Mike Farris, Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and the head of the Convention of the States Project has been in Richmond at the General Assembly lobbying for Virginia to join his project. [read_more]The House of Delegates and the Senate will vote this week on proposals to join the Convention of States. In the House it is Scott Lingamfelter’s bill, HJ 497. Details of the bill can be found here. The Senate bill, SJ 269, was introduced by Ryan T. McDougle, details here. The vote in the House is not predicted to be close but the Senate is a different story.
Mike Farris and Senator Black have had an ongoing debate about the merits of a Convention of the States. Senator Black has always been open to debate on this subject but he has never, ever, been anything but a gentleman in his discussions. Senator Black would never, ever, call names or threaten anyone. I wish I could say the same about Mr. Farris, but I cannot. Senator Dick Black is our most stalwart conservative in Richmond. He has proven over and over that he will never cave on core conservative values. He carries the banner for all of us, often against incredible odds, and unbelievable pressure from all sides, both inside and outside the government. He has always carried the conservative banner in a way that makes us proud, always the kind, caring, gentlemen that he is at his core.
Now comes Mike Farris who so is so anxious to expand his project that he is threatening the best and most courageous conservative we have in Richmond. Three times he has threatened to mount a primary against Black if the Senator continues to disagree with him! He will primary Senator Black over something that is not even a core conservative principle, but a subject that can be debated by well-meaning people on both sides of the issue. We have tried to present both sides of the issue on this blog but we we cannot abide threats to Senator Black. Mr. Farris needs to stop these threats immediately and apologize to Senator Black.
Below is Mike Farris’s statement to Senator Black about the COS and Senator Black’s rebuttal in red.
Michael Farris, J.D., LL.M., Constitutional Lawyer & Chancellor of Patrick Henry College
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, George Mason of Virginia insisted that there would come a day when the federal government would abuse the authority it was given under the Constitution. Mason therefore insisted that the States be given the power to propose amendments to the Constitution to rein in the Federal Government. Mason said that Congress would never propose amendments to restrict federal power. And he has been proven right.
Mason was in a minority of only THREE delegates to the 1787 convention that took this view.
Dick Black’s “Urgent” Appeal is false, deceptive, and demeaning to all Virginians. Here’s why:
1.BLACK CREATES A FALSE IMPRESSION OF IMPENDING CHANGE TO THE CONSTITUTION.
Black claims that “Virginia will vote to change the Constitution of the United States in a few days.” This is a far cry from the reality both as to the timing and as to the scope of the Convention. Virginia is set to vote on whether to begin the process of considering the proposal of specific amendments to the Constitution. We are years away from making any amendments (34 states must first approve the call, the convention must be held, and 38 states must ratify any proposals coming out of the convention before any change is made to the Constitution.
Black claims that Virginia could be the “tipping point” to get to 34 states. This is based on the idea that many states have already called for a convention, and that adding Virginia to the list would bring us to the needed number.
This claim is demonstrably false and nothing better than a blatant attempt to incite panic.
This claim is not false. There is nothing in Article V that requires a petition for an Article V convention to specify a certain topic. It only requires a petition to be made. Mr. Farris has no legal foundation to make his claim that a petition for an Article V convention is required to identify a specific purpose for its request, nor that there must be 34 matching petitions asking to address the same subject in order for the 34 state threshold to be met. If he has such proof, he should provide it.
The two specific resolutions in front of the Virginia General Assembly are for an Article V Convention to limit federal power and jurisdiction (HJ 497) and an Article V Convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499).
Three states have passed the first application, and 24 states have passed the second. Virginia would not be the 34th state for either measure.
Black’s assertion that Virginia could be the tipping point is based on the clearly erroneous assumption that Article V applications can never be rescinded.
Senator Black makes no such claim. In fact, in 2004, then “Delegate” Black was co-sponsor of a resolution to rescind Virginia’s previous application for an Article V Convention that stated in part:
“WHEREAS, the operations of a convention are unknown and the apportionment and selection of delegates, method of voting in convention, and other essential procedural details are not specified in Article V of the Constitution of the United States;”
This passed the House of Delegates 91-5 (Lingamfelter voting Yea) and the Senate 37-0. (HJ 194 – 2004)
Every serious Article V legal scholar understands that rescissions are valid. I personally litigated a case regarding rescissions of ratifications of proposed constitutional amendments under Article V. The federal court holding is that rescissions of ratifications are indeed binding. Idaho v. Freeman, 529 F.Supp. 1107 (D.Idaho 1981).
The ruling on this case was stayed by the court on Jan. 25, 1982. As such it is technically not binding.
The simple truth is that we are years away from voting on actual amendments to the Constitution. If these applications pass, Virginia will be the 4th state to call for a Convention of States to restrict federal power and the 25th state to call for a Balanced Budget Amendment. These applications can only trigger a convention where amendments will be debated, drafted, and then sent on to the states for ratification. They will “change” the Constitution only if ratified by 38 states.
According to Mr. Farris’ own organization, we are not years away. Rita Dunaway, who works for Mr. Farris, stated in a public meeting on Jan. 10th that they were no more than one year away (two at the outside) from calling a convention.
2. LIBERAL ORGANIZATIONS CITED BY DICK BLACK ARE NOT “PUSHING FOR THIS.”
Black claims that George Soros, Code Pink, MoveOn.org, New Progressive Alliance and 100 other liberal groups “are pushing for this.”
None of these entities have endorsed or “pushed for” the Convention of States (HJ 497) or a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499) in Virginia or any other state.
There is nothing in Article V that requires state petitions to be for matching subjects, nor is there any legal foundation that can be pointed to that can limit an Article V convention to the subjects specified in the petitions of the states.
Not one of these entities even mentions Article V on their website (georgesoros.com, codepink.org, moveon.org, occupywallst.org, andnewprogs.org). Not once. Moveon.org mentions Article V of the Wisconsin Constitution and Article V of the Geneva Convention. The Occupy Wall Street website includes reader comments discussing Article V. But not once is there any mention of Article V of the U.S. Constitution by these organizations. Pure silence.
