Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
August 22, 2019, 04:24:42 am
News: 2019 Gubernatorial Predictions are now active

  Atlas Forum
  General Discussion
  Constitution and Law (Moderator: True Federalist)
  Convention of States
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Convention of States  (Read 4616 times)
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« on: May 12, 2017, 11:41:39 pm »
« edited: May 13, 2017, 08:56:17 pm by MarkD »

There are only two institutions that can propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- Congress or a national convention that is called for after two-thirds of the states have asked for one. The latter is sometimes known as an Article V Convention; some others call it a "constitutional convention." (Whether that is an appropriate and accurate term is sometimes hotly debated, but I for one don't care what nomenclature is used to describe it.)

As of today, a movement aiming for such a convention has obtained a little more than one-third of the states that it needs to summon it. My home state -- MO, of course -- passed a resolution this afternoon that is similar to ones that have been passed in 11 other states, so now 12 states have passed it. The movement needs 22 more states to pass resolutions like this before the convention can occur.

Here is the resolution that the Missouri House of Representatives passed today, identical in wording to the resolution that was passed by the Missouri Senate one month ago.

Whereas, the Founders of our Constitution empowered state legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal government; and
 Whereas, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and
 Whereas, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and
 Whereas, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States; and
 Whereas, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people - particularly for the generations to come - to propose amendments to the United States Constitution through a convention of states under Article V to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power:
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the members of the Missouri Senate, Ninety-ninth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the House of Representatives concurring therein, hereby apply to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the United States Constitution, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and members of Congress, ...


I support this resolution too, although not all of the language is exactly the way I would have worded it. I think the fourth "Whereas" should have been worded this way: "Whereas a proper interpretation of the Constitution would not permit the federal government to do everything it is doing, ..." It is rather embarrassing to accuse the federal government of never obeying the Constitution at all.

Remember that this convention, if it occurs after 22 more states pass resolutions like the above, can only propose amendments to the Constitution, like Congress can propose them, but they do not become adopted into the Constitution unless they are ratified by at least 38 states -- 4 more states than the number that is needed to summon the convention.

Anybody else support having a convention like this?
Logged
heatcharger
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4,198
Sweden


Political Matrix
E: -1.04, S: -0.24

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 12:30:30 am »

A Republican-dominated constitutional convention sounds like a doomsday scenario, so count me out.
Logged
SteveRogers
duncan298
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,776


Political Matrix
E: -3.87, S: -5.04

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 11:55:07 am »

A Republican-dominated constitutional convention sounds like a doomsday scenario, so count me out.

The resulting garbage amendments would still have to be ratified by 38 states.
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 11:49:16 am »
« Edited: June 25, 2017, 12:07:23 pm by MarkD »

To give this thread a bump, and to add some more info about TWO convention of states movements that are going on, here are the twelve states that have, so far, passed the resolution worded like the original post, and the dates they passed them.

Georgia, Mar 6, 2014
Alaska, Apr 19, 2014
Florida, Apr 21, 2014
Alabama, May 21, 2015
Tennessee, Feb 4, 2016
Indiana, Feb 29, 2016
Oklahoma, Apr 18, 2016
Louisiana, May 25, 2016
Arizona, Mar 13, 2017
North Dakota, Mar 24, 2017
Texas, May 4, 2017
Missouri, May 12, 2017

Plus, these states have passed the resolution out of one chamber, but not both.
North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, Arkansas, Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia, New Hampshire, and South Dakota.

Kansas, despite having a Republican-dominated legislature, is going to be a difficult one to pass this, because it is the only state, out of all 50, in which the state legislature has to pass the resolution by a two-thirds margin, just like whenever it is faced with the question of whether to ratify any proposed amendment, it has to ratify by a two-thirds margin. This is written into the Kansas Constitution.

Here is some more interesting info for those of you who lean to the left: there is an organization called WolfPac that is seeking to hold a convention of states that will propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will overturn Citizens United v. FEC. Five state legislatures have passed a resolution saying that is what they want.

Vermont, May 2, 2014
California, Jun 23, 2014
Illinois, Dec 3, 2014
New Jersey, Feb 23, 2015
Rhode Island Jun 17, 2016

To learn more about WolfPac: http://www.wolf-pac.com/

The goal of this movement is completely acceptable to me too.
Logged
Kingpoleon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18,258
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 07:35:52 pm »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 07:54:10 pm »

I don't know.
Logged
Dereich
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 3,457


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 09:27:20 pm »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?

