Convention Of States Project

Convention Of States Project

Rita Dunaway, staff counsel for the Convention of States Project (COS), wrote an article, Five Myths about Article Five, which turns the Constitution on its ear. Ironically, her article challenges five premises that are true, while invoking at least nine myths of her own.

In fact, the very name “convention of states” is being used by Article V convention advocates to deceive state legislators into thinking an Article V convention can be controlled by state legislatures; it cannot.

Rita’s myth #1: A “convention of states” is the only “medicine that can cure the disease of federal overreach….”

False: What did our Founders really say we must do when the federal government usurps power?
“Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” – Thomas Jefferson; Kentucky Resolutions, 1798
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, “Nullification is any act, or set of actions, that results in a particular law being rendered null, void or even just unenforceable within a particular area.” Nullification applies only to unconstitutional acts of the federal government – to usurpations of powers not delegated.

States, local governments, your County Sheriff, or even The People can follow the advice of James Madison and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal laws right now, without risking our Constitution through a convention. In fact, there were over 200 bills introduced less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season to do just that.

Rita’s myth #5: We know how an Article V convention would operate.

False: Neither COS nor anyone else can guarantee what will happen at an Article V Convention. There are no precedents. With our Constitution at risk, are we to assume 200-year-old “customs” in conventions between a few states would prevail?

Rita’s myth #7: A limitation on the topic is necessary in order for state legislatures to provide instructions to the delegates.

False: There is nothing in Article V that calls for instructions to delegates. Since delegates can do whatever they want once the convention is convened, delegate instructions serve only as a gimmick to secure legislators’ votes on applications by giving them a false sense of security in thinking they can control what is totally out of their hands.

Rita’s myth #8: Topics for an Article V convention can be limited so that convention delegates cannot re-write the entire Constitution once they assemble.

False: The delegates who represent “We the People” have the inherent right, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, to alter or abolish the Constitution and disregard any limitation placed on them by state legislatures, Congress, or anyone else. This is what happened at the constitutional convention of 1787, which was called by the Continental Congress for the sole purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. The result was a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. There is nothing to prevent that from happening today.

Rita’s myth #9: There are adequate safeguards in place to assure state legislators are in control of a convention – e.g., topic limitations, the ability to recall delegates, and the ultimate safeguard which requires 38 states to ratify any ill-conceived or illegitimately advocated proposal.

False: Delegates to an Article V convention would have more power than the federal or state governments and cannot be controlled by state laws. Topic limitations and delegate recalls may be ignored. Also, delegates may make their proceedings secret, as they did at the “amendments” convention of 1787, and they may vote by secret ballot. If this happens, states won’t know what is going on at the convention. If the states don’t know what is going on at the convention, then how will they determine whether to recall their delegates or criminally prosecute delegates who “violate their oaths” to obey the instructions of their states?

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  1. This Article Five convention is being promoted by Mark Levin and many well known
    Republicans have joined him. He has supported and promoted it so, he can not afford to back down. Mark is brilliant in many ways but he will not listen to anyone who calls to make the points this posting makes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats are hoping that this COS takes place. They are capable of taking over the convention and the Republicans aren’t capable of stopping them. The evidence……they haven’t stopped Obama. Instead why don’t we demand that the Constitution be followed?

  2. I completely agree with Roxana!!! Very well said.


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