As many of our readers know, Red Millennial has endorsed Convention of States Project as the only solution big enough to confront the problem of federal overreach. RM’s Chief Policy analyst Seth Connell has written in favor of the Article V process but recently expressed his concerns.
Like Seth, I too had questions about the process. In fact some of its most ardent advocates, including Mark Levin, were once skeptical of an Article V convention. With Seth’s permission, I’ve penned a brief set of answers to his questions, considering the safeguards against the scenarios he proposes.
Do we really want a Leftist like George Soros supporting the movement?
Leftist billionaire George Soros and his Wolf PAC have indeed supported an Article V convention of states, but a different kind than the one Convention of States Project proposes. Wolf PAC’s resolution seeks to overturn Citizens United, but it would not be germane in a COS Project convention. Allow me to explain.
Historically the states have ratified over 400 resolutions calling for a convention of states. So why haven’t we had a convention? Because 34 on the same subject are required. The closest we ever got was under President Reagan when he lobbied for an Article V convention to draft a balanced budget amendment. Thirty-three states ratified such a resolution, but fears of an Article V convention prevailed. Were the states to have successfully drafted and passed a balanced budget amendment, can you imagine how much better the country would be doing financially and economically?
All that to say, for the Wolf PAC’s convention to even be called, it would need to be passed by both chambers in 34 state legislatures, a tall order given that only 11 legislatures are controlled by Democrats. Republicans control 69 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers (Nebraska has one chamber). Wolf PAC’s resolution has very little support, even in Democrat-controlled states. Remember that it would still require approval by 38 states (75 or 76 legislative chambers) to become part of the Constitution–45 Republican chambers in addition to all the Democrat chambers.
Were a convention to be called, such as the balanced budget amendment convention or COS Project, the Wolf PAC amendment would not be germane under either of these subjects. If it were to be brought up by a delegate, the delegate’s legislature reserves the right to recall that delegate, and other delegates reserve the right to challenge the proposal so that it could be disregarded immediately. Some states have even passed laws that would send delegates to prison for violating the convention rules.
If we follow a wildly hypothetical scenario in which somehow none of this occurs and the Wolf PAC’s amendment is passed out of the convention by a majority of the states, the proposed amendment would be subject to a series of legal challenges by conservative groups (including COS Project itself).
Finally, it would take only 13 chambers to stop a bad proposal from being ratified. Surely out of all the Republican legislatures in the nation, we have at least 13 good chambers.
To find out more, please visit this link.
Who will be the delegates at the Convention?
For that question, we look at history. Although an Article V convention has never been convened, there is precedent for the states calling conventions, or meetings, throughout the early history of our nation, including the Constitutional Convention itself. In every case, the state legislatures selected the delegates.
To find out more, check out constitutional scholar Rob Natelson’s research on this topic.
Seth raises a scenario in which George Soros influences the states to select leftist delegates, but it’s not clear to me how this could occur. As stated before, 69 of the 99 legislative chambers are controlled by Republicans, and they control the delegate selection process. Most state legislators, Republican and Democrat, also tend to be more conservative than their counterparts in the United States Congress.
Like Seth, I agree that the legislatures must carefully select the delegates and weigh the proposed amendments with wisdom. As I have covered this movement, I have seen a fellow volunteer patriots and hundreds of state legislators who give me hope. They revere the Constitution, they love this country, and they cannot bear to see the American ideals slipping from our grasp.
As Michael Farris, co-founder of COS Project, is fond of saying, this effort will not succeed without the hand of God prevailing. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton may not exist in our day, but I daresay men like them are among us.
Men with the courage of a Patrick Henry and the wisdom of a James Madison are yet among us, because I see their spirit in this movement. Like the Founders, these are ordinary men and women choosing to do extraordinary things, because they understand the times in which they live and are bold enough to do something about it.
Here’s an inspiring speech from one of those men.