A Long Respectful Rebuttal of Convention of States Criticisms


A valuable debate is waging in America, and here at Freedom Outpost. Should America follow the path of the Convention of States or that of Nullification? The United States Constitution and the American system of governance are at stake. I do not have an axe to grind with my fellow writers who may disagree with my positions. I respect their right to their learned opinions. Yet, I dissent, and I will not be brief.

I am a Conservative and a strong supporter of the US Constitution. For 100 years, our government (both parties) has trampled uncaringly over this honored document. It has left American citizens of all ideologies worried and the beast comprised of 320 million is now restless. This is a good thing. Moreover, so is healthy and honest debate.

The Convention of States (COS) is a movement (granted by Article 5 of the US Constitution) designed to restore government adherence to limited and enumerated powers of the US Constitution. The movement and its leaders, patriotic American men and women, now endure disparaging allegations designed to weaken public support for their proposals to amend the US Constitution.

Opponents of the COS call the movement a scam, designed to "re-write the Constitution" and instead demand strict adherence and enforcement of the US Constitution. However, I wonder what version of the Constitution they wish to have enforced?

Opponents of a COS would have Americans blindly swallow the myth that the US Constitution is a perfect document created by divinely influenced men (not women) that has never seen modification or revision. This is a fallacious contention. From its litigious birth, the US Constitution experienced numerous modifications and AMENDMENTS designed to augment vagaries and weaknesses in our laws.

The 18th century process of creating and ratifying---our founder's first version of the US Constitution---took years of hard fought debates. From September 1787 through January of 1791---during the Constitution's ratification process---anti-federalist opponents refused to support ratification of the original US Constitution as they believed the original document to be weak on states' rights and personal freedoms.

Added to assuage anti-federalist's concerns and garner support for ratification, the Bill of Rights (the first TEN AMENDMENTS to the Constitution) was adopted in December of 1791. These TEN AMENDMENTS guaranteed limited federal government power, protected citizens' personal freedoms and strengthened states sovereignty and rights to self-determination.

A recent article at Freedom Outpost implied George Mason---recognized along with James Madison as a "Father of our Bill of Rights" for his co-authoring of these TEN AMENDMENTS---lacks credibility as a founder. Somehow, opponents are now striving to discredit Mason---by citing his refusal to sign the Constitution---as cause to reject Mason.

Absent from these contentions is Mason's reason for refusing to add his name to the Constitution. Mason's refusal, in part, stemmed from his belief our original document did not go far enough to protect the supremacy of individual and states' rights. Remember only ten of Mason and Madison's twelve proposed AMENDMENTS were adopted as our beloved Bill of Rights.

Do opponents of a modern day Convention of States believe we should discard these TEN AMENDMENTS because they were not part of our founders original Constitution? Alternatively, are they suggesting we cherry pick amendments they find unappealing (eleven through twenty-seven) using "nullification". Perhaps opponents of a Convention of States would care to define with specificity the version of the US Constitution deserving of their respectful enforcement.

Moral corruptions connection to tyranny cannot be denied. Human moral corruption has existed prior to our founding. The acceptance of slave ownership and trade, a moral compromise made at Americas 18th century Constitutional Convention would take a 19th century constitutional AMENDMENT to begin to heal slaveries moral inequity once accepted as law.

The 19th AMENDMENT to the US Constitution, a 20th century departure from respect for the original version of our founders constitution, gave women the right to vote and cured another moral inequity or tyrannical practice supported by many of our founders.

Opponents of a COS take the leadership of this movement to task by alleging a hidden agenda to "re-write" the Constitution. As a supporter of the COS movement and activist for the cause, I feel an obligation to make the record clear.

The COS has "PROPOSED" (or suggested) amendments to be considered at a constitutional convention and the COS movement, and its membership has not been chosen to any potential delegation that may take place. The movement is simply offering a template to America. For anyone to imply that Michael Farris or his staff will determine the content of proposed amendments, is ludicrous.

