Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beware of a new Constitutional Convention

I though we had stopped the Doomsday machine, but I was wrong. That line has been used before in more than one Science Fiction movie but for now it is very real for every citizen of the United States.

When I became interested in politics some forty years ago I learned of an effort back in the sixties to convene a new Constitutional Convention. The purpose then was to update a few of the provisions our Founding Fathers had overlooked, such as Balanced Budgets and the Equal Rights Amendment (does anyone remember the ERA). The idea back then was mostly endorsed by liberal groups as a way to permanently install their left-wing agenda on the rest of the country. Many conservatives fought against this and we all thought we had won the battle. We were wrong! Please keep reading.

I just discovered that one rule of the process to convene a Constitutional Convention never dies. That rule, which calls for the state legislatures of 34 states to pass a resolution in favor of this, remains on the record forever. As of today 32 states have now done so and only two more are needed. The final push is concentrating on Ohio. Wyoming passed such a resolution ten years ago and has been trying ever since to find a way to rescind it but the law does not allow for that.

What is the greatest threat to all of us if such a convention were convened? The delegates would have the authority to completely rewrite the present Constitution and eliminate the Bill of Rights, for one thing. Quite literally this would mean the end of the United States of America as we know it.

" Chuck Baldwin, presidential candidate for the Constitution Party said "If called, a modern Constitutional Convention could declare the U.S. Constitution to be null and void, and could completely rewrite the document. For example, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger once declared, 'There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda.'"

Baldwin warned the "Big-Government liberals and neocons" in Washington would adopt a "collective rights" document.

"At that point, there is no more United States of America. There would be no more Bill of Rights protecting individuals from governmental abuse and overreach. Furthermore, the principles of Natural Law would be forever removed as a basis of all our nation's laws and statutes. The nation that had been bequeathed to us by our forebears would be gone forever," he said."

If you live in Ohio or know someone who does please let them know, you should consider writing your elected state officials and tell them what a bad idea this would be.

I recently attended a rally organized by the Cincinnati Tea Party here in Northern Kentucky. After listening for an hour to two presentations on the real case behind global warming and the healthcare scare the president of the Tea Party began talking about the NEED for a new Constitutional Convention. He mentioned some good points but when I questioned him about the possibility of a rogue bunch of Liberals throwing out The Bill of Rights and trying to rewrite the entire Constitution he showed me how misinformed he was. He said that even if such an attempt was made the rewritten Constitution would have to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures. WRONG. A Constitutional Convention does not function under the same rules that applies to an amendment to the Constitution. The delegates to the convention are appointed by the state legislatures to act in their place and with full autonomous authority. Their work needs only to be approved by the majority of the other delegates before it becomes our new Constitution.

Below is the full text of Article V of the United States Constitution which spells out the rule.

Article V

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.

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