13 HOURS

As I sat in the theater and watched the movie “13 Hours” (Benghazi for the uninformed), for over two hours I grew madder and madder as I watched the United States politicians kill Americans by refusing request, after request to them for help. They just couldn’t believe the magnitude of the situation that was going on there.

If it were not for the bravely of some American Contractors (ex-military) every American in Benghazi would have been killed. They took it upon themselves to rush to the embassy and then on to the compound to protect the Americans left there and the ambassador who they believed was still alive.

Request after request for help, more troops, air supports, jets, drones everything went unanswered. They were told instead to make sure those attacking the compound/embassy were armed and were a threat first before they could fire.

Sure Hillary these hundreds of guys were just in the neighborhood that early in the morning for a walk. nobody seemed to know who was the enemy? Hillary where were you, why didn’t you answer the request(S) for aid.

Obama where were you on the golf course??

To the Military Joint Chief of Staff where were you guys, why was the repeated request for help ignored. Afraid the American people would find out about the gun sales? How the paid Libyan fighters ran.

As I left the theater I was ashamed that as American I watched what our leadership did to fellow Americans left in danger. These guys fought off overwhelming odds and numbers. Yes help did finally show up but it was due to others refusing to listen to orders and taking matters into their own hands go help their fellow soldier. (No man left behind motto)

Does this leave any doubt about how those in power feel about the military and the protection of Americans abroad and in this country.

 

Hillary the Gift that keeps giving:

 

Hillary the Gift that keeps giving:

SO THE CLINTON’S WEREN’T SO BAD, EH ?   47gh .b43

When Bill Clinton was president, he allowed Hillary to assume authority over a health care reform.  Even after threats and intimidation, she couldn’t even get a vote in a democratic controlled congress.  This fiasco cost the American taxpayers about $13 million in cost for studies, promotion, and other efforts.

Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female attorney general.  Her first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood – both were forced to withdraw their names from consideration.  Next she chose Janet Reno – husband Bill described her selection as “my worst mistake.”  Some may not remember that Reno made the decision to gas David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children.

Husband Bill allowed Hillary to make recommendations for the head of the Civil Rights Commission.  Lani Guanier was her selection.  When a little probing led to the discovery of Ms. Guanier’s radical views, her name had to be withdrawn from consideration.

Apparently a slow learner, husband Bill allowed Hillary to make some more recommendations.  She chose former law partners Web Hubbel for the Justice Department, Vince Foster for the White House staff, and William Kennedy for the Treasury Department.  Her selections went well: Hubbel went to prison, Foster (presumably) committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.

A good reminder of our recent history with the Clinton’s……

If you’re under 50 you really need to read this . If you’re over 50, you lived through it, so share it with those under 50. Amazing to me how much I had forgotten!
When Bill Clinton was president, he allowed Hillary to assume authority over a health care reform.  Even after threats and intimidation, she couldn’t even get a vote in a democratic controlled congress.  This fiasco cost the American taxpayers about $13 million in cost for studies, promotion, and other efforts.

Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female attorney general.  Her first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood – both were forced to withdraw their names from consideration.  Next she chose Janet Reno – husband Bill described her selection as “my worst mistake.”  Some may not remember that Reno made the decision to gas David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children.

Husband Bill allowed Hillary to make recommendations for the head of the Civil Rights Commission.  Lani Guanier was her selection.  When a little probing led to the discovery of Ms. Guanier’s radical views, her name had to be withdrawn from consideration.

Apparently a slow learner, husband Bill allowed Hillary to make some more recommendations.  She chose former law partners Web Hubbel for the Justice Department, Vince Foster for the White House staff, and William Kennedy for the Treasury Department.  Her selections went well: Hubbel went to prison, Foster (presumably) committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.

Many younger voters will have no knowledge of “Travel gate.”  Hillary wanted to award unfettered travel contracts to Clinton friend Harry Thompson – and the White House Travel Office refused to comply.  She managed to have them reported to the FBI and fired.  This ruined their reputations, cost them their jobs, and caused a thirty-six month investigation. Only one employee, Billy Dale, was charged with a crime, and that of the enormous crime of mixing personal and White House funds. A jury acquitted him of any crime in less than two hours.

Still not convinced of her ineptness,  Big Bill allowed Hillary  to recommend a close Clinton friend, Craig Livingstone, for the position of Director of White House security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of about 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, suddenly Hillary and the president denied even knowing Livingstone, and of course, denied knowledge of drug use in the White House.  Following this debacle, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office after more than thirty years of service to seven presidents.

Next, when women started coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and rape by Bill Clinton, Hillary was put in charge of the “bimbo eruption” and scandal defense.  One of her more notable decisions in the debacle was:

She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit.  After the Starr investigation they settled with Ms. Jones.

She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr’s investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.

 

Hillary’s devious game plan resulted in Bill losing his license to practice law for ‘lying under oath’ to a grand jury and then his subsequent impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Hillary avoided indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice during the Starr investigation by repeating, “I do not recall,” “I have no recollection,” and “I don’t know” a total of 56 times while under oath.