Like our original Constitution and the TWENTY SEVEN AMENDMENTS our government adopted to date, these proposals will be vetted, modified and supplemented. Their value and legitimacy will have to clear the hurdle of a two thirds state delegation approval vote before even being considered for ratification which then requires three fourths of state delegations to vote to ratify their adoption into the US Constitution. Article 5 of the US Constitution established this process.

No one American has the power to control a Convention of States. It is by the will of the people, through their chosen delegations, that these amendments are offered for consideration. Individual state processes for delegation selection may differ, but the fact remains, one man or woman will never be granted the power in a Convention of States to define those amendments. That power rests with delegations chosen by citizens or their elected state legislatures, not by me, Michael Farris, Mark Levin or Jeremy Sillers. If pursued, this process will take years.

I am not going to defend Mr. Farris, Sillers or Levin. Their words and writing belong to them as mine belong to me alone. However, I would like to remind Americans; at one time Mark Levin opposed a Convention of States. His book "The Liberty Amendments" offers his well thought out conversion. He can defend himself. Likewise, Michael Farris, a constitutional lawyer, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, is not a quacking ideologue. He too can defend his words and actions without my help.

The article mentioned above rightly takes Americans to task for ignoring their responsibilities to elect honorable leadership and for failing to learn and understand our founding principles and laws. I agree. I would also like to add to that sentiment by reminding Americans of their historically deficient voter participation. Cumulative statistics prove that less than 70% of Americans vote in national elections and less than 40% participate in local contests. We the people have confirmed our apathetic tendencies and our federal government is feeding insatiably off them.

Opponents of a Convention of States suggest state governments are responsible for federal intrusion by accepting unconstitutional laws (which demand nullification) in exchange for federal subsidies to the states, therefore, surrendering sovereignty. In part, I agree. However, given abysmal citizen engagement of their state governments on these types of issues, I am inclined to plant that failure squarely at the feet of Americans. Government works for us and we have done a lousy job of reminding them of that fact by sitting out the process for selfish reasons.

The author of the Freedom Outpost article I mentioned (whose writing I do respect) is an attorney. Her article left me with the veiled suggestion that consideration of constructional changes to the US Constitution should be left to those formally educated in law. I adamantly disagree.

The beauty of our Constitution's imperfect convergence was not created by scholarly lawyers alone. It involved statesmen of varied backgrounds, ideologies, religions and education levels. Given the dismal record litigators own in America, I think Americans would emphatically support a little less lawyer-ing.

I would also suggest writers seeking to question the intentions of their worthy adversaries to do so out in the open. Personally, I question the credibility of critics who choose convenient anonymity. If you believe what you say, present your case for character assassination in person. It would be viewed as honorable.

In closing, I will not debate the founder's intents. Anyone who has read the Declaration of Independence and ample correspondence and speeches given during the creation and ratification of our original constitution understands original intent. It is clear that the federal government was restricted to limited powers with the balance residing with the states and their citizens. If I am not mistaken that includes supporters of a Convention of States, not just anonymous advocates supporting the supremacy of nullification.

The "Convention of States" is not a subversive movement seeking to hijack the US Constitution. It is a gathering of Patriots, recruiting and organizing our citizenry, in support of taking back our Constitution and Federal government, through an Article 5 convention, by will of the people and publicly approved amendments. To suggest that amending the US Constitution is irresponsible flies in the face of not only our Republics history, but also our founder's actions. I find that a little, as they say, silly.

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Comments

comments

  • http://teshultz.wordpress./ Thomas Shultz

    I do not stand on the left or on the right I stand in the middle, where our Governments are suppose to be. There is leadership towards an controlled Constitutional convention in fact, the In.gov senate bill 0224 really describes the punishments of breaking with State instructions. The only thing I disagree with is the process that COS is going through. Article V Constitution " on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States" , I believe the states do not need Congress's approval for convention. The word Application can just mean a process/procedure determine by the states themselves.
    The unconstitutional laws should have never made it to the light of day and they are unenforceable by anybody, if I read Amendment XIV Section I correctly. What states doing to their Senators that voted for these laws? I agree with John DeMayo, it is my fault that the country is facing the darkness.

