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Now is the time for all good men

By       Message Harold Hellickson       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Author 19767
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Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two means by which the U.S. Constitution can be amended. In the first, Congress proposes and approval is dependent upon State ratification. In the second, proposal and ratification is a State function. The second method requires Congress, "on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments".

Yet, Congress has conscientiously failed to call for a convention for proposing amendments despite having received more than a combined total of 700 documented applications from each of the now 50 state legislatures. Failure of Congress to do so, seemingly suggests that each current and still living former member of both Houses of Congress has violated federal law for failure to adhere to their oath to "defend and protect the constitution".

The most probable reason that Congress has failed to call for a convention is that Congress, both as a body and individual incumbents, fear a diminution of power. The political game is inordinately rigged to favor Congress and individual incumbents. It is a political game, one could argue, that assures rule of the minority where, too often, the will of the governed be damned.

Quoting from a letter of mine to Senator Burr, "While Congress has steadfastly failed 'on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments' to call such a convention, this seems to me to be in total defiance of the Founding Father intent. Alexander Hamilton, the author of Article V, from Federalist 85 is quoted (the emphasis is mine) as follows: 'on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof'... The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress shall call a convention. Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body.'"

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Hamilton's view of "peremptory", "shall", and "no discretion" was later reinforced by one of original justices of the United States Supreme Court, James Iredell, stating, "whenever two-thirds of the States apply for a convention, Congress is under the necessity of convening one and that they have no option".

From the U.S, Supreme Court in United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716 (1931): "Article 5 is clear in statement and in meaning, contains no ambiguity and calls for no resort to rules of construction.... It provides two methods for proposing amendments. Congress may propose them by a vote of two-thirds of both houses, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the States, must call a convention to propose them."

So, to any Congress person that has failed to "call for a Convention for proposing Amendments", I have but one question. Which part of "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States to call a convention for proposing amendments" do you not understand?

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That the U.S. Constitution is an imperfect instrument is obvious.

""..The Bill of Rights, our first ten amendments ratified in 1791, was necessitated by a single fact. Without an agreement to create a Bill of Rights, ratification of the Constitution itself in 1789 would not have been possible.

"".. Over the next 219 years, through today, an additional 17 amendments have been ratified.

"".. None of the more than 100 democracies, actually we are a republic not a democracy, established after us are constitutionally equivalent to us.

"".. Unlike our "winner take all" system, the vast majority of these more than 100 other democracies have proportional representation facilitating multiple party representation. That the interests of 300 million people are confined to two dominate parties is, on the surface, patently ridiculous. That the interests of a political duopoly, such as ours, are not blended and merged to favor the money-special interests that finance both parties election campaigns, too, is patently ridiculous.

"".. None of these more these more than 100 democracies utilize an electoral college for election of Administrative leadership.

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"".. None of these more these 100 democracies find it necessary to solicit and spend the enormous per capita campaign funds per election as do we.

What would be the goal of an Amendatory Convention; perfection? Certainly not, but the need for a continuing drive towards development of a more perfect union is required and understood by more and more people all the time.

Regarding the necessity of implementation of a States Amendatory Constitutional Convention, there are undoubtedly many unsung heroes, both past and present. I will mention but two of them; both current, both active, Mssrs. Walker and Brennan. Both are among the co-founders of Friends of the Article V Convention; provides an enormous amount of factual background data and information.

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A retired MBA, I am a former corporate ideologue, former 3rd party advocate and current curmudgeon. While a continued supporter of a 3rd party, I have concluded their efficacy cannot be demonstrated until our form of Government is changed to (more...)

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