After leaving the White House, Hillary was forced to return an estimated $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork that she had stolen.

What a swell party – ready for another four or eight year of this type low-life mess?

Now we are exposed to the destruction of possibly incriminating emails while Hillary was Secretary of State and the “pay to play” schemes of the Clinton Foundation – we have no idea what shoe will fall next.  But to her loyal fans – “what difference does it make?”

Electing Hillary Clinton president would be like granting Satan absolution and giving him the keys to heaven!

 

source-hemingway report

 

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution– Here Are the 34 States Who Are Calling for a “Convention of the States” to Stop Obama PART 4 OF 4

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution–

Here Are the 34 States Who Are Calling for a “Convention of the States” to Stop Obama

PART 4 OF 4

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress shall call a Convention of the States in order to propose amendments to the Constitution if two-thirds of the state legislatures request one.

The 34th state required, Michigan, submitted its petition earlier this year, but significant questions remain about the validity of all 34 requests currently at hand.

For example, some of the applications have been “rescinded” by the states — but the Constitution makes no provision for such a process.

In addition, not all of the states agree on what sort of convention to convene. Some have requested a convention to discuss amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget; others seek to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case by means of Constitutional amendment.

In fact, Florida alone has submitted four such applications since 2010, all regarding different topics.

Even constitutional scholars cannot agree whether 34 applications are currently valid and, if they are, which states should be included in the list, according to Fox News. In fact, some of the applications date back to before the Civil War.

Those 34 states are as follows, with states that have since rescinded their applications listed in parenthesis: Alabama, Alaska, (Arizona), Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, (Idaho), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, (Nevada), Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, (North Dakota), Ohio, (Oklahoma), (Oregon), Pennsylvania, (South Carolina), (South Dakota), Tennessee, Texas, (Utah), Virginia and (Wyoming).

And if that weren’t messy enough, many of these applications specify that they cover only a convention on a balanced budget amendment, and that if other topics are to be covered by the convention, their application should be considered rescinded.

The point is that a super-majority off the state legislatures do or have believed, and rightly so, that the federal government is out of control, and that Congress cannot be trusted to rein in their own authority.

But if they don’t, they may be forced to do so by the decisions of a Convention of the States — fuzzy or not.

SOURCE- conservative tribune,

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution– State ratifying conventions– PART 3 OF 4

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution–

State ratifying conventions–

PART 3 OF 4

State ratifying conventions are one of the two methods established by Article V of the United States Constitution for ratifying proposed constitutional amendments. Ratifying conventions have only been used on one occasion, that being for the ratification of the Constitution’s 21st Amendment in the year 1933. All other proposed constitutional amendments have been offered to the state legislatures for ratification.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths thereof, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress….

Use of the convention ratification option

Ratification of a proposed amendment has been done by state conventions only once—the 1933 ratification process of the 21st Amendment.[1] The 21st is also the only constitutional amendment that repealed another one, that being the 18th Amendment, which had been ratified 14 years earlier.

As is true for a state legislature when ratifying a proposed federal constitutional amendment, a state ratifying convention may not in any way change a proposed constitutional amendment, but must accept or reject the proposed amendment as written.

Purpose

Because they incorporated the convention method of ratification into Article V as an alternate route to considering the pro and con arguments of a particular proposed amendment, clearly, the framers of the Constitution wanted a means of sometimes bypassing the state legislatures in the ratification process.

To some extent, the convention method of ratification loosely approximates a one-state, one-vote national referendum on a specific proposed federal constitutional amendment, thus allowing the sentiments of registered voters to be somewhat more directly felt on highly sensitive issues. The theory is that the delegates of the conventions—who presumably would themselves be average citizens—might be less likely to bow to political pressure to accept or to reject a given amendment than would be the case with state legislators. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a popular referendum is not a substitute for either the legislature or a ratifying convention—nor can a referendum approve of, or disapprove of, a state legislature’s, or a convention’s, decision on an amendment (Hawke v. Smith, 253 U.S. 221, [1920]).

New Mexico law provides that the members of its legislature would themselves be the delegates and form such a ratifying convention—if Congress were to again select that particular method of ratification. The issue having never come before the federal courts, it is unclear whether this New Mexico state law violates Article V.

Applicable state laws

In a state’s legislature, the ratification method is procedurally simple—merely propose a resolution, memorial, or proclamation of ratification and vote it up or down in each chamber of that state legislature. But using the convention method of ratification is a bit more complicated because it is, by necessity, separate and different from a state legislature. As early as the 1930s, state lawmakers enacted laws to prepare for the possibility of Congress specifying the convention method of ratification. Many laws refer to a one-off event, with an ad-hoc convention convened solely for the purposes of the 21st amendment. Other laws, however, provided guidelines for ratifying conventions in general.