  • Gregory Alan of Johnson

    This article reads like it was written by a lawyer (No Law or Fact Shall be Tried in Court).

    I wrote the following in 2010, and clearly do not read well into a camera:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_WdI3MWmcM
    It is the reason I do not support a "Con-Con" or Convention of States. The "United States citizen" (14th amendment) decides nothing.
    The receivership of "United States" Inc. needs to change.

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Why is it that proponents of a Article V Convention always employ logical fallacies to their arguments?

    'Red herring fallacies' are irrelevant arguments intended to draw attention away from the subject matter.

    John DeMayo already recently pointed out how he uses his real name while others remain anonymous. Why does he insist on repeating this point as if it adds weight to his own argument? It neither proves or disproves anything, ergo, it is irrelevant.

    Now he has decided to incorporate a 'Straw man' into his arguments, which is an argument intended on misrepresenting an opponent's position. Here is one for example:

    "Opponents of a COS would have Americans blindly swallow the myth that the US Constitution is a perfect document created by divinely influenced men (not women) that has never seen modification or revision. This is a fallacious contention. From its litigious birth, the US Constitution experienced numerous modifications and AMENDMENTS designed to augment vagaries and weaknesses in our laws."

    This article is not completely without merit though, it does serve as a useful illustration of sophistry at work. There are many more fallacies and incorrect statements contained in this article, how many can you find?

  • Rick O'Shea

    You are correct about this: Your article was long. It was respectful. But it was not an effective or convincing rebuttal.

  • Richard Medicus

    My biggest concern for a Convention of the States is our past lack of attention to the "content of their character" of our elected representatives. It has come to the state of Democrats, Rinos and avowed Marxists running our states and our country abetted by the media. No mention is made in ART V of the Constitution of how "representatives" to a COS would be selected. The suggestion being that the states would make that determination. Thus a COS would be controlled by those same "representatives" having been appointed by the same Democrats, Rinos and avowed Marxist members of our state legislatures. To have a preponderance of "professionals", lawyers, doctors, teachers, et. al., as our COS representatives would be a huge mistake.

  • Walter Luffman

    The Constitution (including the ten amendments of the Bill Of Rights) was originally as nearly perfect as its framers could have written and gotten ratified at the time -- which is to say, good but by no means perfect. Since then it has been amended 17 more times, each time an attempt to adapt the Constitution to the changing needs of the American people and their government. A total of only 27 amendments over 230 years (including the two imposing and repealing Prohibition) shows how serviceable a document it has been; but they also demonstrate the need on occasion to address issues that were either ignored or improperly addressed before.

    We now need a Convention of States, as provided within the Constitution to amend the Constitution, in order to address deficiencies in our master document. We don't need a wholesale re-write, but we do need to clarify and amplify specific portions of the Constitution -- one done by the people themselves, and not by lawmakers who so often seem to consider obfuscation and special exemptions (usually for themselves) high art forms. This is our opportunity as citizens to remind our government officials that they work for us, and not the other way around.

    • celticreeler

      Having been involved in two state party conventions, and seeing the outright fraud that went on in credential challenges which was systematically employed to exclude delegates properly elected locally, and having seen how the GOP rammed through rules changes in Tampa in 2012 by getting entire state delegations stuck on a bus in traffic circling the convention hall during the rules vote, having no less luminous a chair presiding than John Boehner reading a SCRIPTED vote from a TELEPROMPTER that was obviously composed BEFORE the vote was cast, and seeing the chair IGNORE A RULE THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED, i.e., the call for a "standing counted vote" which shall be honored when requested, there is NO WAY ON THIS GREEN EARTH that I have the LEAST SCINTILLA OF HOPE that a COS would not be more of the SAME, i.e., mob rule, by the mobsters able to consolidate the most power in advance of said convention.

