And / Or, We Can Launch Nukes

The Convention of States project is working to call an Article V constitutional convention to limit the power of the federal government. From their website:

The Jefferson Statement
The Constitution’s Framers foresaw a day when the federal government would exceed and abuse its enumerated powers, thus placing our liberty at risk. George Mason was instrumental in fashioning a mechanism by which "we the people" could defend our freedom—the ultimate check on federal power contained in Article V of the Constitution.

Article V provides the states with the opportunity to propose constitutional amendments through a process called a Convention of States. This process is controlled by the states from beginning to end on all substantive matters.

A Convention of States is convened when 34 state legislatures pass resolutions (applications) on an agreed topic or set of topics. The Convention is limited to considering amendments on these specified topics.

While some have expressed fears that a Convention of States might be misused or improperly controlled by Congress, it is our considered judgment that the checks and balances in the Constitution are more than sufficient to ensure the integrity of the process.

The Convention of States mechanism is safe, and it is the only constitutionally effective means available to do what is so essential for our nation—restoring robust federalism with genuine checks on the power of the federal government.

We share the Founders’ conviction that proper decision-making structures are essential to preserve liberty. We believe that the problems facing our nation require several structural limitations on the exercise of federal power. While fiscal restraints are essential, we believe the most effective course is to pursue reasonable limitations, fully in line with the vision of our Founders, on the federal government.

Accordingly, I endorse the Convention of States Project, which calls for an Article V Convention for "the sole purpose of proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress."
And the signatories, the project's legal advisers, follow. Some of those who signed the statement have some fame or notoriety: Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, and Andrew McCarthy. You may know others I didn't.

And they are apparently having some success, having started less than a year ago and issuing the following progress update today:
  • Four states have passed the Convention of States application - Florida, Georgia, Alaska, and Alabama.
  • Seven state houses have passed our application - Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas.
  • Three state senates have pass our application - Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Missouri.
  • Multiple state committees have passed our application.
  • Thirty-seven state legislatures began considering our specific application this year -- a record in the history of our country.


Grim said...

Correct. This is the ideal way to proceed. However, note that 3/4ths of the state legislatures will have to adopt any changes -- that is 38 states.

There is an alternative. Congress has the authority to propose that not the state legislatures but conventions in 3/4ths of the states shall consider the ratification of proposed amendments. That could be a stumbling block or an advantage depending on how the Congress' call for conventions is worded.

Tom said...

Yep. I think we can get the 34 states to call for a convention, but 38 to ratify amendments will be hard. Still, we have to try.

Grim said...

Well, and the amendments need to be things that people could in principle agree to on a wide basis. Getting the conservative agenda through would be tremendously hard. There are tens of millions -- perhaps a hundred million -- Americans who don't really want to live in a Constitutional republic of limited government. They would really prefer a European style system, and look not to the Founders but to Denmark and Norway and Sweden as having erected the best models.

It might be impossible to get 38 states to agree to enforce the conservative agenda in America. It might be relatively easy to get 38 states to agree to dissolve the union so that Americans who want the European vision can have it without a constant fight and interference from the rest of us. And, having gotten enough states to agree to that, you can use it as leverage in negotiations on reforms you would require as a condition for not dissolving the union.

Tom said...

I think you have very good points. At the same time, the virtue of federalism is that each state can create its own system. We just have to sell people on not forcing their system on the nation.

California can be a social democratic welfare state, and Texas can be a moderate conservative state, and Wyoming can be a libertarian state. We just have to convince people that that's OK.

Tom said...

Another point is, returning power to the states means more power for state politicians. That has bipartisan appeal; I think politicians are generally happy to vote themselves more power.

Grim said...

Right. I agree that the 10th Amendment solution is probably the best solution. I just think it might be easier to sell independence, and then when people get cold feet realizing that you've sold it, you'll find it is easier to sell 10A during the period of buyer's remorse.

Tom said...

I haven't really thought through the idea of selling independence. What's your reasoning on that?

Dad29 said...

Robby George and Mike Farris are also very well-known and highly respected people. George is a prof/Princeton and arguably one of the leading pro-life/pro-REAL-marriage theorists in the USA.

Farris' work with homeschooling is excellent, too.

Grim said...

What's your reasoning on that?

It's a point of commonality with our best-organized opponents -- they'd like to be free of us because we stand in the way of everything they want to do. So, facing a conservative-led Constitutional convention, here's an offer: you can have everything you want, in the Northeast and some sections of the West Coast. You don't have to be afraid of this convention. Rather than damaging your vision of the good, we'll help you fulfill it. You'll be free.

You've got to get to 38 states. You can probably get 34. So you don't have to convince everyone -- the hard left will do. The Bernie Sanders folks, say.

Tom said...

Thanks, Dad29.

Grim: That makes sense. I hate to think of breaking the US up, but, it's better than a couple of alternatives I can think of. I know, you're proposing it as a way to get to 38 states, but once proposed, it becomes possible.

Ymar Sakar said...

If Hussein or the Left's next God Emperor "accidentally" drops a legion of drone bombs on such an assembly of personages, don't say I didn't warn you.