by Rick Bulow, Rick’s Civics Blog — April 27, 2015
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.
– Article V of the United States Constitution
Normally, nothing more would need to be said about this Article, but thanks to some Conservatives (like Publius Huldah, El Floyo, John Birch Society, Eagle Forum, and Kelleigh Nelson) it seems like Article V has to be clarified.
Let me emphasize a few things here about Article V before I get into the infighting and why I called those names and organizations out in particular. There are two ways to propose Amendments to the Constitution:
- The Federal Congressional way: two-thirds of BOTH Houses (67 Senators and 292 Representatives) propose and agree on the same amendment (used 27 times, the first 10 Amendments plus the 17 other Amendments thereafter)
- The State Legislature way: two-thirds of State Legislatures (34 states) have to submit the same application for a convention for proposing Amendments (NEVER been used)
Let us focus on the second way. As soon as 34 states apply for a convention for proposing Amendments (NOT a Constitutional Convention, as Publius Huldah and her ilk like to claim – more on that later) then Congress has no choice but to CALLfor the Convention. Then after Congress calls the Convention, it gets out of the way.
A little bit of a historical note here. The first EVER application for a Convention of States filed was Virginia on November 14, 1788. That application called for a Bill of Rights. The language used was as follows:
The anxiety with which our countrymen press for the accomplishment of this important end, will ill admit of delay. The slow forms of Congressional discussion and recommendation, if, indeed, they should ever agree to any change, would, we fear, be less certain of success. Happily for their wishes, the Constitution hath presented an alternative, by admitting the submission to a convention of the States. To this, therefore, we resort as the source from whence they are to derive relief from their present apprehensions.
We do, therefore, in behalf of our constituents, in the most earnest and solemn manner, make this application to Congress, that a convention be immediately called, of deputies from the several States, with full power to take into their consideration the defects of this Constitution that have been suggested by the State Conventions, and report such amendments thereto as they shall find best suited to promote our common interests, and secure to ourselves and our latest posterity, the great and unalienable rights of mankind.
So we can fully see from this application in 1788 that Virginia wanted Congress to call for a CONVENTION OF STATES and not a Constitutional Convention. Note that they wanted a convention made up of DEPUTIES FROM THE SEVERAL STATESand that their task was to take under consideration THE DEFECTS OF THIS CONSTITUTION. It was not to call for a whole new constitution but rather to consider the defects of the current one.
Constitutional Law Professor Robert G. Natelson (whose credentials can be found on his own website at Independence Institute and had been cited by the United States Supreme Court 16 times in 4 cases since 2013) had written a dissertation on how Liberals have launched a misinformation campaign on ArticleV and how Conservatives are being misled by it. Here is an executive summary of the paper:
Some conservative organizations regularly lobby against using the Constitution’s procedure for a “convention for proposing amendments.” Those organizations may think they are defending the Constitution, but in fact they are unwittingly repeating misinformation deliberately injected into public discourse by their political opponents.
This paper shows how liberal establishment figures fabricated and spread this misinformation. This paper also reveals the reasons they did so: to disable a vital constitutional check on the power of the federal government.
I will go through the paper in subsequent articles. However, let me focus on Huldah, Floyo, the JBS, the Eagle Forum, and Nelson. They had bought into the liberal lies about ArticleV and if they think they can escape unscathed, they are sorely mistaken. In fact, Nelson had claimed that we are using Alinsky style tactics to discredit Ms. Huldah when, in all actuality, those who oppose Article V and the Convention of States are using Alinsky tactics to try and destroy this nation.