MoveToAmend.org lists all the supporters of amending the constitution for the purposes of limiting money in politics. Wolf-Pac.com (funded by George Soros) specifically lists an Article V convention as a preferred tool to amend the Constitution. Under Section 3, it states, “Once we have found those states that are the most receptive to joining this battle with us we will focus our time, effort, and money on them until we get that vital and historic first state to call for an Article V. Convention for the purpose of limiting the influence that money has over our political process. According to Article V of our Constitution, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications.” http://www.wolf-pac.com/the_plan
Dick Black’s source for this claim is a website operated by a group that is seeking an Article V convention for a wholly different purpose. This group seeks to repeal the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. The organization listed are endorsing the repeal of Citizens United. No organization with that movement has “pushed for” or endorsed either the Convention of States (HJ 497) or a Balanced Budget Amendment (HJ 499) in Virginia or any other state.
Black’s claim that these liberal organizations are “pushing for this”—referring to the bills slated to be voted on by the Virginia General Assembly—is a blatant falsehood.
There is no legal foundation that allows anyone to limit the scope of an Article V convention. It doesn’t matter why Mr. Farris seeks to call one. Once a convention is convened, it can consider any amendment it chooses. If Mr. Farris has any legal foundation to back up his claims, he should provide it.
- WE DO KNOW HOW DELEGATES ARE CHOSEN
Dick Black says that there is no law which states how delegates to the Convention are chosen. There was no such law in place in 1787 when Virginia chose its delegates to the Constitutional Convention. The legislature had the inherent power to appoint delegates—who represent Virginia—and it did so. The Virginia General Assembly has that same power today, and it comes from Virginia’s sovereign power and Article V of the Constitution.
An Article V convention will be called by Congress, not the states. As such Congress has the power to determine whether or not the States will even be represented at said convention. If Congress does decide to include the states, they can decide to give states proportional representation, similar to the Electoral College. If Mr. Farris has any legal foundation to back up his claims, he should provide it.
4. THE CONVENTION WILL BE LIMITED TO PROPOSING AMENDMENTS THAT LIMIT THE POWER OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
Black claims (citing a video by the John Birch Society) that a convention cannot be limited to the subjects identified in the state applications, but will necessarily throw open the entire constitution. In fact they claim that our original Constitution is invalid because it, too, was adopted by a “runaway convention.”
This argument has been thoroughly discredited.
Dick Black needs to explain why he is listening to and promoting these dangerous people, who have admitted that they will pursue secession if their “plans” for nullification are unsuccessful.
It is not Senator Black that needs to provide proof of his claims. It is up to Mr. Farris to provide proof of the legal foundation that he claims will allow him to limit the scope of an Article V convention. No such legal foundation exists. If Mr. Farris has such legal foundation to back his claim, he should provide it.
Furthermore, the convention delegates themselves decide upon the rules governing what can be discussed at the convention. Just like every convention convened throughout history. One of the first orders of business at a convention is to vote upon the rules of said convention. The delegates themselves make that decision. They are not bound by the subject matter of any specific petition for a convention.
- CONGRESS HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE CONVENTION ONCE IT IS TRIGGERED.
You can see from the text of Article V itself that Congress only has two duties with regard to the Convention mechanism. It aggregates the applications and “calls” the Convention once 34 states apply for a Convention to propose a certain type of amendments. Then it chooses between two specified methods of ratification for any amendment proposals that come out of the Convention—each of which requires 38 states to ratify.
The term “call” used in Article V is a legal term of art with regard to the Convention process. To “call” a Convention is not to control it, determine its rules or decide who represents the parties! Rather, to “call” a Convention is to announce the date, time and location for it to facilitate its occurrence. Virginia “called” the Constitutional Convention in 1787. But did it unilaterally determine the rules or select the delegates from other states? Of course not!
Review any “call” for a convention and one of the things you will see spelled out is who shall be eligible to be a delegate, how many delegate “votes” there will be, and where those votes shall come from, including whether or not there will be weighted voting, among many other issues. The “call” for a convention does not merely set the time and place. It provides the structure for the convention.
The 1787 convention did not have such a requirement that Congress “call” the convention, but Article V of the Constitution does. If Mr. Farris has any legal foundation to prove otherwise, he should provide it.
Some of the arguments made by Dick Black are matters of opinion, and as such, are not untruthful per se–even if they have been rejected by most legal scholars. But when he says that Virginia could be the “tipping point,” and when he says that George Soros and Moveon.org are “pushing for this,” he has spoken untruthfully about material facts.
Mr. Farris provides to you a vision of how he believes an Article V convention should be called and run. If it indeed ran that way, we would probably support him. Unfortunately, he has no legal foundation to back up his claims, and he is putting the very founding document of our Country at great risk if he is wrong.
We are not willing to take that chance.
Just arrest usurpers and be done with it. Start over!
If I may comment on some of the red text above…
1. Mason was in a minority. . Really? Then how did his requirement that the States be granted to power to cause a Convention to be called end up as part of Article V of our Constitution?
2. Article V does not specify a certain topic. Yes it does. The word, “Application” in article V is capitalized denoting a singular noun. Therefore, there must be one application submitted by 34 states. It’s reasonable that 34 copies of the application be submitted… one from each state, but they must obviously have to be the same.
3. “Senator Black makes no such claim” No, but his use of the term “Tipping Point” certainly connotes completing the action.
4. we are not years away… Calling the Convention within possibly two years is a long way from voting on ratifying its proposed amendments.
I could go on and on. This lovely lady is bending the truth to suit her pre-determined John Birch Society opposition to an action that most reasonable conservatives agree is absolutely necessary.
Few would argue that Washington has usurped the power of the States and the People. Should we wait for Congress to return their power to the States? Ha!
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
What an idiot. Why live in fear? Any constitutional amendment coming out of an article IV convention still has to be passed by the same 34 state majority as an amendment sponsored by congress. Who cares about the procedural details…let the states give it a shot. It is better than what we have now in Washington.
Excellent point! I think everyone who opposes it should mount a primary challenge against everyone who supports it and vice versa. Having conservatives gauge each other’s eyes out all over the state is a fantastic idea. Especially in a year when Democrats had been expecting stinging defeats. Mike Farris and Mark Levin are the gifts that just keep on giving so, “Happy Birthday Democrats, it’s your lucky day!”
In the Washington Post today, it had an article gleefully reporting on how conservatives are going at each other because of this proposal. One Democrat said, “I’m against it, but if we have one, I want to be a delegate,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax). “There’s a lot of problems with this Constitution. I’ll just get up to this convention and start whacking away.”
