All 27 of the amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by Congress. Why has a convention of the States for proposing amendments never even been tried? And, why are conservative voices and leaders renewing the push to call a convention? Is it safe? Do we really want to open up our Constitution to a convention where it could be completely dismantled? And, if we aren’t following the Constitution now, why would we believe new amendments to the Constitution would be followed? These and many other questions will be discussed in this presentation as we once again find out that the answer lies in the Constitution.
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Speaker: Hi. Alright. Well, welcome everyone to Article 5 in the Constitution. This is number four in the lecture series, the In The Constitution Seminars Series that I do. Today is going to be interesting, Article 5 [00:01:00.00] in the Constitution. The presentation is a little bit different that the other ones that I do. It actually deals with just one article. And that one article, all that talks about is the Amendment process. So, it will be interesting to go through.
The founders, when they wrote Article 1 about the Legislator, and Article 2 about the Executive, the Article 3 about the Judicial, and Article 4 about the States, and kind of bunch of other stuffs. Article 5 was the article that just addresses how to change the Constitution. Article 5 is kind of funny, the fun fact, a little known fact, a little known use. It is one big long round on sentence. Article 5 is one long round on sentence. [00:01:00.00]
And a popular statement today is that the Constitution needs to be living and breathing. It has to change with the times. Then, I agree. Article 5 is the way it is living and breathing, the way that it can change with the time. That is the whole point. It is critical to understand, Article 5 points out that the way to amend the Constitution is a Legislative process. It is not an Executive process; it is not a Judicial process. So, Executive orders, treaties, majority opinions, case president; none of that is what changes the Constitution. The only thing that can change the Constitution is the Amendment process.
So, we are going to spend, like I said, the entirety of this presentation, just in Article 5. Okay. Let us get started here. We got a quote by George Washington; I think it is pretty good. We got a couple of quotes here that may say more eloquently on what I have just said. First of all, he says the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and alter the Constitution of the government. Now, that reminds me of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says that whenever [00:02:00.00] any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. That is essentially what it says, right?
It is the right of the people to make and alter their Constitution of government. That is a principle based on self-governance. Now I follow that quote by saying, but the Constitution which in anytime may exist, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all, okay? Because in a republic, or rule of law, we don’t just willingly do what we want to do; we follow our laws, don’t we?
And that the Constitution is the supreme law of our land. It is sacredly obligatory upon all of us. We must follow it. Until it is changed by, what do we call it, explicit and authentic act of the whole people. What is that explicit and authentic act? It is the Article 5 Amendment process. That is the only way to change it. We will follow the constitution. And we won’t change it and make our own definition of it. We will change it if we follow the rules for changing it, okay? [00:03:00.00] So, pretty good straight forward there.
He says that other opinion–this is in his farewell address. And in his farewell address, George Washington’s farewell address is one of the best documents to read. He says this, If in the opinion of the people the distribution of modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong–so the peoples’ opinion says: Hey look, we need to modify or redistribute the power within the different–within our system of government. It is in the right of the people to do that, correct? That is what they can do.
And then he says this: Let it be corrected. Okay? If the people said, we need to change it. Let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates, like what I was saying earlier. You want to change it, change it by the way the Constitution says you can change it, by the Amendment process.
It is followed by this quick little clause, Let there be no change by Usurpation. Now Usurpation is the unauthorized taking of power. Okay? Let there be no changes simply by Usurpation. So, let us explore that. How does the Judicial branch affect changes by Usurpation? Well, the Majority Opinions, by Case Presidents, [00:04:00.00] etcetera, right? How does the Executive department, how does the Executive branch make a change by Usurpation? Well, by issuing an Executive orders, having an Administrator Rulings, having Treaties that change the Constitution.
Here is an interesting question too, they say before that the Legislative process, that is what changes the Constitution. Is there any way the Legislative branch Usurp? To change by Usurpation. Well, actually there is, if they make laws that change the Constitution, because the standard to make laws is only a simple majority in the signature–simple majority in both Houses, and the signature of the president.
But the standard to change the Constitution, as we will see later as we get in to this, is much higher. It is two-thirds of both Houses, not just a simple majority, two-thirds of both Houses, and three-fourths of the States, ratifying the change. Even the Legislative process can Usurp and change the Constitution outside of the proper Amendment process.
Going on with this quote, he says this: For though this and one instance may be the instrument of good it is the customary [00:05:00.00] weapon by which free governments are destroyed. In other words, let the process work it’s slow methodical outcome. Let us not be rash and change the Constitution in which you win, and quickly, and–because maybe at one time it may seem very necessary, okay? Maybe it is an instrument of doom, but really, traditionally it is–the story of history is the story of destroying and running over our law and not having any freedom, having freedom destroy that way, okay.
So, which is nice segway into our next slide. How many of you have heard Mark Levine? Hopefully a lot of you have. I have heard of him. I have read two of his books. I highly recommend him. He is a great commentator. On my opinion, he is one of the best conservative commentators we have on the radio and TV. Because he is very Constitutional, okay. I enjoy what he says. I enjoy what he teach. And I think he is great. He has a new book out called Liberty Amendments.
And unfortunately I have an opposite opinion on his new book. I feel like it is a very dangerous book, that offers some ideas that are not Constitutional, that are–hurt our Constitution and not help it. So, we are going to look into this. Just to [00:06:00.00] make sure we understand, I am not against Mark Levine, I am not. I am not trying to put him down. I am just simply trying to critic his ideas in this book, Liberty Amendments, that I think might expose some ideas that we may have not considered before.
So, let us take some opening questions here, because idea on Article 5 convention. That is what this book is talking about, holding a convention of the States, that is what he calls it, an Article 5 convention. Let us ask some question regarding an Article 5 convention. First of all, does our Constitution have problems? Or do we have problems following the Constitution? I think most people will say that we have problems following the Constitution. It is the latter, right? It is not our Constitution that has the problem; it is the fact that we are not following it.
