Tuesday, March 01, 2011

No, no Con-Con

No, no Con-Con; Henry Lamb

The U.S. Constitution provides two ways to offer amendments to the Constitution: by resolution of the Congress; and by a Constitutional Convention requested by two-thirds of the states. In either case, the proposed amendment(s) must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

There is a very good reason why all 27 amendments to the Constitution were offered by Congressional resolution: a Constitutional Convention is an invitation to disaster.

Proponents of a Constitutional Convention claim that opponents of a Con-Con use "...half-truths, myths and outright falsehoods..." to instill fear of the process. They do not, however, provide any examples of the alleged "half-truths, myths, and outright falsehoods."

Here is the whole truth, which is neither a myth nor a falsehood. ...

The 17th Amendment removed the states altogether from participation in the federal government. The federal government's power and budget has expanded ever since. The time has come to restrain the powers of the federal government, and the best way to do it is to return to the design created by our Founders. Repeal the 17th Amendment!

Comment: If the recent protests in Wisconsin and Ohio are any indication of the type force anti-liberty groups exhibit, then we should know that if a Con-Con did take place we would see even wilder situations. Mr. Lamb’s reasoning is sound and prudent. If the 17th is ever going to be repealed we must have Congress behind it, so this means liberty groups must work even harder to remove the statists and elect people who are knowledgeable of the US Constitution and US History, and the ideals of liberty and freedom.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why we are so afraid of a process that is provided for in the Constitution. An amendment convention (that it what it is according to the Constitution, NOT a "Constitutional Convention")would be narrow in scope, and any proposed amendments would STILL require 3/4 of the states to ratify!

Who really believes that Congress will act to restrict its own behavior? That will take the states pushing back and saying NO to unconstitutional power grabs. If the three branches of the federal government have failed to properly adhere to constitutional limits, then what is left but the states to step in and restore liberty!?

John said...

I would like to interject that what would become the 17th itself was well on its way to being the the product of a Con-Con because the people who demanded it did not trust the Senate to ever allow for direct election.

The Senate resisted a number of calls through the House of Representatives to amend for direct election, and capitulated only when it saw the writing on the wall that a Con-Con was nigh inevitable.

I strenuously believe that if the states as states are to regain their suffrage they must assert themselves as disenfranchised parties seeking remedy. Maybe history will repeat itself and the threat of a Con-Con would spur Congress to act. Maybe we have to be prepared to see the Con-Con through.

Look at this site. Look at the behavior we post about on a daily basis. Changing Congress as it is currently exists as an institution is the problem. Indeed, if it were capable of controlling, checking, and policing itself would our arguments for change even need voiced, let alone utterly moot?

"The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition, it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people. On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the State governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them."

-- The closing paragraph of Federalist 46.

John said...

The above passage reflects the Framers' beliefs that they had vested the states with adequate checks against the federal government to quell the fears of the anti federalists of an all powerful central government, which would be the end of the argument if that system were not tampered with.

But it was.

The check of representation in the Senate- gone. Nullification is but a theory that has yet to succeed in practice. We see Senators and Representatives overruling Governors and state legislatures. And now we aren't going to use the Con-Con because it has apparently some nuclear option aspect to it?? That it may lead to unintended and tragic ends??

"The state governments are
considered in . . . [the new
constitution] as mere dependencies,
existing solely by its toleration,
and possessing powers of which they
may be deprived whenever the general government is disposed so to do. If then the powers of the state governments are to be totally
absorbed, in which all agree, and
only differ as to the mode-whether
it will be effected by a rapid
progression, or by as certain, but
slower, operations-what is to limit
the oppression of the general
government? Where are the rights,
which are declared to be incapable
of violation? And what security
have people against the wanton
oppression of unprincipled

Robert Yates, writing as "Sydney"

John said...

What I am trying to covey is that our options, once a wide array of methods, have dwindled. I think it is a serious mistake to further hamstring ourselves by unilaterally taking Con-Con - a Constitutionally valid option - off the table, esp since that commits us to relying on Congress to lead the way.

B. Johnson said...

Given that the Founding States had reserved the lion's share of government power to serve the people to the states, not Congress and the Oval Office, consider the following. Justice John Marshall had appropriately established the following case precedent, now wrongly ignored by federal and state lawmakers, that Congress cannot lay taxes in the name of state power issues.

"Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." --Chief Justice Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.

So if the liberal lawmakers running California, for example, understood that that much of the funding that they beg from Congress was arguably state revenues stolen by corrupt Congress via illegal federal taxes with the help of California's own federal senators, then California lawmakers would conceivably lead the rest of the states to repeal 17A. After all, illegal federal taxes from bankrupt California are undoubtedly winding up in the hands of lawmakers of other states who aren't as bad off as California.

John said...

The thing i think that is getting lost here is that since everyone dreads what might happen at a Convention, by the States showing a willingness to go that route it will show both the utter need to address repeal and how disenfranchised the states have become because of the 17th.

BTW -- I really hope Idaho reconsiders.