If we can’t even convince conservatives that the law is clear, wait until the Democrats join the fight. I don’t know who’s brilliant idea it was to bring this up in an election year, but this is why conservatives will continue to win little battles and lose the war.
Here is the ignored, but Founders recommended solution. 10 TH Amendment.
The solution is simple, clean and protects the Constitution. So why are the promoters ignoring this?
As an old military analyst, because they have other plans. Too many spoons in the soup.
Excellent points made here. I posted additional information which might be helpful, illustrating how they are scrubbing pages that showed too many links to questionable groups they have been working with. Supporters must ask themselves why pages are being scrubbed.
If this COS is about a balanced budget amendment, why would the states support it?
Aren’t people who support this COS really asking for a major, over the top tax increase? Do you not realize that government is not going to stop spending? What power do the politicians have without money to spend? Why do we not hear the Republican’s’ talking about campaign finance and PAC money reform with a COS?
If power is transferred back to the states, the states will abuse it just like the Feds do. These people are cut from the same cloth. Just look at the corruption in Virginia government now, ask yourself do you want to give them more power?
You are being “baited” with what the COS supporters say a COS would be limited to.
Actually, given your statement about the states power, it’s pretty clear you are not really a conservative but rather a provocateur.
What is the title that you give to people who believe that it is possible for a government to legislate honesty, ethics, integrity? Legislate righteousness?
Our problem’s are not the Constitution. Our problem is our love of evil, instead of trying to be a society that attempts to follow even the most basic Biblical principles.
Government is a direct reflection of the majority of the people that it governs in a Democracy. Not liking what you see?
Thank you, excellent. Here is the Constitution protecting solution the Founders intended.
Reinhart…You understanding of COS is not accurate, and I don’t agree with your assumption that the states “will abuse it just like the feds”…
First, please understand, this is not about me being right and proving you wrong…this is about sharing ideas…If you make a valid point, I will both learn from you and acknowledge that you are right…I have no ego in this…I ask you for the same courtesy…
Let me explain why I believe the states are in a much better position to manage our money and our liberties…
1. I think most people will agree that the closer to home we get, the more common the interests of the people…People from the same community have much more in common. Even on divisive issues, the practicality and cost of laws hit much closer to home ie, who is going to pay for this? Your taxes will go up to X, if you want to do Y. The mentality is different when we have to pay the cost ourselves, vs “let somebody else pay for it”.
The partisan lines between “left” and “right” become blurred in communities. People are more likely to vote for the best candidate over their party, this is not so in the Federal elections. People will vote differently on a state level. The last election illustrates this well…
2. State Legislators live in the community they represent and spend more time in the community they live in.
3. State legislators are typically not “career politicians”.
4. Specials interest groups are almost a non-issue in state districts compared to national lobbyists owning our Congress.
5. State Legislators are voted in and out with a much smaller number of people. This makes it is much easier to hold a local legislator accountable than it is to hold a Congressman or Senator accountable.
Since our founding, our Federal Government, and those that are elected to Federal Office, have been evolving into a highly complex system that has both consolidated and usurped power from the states while at the same time making it next to impossible for the people to collectively hold them accountable…The system has become a finely-tuned runaway convention…
Here’s the bottom line…The local people should be able to decide what they want. If they vote for some irresponsible, left- wing social program, then they will have to pay for it…Not the other states. If you don’t like what’s happening in your state, either organize the community and change it, or move to a state that aligns more with your what you are willing to pay for a and live with…
As it is now, with our runaway Federal government, we are becoming slaves to our National debt, and our liberties are being taken away by the day, and we are unable to stop it…
The broken Federal government “system” has evolved in such a way that they are able to keep the people divided between left and right…As long as both parties are able to keep Americans divided, the status quo remains, they keep their power, and we forfeit the power we have as citizens to affect positive change in our communities…
“United we stand, divided we fall” has never been more appropriate.
A Convention of the States is our last chance, not so much to “change” the US Constitution, but to provide specific, clearly defined laws that remove any doubt as to their meaning, so that our creative lawmakers and Supreme court are unable to abuse the Constitution by interpreting it in whatever way is the most convenient for them at the time…
I stand by everything in my comment. I believe I would have no trouble substantiating everthing that I write.
Would you please substantiate your 1-5?
Right now, if a COS were held tomorrow, it would be a one party COS, controlled by corporate cash filled puppet politicians. A Republican Party COS. The Democrats want no part of having a COS. If this is such a good idea, why are Republican’s lying about.
If the Virginia House and Senate ever vote on SJ 269 or HJ 497, we will then see just who is behind a COS.
Then, just go to VPAP and see who’s money is behind those in the House and Senate who voted yes to a COS.
And then? Just ask yourself if you want those people to rewrite the U.S. Constitution?
COS, or, COBS?
This will all be a moot point if the 18 trillion debt continues to double every 6 years. A convention of the states will be the least of our trouble.
1) Then bring the jobs back home, put people back to work to increase revenue.
2) Allow common sense Conservative’s such as Congressman Rob Wittman to manage spending, and which cuts to make.
You cannot do this until big money is taken out of politics. Does one really believe that if the Feds cuts spending, that the states will not increase taxes to make up the budget shortfall? Remember 2013, HB2313?
So what’s to keep these conventioneers from being co-opted by those who have other motives? The Tea Party started out on a good note before it turned into a Cantor parade.
How Do We Know How a Convention of States Will Work?
Interstate conventions were common during the Founding era, and the procedures and rules for such conventions were widely accepted. Thus, we can know how a Convention of States would operate by studying the historical record. Dr. Rob Natelson has done extensive research on this topic, and more details can be found Here:
The arrogance of proponents of an Article V Convention is getting on my nerves. I’m sick of
reading proponents telling those on the other side that they should read their history and implying they are ignorant.
At the very beginning your link belittles Phyllis Schlafly calling her thoughts on this matter “as quaint as Dante’s speculations about the solar system.”
When discussing exactly how a Convention will be run, it simply says, “it was consciously modeled on federal conventions held during the century…” How does consciously modeled
after hold up in court? No. Then this link goes on to talk about how something else was run. Heck, you can’t even convince other conservatives this sets some sort of precedent.
The article wraps up with some nice name calling of people who disagree by calling them “anti-convention alarmists.”
