About That Article V Convention

Many Americans have espoused the idea of an Article V Convention as a way to add two amendments to the United States Constitution–a balanced budget amendment and a term limits amendment. When those of us who are skeptical of the ability of our political class to do the right thing question the idea of holding an Article V Convention, we are told that the checks and balances would prevent any mischief. I am not convinced. We have checks and balances built into our government, and we have had a lot of mischief in spite of those checks and balances.

On Friday, The Western Journal reported the following:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is eyeing a change to the United States Constitution.

The state’s legislature on Thursday approved a resolution in support of Newsom’s call for a 28th Constitutional amendment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The amendment would enshrine a list of Democratic gun-control policy priorities into federal law.

…The proposed “Right to Safety Amendment” would limit legal gun ownership to adults 21 and older, enact universal federal background checks on gun sales, create a mandatory “reasonable waiting period” for gun purchases, and ban the purchase of many forms of semiautomatic rifles.

The article notes:

The governor claims the new amendment would co-exist with the Second Amendment despite the proposed amendment’s changes to the American legal understanding of gun ownership.

“The Right to Safety Amendment would preserve the integrity of the Second Amendment, while enshrining in our Constitution commonsense safety provisions that are supported overwhelmingly by the American people,” the progressive governor said in a news release.

…Three-fourths of state legislatures need to approve any amendment to the Constitution before it becomes law, and Republicans control a majority of state houses.

Many of the amendment’s provisions already are law in California, but that state experienced the most mass shootings in the nation between 1982 and August of this year, according to Statista. However, the nation’s most populous state had the eighth-lowest gun-death rate among the 50 states in 2021, according to Giffords Law Center.

I don’t want to let this man anywhere near amending the U.S. Constitution.

Term Limits

There has been a lot of discussion among political junkies lately about Term Limits and about an Article V Convention to institute Term Limits. First I would like to deal with the issue of Term Limits.

A friend who opposes Term Limits sent me the following:

Opposition to Term Limits

  1. Term Limits destroy our voting freedom and force us to toss out the good with the bad.

2. We have term limits now; they’re called “elections.”America’s best term-limiting device is the ballot box.

3. Term limits would mean giving lobbyists & bureaucrats more power, in that institutional memory and experience are no longer available.

4. In his farewell address in 1989, President Reagan rightly pointed out that term limits are “a preemption of the people’s right to vote for whomever they want as many times as they want.”

5. Right now, after a candidate is defeated, we have a lame duck period where there is no longer accountability to the voters for two months. A Term Limits Amendment for Congress would extend the lame duck period from two months to two years in the case of U.S. Representatives and to six years in the case of U.S. Senators!

6. The real problem is that the politicians we elect ignore our Constitution –yet we keep reelecting them.

7. Limiting their terms by an amendment merely increases the turnover of politicians in Congress who ignore our Constitution –and to whom we must pay luxurious lifetime pensions.

8. The Articles of Confederation, our first Constitution, set term limits on the Continental Congress. Our Framers considered this and rejected the idea of congressional term limits. James Madison wrote in Federalist 53: “…The greater the proportion of new members of Congress, and the less the information of the bulk of the members, the more apt they be to fall into the snares that may be laid before them.”

9. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater: yes, term limits would help eliminate some of the corrupt, power-hungry, incompetent Congress members, but it would also get rid of all the honest and effective ones.

Those are all good points.

Briefly I want to comment on the idea of an Article V Convention. Below are some of the issues I have with an Article V Convention:

Despite the false assurance of supporters, such a convention cannot be limited to one amendment or to specific subject matter.

In our nation today, there is widespread ignorance of the principles and original intent of the U.S. Constitution as set forth by its founders.

If the current Constitution is not obeyed, why would anyone obey a changed one? 

I simply do not believe that our current political leaders have the intellectual capacity or the basic unifying principles that our Founding Fathers had. I simply do not trust our current political leaders with my freedom.

This Is Truly A Sad Day For America

The Supreme Court today chose to rewrite ObamaCare rather than do its duty as a court and rule on the case at hand.

CBS News is reporting:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement.

Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a dissenter in 2012, was part of the majority on Thursday.

The National Journal is reporting:

The decision, Scalia wrote, “rewrites the law.”

We should start calling this law SCOTUScare,” he wrote.

He continued: “Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state Exchanges, Scalia wrote.

Scalia took issue with the majority’s interpretation of the language of the Affordable Care Act. The law states that in order for people to qualify for health care subsidies, they need to be “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State.” The majority upheld that by “state,” the law intended to mean individual state exchanges or exchanges set up by the federal government. If the Court had ruled the other way, more than 6 million people would have been at risk of losing their coverage. Their ruling rejects a lawsuit that aimed to gut federal health-care subsidies for people in 34 states.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services is not a State,” Scalia wrote. (The majority argued that gutting the subsidies for the state exchanges would result in a “death spiral” for the market places and that “It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner. “)

It is not the duty of the Supreme Court to write law. The Supreme Court can only examine legislature to see if it aligns with the U.S. Constitution. This right of review was established in 1803 with the Marbury v.. Madison case–it was not written into the original U.S. Constitution. although the concept was mentioned in Federalist No. 78:

It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.

In the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court rewrote the law and exceeded its authority. We have reached the point in America where the U.S. Constitution is no longer the law of the land. Unless the American people begin to pay attention to what is happening and take action (an Article V Convention of States is looking really good right now), we will lose our representative republic.