Number two, if we are not following the Constitution now, do we think we will follow the new Amendments to the Constitution? That is logical, is it not? If we are not following now, why do you think we will follow the new Amendments that will come? Just because they are new Amendments, no we are not following that.
Number three, if the convention produces new Amendments that the Federal Government chooses to disregard, just like they do in our current–currently written in our Constitution, then what? Do we call another Constitution convention [00:07:00.00] to issue new Amendments? The process of the ever revolving door, right? That is not a solution; just simply keep calling more and more Amendments. And the solutions is all in the Constitution.
And number four, with the types of laws being passed currently in the Federal and State levels, do we really expect the convention to produce Amendments made in the Constitution more in lined with the true principles of freedom, and the proper role of Government? So if we really are going to pull this convention together and kind of work in change this Constitution, do we expect the outcome to be more conservative, more principle, freedom-loving? No. No, the current political environment we find ourselves in.
Okay, so these are the questions to start out. Can Alice get in the Constitution? Let us look at Article 5, let us see what it actually says, okay? Article 5 is interesting; the way to look at it is the way I look at it. Is that there is three pairs of instructions. The first pair deals with the two methods to propose Amendments. The next pair of instructions deals with two methods to ratify, [00:08:00.00] of to adopt the Amendments. And the third pair of instructions have to do with two items that cannot be changed by the Amendment process, that are off the table. You cannot touch them through the Amendment process.
The two ways to propose, two ways to ratify, and then two issues that cannot be changed by the Amendments process; kind of interesting when we look at Article 5. That is what the whole thing is. This slide right here just shows us the first half of Article 5. Remember when I said one big long run on sentence, this is the first half. And this first half talks about the proposing methods and the ratifying methods, and we are going to go through it. We are going to read it through it right now entirely, and then we are going to go back and hit the highlights, okay?
It says this: The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deemed necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or on the application of the Legislative is the two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention from proposing Amendments. Which in either case can be valid to all intents or purposes, as part of this Constitution when ratified by the Legislative of three-fourths the several States, or by convention in three-fourths of thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification [00:09:00.00] be proposed by the Congress.
This is the all in one breadth. So let us look at this more specifically now. Like I said, there is two methods–the ways that you can propose Amendments. The first method is this right here, when there is two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary that is the first way that you can propose Amendments. Now the twenty-sevens we had in the Constitution, how many were proposed this way? All twenty-seven. All twenty-seven are proposed, because two-thirds of both Houses thought that there is a need to change the Constitution to Amended, okay.
And so once that condition is met, do it happens? Well, according to Article 5, the Congress shall propose Amendments to the Constitution. Who do they propose them to? Because proposing does not mean that they are ratified. It only means that we think that is what should happen. We want to propose it to. Who do we propose it to? The States, right. We have talked about it earlier. We said it is in Article 5 as well. They propose the Amendments to the States.
Now, there are two different ways for the States to ratify it. The first way, [00:10:00.00] according to Article 5, it says that it is ratified by the Legislators of three-fourths of the several States. So the current standing Legislators, all the fifty States, as long as there is three-fourths of those States ratify and accept, adopt the Amendment, then it becomes the new Amendment of the Constitution, the new supreme law of the land. That is one way.
The second way, according to Article 5, is by convention in three-fourths thereof. Okay, so special ratifying convention. The first way is by the current State Legislators. They simply just have to ratify it, three-fourths of them. Or the second way, which is by a special ratifying convention, where they call people together from the State, and then they choose to vote on whether to accept or reject the Amendment that has been proposed by the Congress.
Now, a question that is often asked, who is in-charge of the State ratifying convention? And the answer to that is the States themselves. They are the ones who decide the rules to ratifying conventions in each respective State. [00:11:00.00] Another point to make here is, in the last question here, which ratification option, who is in-charge on which option to be used? Well, it is clearly stated in Article 5, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress. So Congress chooses which mode of ratification will be used.
Now we have talked about twenty-seven Amendments of the Constitution. How many of them were ratified by the Legislators, or the first option, by the standing State Legislators? Twenty-six out of the twenty-seven. There is only one that is ratified by the second way, by ratification of–ratification convention in States. And that is an interesting story. It is the twenty-first Amendment. The twenty-first Amendment was ratified by a special convention within the States.
Now twenty-first Amendment, you remember when that was? It was in the repealed the eighteenth Amendment, repealed prohibition. Okay, the Congress knew from the current Legislator of the States in the Union at that time, they knew that certain Legislators would not approve, [00:12:00.00] would not adopt the twenty-first Amendment; did not want to repeal prohibition. One of them as an example is Utah. They knew the Legislator in Utah would not do so.
So what did the Congress do? Then we are going to exercise our option, according to Article 5, and we are going to have ratification conventions. Special conventions called within the States to ratify. And what happened? Well, particularly in the case of Utah, it became the last State in the Union needed to get that three-fourths of majority, and to ratify the twenty-first Amendment bringing into existence.
It is kind of interesting. What it points out, is simply the Congress is shabby; they knew what they were doing. They already know, Oh, wait. This is not going to the State Legislators. Let us see our second option. And let us use the ratifying conventions. And that is how they were able to make that occur. So to be clear, up to this point we have talked about, the first way is two-thirds of both Houses. Now we have talked about the two ways to ratify, okay. The first way is three-fourths of the State Legislators, or three-fourths of ratification conventions that are called. Okay.
