Publius Huldah
Con-Con legislation filed in Congress is a wake-up call to convention supporters
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By Publius Huldah
September 11, 2022

Legislation recently filed in Congress shows that assurances pro-convention lobbyists have been making to state legislatures to induce them to apply to Congress for Congress to call a convention under Article V of our Constitution are false.

These lobbyists have convinced too many state legislators that our Framers said that when the federal government violates the Constitution, the solution is to call a convention to amend the Constitution. Our Framers never said such a thing! But that is what is behind the push for an Article V convention.

Article V of our Constitution provides two methods of amending the Constitution: 1) Congress may propose amendments by two-thirds majority in both Houses; or 2) Congress, upon the applications of two-thirds of the state legislatures, calls a convention where the delegates may propose amendments. The second method has never been used – it’s dangerous!

Nevertheless, the pro-convention lobby has been assuring state legislators that a convention is perfectly safe because state legislatures will control it: They will determine the amendments to be considered at the convention; Congress can’t call a convention until Congress receives 34 applications from state legislatures which ask for the same amendment; and delegates to the convention may consider nothing but amendments requested by 34 state legislatures.

If Congress calls a convention, would Congress or the delegates to the convention be constrained by such assurances to state legislators?

Of course not! The delegates – as sovereign representatives of the People – would have the self-evident right, recognized by the Declaration of Independence, “to alter or to abolish” our “form of government.” Accordingly, Congress isn’t authorized by Article V or anywhere else in the Constitution to call a limited convention restricted to considering only the amendments requested by 34 state legislatures.

And now, legislation consistent with this “self-evident right” has been recently filed in Congress:

    On July 19, 2022, Congressman Jodey Arrington of Texas introduced H.Con.Res.101, which calls a convention; and H.R. 8419, which sets forth how applications for a convention are to be counted.

These resolutions show that the convention pushers’ assurances that delegates to the Convention can do nothing but consider the amendments requested by 34 state legislatures, are false:

    H.C.R. 101 §1(a) (1) says, “…Congress hereby calls a convention for proposing amendments….”

    H.R. 8419 creates subsection (c) of 1 U.S. Code, § 106, which directs the Archivist of the United States to count all non-rescinded applications asking Congress to call a Convention; and to notify Congress of its duty to call a Convention when the Archivist receives non-rescinded applications for a Convention from two-thirds of the States.

H.R. 8419 doesn’t permit the Archivist to sort the applications by the amendments specified by state legislatures. Instead, H.R. 8419 directs the Archivist to count all non-rescinded applications together.

One group pushing for a convention has already admitted that Congress can “mix and match” the various applications for a convention: This group combined non-rescinded applications passed in 1789, several passed in 1861 to avert the Civil War, and others passed during 1901 for popular election of U.S. senators with applications passed in recent decades for a balanced budget amendment. [1]

And the Archivist of the United States is, in effect, directed by H.R. 8419 to mix and match the various applications! If an application is non-rescinded, the Archivist is directed to count it to get to 34.

So H.C.R. 101 & H.R. 8419 really are consistent with the “self-evident right” of a People to alter or abolish their government and set up a new one. And they reveal that whoever drafted these resolutions also understands that state legislatures have no power to dictate what is considered by delegates at the convention. In state legislatures’ applications to Congress for a convention, they sometimes insist that they will control the convention (see p. 2, line 19, thru p. 7 of this application in the Pennsylvania Senate); but the truth is that the Constitution sets forth what Congress has the power to do respecting an Article V Convention; and States cannot change this by wishful thinking. And state legislatures cannot dictate to Congress how Congress is to exercise a power the Constitution grants to Congress!

If Congress calls an Article V convention, you can be sure that a new Constitution will be imposed on us.[2] The convention of 1787 was called “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” But the convention proposed a new Constitution which had a new mode of ratification and which created a new form of government. James Madison warned that those who secretly want a new Constitution would push for an Article V Convention under the pretext of “getting amendments.”

State Legislators need to open their eyes and see that while they are being used to get a Convention, they will have no power over the Convention, and won’t be able to do anything to stop a new Constitution with its own new mode of ratification from being imposed on us. If State Legislators refuse to listen to the warnings, those among them with good hearts will taste the bitter pill of remorse.

Endnotes:

[1] At the time the “BBA” organization prepared their chart, the applications they counted were non-rescinded. They counted 33 States with active applications on file with Congress. But thankfully, after their Chart was published, several of the States listed on their Chart wised-up and rescinded their applications. Other States whose previous applications for a convention are still active better rescind them before the Archivist gets her hands on them!

[2] A member of Mark Meckler’s “COS” Legal Advisory Board, Princeton Law Professor Robert P. George, has already co-authored a new Constitution which grants massive new powers to a new federal government and imposes gun controls with red flag confiscations. Read it and tremble for your country.

© Publius Huldah

 

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Publius Huldah

Publius Huldah is a retired litigation attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge).

She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs. She also shows how The People can, by learning our Founding Principles themselves, restore our Constitutional Republic.

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