The Founders did not view the Federal Judiciary as a serious threat to Freedom or the Constitution. History has proven them wrong.
Neither did the Founders bother to lay out specific qualifications for the Federal Bench. A careful reading of Article III reveals that there are NO qualifications for the Bench. It is not even necessary for a Federal Judge to be a Citizen, let alone a Natural Born Citizen. There is no requirement that a Federal Judge or Justice be a lawyer, let alone 'learned' or 'in good standing'. The Village Idiot (think Joe Biden) could be nominated and would probably be confirmed. A convicted felon could be nominated, confirmed, and serve as long as he/she committed no further offenses while on the Bench. Technically, it is not even necessary for a person nominated to the Bench be a resident of the United States.
Nor are there ANY restrictions on Federal Judicial Power or Authority – NONE! Article III lays out what the Judiciary CAN do, but does not say what it CANNOT do! Any “limitations” on Judicial Authority are implied and assumed. Lawyers and Judges often assume that if there is no SPECIFIC restriction on their power or rulings, said rulings must be Constitutional. The courts have used this oversight to gradually increase their power to the current, overarching level. This must stop!
Finally, there is NO "Check" on Federal Judicial Power. The President can overrule Congress via Veto. Congress can overrule the President via Veto Override. Judges/Justices can overrule both Congress and the President. But, NO ONE can overrule the Court! The ONLY "Check" on the Court(s) at this time is Impeachment. But, even if a Judge or Justice is impeached and removed from the Bench his/her decisions still stand. We simply MUST implement some form of "Check" on the Court(s) and their rulings.
Some have proposed term limits for the Judiciary. This is a bad idea. Term limits get rid of good Judges/Justices along with the bad. My proposed amendment resolves ALL the issues surrounding the Judiciary.
I firmly believe that the ratification of this proposed amendment would go a long way towards bringing the Judiciary back within its Constitutional Limits as envisioned by the Founders.
Section One: No person shall be elected to Congress more than once unless serving in Congress at the time of the ratification of this amendment, in which case sitting Members of Congress shall be eligible for re-election to their respective seats one time.
Section Two: In the event the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed Senators shall be selected according to the rules laid out in Article One of the Constitution of the United States, including service in the Senate as long as their respective State Legislature deems it appropriate.
Section Three: Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of six years, with one third of House Members elected every two years.
Section Four: Members of Congress shall be subject to Popular Recall by their constituents. Within 90 calendar days of the ratification of this Amendment the Legislatures of the several States shall pass Legislation governing the recall of their respective Members of Congress. In the event a State fails to pass Legislation governing the Recall of its Members of Congress within the required 90 calendar days, that State’s Members of Congress shall have been recalled and new elections held within 60 calendar days.
Section Five: In the event the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed, Section Four shall not apply to Members of the Senate of the United States.
Section Six: The President and Vice-President of the United States shall be subject to Popular Recall by their constituents. Within 90 calendar days of the ratification of this Amendment the Congress shall pass Legislation governing the Recall of the President and Vice-President of the United States. The President shall not have Veto Authority over Legislation governing the Recall of the President and Vice-President. In the event the Congress fails to pass the required Legislation within the required 90 calendar days, the President and Vice-President shall have been Recalled and a new election held within 60 calendar days. In the event the President and Vice-President are Recalled, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall serve as the President Pro Tempore pending the results of the aforementioned election, whereupon the newly elected President and Vice-President shall be sworn in immediately upon the certification of election results.
Section Seven: Neither Congress, the President, nor any Federal Court shall make any law, rule, regulation, or order that does not apply equally to themselves and all Citizens of the United States. Nor shall Congress, the President, nor any Federal Court cause or allow any law, rule, regulation, or order to be made by any agent or agency of the Federal Government that does not apply equally to themselves, all Federal employees, and all Citizens of the United States.
Section Eight: Neither Congress, the President, nor the Vice-President shall receive any publicly funded retirement or benefit, beyond appropriate pay, not available to all Citizens of the United States.
Section Nine: Section Eight shall not apply to Members of Congress, Presidents, or Vice-Presidents, serving or retired, at the time of the ratification of this Amendment.
Section Ten: No former Member of Congress, former President or Vice-President, or former Federal employee shall advocate for or against Legislation or Policy for a period of ten years after leaving public service or employment.
EXPLANATION: The problem with the term limits concept is that we have never had REAL term limits, except for the President and Vice-President, even on the State level. Several States have imposed term limits, but some States have repealed them. This is because, as tried, they are not actual ‘term limits’, but are just shortened career paths with retirement and other special benefits.
WHENEVER a politician is able to run for re-election, that politician is subject to the influence of lobbyists, big donors, and Party Leadership. In fact, studies show that Members of Congress generally spend half their day seeking money and support for re-election instead of doing the Peoples’ business. Then, after leaving office they move to a lobbying firm where they make millions of dollars a year. I see a one-term limit and the repeal of the 17th Amendment as the ONLY way to return Congress to a Peoples’ and States’ Congress. In short, what would be the point of lobbyists and big donors throwing money at someone who won’t be there next term?
Some say that a one-term limit is a bad idea. They say that seating an entirely new and inexperienced Congress each election eliminates experienced Members and puts new and inexperienced Members of Congress at the mercy of lobbyists and bureaucrats who could easily manipulate them. My proposal to elect members of the House of Representatives for a term of six years, with one-third of the House elected every two years, along with the repeal of the 17th Amendment accomplishes four goals simultaneously. It returns the House to a Peoples’ House; eliminates or seriously reduces the influence of lobbyists, big donors, and Party Leadership; provides for stability in the House; and returns the Senate to a States’ Senate as envisioned by the Founders.
The Sections governing ‘recall’ would serve to keep elected officials true to their campaign promises and the Will of the People and States. Further, repealing the 17th Amendment would automatically implement a form of recall on the Senate. Under the rules laid out in Article I, a State can Recall and replace a Senator at will. Shouldn’t the People have that same power over the House and the President?