Now, [00:13:00.00] let us go on and talk about the second method of proposing Amendments. This is the second way which proposes Amendment. Article 5 says this: On the application of the Legislators of two-thirds of the several States. Now, this clearly states that the States themselves apply, that is their jobs. They are supposed to apply. And once that condition is met, once the conditions are met, the two-thirds of the States apply for a convention, then what? Well then, it very clearly says the Congress shall call a convention. Not Congress may or if they want to, they could, no. The Congress shall.
So the States do force them to call a convention. One of the things that I think is an error of what Mark Levine is proposing in convention of the States is proposing the same, this is the convention of States. The States are not in-charge, the States are calling the convention. They are not calling the Convention, they apply for the convention, and then the Congress calls the convention.
So, Congress calls the convention, who is the one making the rules about the convention? Congress. They are the ones who decide in [00:14:00.00] how many delegates are sent. There are deciding how many voting delegates per state. They are the ones deciding all the rules and technicalities of the convention, because the Congress is in-charge. So the very basic level to say is to say the State is in-charge, don’t worry. That to me is contradicting on what Article 5 itself says. It says the Congress shall call the convention. The State only role is to apply for the convention, okay.
Now, let us move on here to what it says in application to this, They shall call a convention. And then it says, for proposing Amendments. So what is the purpose of the convention; to propose Amendments right? And does Article 5 says only one Amendment, or does it say the plurality of Amendments? On plurality does it. And does it say there is a limit to Amendments? No. There is not a limit. You can have as many Amendments as you want. And they can be proposed where – at the convention.
A lot of those things–some applicants of the convention, don’t worry–and you notice that they are very careful to say this is a convention–Constitutional convention. They stay away from that. Because that has some challenges. They don’t want to open up [00:15:00.00] the Constitution to doing whatever. Who wants to do that? And they say, No. We don’t want to do that.
Well, the issue is though, when you do call a convention, according to the strict words, the plain interpretation of Article 5, you do propose Amendments, and there is no limit to how many, and you propose them there at the convention. It is an open ball game; it is an opportunity for a runaway convention, okay. It is that perfect formula. What is a runaway convention? A runaway convention is a convention that exceeds its original mandate for meeting in the first place. Remember we said in the beginning, all twenty-seven Amendments have been passed simply by both two-thirds of both Houses, and one in those Amendments to be proposed. We never had a Constitutional convention except for the first one, right? Back in 1787. And the first Constitutional convention back in 1787 was by definition a runaway convention.
Historically, what happened? Lot of the States sent delegates to the convention with strict orders, they said: Look, your order is–your limit of authority is to revise the Article of Federation. [00:16:00.00] Remember historically, what happened? Madison, the Virginia plan, one of the very first thing Madison did or at least the delegates from Virginia stood up and said was, Let us be honest with each other, the Articles of Federation are not working. We need to essentially set them aside and start over with this new plan called the Constitution.
They exceeded their original mandate. They exceeded their original authority. Now, is that a problem? Is that–I mean is our Constitution illegal? No. Because what happened is that the States who sent them, they were the ones who got to choose whether to ratify that decision or not. Now if the delegates at the Constitutional convention said we are going to sign–September 17th 1787, when they signed the Constitution, the delegates, did that make it the law of the land? No. They just simply said: We inscribed our names and hereby attest that this is the best plan for America. But then they knew and understood that their power came from the States and the peoples. They sent it back to get ratified, did they not?
And the people and the States said, you know what, you are right. This is the best thing for us to do. We do [00:17:00.00] hereby grant the authority to do what we previously did not give the authority for you to do. We did not give you authority to set aside the Article of Federation, but we see that it is wise, we will go ahead and grant that authority. So the original grantors of the authority approved what happened. And that is how our Constitution is legitimized in that way.
Now, a point to be made as well, that our Founding Fathers are God fearing. They are principle-centered. They put the interest of the country ahead of their own self-interest. That was a beautiful part of what they did, when they were part of this runaway convention. Because they realized that they needed to have a little bit stronger sense of gravity. They needed to have a government that would work to their safety and happiness.
Not only that the Founders exceed their original mandate to revise Articles of Federation, they also exceeded their rules of ratification. The original rules within the Article of Federation were thirteen out of thirteen States have to ratify any changes. What happened is resulted of the Articles–of the Constitutional convention, they changed it. Now the ratification rules [00:18:00.00] are nine out of the thirteen States. It is actually lower the bar. So they make changes, they only needed nine out of the thirteen States, okay. So they not only exceeded what their stated purpose was, but they also changed the ratification process.
So once again, remember we have never done changes of the Constitution through convention. The only convention we do ever have, has exceeded its authority, in both its stated intent and the ratification process. So, to say we have not to worry about that much now, the convention will never do that in these days, with the only president we have now, that is exactly what happened. Okay?
Now, it is important to understand when that convention is called, and those Amendments are proposed, they are still just proposed, [inaudible][00:18:38.26] and there is still those two different ways that they are ratified. What will we do with them again? Which in either case shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution when ratified by the Legislators, three-fourths of the several States, or by convention in three-fourths of thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification maybe proposed by the Congress.
Fundamentally, one of the things that are really important to understand is, once that convention [00:19:00.00] is called, once two-thirds of the States apply when the convention is called, Congress is in-charge. And whatever happens in that convention can happen. There is no limit to the Amendments that could happen, okay.
Now, two safeguards have been proposed and says, Look, no matter how many Amendments are proposed during that, one of the ideas is that this convention of States is marked within ideas, don’t worry, it is going back to the States. And the States would not approve anything that is bad or destroy the Constitution, okay.
I have two responses to that. Here is the first thing they say, the first safeguard they say is that Most Legislators are Republican and Conservatives, so we can trust the States to not allow bad Amendments to get passed. Well, let us go back to remembering a certain point in Article 5, Congress chooses a method of ratification. So, let us think for one second if the great majority of the States are Republican and Conservative, and Congress wants their Amendments, instead of a more progressive and liberal of the past, guess what? They don’t have to go through the State Legislators anymore.
