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Is it Time for a Constitutional Convention?

Article 5, US Constitution:

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.

The constitutional battle between the states and the federal government is heating up. Recent examples are:

Attorney Generals of 12 states have filed suit against the Federal Government’s new healthcare bill immediately after the president’s signed it into law ( Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington and Colorado, Virginia filed a separate lawsuit in March.  The state of Arizona is locked in a judicial battle with the feds on whether a state can defend itself from thousands of illegal immigrants by enforcing immigration law when the feds refuse to do so. Another example ( As I wrote in my April 27th article Property Rights, Eminent Domain, and State Sovereignty ) is the federal governments plan to seize 10 million acres of state land without getting consent of the states involved. Over the last 40 years many congresses of both parties have passed un-funded mandates to the states and there has been a growing resentment in many state capitals that the federal government has overstepped its constitutional bounds and is completely out of control. In response to these federal power grabs a dozen or more state legislatures have passed sovereignty resolutions reserving their rights under the 10th amendment.

This war on individual state sovereignty started around 1900 and I believe will come to head in the next Ten years. At stake is the very doctrine of federalism that the founders took great pains to put into the constitution. This doctrine is essential to our individual freedoms and to our republic itself.  The founders knew that a powerful central government would continue to grow if there were no checks to its acclamation of power and that is why they included a consitutional remedy to the states if this should happen. The remedy is listed under Article Five of the constitution in which two-thirds of the states through their legislatures can call for a constitutional convention.

Many critics to this approach point out the inherent danger of this course of action since there is no provision listed in the constitution that can limit the scope of any convention that is called. They point to history that the original constitutional in 1787 violated the amendment process of the Articles of Confederation that preceded it. I do not take this call to this action lightly but I believe we are at a point in our history in which the states must reign in the federal government or otherwise they will in the near future cease to be considered as sovereign entities and become mere provinces. If this power grab by the federal government continues I can foresee in lifetime of some of us serious secession movements in many states.

My answers to the critics of calling for a constitutional convention are these:

1) The Federal Government has already overstepped the bounds of their constitutional power in the last 40 years, and the states share part of the responsibility by readily accepting federal largess but failing to realize this always eventually comes with a price: loss of individual freedom for its citizens and the exponential loss of their rights.

2) Any remedy through the federal courts is now almost impossible because of the appointment of activist judges that have little regard to the original intent of the founders.

3) Many in congress do not consider a bill’s constitutionality before proposing or voting and a few recently have the audacity to state publicly that the federal government has the power to do almost anything.

4) Any amendments that were approved by any constitutional convention would have to be approved by three fourths of the states through state ballot or their legislatures so I think that any fear of a hijacked convention that would eliminate constitutional protections and individual rights are in error.

I think this is a intellectual “Bogey Man” that the progressives who want to destroy the constitution by neglect, stealth and death by a thousand cuts trot out to discourage this discussion.  I believe there is a good chance that if two thirds of the states call for article five convention it would scare the federal government to make concessions to the states to limit its power to what is already prescribed  under the constitution and therefore would not even have to take place at all.

My friends its up to us to take control of our destiny, ether we continue on the road to a post constitutional America in which the rights of the state and our unalienable rights granted by God are perverted by the government and doled out as it sees fit or we take up the challenge to restore America under its constitution, the choice is ours to make may God assist us in choosing the right path.

Just my opinion-D.B.

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