California Ballot Initiative providing opportunity to voters to direct the state legislature to formerly call for an Article V convention and begin to enforce the Constitution.
Congress has a duty defined in their oath of office, "Support and defend the Constitution".
Bill Walker discovered members of Congress were violating the Constitution and their oath of office, he filed a lawsuit against them.
Lawsuit explanation, Walker v. Members of Congress is found here:
This is a forum where discussion regarding Americas article V can take place.
Article V Convention Organization
Audio recordings with another Constitutional scholar, a law professor published in Cambridge and Harvard texts.
Interview with Professor Rob Natelson (Episode 7):
Return to Philadelphia by Justice Thomas E. Brennan (1982):
Lawful and Peaceful Revolution by Justice Bruce Van Sickle (1990):
Article V Convention FAQ:
Leading national group:
PDF database of state applications for the Article V Convention:
FAQ of specific questions about the Article V Convention:
Natures, Powers, and Limitations by R.S. Hoar (1917):
ROGER SHERMAN HOAR, 1917: The word constitution is used to signify law which is superior to legislative acts. A constitution is a text of principles beyond the control of a legislature, executive, court, or private interests. A constitution is a social agreement where the whole people contract with the citizen, the citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by law for the common good and that government is based upon that agreement. Constitutional conventions, as a means of amending written constitutions, are a distinctly American institution. In fact, written constitutions themselves originated in this country.
Our American Constitution is composed of seven articles, and to date, twenty-seven amendments. Because our constitution is unique in all political history, so is its convention clause, and should therefore be referred to as you would any proper noun--specifically--the Article V Convention.
Electing Delegates Delegates will be elected to their positions of office. In Hawke v Smith (253 U.S. 221 (1920)) the Supreme Court addressed the issue when it discussed ratification conventions saying: "Both method of ratification, by Legislatures or conventions, call for action by deliberative assemblages representative of the people..." The court thus defined what the word "conventions" meant in the text of the Constitution: deliberative assemblages representative of the people, and equates that with legislatures, all of whom are representatives elected by the people of the state. Beyond this, the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause as well as Beyond this, the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause as well as Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution make it clear that all citizens are entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states. The Constitution requires that all members of Congress must be citizens of the United States and that they must be elected to that office. The Fourteenth Amendment creates two citizenships for all citizens of the United States: citizens of the United States and citizens of the state in which they reside or, state citizenship. Citizens, whether elected to Congress or to the Article V Convention receive, as a result of that election, the privilege to offer amendments to the Constitution and therefore the 14th Amendment requires that both sets of citizens, members of Congress and delegates to a convention must receive equal protection under the law. This means as members of Congress are elected and receive the privilege to offer amendment proposals, delegates who are given the same privilege to offer amendment proposals, must also be elected. Supreme Court Rulings
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803): "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect."
The convention clause of Article V is not without effect.
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816): "The government of the United States can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the Constitution."
No branch of government has the power to question the validity of a state application for the Article V Convention.
Prigg v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. 539 (1842): "[The] Court may not construe the Constitution so as to defeat its obvious ends when another construction, equally accordant with the words and sense thereof, will enforce and protect them."
To question the validity of a state's application attempts to construe and defeat the obvious ends of the convention clause.
Dodge v. Woolsey, 59 U.S. 331 (1855): "The departments of the government are legislative, executive and judicial. They are coordinate in degree to the extent of the powers delegated to each of them. Each, in the exercise of its powers, is independent of the other, but all, right-fully done by either, is binding upon the others. The constitution is supreme over all of them, because the people who ratified it have made it so; consequently, anything which may be done unauthorized by it is unlawful."
The three branches of government are unauthorized to question the validity of a state application because the power to do so does not exist. In fact, according to Federalist 85, the saving grace of the Constitution is the prohibition of such a power. The validity/effect of each state application is based solely on its having been cast.
Jarrolt v. Moberly, 103 U.S. 580 (1880): "A constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose, but rather so as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it was aimed."
