"Let the End be Legitimate" – Against an Article V Convention


Nationalists at the 1787 convention claimed they were speaking for the People of the States (rather than their States separately,) and as such they were a higher power than the States, with full authority to dissolve or disregard the existing Constitution.  In fact, Alexander C. Hanson (son of former President John Hanson,) argued with "a [Maryland] Farmer" that the convention could not enact a bill of rights because they were acting as private individuals, "any of whom have a right to propose a Constitution to the Americans to adopt at their discretion…"   This mis-placement of authority was as critical as it remains audacious, for the same authority exists in any group claiming to represent the American People (including the previously-mentioned "Convention for Social Justice,") to convene and write a new Constitution, set their own rules for ratification, and  declare it adopted at any time.  As in 1787, such would be either an act of secession or treason—both of which are considered equivalent today, especially since the recent unpleasantness. 
 

Supporters of the usurpers will argue that Congress and the States all approved of violating the Constitution.  If so, then why didn't they just pass the amendments in keeping with Article XIII?  The answer is that then, just as now, the question was political rather than ethical.  Would anyone play fair and follow the law when their national ambitions were on the line?  Obama didn't in 2009; FDR didn't in 1936; Lincoln didn't in 1861; and Hamilton & co. certainly didn't in 1787.  The usurpers knew the votes they needed weren't in Congress & the State legislatures, where many who still understood the reasons for the Revolution sat in elected office.  They needed a total reset, and by creating a new convention with delegates they could control, the big-government Nationalists were able to outmaneuver the limited-government Anti-Federalists at each turn.  So complete was their defeat of Liberty that according to Luther Martin, Maryland ratified the Constitution while recommending absolutely no amendments as a condition, refusing to even allow the Minority of the State Convention to read their proposed amendments before the vote was taken. 

 
The second point where History is at odds with the Article V Apologists' view that the States were never sovereign is that after declaring independence (which at least 4 States did on their own before July 4th, 1776, the States were advised to draw up their own Constitutions, which they did by declaring themselves to be "Sovereign, Free, and Independent.")  The 1787 Constitution illegally strips the states of all these qualities, and leaves a mere a façade of federalism to the States, rendering them responsible only for menial administrative functions and completely nullifying their Bills of Rights wherever there is a conflict.  A State whose Bill of Rights is abridged lacks the legal authority to protect its people against federal encroachment.  The Supremacy Clause even made the National government undisputed master over the States.  Anti-Federalist Robert Yates (this time as "Brutus") writes in his 2nd letter on November 1, 1787:
 

…The powers, rights and authority, granted to the general government by this Constitution, are as complete, with respect to every object to which they extend, as that of any State government—it reaches to every thing which concerns human happiness—life, liberty, and property are under its control…

--Brutus, 1787

This brings to mind the "implied powers" doctrine, argued for by Alexander Hamilton and forced upon the States by Chief Justice John Marshall during the McCullough v. Maryland case.  Marshall's standard for a law being Constitutional was merely: "Let the end be legitimate, [and] let it be within the scope of the constitution…" Brutus makes it clear that there is nothing outside the scope of the Constitution, and Obamacare confirms this.  The only barrier for the government, therefore, is what the definition of "legitimate" is.  And since the Supreme Court has found even the murder of infants as a matter of convenience to be "legitimate," it is hard to imagine this government finding anything outside the scope of the central government's power!  It is utter fraud for the so-called "Constitutionalists" to insist as they do that on the one hand, the National government is one of limited powers, while at the same time asserting that it is Supreme over the States on delegated and un-delegated powers alike. Through implied powers, the National government can annex land, start a space program, draft you into the military, force you to fight its enemies, stop a farmer from growing wheat, force you to purchase health insurance or any other product, and fine or imprison you if you don't. 
 
Madison assured us that States would retain their sovereignty over powers not delegated, and today's conservatives have hinged their entire ideology on his forked-tongued promises.  Brutus shines the light upon this darkness. 

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This is Part 4 in a series. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here. Read Part 3 here.

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About Robert Broadus
Robert Broadus (aka Brutus) is a writer and course instructor for Institute on the Constitution, an educational outreach that presents the Founders’ American View of Law and Government. Broadus is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and as Navy Veteran he is not a Republican or a Democrat — he is an Anti-Federalist. Broadus hosted the East-Coast Anti-Federalist radio show on Liberty Works Radio, and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives from the state of Maryland. Mr. Broadus has been an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), has campaigned to legislate an end to the personal income tax, and has fought for the preservation of our rights of conscience and religion. Robert has contributed to Fox News, AOL News, The New York Times, CBS, Rush Limbaugh Show, Washington Times, and more…

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