Skip to comments.Is changing the Constitution the only way to fix Washington?
Posted on 08/12/2017 8:52:52 PM PDT by Neil E. Wright
Next month delegations of state lawmakers will travel to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend what organizers say will be the first formal convention of states since the Civil War. Theyll gather at the capitol, inside the turquoise-carpeted House chamber, and draw up rules for a hoped-for future meeting: a convention to draft an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
No amendment convention has taken place since the Constitution was written over 200 years ago. But the idea is gaining steam now, stoked by groups on the left and right that say amendments drafted and ratified by states are the last, best hope for fixing the nations broken political system and dysfunctional some even say tyrannical federal government.
We have a Congress in the United States made up of two bodies House and Senate that are incapable of restricting their own power, said Texas state Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Republican. With the conventions, he said, states are stepping in to clean up the mess.
The current push for a convention began in the early years of the Obama administration, mostly driven by Republican lawmakers. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are big supporters. So are former presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio. Although many amendment topics have been proposed, the most popular would require the federal government to balance its budget.
Twenty-seven states have passed resolutions in favor of a balanced budget amendment since the 1970s, observers say. The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, the main group currently pushing the idea, says it could get to 34 states before the next presidential election.
But to get the two-thirds of states required to force Congress to call a convention, the task force and its supporters will need to win over skeptical lawmakers and beat back opposing groups that say a convention called to discuss a single issue could end up rewriting crucial parts of the Constitution or scrapping the nations founding document altogether.
The two sides dont even use the same words to discuss what theyre fighting over. Those in favor talk about an amendment convention, implying that only one amendment will be discussed. Those opposed say Constitutional convention, suggesting that the whole text could be rewritten.
The Arizona planning event, championed by Republicans and the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, will focus on the balanced budget proposal thats closest to triggering a convention.
Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend, a Republican who heads the committee organizing the event, said she hopes it will reassure people that delegates to a convention wont do anything crazy. There will not be a quote-unquote runaway convention, she said. Thats not going to happen.
This is an excerpt. Click the link above to read the while article.
Democracy: Two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Republic: A democracy where two hundred wolves and one hundred lambs elect two wolves and one lamb as their representatives to vote on what to have for lunch.
Constitutional Republic: A republic with a Constitution guaranteeing that lamb is not on the lunch menu. Eventually, the Supreme Court rulesfive wolves to four lambs--that mutton is not the same as lamb.
The monopoly power to make the laws, enforce the laws, decide what the law means, and how it applies to specific cases, can and will be used to make Constitutions and democratic elections irrelevant.
Article V organizing convention to be held in Arizona next month.
"Having witnessed the difficulty and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under very propitious circumstances, I should tremble for the result of a second meeting in the present temper of America and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned."
In other words, the first one was a godsend, a second one, even if good men think it is a great idea, will not be as advantageous as the first.
We have enough laws on the books and in the Constitution - what is really needed are people with enough cajones to enforce what we already have.
Article V is great idea and can be used to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments which ruined the republic for which it stands.
The country is broken and this is the only way to fix it without blood shed. Get on board for Art V or shut up.
There are time limits to get amendments passed.
This balanced budget one that began in the 1970s is not an open-ended time amandment that can take 40+ years to pass. That is not how this works. Usually it takes somewhere around a 7 year limit or so to get the required 34 states.
For ex, its why the ERA amendment failed, they could not get enough states within the designated timeframe it had to be passed by the state legislatures.
Criminals do not obey laws.
There is only one way to deal with this problem, and it ain’t pretty.
James Madison would whole-heartedly disagree with you.
I will not shut up.
The constitutional convention of 1787 was originally supposed to revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they scrapped the Articles of Confederation and completely changed our federal governmental structure.
While the outcome was beneficial, I would not really want to see a constitutional convention in this day and age. Key freedoms we take for granted, such as our freedom of speech, could be done away with, because liberals today want to surpress speech which offends liberals sensibilities.
Could our 2nd amendment rights survive a liberal onslaught at a convention?
Could our 1st amendment freedoms relating to religion survive? Could the liberals rewrite the clause relating to religion, to specify that the federal government can surpress religious faith? Maybe it sounds implausible, but, who knows what would happen at a constitutional convention with today’s liberals deciding to do away with constitutional provisions which they don’t like???
they dont pay attention to the one we have now!
The Father of the Constitution would be appalled at the cowardice of people and states willing to endure far more abuses that the founders faced from a bloated runaway central government that’s morphing into a socialist state rather than suck it up and fix the problem with the means the founders provided to curb it. Without a convention of states all we have ahead of us is war or slavery, and too many folks are accustomed to the weight of the yoke.
No. Enforcing what we have is the best way.
What...just make a new constitution that will be ignored.
The Soviet Union had a wonderful constitution, at least Alexndr Solzhenitsyn says so, and I believe him. But it was just a piece of paper.
“Is changing the Constitution the only way to fix Washington?”
Probably the LAST shot to try to fix it before you know what.
But it may prove that it’s unfixable.
The following may end up working better...
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Another way to put it is that what we have right now is “spaghetti code” government. That’s what software engineers call programs whose code has undergone so many iterations, fixes and changes that it’s impossible to work on it any more and it’s better to start all over with a clean slate.
The 27th Amendment took 202 years, 7 months, 12 days.
What's the time limit? 300 years?
> “ ... stoked by groups on the ***left*** and right ...”
The Left has zero chance of passing any amendment. As of now, there are 12 blue states and 38 red states. To ratify an amendment to the Constitution requires 38 State legislatures.
The following proposed structural constitutional amendment is favored to pass, and note that it is written so that no branch of federal government may have a say in how it is operated:
AMENDMENT XXVIII (’State Suffrage’)
To restore effective suffrage of State Legislatures to Congress, the following amendment is proposed:
Senators in Congress shall be subject to recall by their respective state legislature or by voter referendum in their respective state.
Term limits for Senators in Congress shall be set by vote in their respective state legislatures but in no case shall be set less than twelve years nor more than eighteen years.
The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
It did not take 202 years.
The 27th amendment was not introduced 202 years ago.
Amendments only have a certain amount of time after introduction to be passed. They are specified within the proposed amendments themselves, and for the last 75 years they have been set at 7 years. this is so the states have enough time to get the amendments through their individual states processes to ratify them, and also so that amendments do not sit lingering for decades or hundreds of years and become irrelevant or outdated. As we do not pass the same types of laws about things we did 150 years ago.
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