It is no wonder that a vocal liberal minority is running the whole darn country into the ground while conservatives threaten and name call each other over scraps.
Please keep the facts straight. I said there were just over 400 applications to date…and that is accurate. I know not where you (Loudoun GOPer) get your information…but I am giving you facts. The number of Article V Applications is not hard to determine….they are catalogued in the Congressional Record. You may see them here by state and date if you so desire http://article5library.org/apptable.php?type=Application&sort=Y&order=A
Again, EVERY single one of the signers of the United States Constitution supported the insertion of the state led amendment “mode” of Article V. Every one of them also voted to accept the Mason suggestion. Lastly on that subject….if you want to make the case that because three people suggested that provision that it somehow lacks merit….or is somehow ‘less” acceptable…than you better be consistent and be ready to apply the EXACT same standard across the board in the entire United States Constitution as every single provision was at some point during that summer suggested by a small number or even a single individual. That argument defies logic….but I get it….it floats with those that are not applying much thinking.
Lastly, the idea that an Article V Convention of States somehow “opens” up the Constitution belies the fact that that the United States Congress is technically in a perpetual “Convention” as they can propose amendments (which is exactly the same thing that a COS can do) anytime they want. Bottom line, we delude ourselves if we do not realize that we are staring down the gun barrell of a runaway federal government today. The fear of a “runaway convention” betrays a life lived in unreality….because Washington D.C. is technically in a perpetual convention….they can propose amendments anytime they want through the first mode of Article V. But they don’t…they don’t because they don’t have to use the rigorous process given in eithe amending mode in Article V. They could never get them ratified….so what do they do? They amend it every single day by fiat. That is the real “runaway” that you need to fear. Doing more of the same is the definition of insanity. The Article V Convention of States process is inside the Constitution. The history of how we got it in the waning days of the Philadelphia convention is staggering….especially for those that believe in the providential hand of God. It was an anti federalist….a man that wouldnt even sign the constitution, George Mason…that argued for the states to have a recourse because in his words, the “National Government might become oppressive and abusive”. Mason went on to not sign because he wanted a Bill of Rights before ratification….but it’s becuase of men like Mason that feared a tyrannical federal government that we have the most powerful, and Constitutional I might add….”check” on the federal government by the states.
How are Proposed Amendments Ratified?
Thirty-eight states must ratify any proposed amendments. Once states ratify, the amendments become part of the Constitution. Normally, Congress designates the state legislatures as the ratifying body—but it may choose to have the states call ratifying conventions. If so, an election by the people would be held in each state to choose delegates to the ratifying conventions.
Actually, this one is correct.
The chance that 38 states would ratify anything is far less than zero.
Can you explain the existence of the 16th and 17th amendments, since the the chance is less than zero?
Fair enough. America was no were near as divided 100 years ago as we are now. Plus the amount of media coverage that we now have. People were in large part still on the farm.
Examples, gridlocked government, the number of divorces, etc.. Few agree on anything. Just look at how divided Republican’s are?
Do not get me wrong, we do not need to test the waters. But in the end, nothing changes regarding the Constitution. I hope.
Mitchell, good question. The key here is 1913. The founding of Tax Exempt Foundations. The creature of Devils Island, a book is very informative. As well, the 17th, was a set up, making the idea of popular vote appealing. There was no crisis- malefactors took advantage of citizens, and poorly educated legislators.
What Happens at a Convention of States?
Commissioners from each state propose, discuss, and vote on amendments to the Constitution. All amendments the convention passes by a simple majority of the states will be sent back to the states for ratification. Each state has one vote at the Convention. If North Carolina sends seven commissioners and Nebraska sends nine, each state must caucus on each vote. North Carolina’s one vote would be cast when at least four of its commissioners agreed. Nebraska’s vote would be cast by the agreement of at least five of its commissioners.
This is total conjecture. There has never been an Article V convention, and any historical precedent that Farris or Natleson wants to point to is not legally binding. Most of the historical precedents of previous state conventions they point to took place before the Constitution was ratified and therefore are technically rendered moot.
He can’t even seriously make the claim that amendments would pass the convention on merely a majority vote. The rules and procedures that would govern an Article V convention would be set by the delegates themselves, and they can make any rule they want.
How Do States Choose Their Delegates?
States are free to develop their own selection process for choosing their delegates—properly called “commissioners.” Historically, the most common method used was an election by a joint session of both houses of the state legislature.
Rob Natelson explains this further in his handbook page 14 found here: http://www.alec.org/publications/article-v-handbook/
Are you going to copy all of the CoS talking ponts? If so, could you let me know now so I can start typing early to catch up?
Article V says Congress “calls” the convention. Does this mean they control the Convention and choose the delegates?
No. The Founders made this very clear. Once 34 states apply, Congress has no discretion whether to call a convention and no control over the delegates (see Federalist No. 85, see paragraph beginning “In opposition to the probability…”). George Mason proposed to add the Convention of States provision to Article V because he thought Congress had too much control over the amendment process. The Framers unanimously agreed with him. It makes no sense to interpret Article V to give more power to Congress, when the whole point was to take power away.
This claim that Congress gets to choose the delegates also goes against common sense. Just because one party “calls” a convention, doesn’t mean it gets to choose the delegates for the other parties. Think about it. Virginia called the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Did it get to choose the delegates for Massachusetts? Of course not. Massachusetts did. Each state chooses its own delegates; it doesn’t matter who calls the convention. This is Agency law 101 and basic common sense.
Virginia did not call the 1787 convention. Virginia was one of 5 states to petition for a convention. The Confederate Congress issued a call for the 1787 convention if you want to get hyper-technical, but I know that will only spark off a totally different argument.
Nobody has said that congress would get to select the delegates, although (again if you want to get hyper-technical) there is no law or legal precedent that would prevent them from not involving the states in the convention itself.
I have said that the most likely scenario is that Congress would call a convention that gave states proportional representation in an Article V convention, similar to the electoral college. Then the squishy moderate Republicans will join with the Democrats to make sure that no conservatives get anywhere close to that convention.
Copying the talking points from the Convention of States web site doesn’t make it binding law.
