Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, March 14, 2011

No Need for a Constitutional Convention

Resolutions are popping up in many state legislatures asking Congress to call a convention to discuss amendments to the United States Constitution. These resolutions originate because some people want Congress to vote for a certain constitutional amendment, and Congress hasn't done it, so its proposers have moved to Plan B and want to use the never-before-used section in Article V of our Constitution which says that if 34 states request Congress to call a convention, Congress must call one. Some of these people want a Balanced Budget Amendment, some want the Equal Rights Amendment, some want what is called the Repeal Amendment to allow the states to repeal an act of Congress, some want to get rid of the electoral college, and one group wants a list of ten new amendments.

Calling a national convention to consider changes to the U.S. Constitution is a very bad idea because, once a convention is convened, we would have no control over what it does. There are no rules about how delegates would be selected, how they would be apportioned among the states, whether they would have to have a 2/3rds majority to vote out an amendment. Former Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote 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 [or the states] might try to limit the Convention to one amendment ... but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey."

I've attended dozens of political conventions and I've seen every possible rule broken, and there is nothing that the delegates can do about it. The guy who controls the gavel is able to exercise total control over the rules, the agenda, the microphones, and the adjournment. Tell your state legislators to vote No on any resolution to call a convention to tamper with our great Constitution.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

Further info: Con Con

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