      It is a pipe-dream to think that somehow fairness/justice/respect for the rules will prevail at a COS. The state and national party conventions in presidential election years very abundantly demonstrate that it's simply not possible. I vote for leaving the Constitution alone! Nullify unconstitutional laws in the states; impeach those who violate their oath to the Constitution.

  • sherry1053

    Thank-You John !

  • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Ted R. Weiland

    Without Yahweh's immutable morality as codified in His perfect law (Psalm 19:7-9) as the basis, we'll only find ourselves right back on the precipice we're currently teetering on:

    "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:26-27)

    The house known as the United States Constitutional Republic of, by, and for the people was NOT built on the rock of Yahweh’s inspired Word. There is hardly an article or amendment that, in some fashion, is not antithetical, if not seditious, to Yahweh’s Word and Law.

    Time to return to our TRUE 1600 Christian Colonial roots and begin now to help a future generation of our posterity to do it right(eous) the next time by by promoting a government (house) of, by, and for Yahweh based upon His triune moral law (His commandments, statutes, and judgments).

    Find out how much you really know about government of, by, and for the people as compared to government of, by, and for God. Take our Constitution Survey and receive a complimentary copy of an 85-page "Primer" that examines the Constitution by the Bible. Click on my name, then our website. The Survey will be found in the right-hand sidebar.

    • Chuck (Smithfix) Smith

      When a post begins with "Without Yahweh's..." I ignore it out of hand.

    • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Ted R. Weiland

      "Listen to this, you that ignore me, or I will destroy you, and there will be no one to save you." (Psalm 50:22)

    • Chuck (Smithfix) Smith

      Thank you for making my point.

  • mjnellett

    Wonderful, thought provoking article John. Our citizens need to understand our form of government , but only when we wrest control of our public school system from the hands of the unions and the federal government!The writers that proceeded me are also right in their anxiety over our corrupt Congress having a hand in the Convention of States (COS). We do need to do something before the progressives sell America out to her enemies, and our way of life becomes only a talking point in history!

  • Knife10

    Personally, I would hate to see what the current rabble of political hacks would do to the constitution if given the opportunity to change it to suit their particular agenda.

  • lakeside227

    "Opponents of a COS would have Americans blindly swallow the myth that the US Constitution is a perfect document created by divinely influenced men (not women) that has never seen modification or revision."

    I have concerns about an Article V. It has NOTHING to do with thinking the Constitution is perfect or that the Framers were divinely influenced. This isn't about amendments themselves. It's about whether an Article V, and the amendments suggested, will fix what's wrong.

    "Do opponents of a modern day Convention of States believe we should discard these TEN AMENDMENTS because they were not part of our founders original Constitution?"

    Has ANYONE suggested that?

    "Alternatively, are they suggesting we cherry pick amendments they find unappealing (eleven through twenty-seven) using “nullification”.

    Only unconstitutional LAWS can be nullified, not amendments. The reason we have unconstitutional laws is partly because of the 17th. A HUGE part is SCOTUS and that we don't use the right criteria to elect our representatives. We have no way of holding them accountable, making them face consequences for NOT listening to us. I am only aware of people being in favor of REPEALING the 17th to give back to the states their voice in Congress. Some also favor repealing the 16th.

    "...alleging a hidden agenda to “re-write” the Constitution."

    My concern is not what the organizers/supporters would do, but what 'infiltrators,' 'agent provocateurs' would do; that Congress and/or SCOTUS would not follow the Constitutional procedure.

    "To suggest that amending the US Constitution is irresponsible flies in the face of not only our Republics history, but also our founder’s actions."

    Amending the Constitutional is NOT irresponsible, the REASONS for amending it are what concerns me. We have a government that IGNORES the Constitution. Will amending the Constitution correct THEIR behavior? Are amendments the solution to our representatives NOT following the Constitution?

    Mr. DeMayo, your article seems to be trying to rebut points or concerns that no one has raised, at least no comments that I have read. You certainly haven't addressed my concerns. I was hoping for more from this article.

