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Constitutional Traitors

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In recent days the idea of using the Article V convention option in the Constitution received support in an article by Texas US Senator John Cornyn published on the Fox News website. He noted “Recent polling suggests that a plurality of Americans support a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution if Congress will not do so.” He made a good case for using the convention option by saying it “would be part of a national conversation that could last well beyond one or two election cycles. The very length of the convention and ratification process would allow the American people ample opportunity to judge proposed reforms, and ensure that they would strengthen the checks and balances that have served our nation well.”

A few days later, on the pages of the Wall Street Journal a strong case was made for a “repeal amendment” that would give state legislatures the power to veto federal laws, something worth proposing. Though the oped by a professor and the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates did not say so, obviously Congress would never propose such an amendment. That means using an Article V convention whereby state delegates could propose new amendments just as Congress has done, which the Speaker has acknowledged elsewhere.

At the same time a policy report from the Goldwater Institute recommended that “states seriously consider” using the convention option “to restrain the federal government.”

So the issue of using this convention option that Congress has refused to convene despite hundreds of state applications and that establishment powers on the political left and right have long opposed merits serious examination. Start with this: Americans overwhelmingly say they love and respect the Constitution and usually specific amendments, though often different ones on the political left and right. Three frameworks help understanding why most Americans oppose using the Article V convention option. Two explain why convention proponents have not been able to impact most opponents that fit these two frameworks. I offer a third framework or plan of attack which I believe will work.

First, consider the craziness framework. Many Americans have been taught to fear using the convention option, even though it has never been used. They are irrational. This is like being afraid to eat the fruit of the constitutional tree first planted by the Founders even though no one has ever tasted or been harmed by the fruit. Such people stubbornly think they are acting rationally; I think they are crazy and irrational. This delusional thinking based on what is imagined to might happen is not easily changed, because such people have been purposefully and successfully brainwashed. They have an emotional block.

Rather than fear a runaway convention, people should fear our runaway politicians and government. As quoted in the Goldwater Institute paper Ann Stuart Diamond pointed out that the interpretation that an Article V convention would or could rewrite the whole Constitution “is often a rhetorical ploy to terrify sensible people.” The convention can only offer specific amendments. It is time for Americans to recognize their fear of a convention as having no basis in fact. And that those promoting fear themselves fear the reforms in government that a convention could propose.

Second, consider the analytic framework. Many Americans use what they think are rational, substantive arguments. Convention proponents use facts based on the exact language in Article V or other historical facts to objectively contradict wrong-headed thinking. But correcting the record has not worked sufficiently, largely because opponents invent their own facts, ignore correct ones, and consume disinformation disseminated by convention opponents. They have an intellectual block. Cognitive dissonance works to prevent the pain of accepting new information incompatible with their negative views about a convention.

We should not invite, respect or participate in arguments by opponents that fit these two frameworks. We should, in particular, recognize and condemn morally offensive fear mongering used intentionally by convention opponents. Convention opponents seeking protection of their ability to influence the political system and selling fear and disinformation must face their constitutional guilt.

Converting convention opponents to proponents requires a paradigm change, which is very difficult. However, the current justified high level of dissatisfaction with government, politicians and both major political parties and the strong desire for reform of government justify use of a new approach.

The patriotic framework better gets to the root of the problem from a rule of law perspective. Rather than condemn convention opponents as irrational or ignorant, we condemn unpatriotic constitutional hypocrites. When they openly oppose the convention option they are constitutional traitors.

With the patriotic framework we take advantage of frequent strong public support for constitutional amendments not proposed by Congress, including these: In 1996, 74 percent of Americans favored a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress and the US Senate could serve. In 2005, 76 percent favored an amendment to allow voluntary prayer in public schools, and in 1983 81 percent favored it. In both 2000 and 2004 61 percent favored amending the Constitution so that the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes would win, replacing the Electoral College. In 1995, a balanced budget amendment passed the House but failed to meet the two-thirds requirement in the Senate by a single vote; this year there is a strong national movement to get it and a number of other amendments that would surely earn broad public support.

The basis for the new framework is this: Virtually everyone professes respect and admiration for the US Constitution and knows that it includes a process for amending it. But if someone opposes using the Article V convention option, then he or she is an unpatriotic constitutional hypocrite. When they openly oppose a convention they are a constitutional traitor replacing the Founders thinking with theirs, putting themselves above the law.

