Friday, June 29, 2012

Article V. Convention: The States' Tool To Bring the Federal Government Back Into Constitutional Limitations

By Douglas V. Gibbs

An "Article V. Convention," can completely shake the foundations of our governmental system, and steer the federal government back into the restraints of the U.S. Constitution.

Article V. is the section of the Constitution that explains the amendment process. The allowance for Congress to propose amendments was actually an after-thought, and only added during the final days of the Constitutional Convention. Originally, only the States were going to be allowed to propose amendments. The anti-federalists feared that by granted the authority to Congress to propose amendments, the federal government world work to completely re-write the Constitution. However, it was argued that the fail-safe to that was the fact that the States would still be needed to ratify the proposed amendment.

The call for an Article V. Convention is nothing new. 49 States have called for an Article V. Convention through the submission of over 750 applications. The convention, however, has never taken place because the Congress will not set a time and place (their only task regarding an Article V. Convention), for fear of the people proposing amendments, and the States ratifying them, which would ultimately cut the federal government out of the process. Centralized systems do not like it when individual states and people get involved in a process they think is only their domain.

Despite being a statist, Alexander Hamilton wrote Federalist 85 brilliantly, in defense of the Article V. Convention. He argued that if the federal government did become tyrannical, the Article V. Convention was the fail-safe device the States had to reign the out-of-control federal government back in.

Article V. Conventions were offered as a method for the people and the States to stop the rampage of a tyrannical government. An Article V. Convention gives the people and States a way to combat a federal system that ignores the Constitution, treats it as if it does not exist, or invalidates it through judicial means. An Article V. Convention is not only something we need not fear, but one of our primary tools to combat against a tyrannical federal system. An Article V. Convention is our means of changing the Constitution through amendments so that we may give power back to the States, and protect state sovereignty. The Article V. Convention is one of the necessary tools given to us by the Founding Fathers for taking back our nation.

Changing the Constitution by amendment is not an easy process on purpose. Amendments must be ratified by 3/4 of the states. The federal government does not like that process because they think it limits their power (and they are correct). This is why the federal government is doing as it pleases regardless of the authorities granted by the Constitution. They wish to keep the States out of the picture. Taking power without the benefit of an amendment makes the State legislatures irrelevant. Those that support big government plan to do their worst as they are now, through ignoring the law, and invalidating the original intent of the U.S. Constitution through the judiciary whenever possible.

They fear the Article V. Convention because such a convention is the people's way of forcing the federal government to behave in accordance to the limiting principles of the Constitution. Despite some arguments that these conventions can be dangerous, be advised that an Article V. Convention is not a way for the corrupt politicians and judges to re-write the Constitution. Only amendments can be proposed in such a convention, and those proposed amendments are still required to be retified by the States.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


Steve H said...

In your article you stated:

"The convention, however, has never taken place because the Congress will not set a time and place (their only task regarding an Article V. Convention)..."

This is not exactly correct. According to Article V, Congress is also responsible for assigning the manner in which amendments are ratified. Stated as:

"...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

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

"may be proposed", not "shall be". The Congress can recommend the mode of ratification, but that ultimately is up to each individual State.