Article V empowers states to limit the federal government and is the megaphone for the peoples’ voice. This is part three of a how-to manual on limiting the federal government, skipping congress, and going straight to the Constitution.
There is much disagreement about Article V. There are those who want to preserve the states’ right and utilize Article V more often to keep the federal government in check, and others who want to amend Article V to remove the states’ right altogether or to lobby states to opt out of it, forsaking the right. This division is not necessarily ideologically based, but given that George Soros has spent a lot of money trying to obtain the latter, one should learn more about Article V before choosing a side.
The primary argument for abolishing the states’ rights under Article V is the fear that the states could use the convention to abolish the Constitution. This argument is premised on the first convention of states where the Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution. This argument either misconstrues or simply ignores history.
First, The Articles of Confederation were more of a friendly pact among the thirteen separate colonies seeking sovereignty from the British with rules governing how to do it. The Articles required unanimous agreement for amendments to pass. However, once the war was won and the first Convention held, the attending delegates realized that the confederacy (which literally means alliance) of 13 separate colonies did not comport with their goal of being one nation comprised of 13 states. Therefore, they voted unanimously to forego the no longer viable Articles of Confederation in favor of a Constitution forming a new, more perfect union.
Second, the Constitution allows for amendments thereto but contains no language allowing for its abolition. Article V explains how amendments are to be proposed and ratified while providing the states the right to checks and balances on Congress to preserve the Constitution’s integrity. In the last two centuries, the Constitution has; accommodated expansion from thirteen to fifty states without being abolished, been amended to change with the times, yet remains intact, and has been interpreted repeatedly, but always as the law of this land, thereby solidifying that it cannot simply be foregone.
Finally, the argument fails to contemplate that under that logic, Congress could likewise propose to abolish the Constitution and is far more capable of doing so. Since ratification, Congress has proposed 33 Constitutional amendments, 27 of which were ratified. The states have proposed over 10,000, none of which have been ratified. Moreover, if Congress were to attempt such a thing, the only way to stop it is… – a convention of the states.
Given the foregoing, if the fear is the abolition of the Constitution and Congress is in a far better position to do so. The only way to stop Congress is a convention of the states, then advocating the abolition of the states right to a convention is really advocating giving Congress and only Congress the ability to abolish the Constitution without any redress from the states thereby making it easier to make that fear a reality.
Stay tuned for the final article, “Article V – The Summation.”