Vermont example

Once Congress has proposed a federal constitutional amendment which Congress specifies is to be ratified by the convention method, Vermont’s governor has 60 days to call for an election of delegates to that convention, and the setting of a date for those elections.[2] Note that the Vermont code does not contemplate the calling of ratifying conventions from a national amendment convention, though the same procedures would likely be followed.

Fourteen persons are elected to be members of the ratifying convention. Those 14 would be elected statewide, meaning that each voter would cast votes for fourteen people, with the top fourteen vote-getters being elected. The election must take place from three to twelve months after the governor’s call. The convention must begin 20 to 30 days after the election. The convention itself is held in the Senate chamber in the state capital.

The candidates who are seeking to become delegates are selected from a list of 28 possible Vermont citizens. All 28 candidates are selected by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house. The persons selected must agree to be placed on the ballot – 14 of whom are opposed to ratification, 14 of whom are in favor. The ballots are to be plainly marked so that voters can decide based on the candidate’s stand on the issue, or on name recognition. The state has 14 counties – each county is to have one “pro” and one “con” candidate. Voters can vote for all “For” or all “Against,” or any combination thereof.

The elected delegates meet on the appointed date, with the majority of those elected being a quorum. The Vermont code does not detail how the convention is to conduct its business aside from the fact that there will be a chairman and that the secretary of state will be the secretary of the convention, and those two persons will certify the results of the convention’s vote. The convention might only last 15 minutes, or it could drag out for several days for debate. However long the convention takes, delegates are provided a stipend of $10.00 and reimbursement of actual expenses.

Florida example

In Florida, the convention is made up of 67 members. The governor has 45 days to call an election to be held from five to ten months after Congress proposes the constitutional amendment. Anyone can apply to be a member of the convention, with the state qualifications for the Florida House of Representatives used as an eligibility test. Candidates can officially declare that they are “for” or “against” the proposed amendment, or they may apply as unannounced. An application fee of $25 and a 500-name petition are also required. On the ballots, candidates are listed in three categories: “for”, “against”, and “undecided”. There is also provision for write-in candidates. The vote is at-large, meaning that the 67 top vote-getters statewide win the 67 seats in the convention. The convention begins on the second Tuesday following the election. Delegates are not compensated per diem or for expenses.

New Mexico example

The procedure in New Mexico is vastly different. To start, the governor has only 10 days to call a convention—with each sitting member of the New Mexico Legislature automatically a delegate to the convention.[3] Therefore, no special election is ever called for determining delegates. The convention is held in the chamber of the House of Representatives. New Mexico’s code provides that, after three days, compensation to delegates will end.

  • This page was last modified on 31 December 2015, at 14:08.
Constitutional Convention & Conference of States
States With a Standing Call for a Constitutional Convention

Alaska Arizona Arkansas Delaware Colorado
Georgia Idaho Indiana Iowa Kansas
Maryland Mississippi Missouri Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Virginia Wyoming

The remaining 18 states have not called for a convention. Citizens must keep a vigilant watch to block legislation in any of these states that calls for a Con-Con.

Although 32 states had initially passed resolutions calling for a Con-Con (for the alleged purpose of adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution), 3 states — Alabama, Florida and Louisiana — rescinded their calls.

The Nevada House of Representatives “purged” its resolution. However, since both chambers passed the resolution, it is questionable whether the one-chamber purge would be accepted as a rescission. Conversely, it has been argued that because the resolution was actually purged from the records it would negate the initial resolution, since it must pass in both chambers.

We should not consider Nevada’s purge, nor the rescissions of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana as a safety margin.

According to Article V of the Constitution, Congress must call a convention when 2/3rds of the states apply. That magic number is 34 states. Since three states have formally withdrawn (rescinded) their calls, that would seemingly leave us 5 states away from having a Con-Con. However, we have been informed that the advocates of the convention are waiting to capture not five, but only two more. It is said that if they get two more states to pass resolutions for a Con-Con, they plan to challenge the rescissions of the three states and throw them into the courts while going ahead with a convention.

Considering the blatant corruption in courts at all levels today, it would be folly to rest on our laurels and feel safe that the courts would uphold those rescissions. For that reason, it should be considered at this time that only two states are needed to require the Congress to call a Constitutional Convention.

After experiencing the onslaught of lawyers (scribes, as in “scribes and Pharisees”) in Florida’s presidential election fiasco, can you imagine the hay-day they would have with a court battle of this magnitude and importance?

 

SOURCE- wikipedia,

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution– The Problem: PART 2 OF 4

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution–

The Problem:

PART 2 OF 4

They are driving us towards an age of “soft tyranny” in which the government does not shatter men’s wills but “softens, bends, and guides” them.

. The Spending and Debt Crisis

The $17 trillion national debt is staggering, but it only tells a part of the story. Under standard accounting practices, the federal government owes around $100 trillion more in vested Social Security benefits and other programs. This is why the government cannot tax its way out of debt. Even if it confiscated everything, it would not cover the debt.

