There are efforts across the United States to amend the Constitution under the excuse that America’s Founding Fathers told us to change our Constitution when it is not being obeyed. This is deceptive, untrue, and easily debunked with facts.

Several well-financed groups masked in faux “grass roots” clothing are pushing state legislatures to pass resolutions (also known as petitions) to have Congress call for a convention to amend the United States Constitution. Article V of the Constitution empowers Congress to call such a convention.

Article V prescribes how the Constitution may be changed. The 27 prior amendments were changed via the first part of Article V where Congress votes to propose amendments and then sends them to the states to be ratified to become part of the Constitution. The second method, which is never been used, is where 2/3 of the states petition Congress under Article V to call a convention which they are required to do when that 2/3 threshold is met.

Convention promoters claim that this is what the Founders intended whenever the federal government usurped the limits of its power and invaded the authority of the states. This is not true. A careful reading of Madison’s Journal of the 1787 Constitutional Convention on June 11 and September 15, 1787, demonstrates the purpose was to ensure the several states had the authority to petition for a convention when they felt that the authorized distribution of powers between the states and federal governments were out of balance and the federal refused to address such. It was designed so the states could initiate the repair of “defects” (errors) as well as the federal government, not to put the federal government back in the box it came in. A rational consideration of such should lead to the obvious realization that a changed document being ignored will command no greater obedience once changed.

The problem comes from a terrible misreading of the history of the Constitution and supporting documents. The Founders never intended that we amend the Constitution to make Congress obey it. They wrote extensively on this. In fact, the second part of Article V was designed for a time when the federal government might become tyrannical and refused to adjust the authorized distribution of powers between the federal government and the states. This is a very important point that is distorted by the Article V convention advocates. They claim that when the current, illegal usurpation of the authorized division of powers occurs, that changing the Constitution will make Congress obey it.

In 1791, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “…it is important to strengthen the state governments: and as this cannot be done by any change in the federal constitution, (for the preservation of that is all we need contend for)….” In fact, we see that the Convention of States (COS) organization reversed Jefferson’s advice quite deceptively. See our article documenting Convention of States falsifying Thomas Jefferson’s Advice.

The Founders did talk about the state legislators also being responsible for enforcement of the federal Constitution. Under Article VI of the Constitution, state legislators take an oath to their state constitution and the federal Constitution, to give effect to the Constitution. They are required to push back against unconstitutional acts of the federal government. With 30-50% of state budgets funded by unconstitutional federal spending, state legislators aren’t doing their jobs.

A convention under Article V can be extremely dangerous. There are state conventions that exceeded their authority and moved quickly to implement their proposals. Litigation ensued, but because litigation was slow, and the usurpers moved so fast, the courts eventually declared any resolution a moot point and the usurpation became law.

The key is that during the 1787 Convention, 9 of the 12 states that attended put clear restrictions in their delegate commissions that anything that came out of the convention had to be approved by Congress and all of the states before being implemented. Rhode Island, which did not attend, sent a letter also telling the convention they must have Congress and all states ratify changes. While that convention was not called under the authority of the Articles of Confederation (AOC) that were then in effect, those restrictions mimicked Article 13 of the AOC. Article 7 of the draft Constitution only required 9 of the 13 states to put it into effect, throwing the AOC overboard.

Our opponents will say that we hate the Constitution, or we refuse to follow the Constitution based on what was said above. This simply is not true. Ultimately the Constitution was ratified by the highest power in the land, and that is the people. However, in Federalist 40, the Founders clearly explained that they exceeded the tenor of their commission, as numerous other documentation reveals. They followed that persistent human condition that flies in the face of Liberty, the passion of honorable men for using governmental constructs to fix far more “problems” than is actually needed and far more than they are actually authorized to fix by The People.

It’s important to talk about a practical analysis of why a convention to change the Constitution, isn’t capable of putting the government back in the box it came in. Advocates for changing the Constitution are saying that the way to make people obey a speed limit is to change the speed limit, rather than issue tickets. They are also saying that when a spouse cheats against marriage vows, rather than getting counseling and healing the marriage, they are suggesting rewriting marriage vows to allow extracurricular activity. They are literally saying that a piece of paper, our wonderful Constitution, that is being disobeyed, will suddenly be obeyed and legislators will become angels, once that piece of paper is changed. This is absurd.

Solutions that align with the Founder’s advice will involve principles observed in “The Power of 500” model. In Montana’s one congressional district, Constitutional Scholar Robert Brown began pushing his congressman towards the Constitution. His congressman’s votes had been hovering around the 50% constitutional mark. In less than 6 months, he’d moved up to 90% adherence to the Constitution in his votes.

Around the state 500 people were organized to interact with the congressman assertively, but respectfully, at regular intervals asking why he voted the way he did and reminding them what the Constitution says. Imagine the cooperation that could take place and things that could happen if in fact this was implemented in every congressional district in the United States. It would only take 256,000 people directly engaged, when those working to rewrite the Constitution claim they have 3 million supporters. Seems like they do not want to enforce the Constitution, but rather, change it.

Robert Kelly, the attorney for COS, told a briefing meeting on February 5 in the Boise Idaho Legislature, which I attended personally, that after the convention amends the Constitution, it will still require millions of activists to be involved in supporting it. Further, he concurred with our assessment and several Article V promoter attorneys on their statements that enforcement will still ultimately require litigation.

Why don’t we skip opening up the Constitution in the operating room and instead just get citizens active in their government as the Founders advised us? Jefferson wrote that we are not to change the Constitution to stop usurpation, so why doesn’t the COS use their claimed large following to actually enforce the Constitution instead of changing it? That is because they aren’t interested in enforcing it. Their corporate taskmasters want it changed. (Follow the money!)

It would take years for a potential convention to get called, organize delegates attend proceed through the convention. It will take many more years to get proposed amendments ratified as well as to get through the numerous lawsuits that will arise. We could be talking anywhere from 10 to 30 years or more for the process to play out.

Using the Power of 500 to “supervise” legislators is the right thing. It draws out the human nature desire to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. Legislators that do the right thing will receive much positive publicity from this and the genuine support of their constituents for reelection. This puts the people ahead of the swamp of corporate and lobbyist funding.

Here is what to do now. Become a referrer on the Guard The Constitution network. Help us find quality, thought-provoking analysis of current day situations and how we can make them line up with the Constitution. Maybe a new law doesn’t need to be passed, rather maybe one needs to be removed? Share links to articles and stories with friends as a referrer, with your links tagged, helping us earn revenue where we pay you a significant part, even on people you refer to us if they come back directly on their own and become a permanent reader, you will still earn revenue.

We will move towards an activism network to put the power 500 to work. Stay engaged, stay in touch, and learn about Article V. Learn about the truth, follow the money, and prevent the Constitution from being rewritten and help us enforce it.

Footnotes:

1 US Constitution, Article V Complete Text: “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.”

Shawn founded Guard The Constitution to prosecute the important effort of preventing the deceptive Article V convention effort to re-write our Constitution. Over time, it became obvious that coordinating patriots in efforts to take our government back were possible, important, and a priority.

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