Remember that point I made earlier, that is the point I am trying to make. One of the twenty-first Amendment, it says it is not going to work this [00:20:00.00] way, so let us send it through ratification conventions. Let us not send it to the State Legislators. Let us make these States call a convention; hopefully can pack them with similarly reminded progress of Liberals, et cetera. Okay.
A very legitimate argument, the State Legislators are in-charge of the rules of the conventions, so they are still going to be able to control the outcome of the ratifying conventions, even if Congress exercise their power to circumvent and not use the State Legislators to ratify the Amendment. But, that maybe true theoretically, but historically look what happened to the twenty-first Amendment as an example.
The Utah State Legislators which were against the twenty-first Amendment, they were the ones who wrote the rules for the ratifying conventions, the State of Utah, alright. And what happened to the ratifying convention? They approved it. They ratified what the State Legislators who are in-charge of that convention would not have ratified. And so, historically, proof wise; it is not a very legitimate safeguard. They say the State Legislators are in-charge of the conventions, they will control it. That is not what happened in the twenty-first Amendment.
So that is the first safeguard. The second safeguard they say is, [00:21:00.00] the only thirteen States that have not to ratify, there is only 3 course states,it only needs thirteen States to say they don’t want to do this. And they actually virtually guarantee that there are no bad Amendments would make it through the process.
Two points to that, [inaudible][00:21:10.00] first of all once again, remember the ratification process can be changed. And maybe we only need thirteen States now, but what if–what if it is, look we need–this whole purpose of putting on this convention is to give more power to the States. Let us make it only twenty-six States have to ratify. Let us make it a simple majority.
Can that happen? Yes, that could happen. And then you would need half of the States to say no, we don’t want to do this. Is there a potential to that to occur? Yes. And it is not theoretical, it actually happened in the past, right. They changed their ratification process in the original convention, they can do it again.
And the second response to that is if anyone heard of the sixteenth or seventeenth Amendments? Those are freedom destroying Amendments. They brought the past with the same assurance that all we need is thirteen States to not ratify this, right. The same assurance that we just need is so few people to not want to ratify it, will make sure that no bad Amendments get through. [00:22:00.00]. Sixteen to seventeen Amendments are bad Amendments, and they got through. Okay.
Now, Article 5, we just talked about two processes for proposing and two processes to ratifying. Now we are going to talk about the two Amendments that are off the table that cannot be changed. Here are the two issues that cannot be changed by Amendment. Here they are, I will just read this to you, and we will go through it once again then talk about it and all. Provided that no Amendment which be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses of the ninth section of the first Article, and that no State without its concession to be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. Okay.
In case you did not catch the two issues we are going to review them. Let us start in the bottom actually, we just mentioned the seventeenth Amendment, so let us talk about the seventeenth Amendment. Here is what it says, there is no State without its consent shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. So that is off limits. You cannot change it by Amendment, that idea that the State without its consent be deprived of equal suffrage in the Senate. [00:23:00.00]
So the question is, have States been deprived of their equal suffrage in the Senate? At first, you would say no. Because mostly we will look at this and say, Well, look. Article 1 section three clause one, here is the original Constitution said, before the seventeenth Amendment, The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislative thereof, for six years. And each Senator shall have one vote. And most will say, we are good to go. Look, each State have two Senators, they each serve for six years, each have one vote. They still have equal suffrage. Okay.
But let us look in detail, what the seventeenth Amendment did. What the seventeenth Amendment did is that it took this part of the original Constitution in Article 1, it says chosen by the Legislator thereof, and that is what changed. It changed and made it say elected by the people thereof. So I will ask the question again, have the States been deprived of their equal suffrage in the Senate? Yes. The States no longer choose their Senators, the people do. Okay.
Originally, the Constitution is setup so that the House of Representatives represented the people. [00:24:00.00] And the U.S. Senate represented the States. But what the seventeenth Amendment do? It robbed the States of their equal suffrage in the Senate, because now, both the Senate and the House represents the people. Okay. The Senate no longer represents the States. So why does this matter? Why does it really matter that the States have been robbed of their equal suffrage? They still have two Senators, get over. No big deal.
But why it matters, let us give a particularly important issue today is Obama care. How many States sued the Federal Government? Over thirty, right. So, over thirty says it sued the Federal Government, how many Senators of those States have in the Senate? Over sixty, right. And those sixty would what? The sixty plus Senators would have never voted for, and it would never pass and go on the President having signed, because the Senate would have shut them; because the Senate was representing the interest of the States. The same States that are suing the Federal Government. Over thirty of them, okay.
So, it is some freedom issue. That is viewed by the Constitution; there are issues in there [00:25:00.00] that makes sense. You look at it and say, Oh! Wow! I have not thought about it, that that is how it works. Okay, so Article 5, remember the second issue that could not be touch by Amendment has been touched by Amendment. I mean the seventeenth Amendment deprived the States of equal suffrage.
Now, let us go back to the first issue that cannot be changed through Amendment. Let us read this, it says: Provided that no Amendment which made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first Article. So, prior to 1808, they could not make an Amendment to change this issue. What is the issue?
Well, it talks about it in–it says Article 1 section nine, clauses one and four, let us read them for a second, here is Article 1 section nine: The migration and importation of such persons, right. So we are talking about slave trade, okay. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808. But a tax or duty may be imposed in such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person. [00:26:00.00] kay.
So what does that first clause of Article 1, section nine say? It says slave trade shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to 1808. Secondly, a duty, an indirect tax of ten dollars per slave may be imposed by Congress. Alright, now what does clause four says, because that cannot be changed either. Clause four says, no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration here and before directed to be taken.
