THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I received the following notice from a friend, and with his permission I am reprinting it here. After careful consideration, I have come to endorse this plan. I do hope you will join me.
The states that have recently called for a Constitutional Convention are....
19. New Hampshire
20. New Mexico
21. North Carolina
22. North Dakota
26. South Carolina
27. South Dakota
Since 32 states (including Missouri) have already approved this, and called for a new Constitutional Convention, there is still one thing you can do to help this process along. Simply forward this message to everyone you can, for the purpose of educating them about the process. People have a tendency to panic over the unknown, but if they understand it, they're much more likely to make calm sound decisions. A Constitutional Convention hasn't been held in this nation since 1787. During that Convention, our Founding Fathers provided a way (Article V) for the states to convene another Convention, if or when, our nation ended up in the sort of mess we are in right now. Up until now, we have not availed ourselves of this right, but we are close (just 2 states away). As you know, our current political system in Washington DC is broken -- completely broken. It does not work anymore. We send people to Washington to balance the budget, cut spending, and reduce the national debt. Instead what we get are more deficits, new spending programs and a national debt so great that our creditors are threatening to downgrade our gold-plated AAA national credit rating. It seems that no matter who we send up there, the problem just keeps getting worse. Congress is unable to balance the budget, and/or the president won't sign a balanced budget. All the while, the national debt just keeps going up, mortgaging the future of our children. Because of this, for the first time in American history, we are faced with the real prospect that our children might have a lower quality of life than we have. It doesn't have to be this way. We the states, can take matters into our own hands, and we can do so using the simple tool the Founding Fathers gave us in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. So since our home State of Missouri has already voted to call for a convention, and since 31 other states have already done the same, the only thing left for us to do is help our friends and family understand what is coming, and encourage them to support the process. Lord knows, it's NOT going to get done by Washington DC. You can help by simply forwarding this message to them...
Do We Need a New Constitutional Convention?
Article V of the Constitution provides two methods for adding Amendments. Congress introduces amendments by one method; the states initiate them under the other.QUICK LINK: http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2011/07/we-need-constitutional-convention.html
The only method ever used is the congressional method. It lets Congress pass constitutional amendments by a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Such amendments must then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or special state conventions, as Congress determines. Over 10,000 amendments have been introduced into Congress since 1789. Only 33 have been approved. Of these, 27 have been ratified and added to the Constitution.
The other way of amending the Constitution has never been successfully used. Under this procedure, the states initiate the amending process by petitioning Congress for a constitutional convention. When two-thirds of the states have submitted petitions, Congress must call a convention. Any amendments approved by such a convention must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Congress decides whether state legislatures or state conventions will ratify these amendments.
Since the Constitution went into effect, there have been about 400 petitions from state legislatures calling for a convention to consider one thing or another. None of these efforts ever succeeded, but some came close. For years Congress ignored requests to pass an amendment allowing for the direct election of U.S. senators. Finally, in 1912, Congress passed the 17th Amendment, but only after supporters of the amendment were just one state short of triggering a constitutional convention.
Since the 1960s, state legislatures have submitted petitions for constitutional conventions when Congress refused to pass controversial amendments. Three of these amendments would have allowed prayers in the schools, prohibited busing for racial balance, and permitted the states to make abortions illegal. In each of these cases, however, supporters fell short of getting the 34 states needed for calling a constitutional convention.
Most recently, there has been a major movement to pass a federal balanced budget amendment. Unable to get action in Congress, supporters again turned to the convention method of amendment. To date, those behind the balanced budget amendment have convinced 32 states to submit convention petitions to Congress. Backers of the amendment need only two more states to compel Congress to call a convention.
Many people have voiced concern over the convention method of amending the Constitution. Our only experience with a national constitutional convention took place 200 years ago. At that time the delegates took it upon themselves to ignore the reason for calling the convention, which was merely to improve the Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers also violated the procedure for changing the Articles of Confederation. Instead of requiring approval of all the state legislatures, the signers of the Constitution called for ratification by elected state conventions in only nine of the 13 states.
Another point of anxiety is that Article V of the Constitution says nothing about what a convention may or may not do. If a convention is held, must it deal with only one proposed amendment? Or could the delegates vote on any number of amendments that were introduced? The Constitution itself provides no answers to these questions.
Howard Jarvis, the late leader of the conservative tax revolt in California during the 1970s, opposed a convention. He stated that a convention "would put the Constitution back on the drawing board, where every radical crackpot or special interest group would have the chance to write the supreme law of the land."
Others, like Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, disagree with this viewpoint. Senator Hatch has said it is ironic when the people attempt to engage in "participatory democracy set forth by the Constitution, we are subject to doomsday rhetoric and dire predictions of domestic and international disaster."
Of course, any amendments produced by a convention would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. We may soon see how this never-used method works if the balanced budget people swing two more states over to their side.
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