Since the federal government ignores the Constitution as now written, why would it obey an amended Constitution?
This is a fair question, considering COS has spent several years and millions of dollars from undisclosed sources1 on paid lobbyists and “senior advisors” who crisscross the country leaning on legislators to pass resolutions asking Congress to call an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ostensibly to limit the federal government.
All the while, at the local level, COS has been carrying out a massive public relations campaign claiming to be a grassroots movement with a “solution as big as the problem.”
But Meckler’s group has a solution that has nothing to do with the problem! Since the problem is a federal government that has overreached its powers by ignoring our Constitution, logic alone tells us that amending our Constitution, the very document being ignored, can’t possibly fix the problem.
On 7/6/17 (Part 2 at 37:00), Mark Meckler was heard on Red Eye Radio answering that question in an interesting and illogical way:
A caller asked:
Once the amendments are proposed and ratified, how are they actually implemented?
In response, Meckler said:
… [the amendments] just automatically become part of the Constitution … part of the structure of governance in America … and that means that government then has to begin operating according to those amendments in the same way that they do with the rest of the Constitution.
(He continued) And functionally, ultimately that means government will shrink, they will have the authority to do less. And if they fail to follow those amendments, then obviously, there is litigation that ensues up to the federal courts and ultimately up to the Supreme Court, if necessary. (Emphasis added.)
But wait! COS has contended for years that the Constitution needs to be amended precisely because of decisions by activist judges who have undermined the original intent of the Constitution and allowed the federal government to usurp powers not delegated by our Constitution.
In other words, Meckler gives us a circular argument. He’s saying that COS will add more verbiage to the Constitution to counter activist judges; and then, when the federal government ignores the new wording, as they have in the past, there will be lawsuits to force the government to follow the original intent of the framers. And lawsuits generate still more decisions by activist judges!
It should be noted, too, that our Constitution already limits the federal government to its enumerated powers; and any changes, such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, will expand the power of the federal government.
State governments already have the power to resist unconstitutional acts of the federal government—they simply need a backbone!
The last caller, only 10 minutes later, hit upon the circular argument and got a different response from Meckler:
Caller: … What happens, if say, we call a “convention of states” [and] we get some great reform amendments made to the Constitution to undo a lot of damage that has been done by activist judges and left-wing congressional majorities and presidents. What happens if we have future … laws … that violate the new amendments … and … new activist judges on the Supreme Court that then give rubber stamp approval [to the unconstitutional laws]. … Is there a bullet-proof, really good way to stop the same process from cycling over and over again after we get new amendments [at a convention]?
Meckler: “ You know, I think that’s one of the best questions there is. And I’m going to give you the short and blunt answer which is NO!
That’s right, Mark Meckler asserts there is no way to stop the federal government from ignoring amendments proposed by a convention that later become ratified! And the entire process places our current Constitution at risk—for what?!
Meckler elaborated philosophically:
There is no way to prevent the cycle from happening because the cycle is the cycle of human nature. In our history, you can go back to the Roman Empire and look at what happens … So, I think what happens is, you correct course, you put the ship on course, and eventually it will begin to be blown off course.
History tells us it takes about 100 years for amendments to stop being effective … I think, for example, the first amendment about 100 years ago started to come under assault. So, it had been in place for well over 100 years; so, I expect the slide to happen.
Let’s get this straight. The convention lobby is pouring massive resources into putting our Constitution at risk in convention because Mark Meckler is trying to steer the ship back on course, somehow predicting that in 100 years our children’s descendants will need to go through the same process, subjecting our Constitution to risk once again (assuming it survives the second federal convention he is trying so hard to invoke?) Why haven’t he, his lobbyists, or “senior advisors” brought this up at legislative hearings?
Why not work on enforcing the Constitution we have, instead of rewriting 2,000 annotated pages of Supreme Court decisions, and very probably the entire Constitution? Why not encourage our State Legislators to stand up against and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal dictates now—that’s what they are supposed to do, according to our Framers.
Article V was meant to correct defects in the Constitution, and this explains why it is not a solution for reining in an overreaching federal government.
If the main COS proponent thinks his “Solution” is a temporary “fix;” and his method of implementing Amendments resulting from an Article V convention is no different than the system that created the problem in the first place, one must wonder …
What is the real reason COS is being bankrolled to advance an Article V convention whose Delegates, as direct Representatives of the People, would have the inherent Right “to alter or to abolish” our “Form of Government”? (Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2.)
1 While we are unable to determine all the sources of the funding for Meckler’s group, the ultimate source of much of the funding for the push for an Article V convention is the mega billionaire Koch Brothers of Texas.
Editor’s Note. An Article V Convention has strong proponents and opponents locally and across America, including within conservative circles. Smart, well-intentioned people disagree on such a convention. The Fairfax Free Citizen welcomes both pro and con articles and comments about it. An open and insightful exchange of ideas about a possible Article V Convention will help inform readers and may contribute to building a consensus on this controversial subject.