In other words, a direct tax can only be imposed on slaves at a rate of three-fifths the person, right. As long as this existed, South wanted to make sure that such person’s slaves are only counted as three-fifths a person, for direct taxage and purposes. Okay. So the slave trade was a thing that could not be amended before 1808. Was it amended before 1808? No. It was after–well after 1808 that they amended this whole idea of slavery, thank goodness. We are glad that they are not here anymore, but that provision is no longer in effect, because it is in the past, 1808.
So, there in general, let us repeat it again, Article 5; two ways to propose Amendments, okay. Two-thirds of both Houses or convention, and then two ways to ratify, two-thirds–three-fourths of State Legislators or three-fourths of a special ratifying convention, and two issues that cannot be touched. Equal suffrage of the States, which have already been destroyed in seventeenth Amendment. And slave trade, which is no longer in the table, because it is in past 1808. Okay. [00:27:00.00] That in a nutshell is Article 5.
Now, let us take a second and go back, let us make some assumptions. Here is Article 5 again, let us take the assumptions that Mark Levine makes. He says like this is the convention of States–now let us for a second, contrary to Article 5 actually states, let us assume these States really are in-charge of calling the convention. Okay.
In Wyoming then, if the States are in-charge, what types of delegates are we going to be sending to our convention? What types? Just pure Constitutionalists, Conservatives, or would it be [00:28:00.00 ] proper and logical to send the same types of Representatives and Senators we have in our House, in our Senate, State Legislator, the same types of people that would be send in as delegates, in general, the same values, the same ideas, the same principles?
Let us talk about four bills in general, in the 2013 session, okay. Let us talk about SF 104. That was passed, what does SF 104 do? They punish the people, took away from them the right to vote for the Super Intendant of Public Construction. Technically we still can vote for that position, but the position does have no duties to be in-charge of Education, okay. So that passed by our Republican, Red, Conservative Legislator, okay.
Secondly, what is HP 104? HP 104 was the bill that said, We are going to reject any Federal gun control. If Federal Government tries to come in and take our guns, we are going to throw them in jail, shoot them like anyone else is stealing your property, and take away from us our right to defend ourselves. Did HP 104 pass? No. Our State Legislators are–Oh, we cannot tell the State–the Federal Government what to do.
These are two examples, but what about the Highway Bill? [00:29:00.00] What about our Highway Fuel Taxes that went up by seventy percent? And our Legislators, our Conservative Legislators–yes. What about the Lottery Bill? Okay. And we can go on and on. These ideas, these Conservative–this Conservative Legislators is proposing and passing Bills in our State Legislators that are freedom destroying, not freedom upholding.
So to say don’t worry; we are going to send delegates that are good, Conservative Constitutionalists. Well, if Mark Levine is saying Wyoming is one of those States, I beg to differ. Well, I am from Wyoming; I can tell you that I have a different opinion of how conservative our legislator is. Let me tell you something, an interesting fact, which is the most republican, the most conservative state in the union? Wyoming. We have more republicans in our senate and our house and the house and our senate in the state level under the state legislator than any other state. So on paper, I am guessing that Mark Levine was saying, we are one of those states. We are one of those good states that are going to stand up and only stand for freedom. Only delegates, [00:30:00.00] only ratified good things. And I have to say, well, unfortunately, history has shown and recent history especially, that we are not as conservative as it looks like. We’re really not standing in front of those principles of freedom. And, here’s the funny part, if that’s true that Wyoming, the conservative state, is going to be sending delegates and maybe more rhino, that maybe more progressive, that maybe we’re liberal, then let’s just go and impose that same logic on Massachusetts or California. What type of delegates are they going to send? It’s illogical to say, Oh, don’t worry, only good delegates are going to be sent. That doesn’t make sense, okay? Now, here’s another little point that leads me to believe a simple logic that the states can’t be in charge of calling the convention. Let’s think about it for a whole one second. The small states, what are the small states going to do? The small states are going to advocate that every state should have one vote, right? Say, every state has a vote, all 50 states send one voting delegate to this convention, that’s only a fair way to do it ,so all the states are represented. Wyoming sends one delegate and then look , next thing you know, California sent 53 delegates. And, California says, Well, I can’t do that, it’s not fair. California gets one vote and Wyoming gets one vote. That’s not the same. We have 53 times as many people, we’re going to send 53 delegates.Then, Wyoming says, Well that’s not fair, so we’re going to send 53 delegates ourselves, and California says, Oh no, we’re going to send 53 times 53 then. It only makes sense that congress has to be in charge of deciding how many delegates are sent because if the states decide, it’s just going to go up to infinity, isn’t it? It’s just going to up the ante over and over and over until they have the whole entire population, right? All 550,000 citizens of Wyoming there as delegates, where are we going to lose because California is going to send their 39 million or whatever it is, okay? So that makes sense is, well, the states can’t be in charge of calling the convention. And an interesting point to be made here is Levin and convention of states – this website, the group that’s organized around Levin. They say every state will have one vote, okay? It’s in their documents. You can look it up in the internet. It says that every state will have one vote, according to who? Article V [0:32:00.2] doesn’t say that. Article V says that the congress is in charge. And why do they propose that every state gets one vote? Because they’re saying small states, conservative states like Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah are going to be able to have a lot more weight in the decision because the small states have just as much representation as the large states, as far as population goes, right? So, one voting delegate in Wyoming will have the same power as one voting delegate in California. And therefore, logically, if the majority of state legislatures are conservative, then all conservative principles will win. But if they’re making the assumption of one state-one vote based on what I can consider to be fault assumptions. Okay, the first thing that they throw at us is, Well look, it’s how the original constitution eventually came together. Well, that’s true, but before the original constitution eventually we have 13very independent colony states that were sovereign and that weren’t bound together by a strong national government, a strong federal government, which is why they have the convention in the first place, right? Because under the Article’s confederation, they weren’t strongly bound enough, okay? And during that convention, what happened? The issue on how states should be represented at the national