Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Advice From a Real Constitutional Authority

Several men who present themselves as constitutional authorities have posted articles on the internet calling for a new national convention to introduce amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as authorized in Article V. If we are looking for a real constitutional authority, there is no one who can top the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger. I will quote for you what he wrote about the question of whether it would be wise to call a new convention to make changes in the Constitution. All the remainder of this broadcast is direct quotes from Justice Warren Burger, and if you want to read his letter, you can find it on my website, Eagleforum.org.

Justice Burger wrote: “I have been asked questions about this topic many times during my news conferences and at college meetings since I became Chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, and I have repeatedly replied that such a convention would be a grand waste of time. 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. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda. With George Washington as chairman, the [original constitutional convention] deliberated in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks. A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.

Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a “miracle.” Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn."

Those are the profound and very wise words of a real constitutional authority, former Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Listen to the radio commentary here:



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