Sunday, March 28, 2010

On A Call For a Constitutional Convention

The Lt Governor of South Carolina has issued the following message.
Andre Bauer
Lieutenant Governor
State of South Carolina

March 25, 2010

To my colleagues in the S.C. General Assembly:

As you know, President Obama and Congress have - against the wishes of the majority of the citizens of this nation - enacted a law forcing all citizens to participate in government-run health care.

I believe this action, left unchallenged, is the beginning of the end of the America we know and love. The freedoms we have enjoyed in our lifetimes are being steadily eroded, and future generations will suffer the consequences. The time has come for bold action, and I am asking you today to join me in leading this bold action.

While there are other steps being considered, I am not certain that any of them can be successful. Planned lawsuits, I am informed by legal experts, will not likely be successful. Repeal efforts, while noble, would most certainly be vetoed by the President, almost certainly be overturned by the courts.

As I have carefully researched this matter to find a solution, I have found but one sure- fire way to overturn the new socialized medicine law: a constitutional convention, called for by the states, as provided for in Article Five of the United States Constitution.

I am asking you to support a legislative resolution calling for a constitutional convention, hopefully by joining as a sponsor of the resolution which, at my request, is already being prepared by Senators Campbell and Cleary in the Senate, and Representatives Frye and Scott in the House.

If we in South Carolina, along with 33 other state legislatures, pass a resolution calling for a national constitutional convention, we will be able to make an amendment to the constitution to reverse the dangerous action taken by Obama and Congress, which will then need to be ratified by 38 state legislatures.

While this action is bold, it is nonetheless an actual, workable solution. (As you may recall, this is the same action that Senator McConnell probably our state;s foremost legislative authority, suggested to help solve the illegal immigration stalemate.)

For your convenience, I am including the pertinent article of the U.S. Constitution below:

(next page, please)

Article V - Amendment: 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

I am asking you to act quickly to join as a sponsor of this legislation so that we can move NOW to reverse this law. Every day this law is allowed to stand is day of oppression of the basic freedoms which have symbolized America. (Today and tomorrow, I am contacting other state legislatures to ask them to initiate similar resolutions.)

If you have any questions do not hesitate to call or email. You may reach me by phone at 803-734-2080 or by email at

Thank you,

Andre Bauer

cc:        Legislative leadership, all 50 states
             Interested parties

My response follows.
Andre Bauer
Lieutenant Governor
State of South Carolina

Permit me to applaud your efforts to craft a reasonable response to the usurpation of power by the current administration in Washington. There are two concerns that I have with calls for a Constitutional Convention.

First I am worried that such a convention could prove to be an enormous trap that once called for by moderate and traditionally inclined persons seeking a restoration of Constitutional government would instead prove to be a Trojan Horse subject to exploitation by those seeking the most radical transformation of our society. Remember that Mr Obama's chief political operative and Campaign Manager David Axelrod arranged for the effective hijacking of the caucus process in Iowa and Texas so as to produce results contrary to those desired by the voters in those state's primaries.

Second is my concern that the text of Article V indicates that Congress shall determine the method of ratification to be used for any amendments that are proposed by such a convention. This confirms that not only will those calling for a Constitutional Convention have little control over what will be proposed, it being my belief that no prior constraint can be placed on such an assembly as to what issues it considers or remedies it reports, but that those who are seeking to subvert the rule of law will still be able to use their offices to control or frustrate the ratification process.

Neither of my concerns need be fatal but both should give us pause. If this effort bears fruit under the supervision of sober and loyal citizens then I for one will wish to be of assistance. There are several proposals worth considering that I have seen or with modesty suggested myself. The problem remains that no legal structure is sufficient to protect us from widespread lawlessness and ill will on the part of those in high office if they have the support of a significant portion of the people.

You are correct to try to focus your colleagues efforts on effective measures. Given the unhappy history of our nation purely theatrical gestures, such as Nullification, that would offer critics in the media an opportunity to stereotype and degrade your efforts should be avoided. The ongoing hard work of educating the people in the knowledge, skills and principles needed for citizenship in a free society must go on at the local level. The political struggle must also be constantly engaged with unwearying good will. There are no substitutes for these hard tasks.

If I can be of any further assistance to you in formulating a response to the current efforts to radically alter our country please let me know. I wish you well in your efforts.




Amanda said...

* Once a Con Con is called it cannot be limited in scope. Dr. Edwin Vieira, Chief Warren Burger and others explain article V.
* Legislators can apply to congress for a convention but have no power over what the topics which will be considered. the danger as laid out in an Article V video.
* Article V sets up a 3 step process step 1. 2/3s of the legislatures apply to congress to call a convention.
step 2. Congress calls the convention while deciding other details, such as where the the convention will meet, how delegates are to be paid and how much. They decide how many delegates there will be and how they are chosen. NOTE that nothing in the Constitution says that they delegates will be elected by the people. Congress is given a free hand in determining the method of selecting these delegates. Congress can choose the delegates because they are given a blank check. they can provide for an election but it is not required. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg has warned that the absence of specific language to guarantee that we choose, could put the convention in control of special interest."... the absence of any mechanism to ensure representative selection of delegates could put a run away convention in the hands of single-issue groups whose self-interest may be contrary to our well-being."
The congress can determine how many delegates each state shall have but note that the Constitution does not even guarantee that every state is entitled to a least one delegate.
step 3. "... a convention for proposing amendments..." that language clearly shows that ONLY the convention can decide how many amendments will be proposed and what subjects should be addressed. Supreme Court Justices and the nations leading legal scholars have written separately and privately that single issue subjects cannot be enforced and that once a convention is called the convention is free to call any number of amendments.
1. Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).
The following letter, from Chief Justice Burger.
Supreme Court of the United States
"there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don't like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress "for the sole and express purpose."
With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks. A constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.
Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a "miracle." Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subjects needing attention. I have discouraged the idea of a Constitutional Convention, and I am glad to see states rescinding their previous resolutions requesting a convention. In these bicentennial years, we should be celebrating its long life, not challenging its very existence. Whatever may need repair on our Constitution can be dealt with by specific amendments.
(3) Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg
Arthur Joseph Goldberg served as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1962 to 1965.

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you and welcome.

More people will know of your work in finding this if you post a synopsis in the Belmont Club thread.

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you and welcome.

More people will know of your work in finding this if you post a synopsis in the Belmont Club thread.