Article V Constitutional Amendment Options

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Article V Constitutional Amendment Options
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“It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.” -  James Madison


Article V Constitutional Amendment Options

With all the controversy coming from the Mark Levin argument that Liberty Amendments could be enacted by using Article V, which allows for individual States to use a convention for proposing amendments, to the U.S. Constitution, it is worth an examination. A good primer is offered by the Tea Party Patriots in a webinar symposium, in a four-part session. The first was held online, 1/7/14 was attended for this report. The next three are scheduled for 1/14/14. 1/21/14 and 1/28/14. Those who view this approach as a viable option might want to engage in the Tea Party Community discussion.   

At the outset, there are two amendment methods named in Amendment V.

“The Article V amendment process provide for a constitutional convention. It provides for two methods of amending the Constitution. The first method, where two-thirds of Congress passes a proposed amendment and then forwards it to the state legislatures for possible ratification by three-fourths of the states, has occurred on twenty-seven occasions. The second method, involving the direct application of two-thirds of the state legislatures for a Convention for proposing Amendments, which would thereafter also require a three-fourths ratification vote by the states, has been tried in the past but without success.”

The pros or cons of Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments, would be a subject for a different discussion. However, proponents of the Levin approach would have you believe that a constitution convention would not come from this effort. Only State amendments to the U.S. Constitution would be the focus of the process. Realpolitiks question this conclusion.

“Levin proposes that we use the second of two methods for enacting amendments to the US Constitution, and he offers 11 amendments that would fix the rigged system we’re currently stuck with. If you want to read them by themselves without any background, click here to jump to the end of this post.

For a much more detailed look at why this convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution makes excellent sense, go read the first chapter of The Liberty Amendments, which Levin released for free at the beginning of the month. It’s brief, and everything’s footnoted and explained in detail, including references to historical debates between the Founders. The quotes reveal how and why they drafted Article V of the Constitution, which sets forth the amendment processes.”

America Urgently Needs State-Proposed Article V Constitutional Amendments, attempts to rely upon a historic precedent and legal arguments.

“The long historical use of an Article V type authority can be traced back as far as seventeenth-century England. Today's use of Article V authority by the States is endorsed by such Constitutional scholars as Professor Rob Natelson (Independence Institute), Nick Dranias (Goldwater Institute), Professor Randy Barnett (Georgetown University Law Center) and Russell L. Caplan (author of Constitutional Brinksmanship.)”

Such a scholarly approach provides no effective answer to the essential questions.

1) Is there ever an example of a ruling class volunteering to limit, much less eliminating significant portions of their power?

2) Whatever specifics encoded in the U.S. Constitution to amend the “Supreme Law of the Land”, when was the last time that the tyrannical establishment obeyed the law if it conflicts with their own power?

The video, States Triggered an Article V Constitutional Convention call from Congress, indicates that the Federal Government political class, ignores the State initiatives to call a Constitutional Convention. Likewise, the YouTube, Constitutional Revelations of the Article V Convention to Propose Amendments, discusses that Congress refuses to act upon or allow the calls of States to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Both of these accounts claim that an actual convention would need to be held to deal with amendment proposals.

From the Propaganda & Article V‏, on the Secure the Republic site an even more profound concern is that Congress will procedurally block attempts to bring any amendments for submission, well before individual States would seek to ratify the changes.

For Method 2, REMEMBER:  the U.S. Congress decides the mode of ratification. The state legislators can be circumvented if the Congress calls for ratifying conventions.  For the evidence showing the inability of the States to limit an Article V Convention click here .

A long list of respected liberty advocates share this fear.  The New American in Levin’s Risky Proposal: A Constitutional Convention, reasons that “Levin is proposing an Article V constitutional convention, or as he prefers to call it, “a convention for proposing amendments” or “the state convention process,” as a means to an end.” Their viewpoint is that Method 2 will undoubtedly require a Convention of States (COS). Additional resource links from The John Birch Society support their contentions. 

Ben Swann cites, “According to ConventionofStates.com, this month Virginia, South Carolina and Florida became the first to pre-file an Application for a Convention of the States Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.” Then he references Michael Lotfi, in the Washington Times community, “Mark Levin is incorrect when he says that it authorizes a “state convention process.” This is because Article V only allows states to apply for Congress to call a convention.”

So what is the sensible course of action that States can adopt to stop the Federal Despot?

Publius Huldah has the answer from the original writings of our Framers.

“Our Framers actually told the States to do when the federal government violates the Constitution: Nullification of the unlawful act is among the first of the recommended remedies – not one of which is “amendment of the Constitution”.

It is already proved in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers, that our Framers endorsed nullification by States of unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison summed it up as follows:

“…when powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act”4 is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…” 


For a most comprehensive account on this course of States Sovereign Rights, look to Diane Rufino in her essay, Nullification vs. Article V Constitutional Convention: where is the honest and open discussion? Ms. Rufino cites Michael Lotfi, the Associate Director of the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center as giving a wonderful explanation of the legitimacy of Nullification. He writes:

“The powers delegated to Congress are few and defined. The Tenth Amendment provides explicit validation for nullification, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" (emphasis added).

In regards to nullification, does the Constitution delegate this power to the federal government? It obviously does not. Does the Constitution explicitly prohibit nullification? It does not. It can now easily be concluded that nullification is a power reserved for the people of their respective states.

The Ninth Amendment expounds even further the right to nullification. "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Jefferson explained that nullification was a natural right belonging to the people and their respective states. Because the Constitution does not expressly prohibit nullification, the federal government cannot deny or disparage this natural right of the people.”

Finally, delve into the incompatible work of Tom Woods. Start with State Nullification: What Is It? The entire issue about how to reign in the Federal government that acts as a National State rests upon the rightful delegation of consent for rightful authority. Mr. Wood argues that the ”Supremacy Clause applies to constitutional laws, not unconstitutional ones.  For a full reply to this objection, see Professor Brion McClanahan.”

The Federal government has become the definitive tyrant and has forfeited any claim of legitimacy. When the U.S. Constitution was forced upon the colonists with a suspect ratification saga of authenticity, this ultimate descent into central governing authoritarianism was inevitable. Read both essays,  In the beginning: Let there be the Articles of Confederation and Articles of Confederation was Preferable, for a correct and proper perspective on the genuine history of the betrayal of the American Revolution.

Advocating an approach based upon a Convention of States (COS) for proposed amendments is futile because the DC - District of Crooks will just continue to ignore the will of State legislatures. However, when individual States exercise the courage to simply refuse to obey or enforce Federal laws, regulations and fiat executive orders, the tide will turn with a tsunami of righteous defiance.

When James Madison affirms Jeffersonian nullification, “Thus the right of nullification meant by Mr. Jefferson is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression”, we the progeny of the founding generations have the solution through our State legislatures to challenge the coercion and oppression of the Federal devil.

SARTRE – January 13, 2014   

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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.

 Article V, US Constitution

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