Nobody knows. The last convention ignored the ratification requirements of its governing document, this one might too. The Court probably wouldn't touch anything about it as it'd be political matters and the Constitution doesn't set limits on the convention's authority. It'd be a giant constitutional crisis because once a convention is called it'd have as much political legitimacy (or more) as Congress or the state legislatures would.

Either way, I'd remind you that another option exists in the Constitution besides getting 38 legislatures to agree once the amendments are written out: Congress could elect to call state conventions to ratify or reject the amendments instead of going to the legislatures. That'd almost certainly be a faster process.
Logged
Kingpoleon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 18,258
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 09:32:16 pm »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?

Nobody knows. The last convention ignored the ratification requirements of its governing document, this one might too. The Court probably wouldn't touch anything about it as it'd be political matters and the Constitution doesn't set limits on the convention's authority. It'd be a giant constitutional crisis because once a convention is called it'd have as much political legitimacy (or more) as Congress or the state legislatures would.

Either way, I'd remind you that another option exists in the Constitution besides getting 38 legislatures to agree once the amendments are written out: Congress could elect to call state conventions to ratify or reject the amendments instead of going to the legislatures. That'd almost certainly be a faster process.

Sure, but the Convention's mandate would already be quite large. I can't imagine the military overriding the Convention. Furthermore, can Congress really claim authority over the Convention, or would we see the two engage in a proxy legal war?
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 05:04:35 pm »


Darn. Well, COS Project North Carolina will have to recruit hundreds more grassroots activists, campaign in 2018 against several of the legislators who voted no, and try again in two years.
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2017, 09:01:34 pm »


Then the House voted to reconsider it by sending it back to the Rules committee.

http://www.wral.com/push-for-constitutional-convention-not-quite-dead/16793637/
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 05:25:22 pm »

I just learned that the Kansas Senate failed to pass the resolution last Thursday.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/mar/08/effort-call-convention-states-fails-kansas-senate/
Logged
Skill and Chance
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4,367
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2018, 08:46:33 pm »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?

Nobody knows. The last convention ignored the ratification requirements of its governing document, this one might too. The Court probably wouldn't touch anything about it as it'd be political matters and the Constitution doesn't set limits on the convention's authority. It'd be a giant constitutional crisis because once a convention is called it'd have as much political legitimacy (or more) as Congress or the state legislatures would.

Either way, I'd remind you that another option exists in the Constitution besides getting 38 legislatures to agree once the amendments are written out: Congress could elect to call state conventions to ratify or reject the amendments instead of going to the legislatures. That'd almost certainly be a faster process.

Sure, but the Convention's mandate would already be quite large. I can't imagine the military overriding the Convention. Furthermore, can Congress really claim authority over the Convention, or would we see the two engage in a proxy legal war?

This is the fundamental problem.  It is highly likely that once a Convention is in session, they are effectively re-founding the country and no legal precedents that predate the Convention apply. 
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 10:38:03 pm »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?

Nobody knows. The last convention ignored the ratification requirements of its governing document, this one might too. The Court probably wouldn't touch anything about it as it'd be political matters and the Constitution doesn't set limits on the convention's authority. It'd be a giant constitutional crisis because once a convention is called it'd have as much political legitimacy (or more) as Congress or the state legislatures would.

Either way, I'd remind you that another option exists in the Constitution besides getting 38 legislatures to agree once the amendments are written out: Congress could elect to call state conventions to ratify or reject the amendments instead of going to the legislatures. That'd almost certainly be a faster process.

Sure, but the Convention's mandate would already be quite large. I can't imagine the military overriding the Convention. Furthermore, can Congress really claim authority over the Convention, or would we see the two engage in a proxy legal war?

This is the fundamental problem.  It is highly likely that once a Convention is in session, they are effectively re-founding the country and no legal precedents that predate the Convention apply. 

This is only a problem if you assume that most of the commissioners who attend the convention are extremely rambunctious and feel no sense of obligation to the state legislatures that appointed them. It does not worry me.
Logged
Stranger in a strange land
strangeland
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 8,392
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 06:10:30 am »

If the delegates are elected to this on a platform of not having to wait twenty years for the changes to pass 38 state legislatures, could they constitutionally waive that necessity?

Nobody knows. The last convention ignored the ratification requirements of its governing document, this one might too. The Court probably wouldn't touch anything about it as it'd be political matters and the Constitution doesn't set limits on the convention's authority. It'd be a giant constitutional crisis because once a convention is called it'd have as much political legitimacy (or more) as Congress or the state legislatures would.