Moreover, it is impermissible to pick and choose what parts of the Constitution are supported and obeyed. Similarly, elected public officials who swear obedience to the Constitution cannot pick and choose which parts to obey. Such behavior makes a mockery of the supreme law of the land, the rule of law, and our constitutional republic. Silence by public officials on the issue is cowardly opposition to using the convention option.

No one can accurately forecast exactly what a convention would propose, but we do know that continuation of the status quo will not eliminate the corruption and dysfunction sustained by the two-party plutocracy. The two major parties are rejected by 58 percent of the public for not effectively representing them, but a convention is far more attractive than forming a competitive third party. Many reforms can only be achieved through constitutional amendments that Congress will never propose; this is inarguable. Voting in elections to get reforms is passé. A hard truth to take, but one that an increasing number of Americans have begun to accept.

Amending the Constitution in our modern world should compete with ordinary elections. With Internet news, blogging, email, tweeting, texting and myriad other forms of instant communication, holding a convention is a new way to satisfy public thirst for true reforms, not promises. Amending the Constitution can be done relatively quickly. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven took one year or less to become the law of the land because of public engagement. The 26th amendment (giving the right to vote to 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified in 1971! Public pressure works. It will work for and against specific amendments. Americans deserve the constitutional opportunity that Congress has deprived them of.

Americans must be taught this: Just by being in the Constitution the convention option demands public support. Citizens are obliged to support it. People cannot be allowed to have it both ways and be two-faced and hypocritical. Embrace the convention option or be openly and aggressively condemned for unpatriotic hypocrisy and behavior that undermines the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law, both crucial for maintaining the integrity of our republic.

Trust is the crucial issue. So many Americans have lost trust in their government and politicians but far less so in their Constitution. Trusting the Constitution means trusting the Founders’ wisdom in providing the Article V convention option. They anticipated the day when citizens would lose trust in the federal government, which has surely arrived. The convention option bypasses Congress, the President and the Supreme Court; it gives power to the states and citizens. Wisely, ratification by the states is required for any proposed amendments from a convention, providing a hedge against dangerous amendments. When it comes to reform and making government work for we the people, the greatest risk for the nation is not using the convention option.

What political powers on the left and right fear and oppose we the people must demand. They are guilty constitutional traitors. We must be courageous patriots. There is no room for compromise with convention opponents. We must shame and embarrass them; they are lousy citizens. The time to argue about specific amendments is when the convention is in session and delegates must contend with public sentiments and later when proposed amendments are considered for ratification by states.

We cannot know with certainty whether holding a convention would revitalize the nation. But refusing to use the convention option as a constitutional path to reform disrespects and undermines our constitutional republic. The sorry state of the nation demands that we do more than just talk about it. This year every candidate for the House and Senate should be compelled to publicly support using the convention option. Lack of support for it should be grounds for defeating them.

[A shorter version of this article was presented at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Article V symposium in Lansing, Michigan on September 16, 2010; contact Joel S. Hirschhorn, a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention, through delusionaldemocracy.com.]
 

American

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Good article. :thumbs:
 

Wiseone

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Allowing states to veto Federal Law would fly right in the face of Article 6, which argueably gives the Constitution all of the authority to enforce everything else in it.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

You would be installing a literal contradiction if the repeal amendment is passed.
 
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American

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Allowing states to veto Federal Law would fly right in the face of Article 6, which argueably gives the Constitution all of the authority to enforce everything else in it.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

You would be installing a literal contradiction if the repeal amendment is passed.
What do you think "under the authority" means? To me it means under those areas designated for control by the federal govt (United States) in the Constitution. Otherwise it could mean anything and everything.
 

What if...?

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Until the right is capable of proving understanding of the issues they support adequately enough to answer questions demonstrating such understanding, then they are derelict in their duty as Americans to do so. The founding fathers were very clear on the absolute necessity that citizens inform themselves on the issues facing our nation then apply this knowledge to construct an opinion based upon reasoned self interest. I have had no luck anywhere on the internet finding anyone on the right that can demonstrate a basic understanding of the issues they support sufficiently to have formed ANY opinion. No information not taken verbatim from the conservative mediasphere. Propaganda is rife in our national discussion, and the left is affected by its influence as well (2nd amendment, etc.), but the "perfect consensus" which constitutes the "fox" mindset is unnatural. Never in the history of mankind has there been such a consensus on every point of every issue of a platform. Until this can be addressed, opposition to a a constitutional convention is mandatory. (See Howard Zinn for his thoughts on constitutional conventions, it's a little dry, but quite interesting. You won't turn into a pumpkin or anything.) This post will certainly be met with silence or answered in a manner which proves my point. Therefore, as a patriot, I must oppose your suggestion until my concerns can be addressed. I provide the following "talking points" in support of this position:

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson

I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
Thomas Jefferson

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Thomas Jefferson

He who knows best knows how little he knows.
Thomas Jefferson

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Thomas Jefferson

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
Thomas Jefferson

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
Thomas Jefferson

There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world.
Thomas Jefferson

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
Thomas Jefferson

The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.
Thomas Jefferson

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
Thomas Jefferson

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Thomas Jefferson

It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
Thomas Jefferson

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.
Thomas Jefferson

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
Thomas Jefferson

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Thomas Jefferson

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
Thomas Jefferson

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Thomas Jefferson

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
Thomas Jefferson

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
Thomas Jefferson

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson

Any questions?
 

American

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You appear to be victim of your own premise.
 

American

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No sir, your response is proof of a hypothesis. Thank you for your participation.
You are obviously a windbag. Show me you can even spell Constitution. Come on, I dare you. You should go to the basement, they love guys like you.
 

Wiseone

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You are obviously a windbag. Show me you can even spell Constitution. Come on, I dare you. You should go to the basement, they love guys like you.
Snobbery aside. You have to admit that allowing states to veto Federal laws they view as unconstitutional would result in 50 unique, although perhaps similar in some cases, interpretation of the Constitution?
 

RosieS

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Allowing the states to veto Federal Law is a complete dismantling of the Constitution, which sets up, and maintains, representative government.

Evidently these Faux News viewers Know Nothing of the Articles of Confederation and how that form of the American government turned out.

Those who do not know American history are trying to doom the rest of us, who do, to repeat it.

Regards from Rosie
 

samsmart

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Until the right is capable of proving understanding of the issues they support adequately enough to answer questions demonstrating such understanding, then they are derelict in their duty as Americans to do so. The founding fathers were very clear on the absolute necessity that citizens inform themselves on the issues facing our nation then apply this knowledge to construct an opinion based upon reasoned self interest. I have had no luck anywhere on the internet finding anyone on the right that can demonstrate a basic understanding of the issues they support sufficiently to have formed ANY opinion. No information not taken verbatim from the conservative mediasphere. Propaganda is rife in our national discussion, and the left is affected by its influence as well (2nd amendment, etc.), but the "perfect consensus" which constitutes the "fox" mindset is unnatural. Never in the history of mankind has there been such a consensus on every point of every issue of a platform. Until this can be addressed, opposition to a a constitutional convention is mandatory. (See Howard Zinn for his thoughts on constitutional conventions, it's a little dry, but quite interesting. You won't turn into a pumpkin or anything.) This post will certainly be met with silence or answered in a manner which proves my point. Therefore, as a patriot, I must oppose your suggestion until my concerns can be addressed. I provide the following "talking points" in support of this position:

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson

I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
Thomas Jefferson

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Thomas Jefferson

He who knows best knows how little he knows.
Thomas Jefferson

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Thomas Jefferson

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
Thomas Jefferson

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
Thomas Jefferson

There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world.
Thomas Jefferson

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
Thomas Jefferson

The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.
Thomas Jefferson

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
Thomas Jefferson

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Thomas Jefferson

It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
Thomas Jefferson

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.
Thomas Jefferson

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
Thomas Jefferson

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Thomas Jefferson

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
Thomas Jefferson

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Thomas Jefferson

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
Thomas Jefferson

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
Thomas Jefferson

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson

Any questions?
All of those quotes are from Thomas Jefferson. He was hardly the only Founding Father. Why don't you mention some of what Alexander Hamilton had to say concerning the federal government?
 

American

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Snobbery aside. You have to admit that allowing states to veto Federal laws they view as unconstitutional would result in 50 unique, although perhaps similar in some cases, interpretation of the Constitution?
The federal government has already overstepped its bounds and everyone, including diehard communists, know it. It's time the states declare null and void any law that is unconstitutional. I'm all for the federal govt having supremacy as far as the Constitution intends, but no more.
 

