Pandora's Box

As I talk to people about the idea of calling a constitutional convention in order to pass a 28th amendment, something that keeps being brought up is bugging me.  A constitutional convention has the power to do a lot more than amend the constitution.  What's to stop the current owners of this country from seizing hold of this thing, and changing quite a bit more than our current political funding scheme?  Furthermore, how do you pick delegates that aren't corrupt?  I could see a lot of interest groups supporting this movement simply so they can have a bat at rewriting parts of the constitution.  Can a constitutional convention be called with a limited scope? 

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commented 2013-10-30 21:58:17 -0400 · Flag
There is a Professor that has written papers and books and has YouTube video where he gives good research results on Article V and many of the arguments against it. If you search Robert Natelson + Article V or get any of his many papers on the Founding Fathers intentions you will be well educated in which are myths, scare tactics and seemingly valid arguments against a Convention of States. He lays those enlargements to waste

Also Indiana has already passed laws on protocol, responsibilities and conduct of delegates to an Article V convention of States.

There was and will forever be one “Constitutional Convention” …the one that is now the Constitution of the United States.

If there is another it will not be the United States…maybe the Constitution of the Wealthy or some other country. I am not going to let that happen.
commented 2012-12-04 04:43:12 -0500 · Flag
Hans:

Yeah, I would agree that this situation is different than history’s past amendment situations, but at the same time we don’t have all the information to really conclude the inner thoughts of the majority of Congress or how they will react this time around.

At the same time, there is some evidence that some of these jokers don’t see a problem with blatantly throwing pork money into bills and becoming lobbyists after their legislative career. Congress may indeed fight this until the end.

We’ll have to see. We can only hope getting one of the states to put out a call for convention will “set the room on fire” and we get to see how it all plays out. If a convention is called, let us not fear it so much as approach it with a mindset that we are trying it out for the first time. The founders put an Article V style amendment process in place for a reason, probably the very situation we are in right now where the federal gov’t is not moving on an issue that is of great importance to the vast majority of people.

Good discussion.
commented 2012-12-03 21:18:31 -0500 · Flag
Yes, and I’m very happy congress doesn’t have a roll in a constitutional convention. I was referring to Ryan’s suggestion that congress would pass the 28th amendment under the threat of a convention being called. I don’t think it’s likely. As for congressional legislatures supporting the 28th amendment in secret, I doubt it. Yes, the amount of money they need to raise to get re-elected is obscene… but take away that money, and they’d also lose the cash and favors that come along with it. I think Randy “Duke” Cunningham is a perfect example of this. Cash for favors, favors for cash. It’s the norm in congress, not the exception.
commented 2012-12-03 18:22:48 -0500 · Flag
Congress doesn’t have a say in the vote so we couldn’t really care less what they think, that’s why we’re going through the state legislators. But off the record I’m sure most of them might tell you they support what we are doing because they are sick of having to raise money constantly to win re-election. They just can’t say it publicly because they may be “cut off”
commented 2012-12-03 16:58:48 -0500 · Flag
One very big difference between the four amendments which congress passed under pressure, and Wolf PAC’s proposed 28th amendment… none of the previous four amendments dismantled the money that props up the majority of congress. There is little doubt in my mind they would fight this amendment tooth and nail. Passage of the 28th amendment would put most of congress out of a job (hence the appeal to citizens like us), and I think they will never support it, regardless of context.
commented 2012-12-02 07:30:41 -0500 · Flag
I have read the Wiki article and some of the references on the “convention to propose amendments” route.

It seems there have been four other amendments that have been passed due to the pressure of the states calling for a convention. There have been some unofficial counts that put the number of calls for convention that have passed in state gov’ts at about 700.

So, I agree with Karin that it seems unlikely that a convention would even be called in the first place, and Congress would certainly feel the heat to pass an amendment that agrees with the popular state legislature demands. And with ~700 other times states have passed these things, it is quite possible to get your state legislature to propose a call for convention. My state of Pennsylvania has proposed HR 653 in 2010, but it didn’t make it out of committee. Nevertheless, it was a convention resolution that looked a lot like Wolf PAC demands.

Even if a convention is called, people and the media will be watching what is proposed extremely closely. Of course, an Article V style convention has never been done before and we can’t know exactly what will happen, but I couldn’t imagine people agreeing on anything like 86% of Americans do that politicians are influenced by money (CNN poll).
tagged this with Excellent 2012-12-02 07:17:52 -0500
commented 2012-12-02 04:45:42 -0500 · Flag
There’s also an historical precedent that Congress will do its job, and pass the amendment itself when about thirty States have called for the Convention. The chance of a ‘runaway convention’, while indeed a scary thought, is very unlikely.
followed this page 2012-12-01 20:29:18 -0500
tagged this with Excellent 2012-12-01 20:29:16 -0500
commented 2012-12-01 00:15:21 -0500 · Flag
Another great question Hans, the answer is yes you can call for a limited convention. We are working out final legislation now and we will make that accessible on this website when it’s done. It’s been an evolutionary process and we think we are getting close to knowing exactly what we need.
tagged this with Excellent 2012-12-01 00:12:07 -0500
published this page in Discuss 2012-11-30 23:49:39 -0500

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