level [0:33:00.1], in national issues was decided. That’s how it was decided. It makes sense when 13sovereign states get together, each state gets one vote because all the sovereign states pulling together to decide, how to run a federal government. But in that convention, they decided what would they do? They decided that the small states to their advantage, each state would have two senators, okay? So that all states were represented equally and then for the large states, to satisfy them, they said that each state would be represented in the house based on population. The small states had their representation and the large states have their representation. And that was decided in the convention. And moving forward, that’s how it’s been, that’s how our Electoral College still is, that’s how our congress still is. So I think to say that , “Oh, it’s going to be one state, one vote in this convention,” because that’s how the first convention was, I don’t agree with that because the convention[0:34:00.3] itself decided that issue. The product of the convention is what’s called the great compromise. It’s where they satisfy these issues, how are the states going to be represented. So, in the states pulling together in the convention, we’ve already decided that. If California went in there and they said and we told them, You’ll only get one delegate and we’ll only get one delegate, think California will have all kinds of legal stand and say, Wait. This tripping me to constitutional right to suffrage, which has already been decided. We don’t have one delegate, we have 55, Wyoming has 3, which has already been decided, we didn’t even go back in time to say the original convention determined how many delegates are sent, okay? So, what if small states like Wyoming and large states like California have a debate and they said, No. And they come to a standstill and we’re going to send one no and we’re going to send based on population. We come to a standstill what happens. Well, the principle of federal ism says that the states can’t impose upon other states where sovereign, their own rules and enforce those rules. Federalism says that they need to bring that to the congressional level. In congress it’s already decided, it’s already established, it’s a mixture between state representation and people representation. Okay, one of the last, I think the people say this is a convention of state; and if it’s a convention of state, each state [0:35:00.2] necessarily would just have one vote, just by one vote, one state. It’s just a convention of the state. It’s not a convention of the people. I would beg the difference, wait a second, states aren’t just the state, it’s the people themselves. We already know, at the congressional level we’re represented, or at least originally, before the 17th Amendment. The state’s people are represented and the state legislators are represented. We already defined what a state is, who the people from the definition of a state is to check the state of its true meaning. People need to be represented as well, it’s not just the state legislators. But they are making an assumption based on nothing. There is nothing in Article V that says that every state would have one vote. All it says is the congress is in charge of calling the convention. To make that assumption is simply pulling it out of thin air, there’s no justification for that. And to give us thin air, it’s going to be alright, don’t worry, it won’t be a runaway convention. Now, we’re going to go to another assumption that Mark Levin makes, okay? They say, look, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to call a convention for proposing amendments but we’re going to limit it to only one subject. What would that subject be? According [0:36:00.1] to them, according to the website , they’re saying the subject is we’ll allow all amendments to remain to quote reducing the power of the federal government to be considered. My first question to that is, What happens then? Progresses liberal socialist all say, Oh, man, I want to go to that convention. I wanted to change the constitution to make it more liberal. But we have to sit out because it says there’s only one subject. We can’t talk about the liberal stuff, we can only talk about living in the federal government. Shucks. We should maybe call our own conventions sometime. No! It’s like the liberals progresses and socialists are going to say, We’re out. It’s only limited to a certain subject, and the subject is a freedom subject, so we won’t be touched. I think that’s illogical to make that assumption. Just by saying that to one subject doesn’t mean the liberals and socials are going to sit it out. Now, the Levin company proposed that a great way to make sure that the convention is limited to one subject; they say each state needs to put forth legislation making sure their delegates would only vote for and consider those issues or the amendments that applied to the issue for which the convention is called originally around the state legislature. Well, there’s three [0:37:00.2] comebacks, I have that. Three things that we need to consider. First of all, would different delegates have different opinions about what the purpose of the convention is in the first place? And can legislation can shoulder opinion, is it possible there’s different people who think different things about whether this legislation is in line with the purpose for which the legislature called or applied for the convention? I think it’s legitimate. People have different opinions and can that legislation stop them from having an opinion? Number two, is this same idea of restricting delegates to only vote for certain things that will consider certain amendments? Was these acts seem pretense upon which delegates were sent for the original constitutional convention? What would they do? They did more than they were authorized to do. And what’s more, they convinced the state s in retrospect to go ahead and authorize what they asked them not to consider. Historically, I have another president that says, That’s not just theoretical. That actually happened as well. Third, let’s make the assumption for a second at Wyoming can control the delegates they sent to the convention, okay? Can we control the other 532 who show up?[ 0:38:00.6] And the question would be these larger states that are sending more delegates, what type of instruction are they are going to give to their delegates? Traditionally and just how we know right now, the present political situation, the bigger states tend to be a little more progressive and these progressive states have big votes, they’re going to tip the scale and their favor and so, we’ll get more progressive with liberal like it is. The second question is, in this convention states, what types of amendments would be proposed, okay? If they really do follow the subject, okay? Let’s just assume that only it does follow just one subject, we’ll only talk about freedom-loving amendments and those that reduce the power of the federal government, those that would be considered. Let me give you some examples from Mark Levin’s book. Okay, the first thing, one of them talks about as repealing the 17th Amendment. All for it, I totally agree we need to appeal the 17th Amendment. I agree with the goal, we do need appeal the 17th Amendment, but I don’t agree with the process. Don’t say, hey, let’s fix the 17th Amendment, they’re calling a convention say let’s fix it with an amendment. When you call a convention to fix one’s specific thing, you opening [0:39:00.2]a door to have all kinds of other amendments be brought past. You might get a lot more than you bargained for. So, I like the goal but I don’t like the method. I think it’s too dangerous. Next, what about a balanced budget? He’s all for that. I’m for a balanced budget but not necessarily for a balanced budget amendment. First of all, because the constitution itself already calls for a balanced budget. 