    • Rabelrouser

      This particular reply mirrors many of my similar concerns about an Art 5 Convention. It is not the process that concerns me, but the nature and ideaologies of those who could be in charge of the process. The process is infact one of the many attributes that make our sacred Constitution the greatest Document on this earth; short of the bible (IMHO).
      Given what we see from governance at all levels in general today, and the path that those who are "elected" to represent the people's will take against such; My concerns is opening this Sacred Document to their manipulations, which would be guided by the major ideals of stronger governance over the people.
      The author of this particular article seems to ignore that fact, and dances around the edges of those possibilities.
      The real fact, that also is being ignored in this conversation is that we have far too many "politicians" in all levels of government today, and far too few statesmen of the fabric of those who originated the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Which underlines the fact of "do you TRUST them"?
      AS we view those additional amendments after the first ten, a pattern of greater governmental power becomes more evident in a larger percentage of those passed. If this does not cause concern for the People of the possibilities that would probably occur; then might I suggest a greater review of the History of the founding and those Federalist Papers that articulate the original intent.

    • John DeMayo

      Two articles published afew days ago on Freedom Outpost, one by Suzanne Hammer, the other by Publius Huldah, criticized a COS. My artcile was a rebuttal of the issues raised by both authors. The very issues you claim no one has raised. Also, prior to this article I wrote "The Convention of States: Gift from our founders, a line in the sand." Reading all of these will make the debate (here at Freedom) more understandable. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • lakeside227

      Mr. DeMayo,

      Thank you for your reply. I have read all 3 articles (Hamner one just now). The other articles seem to be saying the same thing many of us are saying. NOT that an Article V CAN'T be called, NOT that Congress can REFUSE, NOT that the Constitution is 'perfect' and hasn't been amended, NOT that those in favor WANT to re-write the Constitution.

      If one or both of those authors have something PERSONAL against one, some, any of the Article V supporters, that feeling is NOT shared by everyone. I, most definitely, have NOTHING against ANY supporter or advocate of an Article V. I have no animosity, I'm not being confrontational or antagonistic. Heck, I WANT all of us to be together on what is the best plan of action. The ONLY way we will be able to change things is if we ARE together. We need MASSIVE numbers to counteract the propaganda and lies from the 'other side' - from those who are 'supposedly' on our side. I believe we DO have the numbers, but we are splintered and bickering among ourselves.

      What they, and so many, are saying is that it is NOT certain STATES would be the ones to choose the delegates; it is NOT certain THIS Congress and THIS SCOTUS would follow the Constitution regarding an Article V because they AREN'T following the Constitution NOW; it's NOT certain that an Article V would go the way the supporters envision. NOT because the supporters have an ulterior motive, but because OTHER people might. It is NOT certain that THESE SAME PEOPLE in power would obey NEW rules when they don't obey the rules they already have.

      The Constitution ALREADY addresses the problems we are having. It's NOT the RULES that need to be changed, it's the PEOPLE who are supposed to obey these rules that need to be changed. What most people seem to be saying is that we ALREADY HAVE the CORRECT remedy for this specific problem. An Article V isn't the CORRECT remedy, it WON'T accomplish our goals of reining in the government. Imposing NEW rules on the SAME people who DON'T follow the rules we have NOW, isn't an effective solution.

      Something that really concerns me, which many people have said, is that we have to do something, why not try this. Doing something THIS serious on the HOPE that it will work, the HOPE that the same people violating the Constitution now, will CHANGE their behavior and suddenly START following the rules they previously ignored. Supporters seem to be COUNTING on these people to START behaving correctly (Constitutionally), when they have ALREADY shown us they WON'T.

      It's not that we CAN'T have an Article V, CAN'T amend the Constitution, SHOULDN'T amend the Constitution. It's that doing so FOR THIS SPECIFIC PROBLEM WON'T correct the unconstitutional behavior of our current government. It's not the rules that need changing, it's the PEOPLE who are flouting the rules that need to be changed. Look at what they do NOW. A president who IGNORES court rulings, who unconstitutionally changes laws, who uses executive branch departments against those who disagree with him. A Congress that has COMPLETELY abdicated its duty to impeach officials for unconstitutional actions, representatives who IGNORE what their constituents want, political parties who think THEY can force representatives to 'toe THEIR line.' We need these PEOPLE out of power, not new rules for them to ignore or twist to fit THEIR agendas. Not ONLY do we need those now in power out, the PEOPLE need to be more vigilant, more involved - we need to take back, and tightly hold onto, the reins of government.