The first statement in your response above states “This claim is false” and does not even address the paragraph above it. The paragraph that you refer to in that statement was calling out Senator Black for “CREATING A FALSE IMPRESSION OF IMPENDING CHANGE TO THE CONSTITUTION”…That paragraph simply pointed out that we are years away from a Convention (more than one year). We must first get 34 states to approve the call, the convention must be held, and 38 states must ratify any proposals coming out of the convention before any change is made to the constitution. I agree with Michael Farris. Your email and statement “VIRGINIA WILL VOTE TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IN A FEW DAYS!” Was a claim that is “demonstrably false and nothing better than a blatant attempt to incite panic”
Virginia is going to vote (probably today) on whether Virginia wants in on changing the Constitution. There is nothing false about that. According to Mr. Farris’ own
organization, we are not years away. Rita
Dunaway, who works for Mr. Farris, stated in a public meeting on Jan. 10th
that they were no more than one year away (two at the outside) from calling a convention.
Calling a convention is not changing the Constitution…A Convention of States is a meeting to discuss proposed changes to our Constitution…The VOTE for change occurs when each state legislature votes on the proposed Amendments…That is years away…at least two years away…I am not a lawyer, but these details are very important…I have seen so much falsehood and misinformation put out here…I am all about the truth, whether is helps or hurts my position…I have been called naive on this site, maybe I am, but I cannot let this confusion and misleading information be left unchallenged…Everyone needs to be informed…If I say something that is incorrect, please call me out…and I will readily admit I am wrong…I would like Senator Black to come clean and admit his email was misleading, even if unintentionally…
Senator Black ….or whoever is posting this for him….his very first response in red is a half truth …which we all know equals a full lie. He states that Mason was one only three that supported the 2nd mode of Article V. While Mason was one of three that PROPOSED it… the motion was UNANIMOUSLY passed. This is not hard for those that will dig….fortunatley it is not difficult…one need only go to Madisons Notesa of the Federal Convention of 1787 (found on many websites) to see this….but Senator Black counts on his followers…..BLINDLY following. Sad…and pathetic. This is what I mean by either ignorance…or deception. Very sad.
One of the other responses in red hints or infers that no where in Article V does it state that Congress role is limited. For those that are familiar with “Originalism”….we do not interpret the United States Constitution in a vacuum….like the liberals do when they proscribe a “Living Constitution”. Originalists….which is what we all should be if we claim Constitutional Conservatism…Originalists interpret the text of the Constitution by determining Original Intent. We do so using a multitude of sources (Madison’s copious notes of the day to day happenings in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, the writings of other framers, the Federalist and Anti Federalist Papers, the records from the ratification conventions etc….). When we look at the record….especially on Article V, we can see exactly what happened….the prominent dates of discussion in Madison’s notes are June 11th and Sept 15 of 1787…..we can see clearly, crystal clearly that the ENTIRE purpose of the insertion of a state led method of amending the Constitution was for the States to end run the “National” government to use Mason’s term (new three branch government had not stood up yet). All of the debate about adding the state initiated method to amend the document was there precisely to give the states a method to amend to defend….when Congress became “abusive” and “oppressive” to use Mason’s terms again. It would be preposterous to take the interpretation that the silence in Article V on how it works to mean that Congress has any other role than two clearly SPECIFIED roles of (1) Calling the Convention upon receipt of 2/3rds of the states applications…and…(2) Specifying the mode of ratification for any amendments that were “proposed” and sent out to the states from a COS. The entire line of argument that the silence in Article V on Congress role beyond the above stated…is an argument that is more in line with the way liberals interpret the Constitution today.
Lastly, there is an assertion in red that there is no intent for aggregation of applications present in Article V. The very fact that over 400 applications in our history have been filed by the states for an Article V COS and Congress has never called one speaks loudly to this issue. It is common convention practice and framework for conventions to be called for a purpose. Recently, Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers introduced and the House passed a rule for “Counting” Article V applications for aggregation purposes. The House has never had a rule for counting “like” applications for aggregation. I notice that Senator Black conveniently leaves this out of his discussion. This is A VERY important development in the United States Congress that absolutely refutes the idea that the convention cannot be limited to subject matter and that Congress would not recognize any aggregation in calling a Convention of States.
“He states that Mason was one only three that supported the 2nd mode of Article V.”
Actually, what I read is that he says that Mason was only one of three delegates who took that view of the need for the second amendment method of Article V. Most of the convention delegates were perfectly happy with leaving a single method for proposing amendments, but allowed the second option for fear that the Constitution would fail to be ratified.
As to your issue about the interpretation of the role of Congress, the Supreme Court has already declared that Article V is a “federal process,” with Congress being the final arbiter. In Miller v. Colemen, the court even expressed doubt on whether the courts had a role at all in deciding issues relating to Article V, since “the process itself is ‘political’ in entirety.”
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how any of us look at how to interpret the constitution. It only matters how five men and women in black robes interpret it, and previous courts do not seem to agree with you.
Finally, there have actually been over 600 petitions for an Article V convention dating back to 1789. In the last 20 years or so, about 17 states have voted to rescind all prior petitions precisely because they did not want to take the risk of accidentally having their petitions counted towards calling an Article V convention. There is no language in the Constitution, or historical precedent, that says that only petitions of like subject will count towards triggering an Article V convention, and no law or precedent that provides the states or Congress the power to limit the scope of a convention.
An Article V constitutional convention can indeed be limited in subject by the state legislatures. Here is a very good explanation of the process by Harvard Law: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No3_Rogersonline.pdf
I have read that piece, and all they provide is their opinion. They don’t back up their claim about the ability to limit the scope of an Article V convention. They assume that you could, but assumptions are not binding law.
Regardless, the concern is unfounded. A constitutional convention can only draft and propose constitutional amendments. I can do the same thing sitting at my kitchen table. Before an amendment goes into effect, it would have to be approved by a vote of three-fourths of the states, a higher number than that required to call the convention in the first place.
I wish my concern were unfounded. You are correct that a convention can only draft amendments, but I have a very real fear of who would be sitting at the convention table drafting those amendments. The idea that Democrats and moderate Republicans would ever let a group of principled conservatives draft new amendments to the constitution is just not believable. Then we could spend the next several decades constantly fighting to keep these amendments from being ratified.
“Before an amendment goes into effect, it would have to be approved by a vote of three-fourths of the states”
Yes, and there have been some doozies that have been ratified in the past. The power to levy an income tax, prohibition… heck, the states even gave up their right to select Senators.
