Article V Convention Debate
At our most recent meeting we hosted three speakers who presented views for and against convening an Article V Convention for the purpose of amending or changing the U.S. Constitution. Yvonne and Hilliard Rogers, District Captions for the grassroots, non-partisan Convention of States (COS) organization, spoke in favor of such a convention. Publius Huldah, a former Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer and retired litigation attorney, who writes and speaks throughout the United States on the U.S. Constitution, gave compelling reasons why we should not hold such a convention.
Representative Mark Pody spoke briefly after giving the invocation. He outlined the importance of the issue and asked the audience to be respectful of all speakers regardless of their views.
Article V of the U.S Constitution states the following:
"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..."
Hilliard Rogers opened the discussion by citing a high level of urgency to convene an Article V Convention of States to adopt Amendments to the Constitution for the purpose of fixing many of our nation’s problems. “Eighteen trillion dollars of debt plus another 30 trillion in unfunded liabilities is not sustainable,” he said. “The average age of politicians in Washington is 64. Many serve thirty, forty, even fifty years in office and some are over 80 years of age.”
“We now have a political class that lives in Washington” he continued, “We now have a government that tells what to do, what to eat and what our kids must learn through Common Core.” Noting that States have some power to nullify Federal law, he emphasized that it usually requires them to refuse Federal funding which few are willing to do.
Yvonne Rogers stepped to the lectern and explained the purpose of a Convention of States is to propose Amendments to the Constitution. “It is not a Constitutional Convention,” she clarified. “The term Con-Con is a sound bite that sticks with you and reduces your critical thinking.”
Citing Article V of the Constitution, Rogers continued, “Both Houses of Congress must have a two thirds majority to call a Convention of States. The Amendment must be ratified by three quarters of the states; that’s thirty-eight.” Once a convention is called the role of Congress is ends. The States control it through their delegates she explained.
Amendments being considered for application are Congressional term limits, a balanced budget amendment, further protection of property, limits to the Federal bureaucracy, abolish the IRS, judicial term limits, repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, limit capital spending and limit executive orders among others according to Rogers.
Delegates would be appointed by the state legislatures. In Tennessee, delegates would be obligated to abide by the “Faithful Delegate Law” which was passed in 2014. The State Legislature could recall any delegate acting on their own behalf. Proposals for rules of the Convention of States are being accepted at this time and will serve as the Convention’s agenda once agreed upon. Rogers closed out her presentation by offering the audience handouts with additional information.
“Our Constitution is a five thousand year miracle,” exclaimed Publius Huldah as she began her talk. “Our Constitution doesn’t need fixing. We need fixing. It is ignorance of the Constitution and the collapse of religion, morality and personal responsibility that have brought us to the brink of destruction. You can’t fix that by changing the Constitution.”
The Left has been trying to get a convention for the last fifty years – ever since the Ford & Rockefeller Foundations produced the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America. “More recently the Left has changed tactics by marketing to Conservatives convincing them that a Convention is the only path to rein in the Federal Government. They use classic tactics of the Left to smear opposition and have divided Conservatives convincing one side to revile against those who warn of the dangers of a Convention,” Huldah said.
Citing examples, she pointed to Nick Dranias of Compact for America who had contacted one of her publishers requesting they stop publishing her papers. On line posts by COS representatives were even calling for cancellation of her appearance before the Wilson County Tea Party. “We are in the final stage of a Marxist takeover of our country. The last step is to get rid of this pesky Constitution and replace it with one that legalizes tyranny,” she stated as she held up a small Constitution booklet.
Addressing Article V of the Constitution, Huldah explained there are only two ways to change our Constitution. The first is for Congress to propose the amendment, approve it with a two-thirds majority of both Houses and then have it ratified by three-fourths of the states. All twenty seven Amendments to the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, have been ratified in this manner. The second method is to call an Article V Convention.
The Constitution delegates only a few enumerated powers to the Federal Government, she explained. “The Federal Government’s overall purpose is simply to secure the God given rights of life, liberty and property by exercising this mere handful of enumerated powers. When the government exercises only these enumerated powers we are not in conflict with each other because nobody has their hand in anyone else’s pocket,” she said.
“Our Constitution is not the problem. Ignoring it is the problem, as we have done for the past one hundred years,” Huldah continued. “It is our duty to enforce our Constitution and make our public servants obey it. We have not done our duty and do not vet, monitor or discipline our public servants. We have allowed our public servants to bribe us with unconstitutional government assistance programs such as Social Security in the 1930’s and Medicare in the 1960’s. They have demoralized us, stripped us of personal responsibility and left us dependent.”
Citing examples of the Government making gun control laws that conflict with the Second Amendment, and ignoring States Rights in the Tenth Amendment, she posed the question, “What makes you think they will follow any new amendments? God gave you a brain and expects you to use it. Thinking is a moral responsibility!”