      As I sit here writing this, I'm thinking that if WE, Constitutionalists, can't even come together to craft a correct, EFFECTIVE plan to revive and restore our Constitutional Republic; to remove corruption from, and bring legitimacy back to, our federal government - we have lost before we have even begun to fight.

      P.S. Something I haven't seen mentioned is the TIME this would take. Getting 34 state legislatures to agree on, and submit, an Article V request, listing the SAME reason, is a challenging undertaking. Mr. DeMayo, I respect your intelligence and your knowledge, please have no doubts about that.

    • John DeMayo

      Thank you for your kind words. I believe I have addressed all of your concerns in my articles. Never the less, you do recognize repealing an existing amendment requires an amendment process. As an example I offer thec17 th amendment. Or even the 16th. To repeal either, requires the proposal and ratifying of that proposed amendment. All provided for if a Convention of States is purued and suceeds.

    • lakeside227

      Mr. DeMayo,

      "Is it risky? Is there potential for abuse or corruption? Of course, there is potential. Will passing over this provision of our Constitution and moving on to nullification (as Convention of States opponents suggest) assuage the threat of corrupt political acts?"

      Nullification and non-compliance by states are to be done BEFORE amending the Constitution. States are doing this NOW.

      "We must distinguish between defects within a Constitution, and a government’s refusal to obey the Constitution to which it is subject. These are different problems calling for different remedies."

      "Thomas Jefferson said:

      “… but where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them…”

      "James Madison commented on the above:

      “… the right of nullification meant by Mr. Jefferson is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…”

      "Alexander Hamilton says in Federalist No. 28 (5th para from end):

      “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success …” [boldface mine]

      Hamilton then shows how The States can rein in a usurping federal government:

      “…the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority…”

      Nullification is a Natural Right which the People are to use to correct unconstitutional federal government behavior.

      "In Federalist No. 43, Madison comments on Art. V:

      “…That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. 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…”

      Amendments are to fix defects in the Constitution not FORESEEN by the Founders. They aren't to rein in a government that is not following the Constitution.

      Some of the Founders thoughts on calling an Article V to propose amendments:

      "On September 15,1787, in response to Randolph’s & Mason’s demands for a “general convention” to decide on amendments, Mr. Pinckney pointed out that nothing but confusion and contrariety will spring from calling forth the deliberations and amendments of the different States, on the subject of government at large. States will never agree in their plans; and the deputies to a second convention, coming together under the discordant impressions of their constituents, will never agree. “Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

      In Federalist No. 85 (9th para), Hamilton spoke of:

      “…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”

      James Madison warned against another general convention in his letter to Turberville :

      “3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…”

      Madison's opinion on the best way to suggests amendments:

      "A [“general”] Convention cannot be called without the unanimous consent of the parties who are to be bound by it, if first principles are to be recurred to; or without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures, if the forms of the Constitution [Art. V] are to be pursued. The difficulties in either of these cases must evidently be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the instance of a single State Legislature, or even without a single instruction on the subject…”

      Madison says the preferred way is for states to direct Congress to suggest amendments. That wouldn't work NOW because Congress definitely doesn't want to give up any power.

