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Forum Post: Do you want what ALEC & Koch want? An Article V Convention will solve all of their problems.

Posted 7 years ago on May 5, 2012, 9:37 p.m. EST by ericweiss (575)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"The Congress,...on the Applications of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments..."

Article 5 clearly gives the power to propose amendments exclusively to the convention.

This is explicit in the article, which sets up a 3 step process.

  1. State Legislatures apply to Congress to call a convention.
  2. Congress calls a convention while deciding other details - nothing in the Constitution requires nor guarantees that delegates to a con-con will be elected by the people.
  3. Subject to special interest lobbying groups, congress is given a free hand on selecting the delegates.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Arthur Goldberg has warned the nation that this absence of any guarantee of electing delegates could put the nation under the control of special interest groups. Writing for the Miami Herald, he stated, "...the absence of any mechanism to ensure representative selection of delegates could put a runaway convention in the hands of single-issue groups whose self-interest may be contrary to our national well-being.

The call is for proposing amendments to the Constitution.
This language clearly states that only the Convention is authorized to determine what subjects will be addressed in those amendments.

Many state legislatures have lost sight of the clear language of the U.S. Constitution - they attempted to dictate to a convention what amendments it could propose. They did this by stating in their ( illegitimate ) applications that they sought only a limited convention with authority to propose an amendment on a single subject. By issuing single-issue convention applications, legislatures sought to turn the process into a rubber stamp body; which could do only what the applications allowed. These unenforceable limitations defy the unintended purpose of the convention, which was to deliberate and decide what amendments to propose.

What happens if a legislature does include in its application limitations which try to force a convention to consider only one or a few subjects? Most recent movement for a con-con has been dressed up as a movement to require Congress to call a convention for the limited purpose of proposing an amendment requiring a balanced budget; ban flag burning; ban abortion; redistricting; force federal spending reduction controls. Topics to which a convention is to be limited are always designed to be appealing to constituents and special interests.
Jurists agree that Congress has no authority to dictate what subjects to address for a convention. U.S. Supreme Court justices and the nation's leading legal scholars have written privately that these single-subject limitations cannot be enforced

Note that, as in the Philadelphia convention, voting would be one state one vote
California would have as much power as Delaware

Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger wrote, "I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a convention is convened it will be too late to stop the convention if we don't like its agenda.
No one tells a con-con what to do. Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new
Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risk."

Similar views come from Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J Goldberg. "I would say that one of the most serious problems Article 5 poses is a runaway convention. There is no enforcement mechanism to prevent a convention from reporting out wholesale changes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Moreover, the absence of any mechanism to ensure representative selection of delegates could put a runaway convention in the hands of single- issue groups, whose self interest may be contrary to our nations well being"

Rex E. Lee, former law school professor and later president of Brigham Young University wrote, "In our history we have only one experience with a Constitutional Convention - the 1787 convention itself was a definite runaway."

Of the same mind is Charles Allen Wright, a Professor of Law at the University of Austin. "I feel quite certain that even opening the door to the possibility of a constitutional convention would be a tragedy for the country."

Consider remarks of Professor of Stanford Law School Gunther: "A convention, once called, would be in the same position as the only other convention of this kind that we have had in our history-the 1787 Constitutional Convention that proposed the Constitution that we live under today - was a runaway convention."



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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 7 years ago

I agree with this. Given the current ploitical makeup of America's State Houses their is no reason to believe that a Convention would produce the results that the people want. First we need to throw out the corrupt from both parties in the State Houses, and there is no way to do this without doing the work of investigating the voting records of our current representitives and voting them out.

A heavy turnout of occupiers in those elections, until we have our people in power, would be necessary before any Constitutional Convention, and even then the influence of vested interest would be dangerous.

That fact is a damned shame, because it would tend to rule out one potentially very powerful way for people to retake government.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Note that, as in the Philadelphia convention, voting would be one state one vote California would have as much power as Delaware

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Daily Kos: Occupy and the Constitution www.dailykos.com ‎"I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012." - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg


[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

elections should be national holidays

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Although ALEC just lost Pepsi, Coke, Kraft , and others -
they are too big to fail
And even if the lost 90% of their companies, koch can sneeze up the balance and they have lost a handful if their 2000 legislator members

Thanks to OWS and the flood of recent PR and zimmerman -
the stench of alec is becoming much more conspicuous

If you think you know America’s biggest threat,
..Koch ?
….Norquist ?
……Iran ?
………Boehner ?
………...McConnell ?
……………Murdoch ?

you are wrong –
……spend ten minutes with each of these

American Legislative Exchange Council


ALEC Corporate member list may not be up to date

2000 ALEC politicians by state

.............................................BE AFRAID – VERY AFRAID

And FYI –

ALEC is doing everything they can do to create
a new constitutional convention [Article V Convention]
that can propose virtually anything:

All public schools – privatized
All medicare/Medicaid/SocialSecurity – privatized
No cap gains tax
EPA – gone
Guns for all
No inheritance tax

ALEC owns 2000 state politicians – Koch’s tp owns 50 house members
How hard would it be for them to buy 50-100 constitutional convention delegates?

Tell me – what else do you think an Article V Convention could do?

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Some one (s) did not like your contribution. The thread had been collapsed. I gave you an up vote because I agree - ALEC is still very dangerous to our democracy/country/people.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

I'm not sure what this means or how it was done how do you "collapse " a thread - or a post and how do you uncollapse it whicjh was collapsed? the orignal post or my ALEC love letter?

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

The ALEC love letter :-) you get four down votes ( stinkle ) and the comment collapses leaving only your username showing.

[-] -3 points by bensdad (2083) 1 hour ago

You had been at -4 on your above comment.

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

thanq- ALEC does censorship too! what a wonderfully skilled troop of trolls

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Your comment is on the rebound.

Yep the trolls are learning. 1st they will ignore a post in the hopes that it will be overlooked and just fade away. Then if they see a comment they do not like they will try to silently down vote it closed. If these things fail then they will usually start their attacks as their game is up and they need to try and discredit and or muddy the waters.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

None of them have lost site, they just dont represent you, or even really like you.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Alec has lost about a dozen legislators