And what stops them from doing that without a convention? The framers gave us two methods of amending the Constitution for a reason. If there is an unresponsive Congress (sound familiar?) the states have an ability to circumvent that Congress to pass amendments. Repeal of the 17th Amendment is a very good example of something we need to do to restore the original balance of power between the state and federal governments and the people. There is virtually no chance Congress will ever do anything to limit their own power, so if we are going to rein in this government, we have to use every means available to us.
They can draft the same amendments sitting at their kitchen tables, but none of them can become part of the Constitution unless they are ratified by 3/4 of the states. The danger of waiting for Congress to limit the power of the federal government is much greater than taking matters into our own hands.
“Binding Law?”…What is your point? All laws are interpreted…Any jury in a courtroom must weight the evidence and come up with their “opinion” based on the evidence. Our Federal government makes things up as they go…they create “interpretations” and “opinions” that could not have been imagined by our founding fathers…You have this idea that somebody is going to give you “proof”, but your definition of “proof” is not based in reality if there is no room for “opinion” based on the evidence. This idea of “proof” is code for your “unwillingness” to look at the evidence…
My point is that if you read the CoS website, or listen to their spokespeople talk, they are CERTAIN that they know how everything is going to work, but they provide nothing to back it up. For instance, one of the people you site is Robert Natleson, who wrote a handbook for legislators on Article V. Here is his take on the power of Congress in calling a convention from page 47 of his handbook:
“Details of the congressional call are outside the current scope of this work. For present purposes, it suffices to say that congressional calling power is confined to setting the time and place for the convention”
Seriously? He just totally glosses over his lack of evidence because it doesn’t fit his narrative, and just makes something up out of whole cloth. Just because Natleson believes that Congress only sets the time and place doesn’t mean he is right, and he provides no evidence to back it up.
Over the last few days I have repeatedly asked for proof (language in the Constitution, a law passed by Congress, a Supreme court ruling, anything) that backs up their claim. Nobody has ever produced any. Over the last few days I have been able to cite Supreme Court and lower court decisions that directly refute the arguments of the CoS, yet I am ignored and called names.
Just because Mike Ferris or Mark Levin says it doesn’t make it real. In fact, there are legal precedents that suggest they are dead wrong. I heard someone else make this point. In order for an Article V convention to go off without a hitch, the CoS folks need to be right 100% of the time. If they are wrong on any issue, it could spell disaster.
With so much at stake, don’t you think the people pushing this should be able to do better than opinions?
It seems like you have set yourself up to be the final judge on this issue…Do you trust anyone? Is there anyone who you respect and trust? Michael Farris is not good enough, Professor Natelson does not make the cut, our many conservative endorsers are not good enough…So who in America would you trust? Anyone? There is plenty of evidence in Professor Natelson’s Compendium found here: http://www.conventionofstates.com/compendium
I trust in God and his infinite wisdom and mercy.
I trust my wife.
For everyone else, I take Ronald Reagan’s advice. “Trust but Verify”
I have been trying to verify the claims made by CoS supporters, but they refuse to provide any proof, and the more I dig, the more evidence I find that proves them wrong.
You can’t even convince other conservatives that your interpretations are correct!
I wish it were that simple…America’s problems are complex. The American culture is a mess. A large proportion of Americans are unable to think critically anymore. Many Americans are unable to think about anything more than 30 seconds. Many do not read any more. (The total percentage of college students who will never read another book after they graduate = 42%).
America’s problems are serious. It requires people to both think, reason, and read. It is not reasonable to expect to convince anyone in a few sentences why the time has come for a Convention of States.
This topic is not a right/left issue and the right/left thinking is the wrong paradigm. This is not about laws, social issues or agendas…These are the wrong questions…We have been stuck in this thinking so long, it’s very difficult for Americans to break out of that kind of thinking.
The question is “WHO DECIDES?” Our Federal Government is out of control. The system to fix the federal government is broken. Our Federal government is not capable of fixing itself. So the American people need to ask:
1. Who is in the best position to know what is best for the people in your state?
2. Who is in the best position to hold their “representatives” ie, state legislators accountable?
Rather than our Federal Government elites deciding what type of light bulb is best for me, whether I can carry a gun to protect myself or not, what is taught to my children in schools, or what “environmental protections” are best for me, I believe, and I think most Americans would agree, that the States are in a much better position to make these decisions, and more importantly, how they spend my tax money.
As an side, my wife was speaking to one of her clients the other day. The client works for the Federal government, a “social advocacy agency”. The client was complaining about how busy she was…She does not have enough time in her day to spend all of the money in her budget. They are required to spend all of the money in their budget because if they don’t, their budget will be cut for the following year. That is our Federal government. Multiply that waste by millions, and that is what we have. Our Federal government is a train wreck. You know it, I know it. American’s know it…But for some reason, Americans are unwilling to do anything about it. That my friend, is insanity.
There are thousands of brilliant, educated, well read, conservatives, and moderates who support a Convention of the States (Simply a meeting to discuss proposed Amendments). This is NOT a crazy idea. This is a well thought out, carefully studied idea with plenty of supporting documentation. The problem is people are not open, people do not read, people are driven by irrational fear, and people are not able to put aside their preconceived ideas long enough to learn more about this plan, so that they can make an informed decision.
All the while our country is heading toward a cliff, the building is burning, all while we are too busy to think about the consequences of our inaction. Anyone who reads history can see clearly where we are heading…
I will never be able to “convince” anyone who has already made up their mind that the status quo is acceptable…
All I can do is educate those that are:
1. More concerned for our children and grandchildren, than they are for themselves.
2. Agree that the system is irreparably broken.
3. Understand that we are in desperate need of a solution.
4. Open to the idea that a Convention of the States is very viable, constitutional solution supported by tens of thousands of respectable, educated and informed Americans.
God have mercy on the United States of America…
Senator Black, the email that you sent to your Virginia’s stated “URGENT, Virginia will vote to change
the Constitution of the United States in a few days!”
This Senator was a complete falsehood…isinformation. Do I need to come up with “proof” for that? Would you like to explain to Virginians why you are not providing them with an honest, fair analysis of the situation? Or, is this politics as unusual?