      So, our Founders said the remedy for federal abuse of power is nullification and non-compliance. Article V is to fix DEFECTS in the Constitution, things unforeseen by our Founders - NOT abuse of power by the government. They said the preferred way to originate amendments is for a state(s) to direct Congress to draft them. This is not feasible now. The Founders believed calling a convention to propose amendments is very, very risky. Pinckney - “Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.” Hamilton - "the utter improbability" of a new convention having favorable results. Madison - "...it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good."

      http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/nullification-by-states/
      http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/article-v-convention/

      No, Mr. DeMayo, you haven't addressed my concerns, specifically this one:

      "It is NOT certain that THESE SAME PEOPLE in power would obey NEW rules when they don't obey the rules they already have." You seem to be counting on, hoping "that the same people violating the Constitution now, will CHANGE their behavior and suddenly START following the rules they previously ignored. Supporters seem to be COUNTING on these people to START behaving correctly (Constitutionally), when they have ALREADY shown us they WON'T."

      P.S. Also the time factor.

    • John DeMayo

      Clearly, you have your opinion. I have not been critical of "nullification." I said I applaud it. Did you read that? You prefer to remain critical of a COS. That is your right. You have taken quotes from a few of our notable founders (out of context) and used them to further you position. Yet you have yet to address how "nullification" will resolve the last 100 years of constitutional amendments that fly in the face of our founders original intent. I understand your support Publius Huldah's position. That is your right. I do not. Lastly, Jefferson, once a strong federalist eventually saw the light. Good luck.

    • lakeside227

      Mr. DeMayo,

      I thought I posted a reply to this comment. Was it deleted? I have made that error before. Thinking I hit post, but really DIDN'T post it, then closed the window and lost my comment. Is that what happened? My error? My scatterbrained, faulty memory? Or did you delete it?

    • John DeMayo

      First, my replies are not designed to be adversarial. I'm not sure what happened to the comment that is not displayed, but it was sent to my email from Disque. For some reason I was only able to view it once, so forgive me if I do not recall all of its points. It may show up later. Technology is a wonderful thing. LOL.

      Regarding the order in which nullification and COS is used, nullification is playing out it states as we speak. I believe we need to get the ball rolling on COS now. It will take years to come together and years to reach any conclusion. States will need to engage their residents, determine a process for delegate selection and appoint those delegates. A convergence of states must take place to determine the scope and wording of definitions of amendments and the Congress must be petitioned to schedule a convention. Waiting will only make this process more complicated and lengthy.

      I am glad to learn that you do not support Huldah. I find myself a little confused by Huldah's position. She like Jefferson seems to vacillate between federalist and anti-federalist. However, she is adamantly opposed to a COS for a variety of reasons.

      In my prior comment, I suggested Jefferson eventually saw the light. Meaning, eventually Jefferson, who, when accused, denied he was an anti- federalist, but in the end along with Madison fathered the creation of the anti-federalist party. We are all entitled to ideological evolution., you would agree?

      I do not take any of your comments as disrespectful. I enjoy the debate. I try to keep it to a minimum on these sites. For a variety of reasons. Too many people, too many opinions to address. This is why I invite people to join me on Facebook. My Facebook address is located in my writers BIO above.

      The article above was a response to Huldah's recent criticisms of a COS and its supporters. It was not intended to address all of the issues surrounding a COS, only Huldah's issues.

      I also have my concerns.

      In the end, I am limited on time to respond to readers comments. I do appreciate yours and would be happy to respond to short specific questions. Lengthy comments require interpretation and that almost always leads to conflict.

      Thanks again.

    • lakeside227

      Thank you, Mr. DeMayo. My comments, nor my feelings, are in any way hostile or adversarial. Don't we get enough of that from people who's philosophies are 'opposite' of ours? It is so easy to misunderstand the written word because we can't show tone of voice, inflection, emphasis. It's much more productive and effective when people can have a civil discussion. People used to be able to disagree on points, but STILL stay civil - even friends and family don't agree on everything. We've lost that ability. Is it gone forever? I sure do hope not.

      I knew to whom you were referring, I've read her articles and many others - for and against. I commented, not in support of her, but so you, and others, would know that many people have questions and concerns that weren't covered in your article. Also, that our hesitance, questions, and concerns are because we want the best and most effective solution. I don't support 'people.' I support ideas, plans, solutions. When I agree with someone, it's not based on the person. It's based on my own research - that what the person is saying coincides with what I have found.