  1. The Regulatory Crisis

The federal bureaucracy has placed a regulatory burden upon businesses that is complex, conflicted, and crushing. Little accountability exists when agencies—rather than Congress—enact the real substance of the law. Research from the American Enterprise Institute shows that since 1949, federal regulations have lowered the real GDP growth by 2% and made America 72% poorer.

  1. Congressional Attacks on State Sovereignty

For years, Congress has been using federal grants to keep the states under its control. Combining these grants with federal mandates (which are rarely fully funded), Congress has turned state legislatures into their regional agencies rather than respecting them as truly independent republican governments.

A radical social agenda and an invasion of the rights of the people accompany all of this. While significant efforts have been made to combat this social erosion, these trends defy some of the most important principles.

  1. Federal Takeover of the Decision-Making Process

The Founders believed that the structures of a limited government would provide the greatest protection of liberty. Not only were there to be checks and balances between the branches of the federal government, power was to be shared between the states and federal government, with the latter only exercising those powers specifically granted in the Constitution.

Collusion among decision-makers in Washington, D.C., has replaced these checks and balances. The federal judiciary supports Congress and the White House in their ever-escalating attack upon the jurisdiction of the fifty states.

We need to realize that the structure of decision-making matters. Who decides what the law shall be is as important as what is decided. The protection of liberty requires a strict adherence to the principle that power is limited and delegated.

Washington, D.C., does not believe this principle, as evidenced by an unbroken practice of expanding the boundaries of federal power. In a remarkably frank admission, the Supreme Court rebuffed a challenge to the federal spending power despite acknowledging that power had grown far beyond the bounds envisioned by the Founders:

This framework has been sufficiently flexible over the past two centuries to allow for enormous changes in the nature of government. The Federal Government undertakes activities today that would have been unimaginable to the Framers in two senses; first, because the Framers would not have conceived that any government would conduct such activities; and second, because the Framers would not have believed that the Federal Government, rather than the States, would assume such responsibilities. Yet the powers conferred upon the Federal Government by the Constitution were phrased in language broad enough to allow for the expansion of the Federal Government’s role.

New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 157 (1992).

What Does this Mean?

This is not a partisan issue. Washington, D.C., will never voluntarily relinquish meaningful power—no matter who is elected. The only rational conclusion is this: unless some political force outside of Washington, D.C., intervenes, the federal government will continue to bankrupt this nation, embezzle the legitimate authority of the states, and destroy the liberty of the people. Rather than securing the blessings of liberty for future generations, Washington, D.C., is on a path that will enslave our children and grandchildren to the debts of the past.

The problem is big, but we have a solution.  Article V gives us a tool to fix the mess in D.C.

The Strategy

Two goals separate our plan from all other Article V organizations:

  1. We want to call a convention for a particular subject rather than a particular amendment. Instead of calling a convention for a balanced budget amendment (though we are entirely supportive of such an amendment), we want to call a convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.
  2. We believe the grassroots is the key to calling a successful convention. The goal is to build a political operation in a minimum of 40 states, getting 100 people to volunteer in at least 75% of the state’s legislative districts. We believe this is very doable. But only through the support of the American people will this project have a chance to succeed.
Our Solution is Big Enough to Solve the Problem

Rather than calling a convention for a specific amendment, Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG) has launched the Convention of the States Project to urge state legislatures to properly use Article V to call a convention for a particular subject—reducing the power of Washington, D.C. It is important to note that a convention for an individual amendment (e.g. a Balanced Budget Amendment) would be limited to that single idea. Requiring a balanced budget is a great idea that CSG fully supports. Congress, however, could comply with a Balanced Budget Amendment by simply raising taxes. We need spending restraints as well. We need restraints on taxation. We need prohibitions against improper federal regulation. We need to stop unfunded mandates.

A convention of states needs to be called to ensure that we are able to debate and impose a complete package of restraints on the misuse of power by all branches of the federal government.

What Sorts of Amendments Could be Passed?

The following are examples of amendment topics that could be discussed at a convention of states:

  • A balanced budget amendment
  • A redefinition of the General Welfare Clause (the original view was the federal government could not spend money on any topic within the jurisdiction of the states)
  • A redefinition of the Commerce Clause (the original view was that Congress was granted a narrow and exclusive power to regulate shipments across state lines–not all the economic activity of the nation)
  • A prohibition of using international treaties and law to govern the domestic law of the United States
  • A limitation on using Executive Orders and federal regulations to enact laws (since Congress is supposed to be the exclusive agency to enact laws)
  • Imposing term limits on Congress and the Supreme Court
  • Placing an upper limit on federal taxation
  • Requiring the sunset of all existing federal taxes and a super-majority vote to replace them with new, fairer taxes

Of course, these are merely examples of what would be up for discussion. The convention of states itself would determine which ideas deserve serious consideration, and it will take a majority of votes from the states to formally propose any amendments.