80% of what the federal government spending their money on, on the agencies and programs and all of that stuff is not constitutional. So, if we simply follow the constitution and natural consequence is a balanced budget. The challenge could be when someone calls for balanced budget amendment. What does that mean? If someone can’t control how much they spend and what does a balanced budget mean? It means raised taxes, that’s all it means. Okay? So, I’m a little bit nervous about a balanced budget amendment. And all everyone talks about is term limits. Will the term limits solve the real problems? The real problems in America is the ignorance and apathy of the American people. What do term limits do? If Nancy Pelosi retired for the first presentation, if Nancy Pelosi is terminalized out. Are they going to get a constitutionalist in her position? No, it’s [0:40:00.2]going to be the same type of person. Okay? Now, the juries somewhat still out on terminalize. Okay? [Inaudible][ 0:40:05.7]Okay? So, what does it do? It stops this career politician. I t stops this super powerful positions of political appointments and it’s nice, but at what price? I think if the price of having named the extensions never would we have a sectioning congress that doesn’t have a significant number of congressmen who’re in the lane of section. Okay, is there someone who cannot debate all back and forth who Mark Levin proposed as the liberty amendments and some different ideas that think about? Let me give you two specific examples of his liberty amendments I take major issue with, okay? The first one, on page 50 of his book, Liberty Amendments, that says as quote Upon prefaced vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Congress may override a majority opinion rendered by the Supreme Court. Sounds good, right? Congress now has the ability to check the Supreme Court override their opinions. Now, we talked about this in very much detail in our checks and balances presentation, okay? A couple of presentations ago, the second one in the series. I’m going to give you just a quick [0:41:00.2], brief overview of why this memory is proposing isn’t quite all that good, okay? Let’s go. Let’s look at this for a second. Let’s look at Article III Section 2Clause 2. It says this, In all of the cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have a jurisdiction both has to law and fact. Okay? Supreme Court has jurisdiction over law, the law in fact of these different appellant cases, these cases that come with appeals process. And it says, With such exceptions and with such regulations as the congress shall make.So, according to Article III Section 2 Clause 2, Congress already has the power to check user page by the Supreme Court. There they have the ability to override their decisions. And how is that? How do they exercise that ability? According to Article III Section 2 Clause 2 is they make regulations and exceptions. How are they able to do that? Well, I don’t want to get too technical here, but let’s look real quick Article I Section 5 Clause 2 says that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. In the house, they’ve chosen to follow Jefferson’s manual. In the US Senate, they have what’s called the [0:42:00.2] Standing Rules of the United States Senate and both those different rules of proceedings, majority rules is the rule, okay? So, going back to Article III Section 2 Clause 2, the way for them to do that, the way for congress to make exceptions and regulations upon the appeal jurisdiction the Supreme Court. In other words, if the Supreme Court makes it an opinion, issues and majority opinion. And congress doesn’t like it, they simply need a simple majority to say no or overriding that. We’re no longer allowing that issue to ever go to the Supreme Court again, okay? So we’re effectively voiding that decision. That decision still stands for that certain case but will no longer be used as a case present for hereafter because congress has limited the appeal jurisdiction to make appeals process. Appeals are about that issue will no longer go to the Federal Supreme Court; they’ll stop at the state level. Okay? So effectively, the simple majority congress can stop that. So, the question then becomes, according to the constitution, what majority in both houses are required [0:43:00.2] to override the Supreme Court majority opinion? Well, according to Article III Section 2 Clause 2, all we need is a simple majority, more than 50%. According to Levin’s Liberty Amendment, what majority both houses required to override a Supreme Court decision. He says 3/5, we need 60%. Now, does the proposed liberty amendment strengthen or weaken the congressional check on the power of the Supreme Court? The supposed liberty amendment actually weakens it. The constitution already has a standard, that’s 50%, the simple majority and he says,Oh, we should propose a liberty amendment and says we have to have 60%. That weakens the position of congress. That doesn’t strengthen the position of congress. Ain’t that interesting? Okay, now, let’s go back and remember I said I was going to give you two examples of Levin? Now, the first example, which is really interesting, it’s not more liberty. It’s actually restricting liberty. Second one is on page 169, it says this quote, Upon 3/5 vote of this state legislatures the states may overwrite the federal statute. Sounds pretty good, right? States overriding federal statutes that are outside their power [0:44:00.2], their jurisdiction, okay? This sounds great but what do we know from the constitution? What does the current constitution tell us without ever being amended? Well the 10th amendment‘s very clear. The 10th amendment says, The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution nor prohibited by to the states except or to the order of the people.Okay? 10th amendment clearly says that each respective state has it’s reserved to it all rights that were not especially delegated to the United States to the federal government. Each respective state, it doesn’t say once 30 states recognized that the federal government used Supreme Court power, then they can collect to be worked overturn this federal statute that’s outside of its jurisdiction. It simply says any state, any respective state, retains all of the rights that are not especially delegated to the United States government, to the federal government. Okay? What does that mean? Well, in practical terms, that means nullification, okay? Once over the general government assumes undelegated power as nullification of the act [0:45:00.3] is a rightful remedy. Now, we talked about nullification in our second presentation, as well. Nullification isn’t sedition, that’s not succession, it’s not treason, it’s not picking and choosing which laws you will obey. Nullification is upholding the constitution. If the states never gave to the federal government a power to do a certain thing, and the federal government does that thing. Nullification says in our state, we honor and uphold the constitution. You are not to do whatever you want to do, you’re never getting that power and our state will nullify gun control, will nullify federalized health care, etc. That’s an option the states have and just one state say, I’m not going to do that. It makes sense, okay? So, we actually question again according to the constitution how many states are needed to override federal statute? One, according to Mark Levin’s proposed liberty amendment, how many states are needed to override a federal statute? 