At the Mar. 6 Republican precinct caucus (es), a resolution was introduced concerning the State of Colorado joining the ‘Article V convention of states’ movement.
And though I dissent, let me state that, theoretically and Constitutionally, it is a good provision. For where Congress refuses to act, the States (which instituted the Federal government) and the People may act independent of the Congress.
Here are my concerns.
First, we have historical evidence that this process can, and probably will be, hijacked. In 1786 a convention was called to address deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union relating to the levy of taxes and uniform commerce among the several States. The 1786 convention in Annapolis, MD was so poorly attended-only five states-that it was cancelled, resulting only in the call for the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
The second concern I have is that, no matter the Amendments proposed or adopted over the course of this process, we would be depending on those who will not obey their oath to the current version to do so in the future.
Thirdly, and probably more basic, is that the existing Constitution already contains the solutions to our presently dysfunctional Government.
Explain, you say. I will.
One glaring and recent example is that of Chief Justice Roberts rewriting the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) in order to find it Constitutional. This opinion could have been easily overturned by legislators fulfilling their duty. Further, a Supreme Court Justice serves only during times of ‘good behavior’. Mr. Justice Roberts should have been impeached and removed from office for this egregious display of ‘bad behavior’. But again the Legislature failed. The proposed Amendment to limit Judges terms to ten years will not solve this kind of abuse.
Another proposed Amendment is the so-called ‘Balanced Budget Amendment’. I have read several of the proposals and none limit taxation. In other words, if any one of those were to pass and Congress were to hold to it, they would set the spending priorities wherever they pleased and merely raise taxes in order to meet the Balanced Budget requirement. Additionally, all of the ones I have read have some sort of wording to exempt the Congress from adherence during specified emergencies. I wonder if that could be abused by the same folks who currently abuse the Constitution.
Here’s one more—term limits for Congress. Well, we already have it. Two years for a Representative and six years for a Senator. We also had a four year limit on the President until the 22nd Amendment upped the limit to two four year terms. Of course this is in reference to elections and re-elections. Until the People understand and adhere to the present Constitution, hold to a moral social and political construct, and hold these Congress persons to that standard or vote them out, no Amendment will suffice. Federal recall would serve us better.
My final objection would be procedural and political. The Amendment V process is necessarily left up to the States, which means the several Legislatures would establish the parameters for the delegates from their respective State. This would be done by the same legislators who do not now obey the Constitutions to which they swore an oath. Furthermore, the delegates would most likely be insider fellow travelers, having the same lack of respect.
In other words, I DO NOT TRUST THAT THE SAME TYPE OF PEOPLE WHO GOT US INTO THIS MESS WILL GET US OUT!!!
As already mentioned, a Federal recall may go toward solving some of the issues of inaction by Congress. Getting the legislation passed by those it would place in jeopardy is about the most impossible feat on the planet. So is there another way?
Yes, and it is called nullification. We will examine that misunderstood process next time.