The Founders gave us a legitimate path to save our liberty by using our state governments to impose binding restraints on the federal government. We must use the power granted to the states in the Constitution.

The Grassroots

The leadership of the COS Project believes the success of a convention of states depends to a large extent on the American citizens. Our plan is as follows:

  1. We seek to have a viable political operation that is active in a minimum of 40 states.
  2. Our goal is to have local leaders–District Captains–in at least 75% of the districts in these states.
  3. District captains will organize at least 100 people in each of these districts to contact their legislator to support a convention of the states, and turn out at least 25 people per district at legislative hearings.

Legislators must know that our grassroots team will have their backs if they support a convention of the states. A widespread grassroots organization has been missing from the Article V movement. CSG’s President, Mark Meckler, was the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots—one of the largest tea party groups in the country. Michael Farris is the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. As such, he brings with him over 30 years of grassroots leadership and activism in all 50 states. We are rapidly building both a staff and a network of like-minded coalition members who will support this project once they see it up and running.

We believe that our unique application strategy combined with strong grassroots support will guarantee the success of this Project.

The Solution

We are approaching a crossroads.

One path leads to the escalating power of an irresponsible centralized government, ultimately resulting in the financial ruin of generations of Americans. The other path leads to the restoration of liberty and an American renaissance.

The correct path can be found within Article V of the United States Constitution.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

– Article V, U.S. Constitution

Watch the video below, created by our Convention of States team in Alabama, for an excellent overview of the Article V process.

Like Article V says, there are two methods to propose amendments to the Constitution.
  1. Congress can propose amendments to the Constitution at any time if 2/3 of both houses of Congress agree.
  2. A Convention of States can propose amendments if 2/3 of states submit applications for such a convention. These applications must all deal with the same issue (i.e., limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government).

The Founders knew the federal government might one day become drunk with the abuses of power. The most important check to this power is Article V. Article V gives states the power to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution.

By calling a convention of the states, we can stop the federal spending and debt spree, the power grabs of the federal courts, and other misuses of federal power. The current situation is precisely what the Founders feared, and they gave us a solution we have a duty to use.

After the states propose, debate, and vote upon the proposed amendments, they will be sent to the 50 states for ratification. Three-quarters of the states must agree for any of the proposed amendments to be ratified.

Congress has no authority to stop such a process. The Founders made sure of that.

We are approaching a crossroads.

Which path will we choose?

source–american enterprise institute, csg, michael farris

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution

Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution–38eh., b58

PART 1 OF 4

A Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also called an Article V Convention, or Amendments Convention, is one of two procedures for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution described in Article Five of the Constitution. The other method is a vote by two-thirds of each house of Congress.

According to Article V, Congress shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States,” meaning 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V Convention has proposed an amendment or amendments, then the amendment or amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution.

Congress has the power to choose between two methods of ratification: ratification by the state legislatures, or instead ratification by state conventions called for that purpose. In contrast to those separate state ratification conventions, a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution would be a single federal convention. While there have been calls for a second federal convention based on a single issue such as the Balanced Budget Amendment, it is not clear whether a convention summoned in this way would be legally bound to limit discussion to a single issue; law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen has suggested that such a convention would have the “power to propose anything it sees fit”, whereas law professor Michael Rappaport believes that a limited convention is possible.[1][2] All 27 amendments to the Constitution have been passed via Congress and not through proposal by state legislatures.[1]

In recent years some constitutional scholars have argued that state governments should call for such a convention.[3][4] They include Michael Farris, Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Levinson, Larry Sabato, Jonathan Turley, and Mark Levin.[3][5][6] As of 2016, there is an active nationwide effort to call an Article V Convention. Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG), through a project called Convention of the States, is promoting Article V legislation in all 50 states in a bid to rein in the federal government.[7] CSG’s resolution has passed in Georgia, Alaska, Florida, and Alabama.[8][9][10][11] Similarly, the group Wolf PAC chose this method to promote its cause, which is to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Their resolution has passed in Vermont, California, Illinois, and New Jersey.[12][13][14]

History

A painting depicting the signing of the original United States Constitution.

Eight state constitutions in effect at the time the 1787 Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia included an amendment mechanism. Amendment making power rested with the legislature in three of the states and in the other five it was given to specially elected conventions. The Articles of Confederation provided that amendments were to be proposed by Congress and ratified by the unanimous vote of all thirteen state legislatures. This proved to be a major flaw in the Articles, as it created an insurmountable obstacle to constitutional reform. The amendment process crafted during the Constitutional Convention, James Madison later wrote in The Federalist No. 43, was designed to establish a balance between pliancy and rigidity:[15]

It guards equally against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It moreover equally enables the General and the State Governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.

Creation of the amendment process

One of the main reasons for the 1787 Convention was that the Articles of Confederation required the unanimous consent of all 13 states for the national government to take action. This system had proved unworkable, and the newly written Constitution sought to address this problem.