To attempt to question the validity of a state application, either through its contemporaneousness or subject matter, is to attempt to defeat its purpose and allow the mischief at which it's aimed to suppress.
U.S. v Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931): "Where intention of words and phrases used in Constitution is clear, there is no room for construction [re-interpretation] and no excuse for interpolation."
Any attempt at construction or interpolation as to the validity of state applications runs counter to the intention of the words used in Article V.
Ullmann v. U.S., 350 U.S. 422 (1956): "Nothing new can be put into the constitution except through the amendatory process, and nothing old can be taken out without the same process."
There's nothing in the Constitution which places any stricture in any way whatsoever on the validity of state applications for a convention. If Anti-Conventionists wish to limit the validity/effect of a state's application, they must propose such a law and then work to have that law ratified.
Ullmann v. U.S., 350 U.S. 422 (1956): "As no constitutional guarantee enjoys preference, so none should suffer subordination or deletion."
The constitutional guarantee to a national convention is currently suffering subordination. Based on the rule of law the Article V Convention is mandated, which means every Congress is in violation of the U.S. Constitution until the Article V Convention is convoked.
Standard parliamentary procedure is not some sort of chaos. Someone proposes an idea, it suffers debate, the question is called, and it's voted up or down. The Article V Convention does not and cannot rewrite the Constitution because whatever is proposed must be agreed to by a majority of the delegates, and then agreed to by 38 states. If someone or some group did want to re-write the Constitution, they'd first have to propose an amendment allowing for that, get it ratified by 75% of the nation, then come back and propose their new constitution, and then get that ratified. The Framers did not leave a self-destruct button in their masterwork.
The constitutional process of convoking/convening a federal convention would elevate political discourse above corporate sound bites because discussion will be about first principles, amending the Constitution--a profound task. Any insincerity will be seen and exposed. The convention itself creates a dynamic that corporate interests can't control, its procedures contrast sharply with the modus operandi within Congress: a convention is a unicameral assembly with no conference committees required to reconcile divergent House/Senate bills. There are no labyrinths of autonomous standing committees with autocratic chairpersons to pass through, and no filibuster to overcome. A convention will initiate reforms Congress never will. Indeed it's the great fear of corporate interests: a runaway convention of the people, by the people, for the people.
Delegates to the convention are not there to reinvent the wheel, but simply to propose amendments. Delegates will have a fresh point of view, the election they come from will have been specifically targeted to deal with what should be done. They're there to propose amendments and then return to civilian life, so they won't be studying polls nor looking for future campaign contributions. More importantly, whether or not delegates reach consensus on amendments today, it's the constitutional process which will save us. It will create a dynamic the same as telling a corrupt accountant an outside audit is to begin, which is really all a convention is, a second opinion. At the same time it will re-educate the nation about the Constitution itself, and why it was written the way it was. It will awaken a sense of confidence and participation in the people, which will flow back into and reinvigorate the regular political process, while at the same time calling the bluff on those who only talk about the Constitution.
For those who don't understand it, it's clear now to many that America is in the hands of a corporate syndicate which controls everything and even writes laws or deregulates law through the legislatures they put in place. This makes what they do "legal" and makes it impossible for the people to hold them responsible. They own everything, including the media, the nation's only source of information, so it's easy for them to brainwash the public. They tell people that any attempt for the government to assist its citizens, in any form, is socialism but they give themselves tax breaks, atop the billions they siphon, and when their businesses run aground, they get billions of government dollars to help them out. They're so brazen that it's clear they've realized we can't do anything about it. The question is, are they right?
We're all taught that the Declaration Independence and Constitution are our two most important founding documents, what we're not taught is that the former was written into the latter. The genius of the Constitution is that it provides for a peaceable break from the inevitable consequence of institutionalized corruption. Whether or not 38 states can agree to any one idea for a 28th Amendment, it's the constitutional process of convoking and convening a convention which will deliver us.
There are very good reasons, after all.
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