3/5 or 30 of the states. So, if this liberty amendment was put in, the federal government can literally say, if Wyoming said, We’re going to stand on our own, we’re not going to allow [0:46:00.1] you to have perform gun control in our state. The federal government can come out to Wyoming and say, Listen, you guys can stand on that, you can override this federal statute. You need 29 other states to do it though. Does that strengthen or weaken the position of the states? Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendment weakens the position of the states to check federal user patient. Because right now, we only need one state, it’s never going to give a memo or make us have 30 states. Interesting, very interesting, okay? So, a basic premise is why spent so much time worrying about trying to promote a convention and trying this untried and fairly dangerous idea. Why don’t we spend our time and our effort simply trying to promote following the constitution? In the measures the constitution has are already stronger than the supposed liberty amendments that are offered in the first place. Nullification is a great, simple constitutional way to make sure the federal government can stand up, sorry, to make sure the state government can stand up to the federal government. Why don’t we use nullification instead of shy away from it and say, Well, let’s call a convention, open up Pandora’s Box. Now [0:47:00.3], let’s just 2 explicit cases that we can go through some more and then look at them and leave that up to you. You can read the book and go through and try to understand, Oh, that doesn’t make sense. It’s going in the wrong direction. Okay? These, I think, are very clear are going the wrong direction. So, let’s analyze some questions here. These are other questions regarding the Article V Convention. First, is there sufficient morality and virtue in our public servants or the people that guide us in changing the law of our land? As it stands right now, our political climate, do we have sufficient morality and virtue in our people or our public servants? I need to go over that our answer is no, not at all. Number two, if we were to follow the strict interpretation to the Article V Convention, right? What would we do at the beginning? There’s kind of went through read the actual words. For that interpretation, do we trust congress to be in charge of the process to make changes in the constitution? Not the congress I know. I don’t trust any in charge of that. Number three, if we were to follow more loose interpretation, can more of like Mark Levin is proposing, all this convention of state, it’s just the Article V Convention, it’s not a constitutional convention. States in charge of all kinds of [0:48:00.2] checks and plays and we’re good. Do we trust the state to propose and ratify changes to our constitution? No, I don’t trust our state to do that, either, okay? We have gone through the reasons why. Number four, in short, once again, does the constitution have a problem and therefore does it need of changing, or do we as a people have a problem following our constitution? I think the latter is the case. It’s just because once again, it’s these amendments that are proposed and there are amendments that aren’t really strengthening the position, the freedom that are weakening that position the freedom. The constitution that originally that was written in the first place is that being amended provides the tools we need. We just need to follow the constitution. Number five, if we simply follow the constitution instead of changing it, would issues such as the balanced budget, term limits and out of control Supreme Court and congress to be solved? Yes, I guess I repeated myself there. Constitution already has the solutions, okay? So, two comments and in conclusion here, one of the great [0:49:00.4] emotional appeals of those in support of the convention is, Look, we’re not going to sit around and do nothing. Things are bad. Congress is never going to fix themselves, we gotta do something. Now, I agree things are bad, that the congress isn’t going to fix itself and that we need to do something but, to me, there are two false alternatives. One is, well, let’s try to convention this, and the government tried, changes have all kind of things that can happen but we gotta do something. Let’s do that, or fine, if you don’t want any of that, that just means you are a status quo. What about the third option? What about the third option of educating? Educate. Educate. We got here because of the slow and deliberate dummy of America and ignorance of the constitution. Congress is out of control because the people let them get out of control. Why not educate people and get them back into standing for, living, loving, learning the constitution. If they do that, it’s the only fix. Is that a long translusion? Yes. Some people say, Well. I don’t have time to do that. We need to just get to shortcuts. Shortcuts never work. The only way to fix this problem is to educate people [0:50:00.1], okay? And secondly, some of the advocates of the convention say, What we need to do is organize and threaten the convention because congress is scared of the death of the convention. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t buy that. I don’t believe that congress is scared to get death of the convention. I think they love to meet and legitimize and legalize what they have been doing illegally now. I mean, in knowing the constitution they have been getting, wouldn’t it be great if they could actually get together and destroy the constitution? I think that’s what would happen. What’s happening in all of the local state and federal laws that are coming out now? The freedom-destroying measures, laws that hurt the constitution that hurt the freedom. And so, wouldn’t that be what would come out of that and why they’d be opposed to a convention that would offer them the legal authority or the legal grounds to do it even more damage? So, I don’t know if I agree with the idea that we can threaten the convention and congress will go ahead and put forth an amendment because they don’t want a convention. I don’t see that happening. So, we always ask the question, what’s the solution, what do we actually do then? Well, it’s great. I’m thinking more clearly maybe than other presentations [0:51:00.3], what’s the solution? Well, the solution is restoring the constitution, we already have the solution. We need to get back to the constitution. It already tells us how to fix these things, okay? Let’s discuss this a little bit more in the what’s the solution portion of this? DVD. But it’s really briefly, the three steps are the same as I proposed, you need to educate yourself, understand the true principles of freedom, understand what’s in the constitution. Some people propose changing it, you can say, No, don’t change it. It’s better how it is and here’s where it says that.Okay? We need to share information to others. Other people need to know that as well. And thirdly, specific to this presentation what we really need to do, is we need to talk to our state legislators. This is a great opportunity to get with them, teach them these true principles, help them understand the constitutional conventions, Article V conventions, conventions of states, whatever you want to call it. Any type of convention is dangerous, it opens up Pandora’s Box and they can change the constitution however they want to do. We don’t want to do that. We want to stand with our constitution, not change it. [0:52:00.0]