by Stuart MacPhail May 2019
The views of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have been repeatedly distorted by anti-Article V campaigners. Over the past few weeks two sources have attempted to set the record straight.
The National Sentinel published Wise beyond his years: A youthful Antonin Scalia warned us 40 years ago about what’s happening in America TODAY by Jon Dougherty.
Dougherty points out that during a forum when Scalia was a law professor at the University of Chicago in 1979 “Scalia provided one of the best summations available of the second way under the Constitution, that our founding document can be amended, the genius of it, and why the founders adopted it”.
“(I)t’s this second method that Scalia masterfully addresses and explains — and in doing so, points out why it is a method that would come in handy today since Congress seems incapable of addressing some of our most pressing issues,” Dougherty says.
The future justice said that “a widespread and deep feeling of powerlessness in the country is apparent with respect to many issues, not just the budget issue. The people do not feel that their wishes are observed. They are heard but they are not heeded, particularly at the federal level.
“The basic problem is simply that the Congress has become professionalized,” Scalia said. “Its members have a greater interest than ever before in remaining in office; and it is served by a bureaucracy and is much more subject to the power of individualized pressure groups than to the unorganized feelings of the majority of the citizens.”
Contrary to the Scalia comment taken out of context by Article V opponents, he said “One remedy for that, the one specifically provided for in the Constitution, is this amendment process which bypasses the Congress. I would like to see that amendment process used — just having it used once will exert an enormous influence on both the Congress and the Supreme Court.” (emphasis added)
One such amendment that was popular back then was constitutionally requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget. During that 1979 forum Scalia said it was “something members of Congress would never consider because, well, they like spending your money. Article V provides a way for Americans to have their voices heard.” Read Dougherty’s article HERE.
Then watch rare video footage of that 1979 forum as provided by the Convention of States Project HERE.