Since 2013, out of state lobbyist, on both sides of the political spectrum, have spent much time and money attempting to get New Hampshire to pass resolutions applying for an Article V Convention. Thankfully, they have been unsuccessful. However, they are back with two resolutions HCR 1 and HCR 4.
What is an Article V Convention?
Article V of the U.S Constitution lists the two ways to amend the Constitution. The first way is where 2/3rds of the U.S. House and Senate pass proposed amendments, and then these proposed amendments go to the states for ratification where 3/4ths of the states must ratify them by state legislators or by state ratifying conventions. Congress decides which mode of ratification to use. The other way, which we have wisely never used, is where 2/3rds of the states apply for a national convention for the purpose of “proposing amendments,” delegates to the convention propose amendments and then these proposed amendments will go to the states for ratification.
Here are a few reasons against an Article V Convention:
1, There are currently no rules or laws guiding an Article V Convention. There have been some “wayward delegate” bills introduced in some states, but they are unenforceable and unconstitutional. It is the job of Congress, under the “necessary and proper” clause of the U.S. Constitution, to make laws guiding a convention. Over the years, numerous bills to govern an Article V Convention have been proposed by Congress but never passed.
2, We have no idea who the delegates will be. Will the majority be made up of conservative constitutionalists who love the U.S. Constitution or “progressives” who tend to hate the U.S. Constitution and see it as an anachronistic racist relic? Will delegates include members of Congress who Article V supporters rightfully see as part of the problem?
3, We have no idea how delegate will be chosen. Will they be elected by the people, appointed by state legislatures or by governors? If they are to be elected, will out of state money be used to influence the outcome? Will we have to suffer another season of mind-numbing attack ads?
4, A convention cannot be limited to a single issue or topic. State legislators have no Constitutional power to limit a convention.
5, Wil the votes of the delegates be one state, one vote as Article V supporters content, or will it be based on electoral votes. I do not know and neither do supporters of an Article V Convention. If votes are based on electoral votes, New Hampshire will have four votes, California 55, and New York 29.
6, Bad amendments can not only pass a convention but can be ratified by 3/4th of the states. The 16th Amendment giving us an income tax and 17th Amendment that radically changed the state-federal balance of power were passed by the 3/4ths of the states. Mike Farris of Convention of States, who recently testified before a New Hampshire committee, is calling for structural change of the Constitution, including a 50-member Supreme Court-something he failed to tell committee members. Professor Larry Lessig, a colleague of Convention of States founder Mark Meckler, called for a rewrite of the U.S. Constitution. I actually videotaped an interview with him and Wolf PAC founder Cenk Uygur where he hoped for a “runaway convention.”
8, A term limits amendment proposed by “conservative” Article V supporters may “get the bums out” after 12 years, but will also limit good members of Congress. It will also give us a permanent “lame duck” Congress.
Article V Convention supporters incorrectly content that the Founders gave us the convention method to rein in an abusive federal government. The Founders gave us the convention method if Congress was unwilling to correct defects in the Constitution. Our problem is not a defective U.S. Constitution but defective elected officials and voters many of whom support an abusive federal government.
Without realizing it, Mark Meckler, founder of Convention of States, made an excellent argument against an Article V. In a statement made to an entity called Living Room Conversations, https://livingroomconversations.org/about-us/team/ where he is listed, along with Van Jones, as a “champion,” he said: “I have come to realize that the largest divide in this country is not between the citizens of one party or another but between the citizens and the Ruling Elite in Washington, D.C and the state capitols.” In my opinion, he is playing into the hands of the elites he claims to be against.
(Meckler with Joanne Blades of Living Roo
Living Conversations and the Soros funded
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