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In recent days the idea of using the Article V convention option in the Constitution received support in an article by Texas US Senator John Cornyn published on the Fox News website. He noted “Recent polling suggests that a plurality of Americans support a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution if Congress will not do so.” He made a good case for using the convention option by saying it “would be part of a national conversation that could last well beyond one or two election cycles. The very length of the convention and ratification process would allow the American people ample opportunity to judge proposed reforms, and ensure that they would strengthen the checks and balances that have served our nation well.”

A few days later, on the pages of the Wall Street Journal a strong case was made for a “repeal amendment” that would give state legislatures the power to veto federal laws, something worth proposing. Though the oped by a professor and the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates did not say so, obviously Congress would never propose such an amendment. That means using an Article V convention whereby state delegates could propose new amendments just as Congress has done, which the Speaker has acknowledged elsewhere.

At the same time a policy report from the Goldwater Institute recommended that “states seriously consider” using the convention option “to restrain the federal government.”

So the issue of using this convention option that Congress has refused to convene despite hundreds of state applications and that establishment powers on the political left and right have long opposed merits serious examination. Start with this: Americans overwhelmingly say they love and respect the Constitution and usually specific amendments, though often different ones on the political left and right. Three frameworks help understanding why most Americans oppose using the Article V convention option. Two explain why convention proponents have not been able to impact most opponents that fit these two frameworks. I offer a third framework or plan of attack which I believe will work.

First, consider the craziness framework. Many Americans have been taught to fear using the convention option, even though it has never been used. They are irrational. This is like being afraid to eat the fruit of the constitutional tree first planted by the Founders even though no one has ever tasted or been harmed by the fruit. Such people stubbornly think they are acting rationally; I think they are crazy and irrational. This delusional thinking based on what is imagined to might happen is not easily changed, because such people have been purposefully and successfully brainwashed. They have an emotional block.

Rather than fear a runaway convention, people should fear our runaway politicians and government. As quoted in the Goldwater Institute paper Ann Stuart Diamond pointed out that the interpretation that an Article V convention would or could rewrite the whole Constitution “is often a rhetorical ploy to terrify sensible people.” The convention can only offer specific amendments. It is time for Americans to recognize their fear of a convention as having no basis in fact. And that those promoting fear themselves fear the reforms in government that a convention could propose.

Second, consider the analytic framework. Many Americans use what they think are rational, substantive arguments. Convention proponents use facts based on the exact language in Article V or other historical facts to objectively contradict wrong-headed thinking. But correcting the record has not worked sufficiently, largely because opponents invent their own facts, ignore correct ones, and consume disinformation disseminated by convention opponents. They have an intellectual block. Cognitive dissonance works to prevent the pain of accepting new information incompatible with their negative views about a convention.

We should not invite, respect or participate in arguments by opponents that fit these two frameworks. We should, in particular, recognize and condemn morally offensive fear mongering used intentionally by convention opponents. Convention opponents seeking protection of their ability to influence the political system and selling fear and disinformation must face their constitutional guilt.

Converting convention opponents to proponents requires a paradigm change, which is very difficult. However, the current justified high level of dissatisfaction with government, politicians and both major political parties and the strong desire for reform of government justify use of a new approach.

The patriotic framework better gets to the root of the problem from a rule of law perspective. Rather than condemn convention opponents as irrational or ignorant, we condemn unpatriotic constitutional hypocrites. When they openly oppose the convention option they are constitutional traitors.

With the patriotic framework we take advantage of frequent strong public support for constitutional amendments not proposed by Congress, including these: In 1996, 74 percent of Americans favored a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that members of Congress and the US Senate could serve. In 2005, 76 percent favored an amendment to allow voluntary prayer in public schools, and in 1983 81 percent favored it. In both 2000 and 2004 61 percent favored amending the Constitution so that the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes would win, replacing the Electoral College. In 1995, a balanced budget amendment passed the House but failed to meet the two-thirds requirement in the Senate by a single vote; this year there is a strong national movement to get it and a number of other amendments that would surely earn broad public support.

The basis for the new framework is this: Virtually everyone professes respect and admiration for the US Constitution and knows that it includes a process for amending it. But if someone opposes using the Article V convention option, then he or she is an unpatriotic constitutional hypocrite. When they openly oppose a convention they are a constitutional traitor replacing the Founders thinking with theirs, putting themselves above the law.