The first proposal for a method of amending the Constitution offered in the Constitutional Convention, contained in the Virginia Plan, sought to circumvent the national legislature, stating that “the assent of the National Legislature ought not to be required.”[16] In response, Alexander Hamilton privately circulated a proposal that gave the power to propose amendments to the national legislature, and the power to ratify the amendments to the states.[17]

After some debate, Madison removed reference to the convention amendment process, giving the national legislature sole authority to propose amendments whenever it thought necessary or when two-thirds of the states applied to the national legislature.[19] Several delegates voiced opposition to the idea of the national legislature retaining sole power to propose constitutional amendments.[20] George Mason argued from the floor of the Convention that 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.” Mason added that, “no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive.”[21] In response to these concerns, the Convention unanimously voted to add the language allowing states to apply to Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.[20]

Permissible scope of applications to Congress

A frequent question is whether applications from the states can omit to mention subject matter, and instead request an unlimited convention. Past practice suggests that separate unlimited applications submitted to Congress at different times are not allowed.[22] Article V itself calls for “the application of the legislatures” instead of calling for plural “applications”.

States have requested that Congress convene an Article V convention to propose amendments on a variety of subjects. According to the National Archives, Congress has, however, never officially tabulated the applications, nor separated them by subject matter.[23] On at least one occasion though, the Congressional Record has included such a tabulation, which indicated that, as of 22 September 1981, thirty states had made a request for a balanced budget amendment.[24] In 1993, Professor Michael Paulsen and his research staff assembled a listing of all state applications to date, but neither Paulsen’s list, nor any other, can be safely characterized as “complete” since there may very well be state applications that have been overlooked and/or forgotten.[25]

According to James Kenneth Rogers, the drafting history of Article V indicates that states may limit the subject matter of their applications, and that Congress has a duty to tally applications separately by subject matter.[20] Moreover, Rogers asserts that states may not make a general application without specifying the subject or subjects to be addressed by the convention.[26] Rogers points out that, during the drafting process, the Philadelphia Convention at one point adopted a version of Article V that gave power to Congress to propose amendments when two-thirds of both houses agreed, or to propose amendments without a congressional supermajority “on the application of two thirds of the Legislatures of the several states.”[27] This draft version of Article V lacked any provision for a constitutional convention requested by the states, and instead included language almost identical to the final version of Article V but giving states the power to apply to Congress for amendments without any convention. The draft language suggests that states applying to Congress for amendments would have to say what sort of amendments they were applying for, because a general petition (that is, one not limited by subject matter) asking Congress to propose amendments would serve little purpose “beyond notifying Congress that two‐thirds of the States thought that some unknown changes to the Constitution were desirable.”[26] Therefore, due to the similarity between the draft and final versions, Rogers contends that state applications to Congress must specify subject matter, and must be tallied individually by subject matter to determine whether the two-thirds threshold of state applications has been met.

A dissenting view has been expressed by Michael Stokes Paulsen, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Paulsen has argued that state applications for an Article V convention limited to a particular subject matter are invalid and that only applications that include a call for an unrestricted convention are valid.[25] If Paulsen’s criteria that state applications must not be limited to particular subject matter and that rescissions by states are valid, as of 1993 a total of forty-five states had pending applications meeting this criteria.[22] According to Paulsen, therefore, Congress has had a duty to call a convention for many years. The fact that Congress has not called such a convention, and that courts have rejected all attempts to force Congress to call a convention, has been cited as persuasive evidence that Paulsen’s view is incorrect.[28]

Permissible scope of proposed amendments

Because no Article V convention has ever been convened, there are various questions about how such a convention would function in practice. One major question is whether the scope of the convention’s subject matter could be limited.[20]

The consensus is that States themselves set the agenda and limits on the scope of the Convention while Congress probably does not have the power to influence the subject except that they do not (and historically have not) called a Convention when there are too few applications that agree on a particular subject matter. The language of Article V leaves no discretion to Congress, merely stating that Congress “shall” call a convention when the proper number of state applications have been received. Comments made at the time the Constitution was adopted indicate that it was understood when the Constitution was drafted that Congress would have no discretion. In The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton stated that when the proper number of applications had been received, Congress was “obliged” to call a convention and that “nothing is left to the discretion of Congress.”[29] James Madison also affirmed Hamilton’s contention that Congress was obligated to call a convention when the requisite number of states requested it.[30] In the North Carolina debates about ratifying the Constitution, James Iredell, who subsequently became one of the founding members of the Supreme Court, stated that when two-thirds of states have applied to Congress for a convention, Congress is “under the necessity of convening one” and that they have “no option.”[31]

By citing the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause, Congress has tried to enact a statute to regulate how an Article V convention would function. Sponsored by the late Senator Sam Ervin, such a bill passed the U.S. Senate unanimously in 1971 and again in 1973, but the proposed legislation remained bottled up in the Committee on the Judiciary in the U.S. House of Representatives and died both times. Opponents to congressional regulation of an Article V convention’s operations argue that neither Article I nor Article V of the Constitution grants Congress this power, and that the Founders intended that Congress “have no option.” There has been no opportunity for Federal courts to decide whether Congress has such authority because such legislation has never been adopted by Congress.

