Congress, you are standing on our Constitution, we are taking it back. We will not accept “no” for an answer this time. As my 7 year old boy would say, “Congress, we are the boss of you.” We are not going to get distracted by your partys’ legislative gamesmanship or the meaningless drivel produced by your corporate campaigns. The jig is up and now you know it.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, … it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,” This concept is expressed in the Convention clause of Article V of the Constitution.
On July 9, 2012, the Congressional Research Service released a report entitled The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress by Thomas H. Neale, Specialist in American National Government that foreshadowed the uprising to come. (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42589.pdf )
“Their swift rise, combined with widespread publicity, and a certain degree of success, suggest the possibility that a contemporary campaign, using the communications strategies and tools of the age, could arguably move the issue of an Article V Convention to the forefront of public awareness on a shorter cycle than was possible for previous campaigns.
The emergence of Internet and social media-driven public policy and issue campaigns has combined with renewed interest in specific constitutional amendments, and the Article V Convention procedure in general, as a means of bypassing perceived policy deadlock at the federal level. The Tea Party Movement, MoveOn.org, and Occupy Wall Street are cited as technology-driven issue advocacy groups that could provide a model for convention advocates. The Article V Convention concept enjoys support from several advocacy groups, and has been the subject of a recent academic conference and a range of “op-ed” articles publicizing the once-obscure alternative.
Advances in communications technology and the examples of such phenomena as the Tea Party Occupy Wall Street movements could provide a model for present-day advocates of the Article V Convention alternative”
Congress is not laughing at the bongos of Occupy Wall Street or the misspelled signs of the Tea Party this time. This is a process they are unable to avoid once the American public is aware of the power we possess. Alexander Hamilton wrote about this in The Federalist Papers No. 85:
The words of this article (V) are peremptory. The Congress ”shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. … We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”
The awareness of the American public is the ingredient that has been missing so far. We know the Constitution begins with “We the People” yet we forgot that it belongs to us. When our government becomes an out of control nightmare of overreaching power we are supposed to use the Constitution to get our nation back on course. The Constitution was written for us, not the powerful or the enlightened elites or the highly educated. It belongs to all of us. It was written by revolutionaries who stood up to the power of an apathetic king. We forgot, but we are waking up again.
One glaring example of our reduced position is the fairly recent Citizen’s United ruling. We know that corporations are not people. This is not hard for the average person to understand but the Supreme Court twisted decades of court rulings to arrive at the conclusion that these legal entities are just like us. Yet the court overlooked a very basic principle from the Emancipation Proclamation, we don’t get to own, buy, or sell people. Everyone who owns stock, give it up and free the corporations in bondage … absurd. The court had an objective to their ruling and found bits and pieces to support this idea which minimizes the voice of the people or eliminates it completely. Now this ruling has expanded application to all the states when they overruled the Montana Supreme Court’s attempts to remove corruption and collusion from their state government.
The Supreme Court is not elected, it is not democratic. Recently they almost threw out the entire Health Care plan because of the individual mandate. Never mind that two houses of Congress and President passed this, the Supreme Court believes they can lord over the other branches of government as a king. This in not how our forefathers wanted it to work.
Woodrow Wilson wrote, “A constitutional government is one whose powers have adapted to the interests of the people and the maintenance of individual liberty.” It is obvious that our present government with legal, institutionalized corruption would not pass the Wilson sniff test.
An effective system of constitutional law also depends on the government’s commitment to play by the constitutional rules. When the convention clause requirements are met, we expect Congress to comply. They took an oath of office to obey the Constitution and they are not allowed to have mental reservations regarding their actions.
In a response to the Congressional Research Service, Bill Walker of Friends of Article V Convention who was mentioned in the report, included the following:
“… you fail to discuss the fact that the attorney of record for Congress in open public court admitted that sufficient applications exist to cause a convention call, that the convention call is based on a simple numeric count of applying states and most importantly, the call is peremptory. Again this is a matter of public record and as the statement was made in the name of Congress by its legal representative you fail to explain, or even address, how such an official concession squares with your interpretation that applications must be on the “same subject.”
We know Congress is looking in to their options and their vulnerability is revealed to them and the world. It is now explained to them in black and white that the modern tools of communications that we have at our fingertips are going to bring about the awareness required to force this issue. They have dodged the convention applications like a deadbeat dad dodges a process server.
We have a staggering number of applications discovered from the Congressional Record. Friends of Article V Convention found over 700 applications from all 50 states (http://foavc.org/file.php/1/Amendments). To make it easier to grasp, ArticleV.org boiled it down to 41 indisputable state applications when only 34 states are required. http://articlev.org/indisputable-state-applications-for-convention/
Congress cannot dance around this anymore. There is a tsunami of public outrage that is evolving in to one clear demand for an Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments. We do not need to use our blood and fortune to restore our voice and liberties. The genius of our forefathers provided a peaceful, constitutional path for legal change for us to follow.
Do not fear this opportunity because the other side of the aisle may show up. It takes a two-thirds majority to pass anything in a convention and 75% of the states (38) to ratify any amendment proposal. No one can pass anything without the agreement of a significant number on the other end of the political spectrum. We need them as much as they need us. We must eagerly begin to find the middle ground and solve the problems of today as well as the decades of the past. We have a great deal of deferred maintenance of our liberties that has accumulated. Now we have little privacy, or rights to free speech or public assembly, due process, etc. We have little to lose and much to gain.
Embrace this chance to save ourselves and stop asking what is possible and ask what needs to be done to fix our nation and planet and work backwards from there. We have the chance to re-shape who we are as a nation for the next 200 years again if we just wake up and seize the day.