      P.S. Ideological evolution - I like that. Absolutely! Although, not in the way our representatives flip-flop around, lol. My understanding of things and my views have changed much since I was young.

  • Veteranasm

    Let God sort it out !! Us , (the people) doing nothing is fool hardy, if it takes revolution to restore our county , then so be it !!!

  • Bp. David

    Please do not confuse the nullification of elements of the Constitution that John is writing about, with the Nullification Movement taking place in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and other states which calls for nullification of unconstitutional LAWS like ObummerCare and federal gun confiscation. Good, in-depth article, John.

    • John DeMayo

      Thank you for your kind words.

  • Roger Baxter

    I strongly suggest that you read the works of the Heritage Foundation, the Eagle Forum, ans Publius Huldah, on the extreme downside of this course of action. Congress gets to decide the makeup of any COS. Congress is corrupt. Just how well do you think that is going to work out for conservatives??

    • Patriot41

      That is in fact, the one thing every patriot should fear, a corrupt Congress and that is exactly what we now have.

      We have had severe fraud in our election system since at least 2000, more then ample time to correct this problem, but members of both political parties have done nothing to correct it. Further, both political parties, are pushing for amnesty and in the process, encouraging illegals to vote in our elections. These are the people that you want to be in the decision role for a COS? If so, you are looking at a new socialist nation with no Constitution or Bill of Rights to protect you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/karen.boswell.58 Karen Boswell

      Does congress get to automatically vote for the ratification of any proposed amendments? NO - proposing and ratifying are 2 different things.
      Why are so many so willing to leave the decisions and control with those very forces a Con-con is desgined to overrule?
      Articel V is the escape clause for the people when the central gov't has assumed too much power and control over the People.
      Why would we need to beg permission from the vry "masters" we are trying to wrest control back from?
      So most of the dissent I read for an Articel V is that we can't trust those in charge to do the "right" thing and the "solution" to that fear is to allow those in control to remain in control - so we are afraid to risk change to take back our power so we leave that power with those we fear? And this makes any sense how?
      Sound more like "battered women" syndrome to me.

    • lakeside227

      "...we can't trust those in charge to do the "right" thing and the "solution" to that fear is to allow those in control to remain in control - so we are afraid to risk change to take back our power so we leave that power with those we fear? And this makes any sense how?"

      It seems you are counting on the very people who violate the Constitution now, who refuse to do the 'right' thing now, who, you say, we can't trust NOW, to CHANGE their unconstitutional behavior, start to do the 'right' thing, BECOME trustworthy, and obey NEW rules.

      "Why are so many so willing to leave the decisions and control with those very forces a Con-con is desgined (sic) to overrule?"

      This is not what is being said. What's being said is that we already have the remedy. We can't trust these people to follow the rules now, we STILL won't be able to trust them just because we make some new 'rules.' It's not the rules we need to change, it's the RULE-BREAKERS we need to change.

    • celticreeler

      See my comment below.

      What influence-peddling, power consolidating there'll be if there is a Con-con. GOP conventions at the state and national level are perfect examples, 2008 and 2012.

      Nothing in the U.S. Constitution about the delegate selection process. MY STATE thinks its constitution is for making special, local laws about water districts (no kidding), so there's absolutely no hope on this end.

      What a nightmare! I would love to think that the patriots would come out in force, but after 5 years heavily involved in party politics, I know pretty well who would prevail!

    • John DeMayo

      Respectfully, I have read that which you have recommended. I have studied Article V. This is not a blind advocacy. I respect your right to disagree. However, you are mistaken if you are assuming Congress gets to decide the makeup of any COS. Other than possessing the power to schedule said convention and possibly define the scope (or number) of proposed amendments, the entire process rests with the states. I respect Publius. I just disagree. This article was a response to her article from earlier in the week that bashed a COS and its leadership. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • bleufishcat

      It sounds like you're confusing a Constitutional Convention with a Convention of States. The former is pulled off by Congress in DC; the latter is worked through the states alone, Congress only decides where and when.