This was so wrong…There is no way you can justify this. This is the kind of behavior that the people do
not need. Whether you disagree or not, this email was not designed to inform, but to misinform your constituents.
The first bullet on your email then states “Article V Convention Supports include: George Soros, Code Pink, MoveOn.org, Occupy Wallstreet…Liberal groups are pushing for this”.
Once again, misinformation designed to deceive and confuse Virginians. Do you really think that this is an accurate portrayal of the situation? Why don’t you mention all of the conservatives who are behind this initiative? This is not a left, right, liberal or conservative issue…It’s an American issue. Why not lay out the facts and let your constituents may an informed decision?
Almost every sentence of your email was designed to misinform Virginians. We have history and plenty
of precedent to follow. Please stop the misformation campaign.
Actually, if you read the entire post above, Senator Black provides proof to back up the point you copied in.
I copied this from above:
MoveToAmend.org ( http://www.movetoamend.org/organizations ) lists all the supporters of amending the constitution for the purposes of limiting money in politics. Wolf-Pac.com (funded by George Soros) specifically lists an Article V convention as a preferred tool to amend the Constitution. Under Section 3, it states, “Once we have found those states that are the most receptive to joining this battle with us we will focus our time, effort, and money on them until we get that vital and historic first state to call for an Article V. Convention for the purpose of limiting the influence that money has over our political process. According to Article V of our Constitution, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications.” http://www.wolf-pac.com/the_plan
“This is not a left, right, liberal or conservative issue…It’s an American issue.”
So which is it? Is Senator Black lying, or are you admitting he’s telling the truth, but that it doesn’t matter to you? Are you ok standing arm in arm with leftists and socialists who want to gut the Constitution?
Please…You either missed my point or you ignored my point…He did not tell the whole truth…The idea for a Convention is not a left-wing idea…His statement would lead many to believe it is. Stating a “fact” with the intent to deceive or misinform may be “politics as usual” but it’s wrong in my worldview…
“gut the Constitution”? Where do you get these ideas? I will ask you once again, do you really believe that 38 state legislatures will collectively pass amendments that will “gut the constitution?” Do you have such little faith in the American people and the State legislatures? Do disagree that the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Office of the President have not ALREADY GUTTED our Constitution? Seriously…Our Federal Government IS a RUNAWAY CONVENTION…and both parties are guilty! We are a runaway train…We heading off a cliff, and you want “PROOF”…What does that mean? “PROOF”? You act like this some kind of science project in some kind of laboratory…Proof? There is plenty of historical precedent for the processes and procedures for an Article V Convention. It’s time for the American people to fix our broken Federal Government that cannot fix itself by reining in the unchecked power of our Federal Government.
Pick up a good dictionary. Any good dictionary. Or just google the definition of “amend”. It means “to change”. Senator Black was not guilty of falsehood, but you need to remember it is a serious thing to bear false witness against your neighbor. Calling Sen. Black a liar because you don’t like something he said is in poor form.
Mitchell, you may have also been misled by Senator Black’s email. Let me explain…The Virginia legislature is not voting to change the Constitution…Honestly…They are simply voting to call for a Convention of the states under the provisions of Article V…Once at least 34 states agree on calling a Convention of the states, then the Convention is held to discuss possible Amendments to the Constitution. Finally, at least 38 state legislatures must VOTE on the proposed amendments. I am sorry that you too were misinformed by Senator Black’s email…Also, maybe you need to get yourself a new Dictionary?
This is the same bully tactics proponents working with Mike Farris have employed since the beginning. Call anyone who disagrees liars, ignorant or deceitful. Thanks Mike Farris & gang for ripping conservatives in half! I nominate Farris for Democrat of the Year Award for most helpful in an election year!
Gill P. You are right…I agree, my response was arrogant…I confess that I was harsh…
I am just really surprised at the misinformation that is being put out…May I ask you, straight up…Do your really think Senator Black’s email was honest and truthful? Do you think it’s ok to put out misleading information if it helps your position? Do you believe that if a politician makes an honest mistake, maybe unintentionally puts out bad information, that the right thing to do is to apologize and make it right?
Uh, oh – your arrogance is showing again.
Here’s an interesting factoid – In 2004, HJ194 passed almost unanimously repealing Virginia’s application for an Article V Convention.
HJ194 said: “WHEREAS, the operations of a convention are unknown and the apportionment and selection of delegates, method of voting in convention, and other essential procedural details are not specified in Article V of the Constitution of the United States”
Ironically, Lingemfelter and McDougle both voted to for the bill to repeal Virginia’s Article V Convention application because the process the process could not be controlled.
@ Notbent – While I agree with you in principle that nobody is above being “primaried,” I find this attitude among certain streams of my fellow conservatives (“my way or no way”) to be annoying and counter-productive. I am a 70-30 Republican. I wander off the reservation when it comes to man-made global warming, progressive tax rates, gay marriage, the “war on terror a la Bush & Rumsfeld,” and I advocate two minimum wages. On just about any other issue I am a rock-ribbed conservative. Yet, because I believe in the LIKELY POSSIBILITY of man-made global warming (I have a degree in atmospheric science) I have been called a closet liberal or a RINO by more than a few. I often remind my detractors of the words of Ronald Reagan who said, “Someone who votes my way 70% of the time is my friend – not a 30% enemy.” We need to remember that sentiment.
You may need to either trim your list or increase your minority percentage breakout.
Hmm. Lawrence for five years I have co-led a tea party group. I am a conservative community organizer who runs more than his mouth. Back in 1993 my wife and I SINGLEHANDEDLY brought Rush Limbaugh to the Armed Forces Network. In the mid 1990s I was an active member of the Christian Coalition. Back in 2010 I brought Dr. Lawrence Schweikart to Stafford County to address our Tea Party group. I am a member of VCDL, I am staunchly pro-life, I worked with Greg Letiecq to start a group that was against Illegal Immigration in Stafford County, called “Save Stafford.” I am a vehement backer of limited government, I am against any income tax increases of any sort on those making under $300K. I would abolish capital gains tax on the first $250K. I would do away with the Dept of Education, end Section 8 housing. I believe in putting the military on the border, ending race-based affirmative action, and I support school choice and vouchers. I could go on and on. And yet, some of my fellow Republicans have called me a RINO. Go figure.