Moreover, it is impermissible to pick and choose what parts of the Constitution are supported and obeyed. Similarly, elected public officials who swear obedience to the Constitution cannot pick and choose which parts to obey. Such behavior makes a mockery of the supreme law of the land, the rule of law, and our constitutional republic. Silence by public officials on the issue is cowardly opposition to using the convention option.

No one can accurately forecast exactly what a convention would propose, but we do know that continuation of the status quo will not eliminate the corruption and dysfunction sustained by the two-party plutocracy. The two major parties are rejected by 58 percent of the public for not effectively representing them, but a convention is far more attractive than forming a competitive third party. Many reforms can only be achieved through constitutional amendments that Congress will never propose; this is inarguable. Voting in elections to get reforms is passé. A hard truth to take, but one that an increasing number of Americans have begun to accept.

Amending the Constitution in our modern world should compete with ordinary elections. With Internet news, blogging, email, tweeting, texting and myriad other forms of instant communication, holding a convention is a new way to satisfy public thirst for true reforms, not promises. Amending the Constitution can be done relatively quickly. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven took one year or less to become the law of the land because of public engagement. The 26th amendment (giving the right to vote to 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified in 1971! Public pressure works. It will work for and against specific amendments. Americans deserve the constitutional opportunity that Congress has deprived them of.

Americans must be taught this: Just by being in the Constitution the convention option demands public support. Citizens are obliged to support it. People cannot be allowed to have it both ways and be two-faced and hypocritical. Embrace the convention option or be openly and aggressively condemned for unpatriotic hypocrisy and behavior that undermines the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law, both crucial for maintaining the integrity of our republic.

Trust is the crucial issue. So many Americans have lost trust in their government and politicians but far less so in their Constitution. Trusting the Constitution means trusting the Founders’ wisdom in providing the Article V convention option. They anticipated the day when citizens would lose trust in the federal government, which has surely arrived. The convention option bypasses Congress, the President and the Supreme Court; it gives power to the states and citizens. Wisely, ratification by the states is required for any proposed amendments from a convention, providing a hedge against dangerous amendments. When it comes to reform and making government work for we the people, the greatest risk for the nation is not using the convention option.

What political powers on the left and right fear and oppose we the people must demand. They are guilty constitutional traitors. We must be courageous patriots. There is no room for compromise with convention opponents. We must shame and embarrass them; they are lousy citizens. The time to argue about specific amendments is when the convention is in session and delegates must contend with public sentiments and later when proposed amendments are considered for ratification by states.

We cannot know with certainty whether holding a convention would revitalize the nation. But refusing to use the convention option as a constitutional path to reform disrespects and undermines our constitutional republic. The sorry state of the nation demands that we do more than just talk about it. This year every candidate for the House and Senate should be compelled to publicly support using the convention option. Lack of support for it should be grounds for defeating them.

[A shorter version of this article was presented at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Article V symposium in Lansing, Michigan on September 16, 2010; contact Joel S. Hirschhorn, a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention, through delusionaldemocracy.com.]
A balanced budget amendment would be bad for America. It means we wouldn't be able to grow our economy through the use of debt. Instead, I'd support an amendment that limits how high our debt can grow.

Allowing state legislatures to veto federal law wouldn't end the corruption of the federal government. Instead, it would just put the ability for corruption in the hands of state governments. Rather, I'd prefer it if the people had the power to repeal federal laws through the use of popular initiatives. If you're going to do this for the sake of "the people" then give that power directly to the people.
 

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Allowing the states to veto Federal Law is a complete dismantling of the Constitution, which sets up, and maintains, representative government.

Evidently these Faux News viewers Know Nothing of the Articles of Confederation and how that form of the American government turned out.

Those who do not know American history are trying to doom the rest of us, who do, to repeat it.

Regards from Rosie
Allowing a continued expansion of the federal government is a dismantaling of the Constitution of which the Founders warned us.
 

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Allowing a continued expansion of the federal government is a dismantaling of the Constitution of which the Founders warned us.
Demonstrate how giving individual states veto power over individual Federal laws is different than the form of American government which existed under the Articles of Confederation.

Regars from Rosie
 

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Demonstrate how giving individual states veto power over individual Federal laws is different than the form of American government which existed under the Articles of Confederation.

Regars from Rosie
It cannot be demonstrated. Considering your leaning, it's no wonder you feel the states have no power at all. Read the 10th Amendment.
 