While Congress likely has no authority to limit the scope of an Article V convention, some scholars believe that states do have that power. Larry J. Sabato is one scholar who advanced that view.[32] Some feel that Congress’s duty to call a convention when requested by the states means that it must call the convention that the states requested. If the states, therefore, request a convention limited to a certain subject matter, then the convention that is called would likely need to be limited in the way the states requested.[33]

If states have the power to limit an Article V convention to a particular subject matter, and Congress only has power to call a convention but no further power to control or regulate it, then a potential concern becomes whether an Article V convention could become a “runaway convention” that attempts to exceed its scope. If a convention did attempt to exceed its scope, none of the amendments it proposed would become part of the constitution until three-fourths of the states ratified them, which is more states than are required to call a convention in the first place.[34] Some proponents of a convention express doubt that an Article V convention would exceed its scope, in light of the United States’ experience with state constitutional conventions; over 600 state constitutional conventions have been held to amend state constitutions, with little evidence that any of them have exceeded their scope.[35]

Opponents to a convention counter that the only national amendments convention, held in 1787, tells a very different story. Of the 12 states that sent delegates to the 1787 convention, only 2 placed no restrictions on the power of their delegates. The other 10 states, Congress, and Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation all gave very specific restrictions and rules for the convention, yet none of these were honored.

Ability of states to rescind applications to Congress

The legislatures of some states have adopted rescissions of their prior applications. It is not clear from the language of Article V whether a subsequent vote to rescind an application is permissible. As discussed above, however, if the purpose of Article V is to give state legislatures power over a recalcitrant Congress—and if state lawmakers may indeed limit their applications by specific subject matter—it is possible that federal courts would hold that rescissions of previous applications are likewise valid, in order to give more meaningful effect to the power which Article V confers upon state legislators.[36]

If it is ultimately adjudicated that a state may not rescind a prior application, then Ohio’s 2013 application for a Balanced Budget Amendment convention would be the 33rd and Michigan’s 2014 application would be the 34th (out of the necessary 34) on that topic, rather than the 20th and 22nd, respectively.[37] The Balanced Budget Amendment applications by Ohio and Michigan were new, first-time convention applications, whereas the renewed applications from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Utah simply reprised applications made by those states during the 1970s but which had been rescinded during the period between 1988 and 2010.

Supreme Court interpretations of Article V

While the Supreme Court has never definitively interpreted the meaning of Article V, it has, on four separate occasions, referred to the Article V convention process:

Attempts to call an Article V convention;

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig has called for a Second Constitutional Convention of the United States.[40]

Every state except Hawaii has applied for an Article V Convention at one time or another. The majority of such applications were made in the 20th century. While there is no official count of the number of applications, one private count puts the total number of applications at over 700.[41][42]

Even though the Article V Convention process has never been used to amend the Constitution, the number of states applying for a convention has nearly reached the required threshold several times. Congress has proposed amendments to the Constitution on several occasions, at least in part, because of the threat of an Article V Convention. Rather than risk such a convention taking control of the amendment process away from it, Congress acted pre-emptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention.[43]

1960s

There have been two nearly successful attempts to amend the Constitution via an Article V Convention since the late 1960s. The first try was an attempt to propose an amendment that would overturn two Supreme Court decisions, Wesberry v. Sanders and Reynolds v. Sims, decisions that required states to adhere to the one man, one vote principle in drawing electoral districts for state and federal elections.

1970s and 1980s

The next nearly successful attempt to call a convention was in the late 1970s and 1980s, in response to the ballooning federal deficit. States began applying to Congress for an Article V Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment. By 1983, the number of applications had reached 32, only two states short of the 34 needed to force such a convention.[45] Enthusiasm for the amendment subsided in response to fears that an Article V Convention could not be limited to a single subject and because Congress passed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act in 1985. The act required that the federal budget be balanced by 1991, but was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1986. [45] In 1987 Congress enacted a reworked version of the law.[46]

2010s

In the 2010s, a variety of groups have formed with the goal of convening a constitutional convention. Modern day opponents of efforts to call a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution have included the conservative John Birch Society and the liberal business magnate and political donor George Soros.[47]

Wolf PAC

A political action committee called Wolf PAC emerged from New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement in October 2011. Wolf PAC calls for a convention of states in order to propose a constitutional amendment that would ban corporations and unions from spending money on elections, and institute a system of public financing.[48][49]

As of July 2015, Wolf PAC’s application had been passed in four states: Vermont, Illinois, California, and New Jersey.