Very few people today have experienced first hand what the snare of ideological purity can inextricably lead to whether of the right or left. We seem almost incapable of not historically repeating the same mistakes with the same resulting consequences. It can all be very disheartening at times but I have some hope that the millennial generation will lead us away from this dark path though I won’t be here see it. In the interim lets just be thankful if it remains at the silly slogan spouting and name calling stage for its exhibited far less benign manifestations.
Are you serious? You cannot abide threats of an incumbent to be primaried?! That is ludicrous!
So, according to you, we not allowed to primary politicians who we may disagree with? And we should not be allowed to threaten or promise to (attempt to) primary whoever we please?
Nobody – but nobody – is above being primaried. No matter how much of a gentleman or how Conservative he may be. (And I bet Sen. Black would heartily agree.)
Mr. Farris does not owe anyone an apology. But perhaps you do — for publicly wanting to suppress Mr. Farris’ rights.
Senator Black never stated that he was “above” anything. However, I think the author is trying to say that bully tactics among conservatives is probably not the most productive way to have a civilized discussion about an issue. If conservatives can’t even treat each other with civility then they will not stand a chance against defeating liberals. After all, this won’t just be a circlefest of conservatives rewriting our Constitution.
You too? So Mr. Farris stating he will exercise his democratic right in primarying a politician is both “threatening” and now “bullying”.
Seems to me even using words such as “threatening” and “bullying” are themselves to coerce Mike Farris’ actions. One could easily phrase it as Mr. Farris states he will or “promises”; without the judgmental and negative words.
If we do not like how a politician votes, we darn well SHOULD primary him; AND we should let him know that! THAT IS democracy; our power of the ballot.
BTW I like and respect Senator Dick Black: I think he’s a great Conservative.
But I love democracy more.
I love democracy, too. That doesn’t mean I am going to primary other good conservatives over this issue.
But let’s say Mike Farris does primary him. Let’s even say Mike does it himself and doesn’t try to put up some other candidate. I have no doubt that Senator Black would beat Mike Farris in a straight up contest, but Joe May is already rumored to be planning a challenge to Black. So let’s say Joe May gets in and makes it a three way race.
The result of this contest would most likely end with Farris siphoning off conservative votes from Black, giving the primary to the pro-abortion, pro-medicaid expansion, tax hiker Joe May, who could then turn around and lose to a Democrat.
So while I, and Senator Black, and everyone else recognize and defend Mike’s democratic right to challenge Dick Black in a primary, we are saying that we would consider it the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
I was going to comment, but you said it all man!
That’s certainly one way to look at it…But there is another way to look at it…I call that kind of thinking “politics as usual” and “insanity”. We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result…How’s that working for us? Maybe “if we can just elect the right conservative, things will improve in Washington”…Or maybe “if we can just get the right judges nominated to the supreme court, all will be well” or better yet, “if can just push our national debt crisis off to future generations, after I get all of my retirement and I am dead and buried, all will be well!”…THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE PROPOSING AS THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM. No, it’s not “cutting off your nose to spite your face”, it’s excising the cancer before it kills you…
So according to your logic, it is ok for conservatives to primary conservatives over this issue? Does that mean we should start lining up challengers for all the conservatives that are supporting a con-con? The liberals are going to have a field day if this is the road we go down.
Convention of States spokesmen are saying things like “elections can’t solve our nation’s problems” right before the 2016 election cycle. Meanwhile the Democrats are not dissing elections and working harder than ever. Not a good scenario.
That is a great point. If elections can’t solve the issue, why do we even vote? Why do politicians run? How many of the legislators who vote for this after buying that argument and selling it to the people as their reason for voting for this are going to run again?
Yep…The liberals are going to have a field day when there is no more money left to give away, when their bankrupt ideas cause our economy to melt down, and the people who WORK and who THINK decide enough is enough, rise up to correct the situation…It will be a field day, but not for the liberals, but for the Americans who understand the value of freedom and are willing to pay the price to fix our broken federal government…Fortunately, we have a Constitutional solution called the Article V Convention of States that we can use before our economy self-destructs under the weight of $18+ Trillion in debt…
But no…Lets wait until we get some “proof”, right?
Simply restating the problem and repeating sound bites that we have to do SOMETHING does not really add anything to the debate.
I think the point is that it is counterproductive for the conservative movement to make threats to primary a conservative stalwart on the basis of one vote on an issue where good conservatives can reasonably disagree. If it were some threshold issue for conservatism it might be a different story, but it seems rather short sighted at best to make these kinds of threats based on who has the better tactical play on restoration of constitutional principles.
No incumbant should feel secure while our country drowns in debt! NONE – lead, follow, or get out of the way! Yes in case anyone has doubts – it’s perfectly OK to threaten any and all incumbents with a primary.
Excellent point! I think everyone who opposes it should mount a primary challenge against everyone who supports it and vice versa. Having conservatives gauge each other’s eyes out all over the state is a fantastic idea. Especially in a year when Democrats had been expecting stinging defeats. But Mike Farris and Mark Levin are the gifts that just keep on giving so Happy Birthday Democrats, it’s your lucky day!
I believe the point here is does this particular issue regarding support or non support for an Article V Convention warrant fellow conservatives threatening each other with creating primary challenges over positions held NOT a right to the primary process per se. I believe you can see the distinction and ask yourself is this an issue worth creating a serious schism over and do these type of internal threats help anyone’s interest except the many potent advocates in the political arena that are all ready working to destroy American conservatism. No matter where you fall of this issue I truly hope you can see that this type of petulance in the face of honest opposition is very ill serving and politically immature. We don’t have to agree on everything but we do need to avoid the recourse to internal threats when we don’t get our way. This is an early lesson well behaved children have to learn.
The Washington Post article shows that Senator Black clearly does not think he is “above” being primaried. If fact they said, “I can’t stand by and let my own senator defeat the one thing I think has any chance of stopping the abuse of power by the federal government,” Farris said.
Black, a former Marine combat pilot, said he is undaunted: “I laid out in the sun in Vietnam unconscious for loss of blood, and the idea that somehow I’m going to fear a primary? Give me a break.”
The Democrats talking about what they will do with our Constitution if a Convention is held is my favorite part – – especially the one who says lots of things are wrong with it and he’ll start “whacking away at it.” It is a warning to those who mistakenly believe this will be a circlefest of conservatives singing Kumbia.