Robert Brown is heading his way to Kalispell tonight and then Billing tomorrow, nearing the end of his tour that has seen him traverse across Montana lecturing and speaking about the dangers and pitfalls of a movement gaining in popularity of assembling a ‘convention of states’. A Convention of states is a formal meeting of all the states in the Union to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Brown passionately reviews why this is the last thing we need to be doing, and why. You can check out the event details below:
Not sure why this even matters? Brown provides a brief summary and answers a few objections below
Can We Risk an Article V Convention?
An Article V Convention (or Convention of States) is being touted as the silver bullet for reining in the out-of-control federal government, by proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution – that upon first blush, may sound appealing. Yet the claims of those promoting this “fail-safe” solution don’t hold up to scrutiny . . .
False Claim #1: The Convention of States (COS) is applying for a LIMITED convention, because when state legislators apply for a convention, it is limited to the subjects specified in the convention application. No changes to the Constitution can be proposed or passed by the convention that are outside of these subjects.
This claim defies historical and legal precedent. On many occasions, state legislators have tried to limit the subject matter of such conventions, without success. The most notable “run-away” convention is the convention of 1787, where our U.S. Constitution was written. State legislatures tried to limit this convention “to amendments of a Federal nature”, but the delegates, knowing these limits, created a more NATIONAL form of government, because they felt it was necessary for the preservation of the union.
Of this fact, Virginia delegate Edmund Randolph declared, “There are great seasons when persons with limited powers are justified in exceeding them.”
Virginia delegate James Wilson admitted, “The Federal convention did not act at all upon the powers given them by the states.” Many, many more could be cited.
The 1787 convention was, according to the Founders own admissions, a run-away convention. A convention held today can do the same, ignoring limits imposed by state legislators. They are applying for an unlimited convention, where everything is on the table.
False Claim #2: The Article V Convention movement is conservative. 230 liberal groups, many with ties to Soros, have declared they oppose it. If you are opposed, you are siding with Soros and liberals.
While SOME liberal groups, a few with Soros connections, have declared their opposition to a “constitutional convention”, over 600 have ENDORSED a convention.
Convention of States (COS) likes to point out the 230 groups, and claim, if you are opposed to a convention, you are siding with liberals. This is absurd, considering far more liberal groups have declared their SUPPORT for a convention.
When I visited with COS co-founder and president Mark Meckler in the Iowa Capitol in January, he used this deceptive claim. When I pointed out that more than 600 groups supporting a convention is far more than his 230 opposing, he responded, “Name ONE that supports OUR organization!”
I responded, “Ok, how about The Nation Magazine?”
Mr. Meckler responded by promptly changing the subject. He did NOT want to talk about how this uber-liberal magazine had specifically ENDORSED liberals supporting the Convention of States Project.
But is there a COS/Soros connection?
On December 7th, 2016, an organization called Intelligence Squared hosted a debate on the Article V convention, with Laurence Lessig teamed up with COS co-founder and president Mark Meckler to present the side in favor of a convention. Mr. Lessig introduced Mr. Meckler as, “My friend, and someone I’ve worked with a long time.” For years, they have worked together across the country to promote a convention.
(Notably, the Lessig/Meckler team lost this debate by a 2:1 ratio. No wonder he refuses further debates!)
So, who is Laurence Lessig?
The article from Breitbart identifies him as an “Activist Who Served On George Soros-Financed Boards”.
Mr. Lessig was also an Obama campaign advisor, and a 2013 Bilderberg conference attendee.
Soros, Obama, & Bilderberg? This is a resume that any globalist liberal could be proud of!
Why would Mr. Lessig be working with conservative groups like COS, to promote an Article V convention?
At a conference on the Article V convention, when the fact that the 1787 convention was a runaway convention was mentioned, Mr. Lessig responded, “Let’s have some more runaway conventions!” And in Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It (2015), Lessig suggests a grand bargain: “The key is a simple compromise. We get to consider our proposals if you get to consider yours.”
So, the reason The Nation Magazine and Laurence Lessig have been supporting the Convention of States Project is they plan to hijack the convention, and introduce amendments that liberals are seeking.
In other words, they are planning a run-away convention.
False Claim #3: The ratification process is a “safety net” against dangerous amendments. Even if the convention does introduce amendments that erode liberty, they would still have to be ratified by ¾ of the states. The states would never ratify a bad amendment!
The States wouldn’t ratify bad amendments? The 16th and 17th Amendments somehow cleared that hurdle!
Article V gives Congress the choice of two methods of ratification: By ¾ of the State legislatures, or ¾ of special ratifying conventions held in each State. Once the state legislators have applied for a convention, they could be completely left out of the rest of the process.
More concerning is the precedent set by the constitutional convention of 1787, which gave us the U.S. Constitution. According to Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation, changes made by that convention were to be ratified by all 13 State legislatures. Knowing this route had little chance, they wrote new rules for ratification! Article VII of the new constitution declares, “The ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution.” They changed WHO ratifies (conventions, not legislatures), and lowered the majority required to about 2/3 of the States. This sets a precedent that conventions have to power to rewrite the rules for ratification.
If a convention were called today, and passed amendments unlikely to be ratified by the present process, delegates could justify using the precedent set by the 1787 convention, creating a ratification process more likely to accept their amendments.
Please contact your state legislators, and ask them to preserve and protect the U.S. Constitution, by OPPOSING an Article V convention or Convention of States!
This article is just a brief intro to one of the most important topics facing our nation today, and the Constitution hangs in the balance. To learn more, join us at any of our event locations listed on the associated flier.