Dear Friends of Liberty,
It is my sincerest hope that there are none among the ranks of the Constitution Party who would recommend that we pursue a convention of the states. It appears to me that it would be an unmitigated disaster.
Article 5 of the Constitution addresses the amendment process and constitutional conventions. It is only one paragraph long, and though it says that a convention may be called by the application of 2/3 of the states’ legislatures, there are absolutely no ground rules given. The convention can write its own rules. The Constitutional Convention we had in 1787 was the first and only one we have ever had. The Continental Congress sent delegates to this convention to revise the Articles of Confederation, and bring their recommended revisions back to the Congress for ratification, requiring, as I recall, 100% of the states before ratification is effective. But the delegates to that convention threw out the mandate from the Continental Congress, and wrote a new Constitution entirely. Not only did they not abide by the mandate of the Congress at the time, but they also made their own rules for ratification of that new Constitution, which you will see in Article Seven. Instead of taking it back to the Congress for their ratification as per their instructions, they stated that ratification by Conventions in nine of the thirteen states would serve to make the Constitution effective and binding.
So, this makes evident several problems. First, there is not a legal way for a Convention to be called for a specific purpose, such as to consider a balanced budget amendment. The Convention can consider anything it wants to consider, once it convenes, and even throw out the Constitution we have now in its entirety. It is totally out of our control.
Secondly, there is no way to determine beforehand the method and means of ratification. Though the Constitution says that an amendment must be ratified by the legislatures of three‐fourths of the states, this is not binding whatsoever on a Convention; ratification will be by whatever means the Convention decides to propose.
Thirdly, there is the question of the delegates. If we could ensure that only wise and honorable people would be selected, who could be trusted with our future, then a Convention might not be so dangerous. However, we haven’t had enough of those for the last two hundred years. Instead, we might expect the state legislatures to send to the Convention delegates that will represent the philosophies and opinions of the legislators themselves. And once again, it is the legislators on both the state and federal levels who have either caused, or allowed to develop, all the problems we have today. Considering the simple fact that the upper echelons of both major parties are controlled by the same interests (for evidence, consider how the candidates from both parties are funded by the same donors, and consider how the actual policies and direction of the country never change, even though there may be a change of the party in power), they would doubtlessly pack the convention with their approved delegates. We who are active in the liberty movement are few in number, and our dominions are small. Financially we haven’t the clout to compete for representation in the convention, and would find ourselves largely excluded.
And finally, there is little reason to believe that any “good” amendments or revisions that might come out of a convention of the states. I need not belabor this point. It is obvious to all that the Constitution is approaching the status of a dead letter, about like Article Seven. Our mission in life needs to be to save that which, by the grace of God, we already have (a task, to all appearances, with a slim chance of success), rather than to flesh out a document with new changes, needed though we believe them to be, which will have no more efficacy in governing the government than that which we already have.
No, a Constitutional Convention would, I am convinced, be an unparalleled tragedy for our country, and indeed the world. Rather than changing the Constitution, let us use that which we’ve already got for a change. Everything good we still have in this country came on account of the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration, and a nation of informed people with the morals, integrity and knowledge to stand behind those principles. Conversely, the ills of our day have in large measure come as a result of abandoning these principles.
The Constitution, it has been said, hangs by a small thread. If this is the case, then that thread is nothing more than our franchise to vote. And now we even have reason to suspect that the sanctity of our ballots has been violated. That thread may have broken already. We need to forget about parties, and vote for wise men and women of the utmost integrity, who have a firm understanding of our founding principles, and in whose hearts burn the fire of liberty. We need to become informed of the issues of the day, and how they stack‐up in the light of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And we need to scrutinize the voting records of any incumbents up for reelection, and judge them not by what they say, but by what they have done. We need men and women who will honor their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. We need men and women who are faithful to their oaths 100% of the time, and we must view any breech of that oath as cause to expel such an offender from office.
Chairman, Constitution Party of Utah
The Constitution Party of Utah believes in upholding the Constitution of the United States in the state of Utah. Join us to make your voice heard and participate in protecting our God given rights as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.