RosieS

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Give the man Brownie points.There isn't a difference. Now tell me how the Articles of Confederation form of American government worked. Well or poorly? This should be a really easy ? since the U.S. government is a representative republic these days.

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Oh well. Ok...a freebie. Government under the Articles of Confederation worked horribly. The Articles of Confederation were all about states' rights. Things were so bad that a Convention was called to draft...guess what? The U.S. Constitution!

That's why laws that aren't specifically in the Constitution are the ONLY ones that can be decided by the individual states to apply only to that individual state. If states don't like the Federal laws they can work in Congress to change them or the individual state can try to secede. We know how well THAT worked the first time, don't we?

So how reactionary does a party have to be to try to take the U.S. back to a time before the Constitution existed? To a time where the form of government was a horrible failure? How un-Constitutional, literally, is THAT? And also knowing that that states' rights form of governance resulted in the need to have our Constitution in the first place?

And how cynical (and desperate) of an attempted power grab is it to assume that the U.S. electorate is so ignorant of its own history as to repeat a country-wide failure?

Regards from Rosie
 
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It cannot be demonstrated. Considering your leaning, it's no wonder you feel the states have no power at all. Read the 10th Amendment.
Which says that powers not granted to the federal government are given to the states and to the people.

Which, as I see it, is more a justification for popular initiatives for federal laws than it is to give state governments veto powers over federal laws.
 

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Which says that powers not granted to the federal government are given to the states and to the people.

Which, as I see it, is more a justification for popular initiatives for federal laws than it is to give state governments veto powers over federal laws.
What it says is the federal govt is limited, and can't just do anything it wants. If the fed presumes a power not delegated to it, the state can proclaim it void. The power doesn't come from the federal govt, it goes to the federal govt.
 

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It cannot be demonstrated. Considering your leaning, it's no wonder you feel the states have no power at all. Read the 10th Amendment.
Oh, well if you have the 10th amendment then we don't need a constitutional convention do we? :)

Giving individual states the discretionary power to override the Federal government didn't work out well the first time. Nobody is saying the Feds should always win, but we can't have the ability to override federal mandates at the whim of a state legislature, because that eliminates the purpose of a federal government entirely. Imagine a speed limit sign that says "60mph, but you can decide to ignore this if you want." A 3rd party needs to arbitrate disputes over constitutional issues. I sometimes wonder if the right wing understands why we have a judicial branch in the first place, after the complaints about the results of the Prop 8 case.
 

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What it says is the federal govt is limited, and can't just do anything it wants. If the fed presumes a power not delegated to it, the state can proclaim it void. The power doesn't come from the federal govt, it goes to the federal govt.
The only thing I'm arguing with you about is that the will of the people trumps the will of state governments. Because I am just as wary as state government as I am of the federal government.

So if we're going to give any kind of veto power, I want to give it directly to the people, in the form of popular initiatives.
 

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The federal government has already overstepped its bounds and everyone, including diehard communists, know it. It's time the states declare null and void any law that is unconstitutional. I'm all for the federal govt having supremacy as far as the Constitution intends, but no more.
That's what the SCOTUS is for.
 

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What it says is the federal govt is limited, and can't just do anything it wants. If the fed presumes a power not delegated to it, the state can proclaim it void. The power doesn't come from the federal govt, it goes to the federal govt.
So what if one state declares it void and another state doesn't? Or does it only take one state to declare something void? You understand how this would cause 50 completely separate laws to develop in each state, since Constitutional law is all about interpretation.

Also you failed to respond to the part of the Constitution which specifically gives the SCOTUS the power to do what you are saying the states should be doing. I'm assuming you would repeal that power from the SCOTUS, or perhaps both the states and the SCOTUS would have that power. Either way you can't get around a fact that you are railing against changes in the meaning, interpretation, and letter of the Constitution and to save the Constitution you propose... changing the meaning, interpretation, and letter of the Constitution.

You see the contradiction. You want to preserve the Constitution in its original form by changing it from its original form. I understand someone wanting to change the Constitution, its meant to be changed after all via amendment process and SCOTUS rulings. However you cannot at the same time preserve the original meaning while at the same time changing the original meaning, its a literally impossibility.
 

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You are obviously a windbag. Show me you can even spell Constitution. Come on, I dare you. You should go to the basement, they love guys like you.
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