Referring to the book “The Liberty Amendments” by Mark Levin, Huldah pointed to a paper she wrote, Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments: Legalizing Tyranny, showing how six of these amendments would legalize powers the federal government has already usurped. If ratified, Levin’s Amendments would legalize such agencies such as Education, Energy, Agriculture, the EPA, DHS, HHS, etc. which are now unconstitutional because they do not fall under the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. She cautioned the audience to read the proposed amendments carefully as titles can be deceiving.
Returning to Article V, Huldah clarified the role of Congress and the States. Congress shall call the Convention when at least two-thirds of the states make application. After two-thirds of the states make application they no longer have a role in the Convention. Congress then calls the convention by selecting the date and location and how delegates will be chosen. States’ laws cannot control delegates according to Article V, Huldah emphasized, as she referred to a paper she had published on the subject.
“Delegates can vote to make proceedings secret. That what they did at the federal Convention of 1787 when they did away with the Articles of the Confederation and replaced it with the U.S. Constitution we have today,” Huldah explained.
Citing a 2014 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on issues under an Article V convention, procedures for selecting delegates and executing the agenda remain uncertain. The method by which a Convention is to be conducted would not be finalized until the Convention is called and the delegates are assembled. “According to the CRS we are going to have to get a Convention before we know how it will operate,” Huldah said.
“COS says a Convention is safe because three-fourths of the states must ratify what comes out. That is not true!” Huldah emphasized. “If another Convention is called the delegates are vested with that inherent sovereign right of a people to alter or abolish their form of government; Declaration of Independence, second paragraph.”
Acknowledging the U.S. Constitution is our second, she explained how we got there from our first, The Articles of Confederation. In 1787 delegates met in Philadelphia for the purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation with written instructions from the Continental Congress and their States. When the Convention convened they used their sovereign power to hold the session in secret, ignored the instructions from the Continental Congress and their States, changed ratification requirements from the Continental Congress and all of the then thirteen States to only nine States, and threw out the Articles in favor of an entirely new Constitution. “Fortunately people like George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were there to protect us,” she explained.
Huldah sees grave danger to the future our county if a Convention is held for this very reason. The sovereign power granted to delegates can be manipulated in this age of corrupt officials and big lobbyist money. Ratification requirements can be changed to ensure passage. “You will not like a third Constitution,” she warned.
George Soros is pushing for a Marxist Constitution by 2020 and many other liberal Left organizations are salivating at the opportunity to throw out our Constitution and replace it with one of their own. Huldah cited examples of the Constitution for the Newstates of America, already written, that would do away with the States replacing them with regional governments answering to the new national government. This new Constitution would be ratified by a referendum vote called by the President. She also mentioned the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. She warned that is needed to impose one of these proposed constitutions on us is a convention.
“When the Federal Government usurps power our Founders gave us two options to deal with it,” Huldah explained. “The first is to elect faithful representatives. But, we keep electing representatives who know nothing about our Constitution. We are shallow. We put blind faith in people because they tell us what we want to hear. Gullibility is not a virtue.”
“We must vet candidates for office and test their knowledge of the Constitution,” she continued. “But you must know it before you can grill candidates. This is not difficult. We cannot be ignorant and free.”
“The second remedy, don’t submit to usurpations of the Federal Government.” Quoting our Framers she stated, “The Federal Government is our creature and must submit to our will as it is enshrined in this Constitution.” Citing quotes by Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison from the Federalist Papers and elsewhere, she pointed to nullification as a natural right of the states to override usurpation of power by the Federal Government. She noted that over two hundred bills had been filed across the States’ Legislatures to nullify Federal laws and gave examples.
“Citizens Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King refused to submit to the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws fifty years ago,” she said. More recently, local gun control laws were nullified in Connecticut because they violated the State’s Constitution regarding the right to bear arms.
In closing she asked the audience to check out hyperlinks to all of her exhibits. “Check me out to see if I told you the truth.” Huldah also encouraged listeners to read her recent paper, Nullification is a Natural Right. “It has all the truth that you will ever need to astound your friends and confound your enemies.”
A vibrant question and answer session followed with questions and comments from the audience for all of the speakers.
Wilson County Fair - We Need Help!
The Wilson County Fair is fast approaching and will be held from August 14-22 at the Ward Ag Center. We will host a booth in the Turner Evans Building (same location as last year) and need help to man the booth. The Fair typically runs from 10 to 10 on Saturday, 12 to 10 on Sunday and 5 to 10 on weekdays.
Please consider helping out for part of a weekend or an evening. It is a great opportunity to talk to all sorts of people. Please contact us if you would like to get help out.