These Leaders Stepped up Last Week in the House
Meet South Carolina’s Convention of States Leaders
The South Carolina Convention of States team would like to applaud the efforts of Representative Bill Taylor and Senator Larry Grooms, who have stepped forward as sponsors of resolutions H.3233 & S.86 respectively.
These are what leaders look like!
The framers of our great Constitution understood there was a strong possibility that a day would arrive when the federal government system that they entrusted to us would spiral out of control. Because human nature has a tendency to stretch outside its boundaries, the framers put together a system designed to constrain the power hungry tendencies of mankind. The framers also had a keen understanding that the system they designed was not perfect and therefore it would need a process to make necessary changes as they arose. To this end they inserted a rigorous change process that included two methods to amend the Constitution. It is abundantly clear from their own words that they foresaw the need for changes to the document in the future.
Some today tell us that we need to “defend the Constitution as it is” rather than amend it, altogether ignoring the fact that our Constitution has been changed by amendment 27 times. The Bill of Rights codified specific individual rights, human slavery was eradicated, women were given the vote, Presidents were limited to two terms in office, etc… So the idea that we never amend the Constitution has no historical or logical basis. It is prudent for us to understand that the document is not perfect, it was drafted by human beings….and left in the hands of imperfect men, could be and would be twisted and perverted. In reality, the correct and Constitutional way to “defend” the Constitution when it is being abused is to amend it.
In effect…today, we have two Constitutions. We have the Constitution that was ratified in June of 1788 and its 27 amendments. The second Constitution in effect today is the Constitution that the Supreme Court uses….the one that has been twisted, contorted, abused, and perverted for over a century. We must admit that all of that abuse in these past decades was met with little to no response by the states.
James Madison emphasized this point in his letter to Edward Everett dated August 28th, 1830. Madison by that time was 81 years old and had lived to see his incredible work to draft our governing document begin to bear the brunt of time. He had this to say when queried by Mr. Everett about the proper response by the states to a government that might grow abusive:
“Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed be found not to secure the Government and rights of the States against usurpations and abuses on the part of the United States the final resort within the purview of the Constitution lies in an amendment of the Constitution according to a process applicable by the States.”
So, according to Madison, the correct response to “usurpations and abuses” on the part of the federal government is a call from the states for an amending convention (Convention of States) under the provision outlined in Article V.
For those that fear a congressional takeover of such a convention, the United States Congress for all practical purposes, is really in a perpetual "convention". Those that fear a "runaway" convention from an Article V Convention of States seem to fail to realize that the "runaway convention" is happening every single day right in front of our eyes by fiat. The President is using "rogue" interpretations by the Supreme Court to direct unlawful actions via Executive Order. The Congress is using "rogue" interpretations of the Constitution by decades of twisted and perverted rulings by the SCOTUS. The real "runaway" convention is happening right before our eyes.
We must face the sobering thought that our federal government is so out of control, that Washington D.C. cannot fix itself. On June 11th, 1787, Anti Federalist George Mason while making the case to add the state convention provision to Article V made the following sobering statement:
“Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent on that very account.”
Carefully consider what Mason was telling us....his words are sobering. He is telling us that if we wait too long, we might risk violence in our nation. He went on to say that it would be wrong to leave all amending of the Constitution up to Washington D.C. [Natl. Legislature] because once they start abusing their powers they will refuse to do what needs to be done to put the beast of tyranny back inside the cage (emphasis mine). Think Congressional and Supreme Court term limits, think balanced budget amendment, think curtailing executive order power, think regulatory agency sunset provisions, think spending limitations, etc…
Right now we have Convention of States Project grassroots organizations active in all 50 states. The time for the states to act to defend themselves from the tyranny of the federal government is now. The Article V Convention of States is the lawful and orderly process by which we begin to turn this ship around.
An Article V Convention of States is not a silver bullet, but according to James Madison, it is the last bullet we have.
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