Recall & Repeal Alabama's Call for a Federal Constitutional Convention
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) SENT A VERY LONG DOCUMENT TO STATE LEGISLATORS NATIONWIDE SUPPORTING THE CALLING OF AN ARTICLE V CONVENTION AND PURPORTING TO REFUTE ARGUMENTS AGAINST THIS PLAN.
Here are some assumptions in the ALEC article:
- The ALEC article assumes that an Article V convention will be based on one state = 1 vote. There is no reason to assume that, since Article V gives Congress the power to issue the Call, and Congress can call a convention apportioned on the basis of population, like Congress itself. We won't how this will be decided until Congress issues the Call. The article says the convention itself, after it meets, can change the voting strength of states; but that makes no sense.
- The ALEC article repeatedly uses the term "amendmentS" plural - just as Article V does - so ALEC accepts the proposition that more than one amendment can be passed by the convention and sent out to the states for ratification.
- The ALEC article assumes that Congress must call a convention based on resolutions from 34 states even though they call for passing different amendments. Nevertheless, the article assumes the convention will be limited to passing a Balanced Budget Amendment.
- The ALEC article presents only two arguments about how we would be protected against the danger of an Article V convention passing amendments other than a Balanced Budget Amendment (a so-called runaway convention).
- They want every state to pass a second resolution called the "Delegate Limitation Act" to bind the delegates to limit themselves to the subject matter of a Balanced Budget Amendment. However, such a resolution could bind only the delegates from that state. That state's delegates could be called back home, but that would leave the convention in the hands of the remaining delegates.
- They claim we would be protected from the convention doing anything foolish like repealing the Bill of Rights by the delegates' fear of loss of their reputation and political career. ALEC's ridicule of the runaway convention argument is particularly insulting to the distinguished Americans who have warned against it, including Chief Justice Warren Burger and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
- The ALEC article doesn't address fundamental problems with the Balanced Budget Amendment, such as:
- Balanced Budget Amendments of individual states are not a model for a federal amendment because the states cannot print money to cover their deficits.
- The Balanced Budget doesn't deal with the overspending problems caused by the Federal Reserve System, or by coining a Trillion Dollar Coin.
- The Balanced Budget Amendment exempts periods of wartime, but the U.S. has been continually at war since Desert Storm in 1991.
- The Balanced Budget Amendment gives an extraordinary new constitutional power to the President to "propose" (write the first draft of the federal budget). Why would we want to give Obama an important new constitutional power?
- The ALEC article assumes that various conventions before 1789 would be Precedents for an Article V convention today. But they all took place before Article V existed, so they cannot be a Precedent. The sole authority for an Article V convention is the text of Article V.
Provided by Eunie Smith.
- John Birch Society
- Tom DeWeese
- Dave Jolly - a lot of detail and information who is hold hands. It is interesting to note Citizens for Self-Governance is identified by the author as the leader in the campaign for the state constitution convention. It is this same grass roots sounding organization who wrote me when I asked for the organization's opinion of Initiative and Referendum and assistance with informing Alabamians of Initiative and Referendum. There in-part reply follows.
"We have mixed feelings about it. It is an often important method of last resort, but is also often misused by huge money interests. CA is a perfect example. Our system of governance has been literally destroyed by Constitutional amendments done by I&R, yet we also got Prop. 13 property tax limitations out of it. I unfortunately, we don't have a definitive position on it."
Rather puzzling carrying the sword for a state constitution convention but have no position on permitting citizens to be more involved in their state government.
- Michelle Hortsman