Either way, I'd remind you that another option exists in the Constitution besides getting 38 legislatures to agree once the amendments are written out: Congress could elect to call state conventions to ratify or reject the amendments instead of going to the legislatures. That'd almost certainly be a faster process.

Sure, but the Convention's mandate would already be quite large. I can't imagine the military overriding the Convention. Furthermore, can Congress really claim authority over the Convention, or would we see the two engage in a proxy legal war?

This is the fundamental problem.  It is highly likely that once a Convention is in session, they are effectively re-founding the country and no legal precedents that predate the Convention apply. 

This is only a problem if you assume that most of the commissioners who attend the convention are extremely rambunctious and feel no sense of obligation to the state legislatures that appointed them. It does not worry me.

But think about who would actually attend a constitutional convention. And if forced into a convention by far right state legislatures, (non-atlas) blue states may deliberately send radicals just to be obstinate and muck things up.
Logged
Gary J
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 252
United Kingdom
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 02:00:47 pm »

A convention is a two edged sword. The proponents of the convention might find they were in a minority in the body and see their favourite amendments rejected and ideas they despised be adopted.

There are also problems with the ground rules.

1. Who would select the delegates? The state legislatures did in 1787, but would some states today prefer popular election?

2. How many delegates would each state get? Would the delegation vote as individuals or be subject to a unit rule? The precedent of 1787 was that each state sent as many delegates as it liked, but that each state had one vote to be cast as the majority of the state's delegates present and voting preferred. If the delegate votes were equal, then the state vote was not cast.

Would CA and TX be content to have the same voting weight as WY and VT?

3. Would the convention be limited to proposing amendments on the subjects referred to by the state requests for the convention? Could it propose other amendments or write a completely new constitution? The precedent of 1787 suggests that the convention could decide to write a new constitution.

4. Would amendments or a new constitutional text be proposed by a simple majority or require a two-thirds vote (whether of states or individual delegates)?

5. Would the amendments have to be ratified under the terms of the 1787 constitution or should a new method of ratification be proposed?

6. How would Congress react to something like a new constitution with a new ratifying method? Perhaps not as compliantly as the Continental Congress did in 1787.

7. If a new constitution was ratified, would the states that declined to ratify be bound by it? The 1787 constitution only applied to the states which had ratified it. It took a few years for NC and RI to accept the new constitution.
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 06:59:40 pm »

A convention is a two edged sword. The proponents of the convention might find they were in a minority in the body and see their favourite amendments rejected and ideas they despised be adopted.

There are also problems with the ground rules.

1. Who would select the delegates? The state legislatures did in 1787, but would some states today prefer popular election?

2. How many delegates would each state get? Would the delegation vote as individuals or be subject to a unit rule? The precedent of 1787 was that each state sent as many delegates as it liked, but that each state had one vote to be cast as the majority of the state's delegates present and voting preferred. If the delegate votes were equal, then the state vote was not cast.

Would CA and TX be content to have the same voting weight as WY and VT?

3. Would the convention be limited to proposing amendments on the subjects referred to by the state requests for the convention? Could it propose other amendments or write a completely new constitution? The precedent of 1787 suggests that the convention could decide to write a new constitution.

4. Would amendments or a new constitutional text be proposed by a simple majority or require a two-thirds vote (whether of states or individual delegates)?

5. Would the amendments have to be ratified under the terms of the 1787 constitution or should a new method of ratification be proposed?

6. How would Congress react to something like a new constitution with a new ratifying method? Perhaps not as compliantly as the Continental Congress did in 1787.

7. If a new constitution was ratified, would the states that declined to ratify be bound by it? The 1787 constitution only applied to the states which had ratified it. It took a few years for NC and RI to accept the new constitution.

1. The state legislatures again would select who attends the convention.

2. As many as the state legislature wants; I don't know.

I hope they would be content.

3. Yes; no; no, they would have to do nothing but propose amendments within the subject range discussed by the resolutions passed by the state legislatures.

4. Simple majority of the state delegations.

5. Amendments have to be ratified according to what is in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. They can't propose an alternative method of ratification.

6. Moot point; there won't be a new method of ratification.

7. Another moot point; there won't be a new Constitution proposed; just amendments.
Logged
MarkD
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,801
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 10:46:06 pm »

Today Arkansas became the 13th state to pass the resolution sponsored by the Convention of States Project.

21 more states to go in order to get the convention started.

Congratulations Arkansas!
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length
Logout

Terms of Service - DMCA Agent and Policy - Privacy Policy and Cookies

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

© Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections, LLC