The states, under federalism, are the only legal and safe solution left for the American people under the threat of tyranny.
By Mike Kapic – Feb. 4, 2022
Our hunt for liberty has evolved, beginning in the American colonies in the early 1600s and continuing through to the last one in Arizona. One of the first was the Mayflower Compact in 1620 in Massachusetts Bay and the last recorded was the Phoenix Planning Convention in 2017. Abe Lincoln attended the 1847 Chicago convention with 2500 other delegates from 19 states. They discussed commerce navigation.
We have a long and little-known history of the American people coming together to resolve issues larger than life and yet, too big for congresses or legislatures to resolve. Conventions met for everything from safety, inflation, taxation, avoiding civil war, water allocation, limiting federal power, approving the US Constitution, and legalizing alcohol, to name a few. Scholars and historians have scoured over 650 records of the thousands of events over the centuries.
This year, 2022, may mark a historic point when Americans take back control of their government by taking the first step to limit Congress’ uncontrolled thirst for spending and taxing. The Constitution’s Article V authority threshold has been reached and has exceeded the 2/3 requirement. With 39 states applying to Congress to Call a convention for the states to propose changes to the Constitution through a fiscal responsibility amendment (aka, BBA or balanced budget amendment).
This is Part I of a series of brief historical facts over the coming Friday’s regarding the plethora of scholarship available from history showing how our Nation solved dire challenges and threats.
We should collectively understand who we are and how we got here in order to begin returning this Nation to God and to the consent of the governed.
How Conventions Have Historically Worked
An Article V convention is a conclave of state “committees,” operating in a distinct & separate manner than legislatures.
Over the past four centuries, scholars and historians have analyzed some 650 conventions.
Of hundreds of state & colonial conventions only two were “constitutional conventions” and they remodeled a political system: drafting of the 1787 proposed federal Constitution and the 1861 Confederate Constitution.
Convention types: 1814 & 1861: quasi-Article V amending (not ratified); 1922 & 2017 legislative conventions.
The formula for Article V is: 34-26-38: Of the 50 states, 34 to call, 26 to vote a proposal(s) and 38 to approve.
For a runaway convention, 51% or 26 states would have to go rogue, exposing delegates to their state’s laws.
What changes occur to the Constitution at an amending convention? None. It only PROPOSES amendments.
Congress’ Article V authority, when presented with 2/3 of states applications, it “SHALL” set the date & location.
An amending convention is the alternative to Congress proposing an amendment that must still be approved by 38 states.
State applications need not be identical and are interpreted by intent, not verbiage.
State’s power allows them to commission, recall, suspend commissions, or discipline their delegates.
States may apply for an unrestricted convention or one dedicated to a particular subject.
Constitution signer, James Wilson: “Commissioners authorized to conclude nothing, but…at liberty to propose anything.”
Conventions average 12 days prior to sine die while ratifications average 20 months and 7 days.
Since an Article V convention receives its power from the Constitution, it cannot alter the Constitution, e.g. ratification.
Conventions are forbidden to rewrite or propose a new Constitution, expand its limited powers, or declare amendments.
Convention Historical Standard Operating Procedure: regional or national, select officers, draft parliamentary rules, maintain order, arbiter of delegates credentials, states choose delegates, states have one vote, not plenary, take up any topic-but still limited, held secret or open, recorded.
Congress has no constitutional authority to Call a state convention.
In the first 200 years following the founding, the judiciary, including SCOTUS, decided over 3 dozen cases interpreting Article V & generally followed historical practice.
Article V is an example of federalism’s shared responsibility between the national and state governments.
Congress has ignored 11 complete Article V state applications and 500-700 individual state calls.
JBS believes in the authority of the Constitution, therefore it is not evil, except for the second clause of Article V.
The states may have to force Congress to act on their Call by utilizing judicial review or by lawsuit.
States have written legislation protecting their state against their commissioner’s nefarious behavior.