Balanced Budget Amendment

On November 20, 2013, the Ohio General Assembly applied to Congress for a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment. This effort made Ohio the 20th state to join a push for a national convention of states.[50]

On March 26, 2014, the Michigan Legislature applied to Congress for a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment, making Michigan the 22nd to participate in the national effort.[51]

Citizens for Self-Governance:

CSG is seeking “to urge and empower state legislators to call a convention of states.” CSG states that it initiated the Convention of States project “for the purpose of stopping the runaway power of the federal government.”[52][53][54][55][56] Mark Levin has supported CSG’s efforts to a call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution.[56]

In December 2013, nearly 100 legislators from 32 states met at Mount Vernon to talk about how to call a convention of states. According to Slate, “The meeting lasted four hours, ending when legislators agreed to meet again in the spring of 2014. That’s the most progress anyone’s made in decades toward a states-first constitutional amendment campaign.”[56]

In February 2014, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn announced that after his retirement from Congress, he would focus on promoting the Convention of States to state legislatures.[57]

As of July 2015, CSG’s application for a Convention of States had been passed in four states: Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Alaska. In December 2015, Marco Rubio endorsed CSG’s efforts to a call an Article V Convention.[56][58]

Single Subject Amendment:

A Super PAC called Single Subject Amendment registered with the Federal Election Commission on March 1, 2013. It is actively engaged in an effort to call an Article V Convention for the limited purpose of proposing an amendment to provide every law enacted by Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be clearly expressed in the bill’s title.[59][60][61] Forty-one state constitutions have a single subject provision but this provision is not in the United States Constitution. In April 2014, Florida became the first state to make an application for an Article V Convention to constitutionally prohibit riders in Congress.[62][63][64]

source–WIKIPEDIA, MICHAEL FARRIS, LAWRENCE LESSIG, SANFORD LEVINSON, LARRY SABATO, JOHATHAN TURLEY, MARK LEVIN, CSG, WOLF-PAC, MICHAEL PAULSON, JAMES KENNETH ROGERS, MICHAEL STOKES, JAMES IREDELL, NECESSARY AND PROPER CAUSE, GOERGE SOROS,

Obamacare to spike cost for thousands

Obamacare to spike cost for thousands –23eh., b13.14

About 43,000 ObamaCare enrollees are bearing the full cost of their insurance plans after losing the tax credits that are meant to make coverage more affordable.

Those enrollees no longer receive ObamaCare tax credits because they failed to file a tax return for 2014, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The number has never before been released.

Losing the tax credit can come with a sticker shock. HHS said in March that the average monthly ObamaCare premium before tax credits was $364, compared to $101 after the tax credit.

The precise number of people who are losing federal subsidies is unclear, ­because even family plans are counted as a single applicant. The number also does not include the 12 states and the District of Columbia that operate their own insurance exchanges.

Still, the IRS warned in July that 710,000 households were at risk of losing ObamaCare subsidies because they hadn’t filed a tax return. After the warning letters went out, the number of households that hadn’t filed dropped.

In October, the IRS flagged about 172,000 ­ObamaCare applicants and notified them they were at risk.

HHS told The Hill that by Jan. 1, because some people fixed the problem and some people had dropped coverage altogether, “less than 25 percent” of the 172,000 applicants were enrolled in ObamaCare without tax credits. That translates to around 43,000 enrollees.

People who are enrolled in an insurance plan can become re-eligible for tax credits by filing their 2014 returns.

Other people who failed to follow an ObamaCare tax rule are getting something of a pass from the administration this year.

Those people filed their 2014 tax returns but failed to attach a form that compares their tax credits to their income to make sure they received the right amount of tax credit.

The IRS said Friday that about 976,000 households failed to attach the extra form, known as Form 8962, as of the end of October.

A Treasury representative said Monday that the administration is only cutting off tax credits to people who failed to file a tax return at all. The representative said the allowance for failing to file the second form is for this year only.

The IRS’s return process has undergone significant changes under ObamaCare, which linked health insurance and taxes in a way that people are unaccustomed to.

“There’s definitely a lot of learning to be done,” said Elizabeth Hagan, senior policy analyst at Families USA, a liberal healthcare advocacy group that supports ­ObamaCare.  She noted that professional tax preparers “haven’t been used to filing these forms either.”

Republicans opposed to the healthcare law have long criticized it as overly complicated and say the confusion it has created shows the law is unworkable.

Some of the 12 states running their own marketplaces coordinated with the IRS to locate people at risk of losing their subsidies, to varying levels of success.

Connecticut’s marketplace said it found a way to warn people they could lose the ObamaCare credits without violating federal tax privacy rules. Other state-run marketplaces, however, said that they did not know how many people in the state had failed to file returns.

Still, the IRS sent notices to people in all 50 states, and there were several public awareness campaigns about the importance of filing a return.

Colorado’s marketplace said it would check its enrollees against IRS data after the sign-up period ends, on Jan. 31. At that point, anyone who failed to file a 2014 return will lose tax credits.

“We are concerned,” said Luke Clarke, a spokesman for the Colorado marketplace, adding, “The impact on the customer would be big.”

source–the hill, peter sullivan, kevin counihan, elizabeth hagan, luke clarke