federalexpression

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Posts Tagged ‘Con-Con

Squash The Con-Con Network

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2016 Promises to be a very active year for Con-Con battles across the United States. The magic number necessary for a Convention call is 34 state applications. As of this writing there are 27 states with an active call on the books. Some of these active calls are very old. Take Pennsylvania for instance; the last active call by Pennsylvania was in 1979 yet the Con-Con advocates want to count that in the total towards the necessary 34. The con-con advocates are leaving nothing to chance, however, as they routinely get newer calls introduced in those states in an effort to update the calls and remediate any potential challenges down the road.

2016-Con-Con-Map

So this is where the battle stands in PA:

#1. :  HR 374  & SR 170, HR 63, HR 378 Are three new pieces of legislation being considered in Pennsylvania during the 2015-2016 legislative session. There may be more so it is important to oppose all resolutions which invoke a “Convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States“.

#2: There are 4 Active calls dating back to 1943. That’s right, 1943. There are no end dates on these resolutions so it is impossible to know what the Congress would do with regard to these. It would seem logical that a convention call should require a consensus of current constituents in all 34 states at one-time, however, there are no assurances with regard to this unused process. We’re blazing new ground here.

YEAR RESOLUTION SUBJECT
1943 1943 PA Article V Con- Con application Unconditional Federal Public Funds
1943 1943 PA Article V Con- Con application Repeal of 16th Amendment
1978 1978 PA Article V Con- Con application Right to Life (Vetoed?)
1979 1979 PA Article V Con- Con application Balanced Budget Amendment

This is where membership in a national organization is extremely helpful. You see, if Pennsylvania JBS members concentrate on opposing the con-con network in Pennsylvania, they can be assured that members in the other states will do so as well. This is at least the third iteration of this battle over the last 50 years and the con-con network has failed every time.  The battle must be contested in every state to be sure the magic number 34 is not attained.

Now, the JBS needs the help of concerned citizens of Pennsylvania. Member or not, your freedom hangs in the balance and our success will allow you and your loved-ones to enjoy the protections afforded the American People by the Bill of Rights.

Here’s what needs to be done.

#1. We need to continue to oppose all con-con calls currently under consideration. Here is a letter I penned to accomplish this. Simply download this letter. Change the items in red to personalize it and send it to your local officials and the State Government Committee of the General Assembly and the Senate. Links are provided for easy lookup of those needed to be contacted.

#2. Ask you local representative or senator to have the 4 ancient active calls repealed. Here Is a packet of information to assist you in that endeavor along with a sample resolution, the 4 outstanding calls and sample rescissions in several other states.

#3. Use this petition to urge Pennsylvania Legislators to repeal the 4 ancient and active calls for a con-con: http://libertyactioncenter.com/campaign/56a52dc8-b7d4-4587-ac7e-621a68ed8cac

#4. As a more permanent solution, we should advocate legislation that would require a moratorium clause be included in future resolutions and expire all resolutions not acted upon after 7 years of passage if no moratorium is placed within the resolution. The legislation should act retroactively upon outstanding, dormant resolutions. Having to address resolutions going back to 1943 is asinine. I will be following up on this possibility. Your advice or help in this is appreciated.

Resources:

Here is a pack of documents to help you in the process: “No Con-Con Documentation Packet“.
For more information on this JBS action project go to http://www.jbs.org/issues-pages/no-con-con.

Written by federalexpression

January 25, 2016 at 9:21 am

The Repeal Amendment

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This is part 3 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. The Repeal Amendment is being offered in response to legislation which is both wildly unpopular and places hardship upon the states. ObamaCare was a driving force behind this and Real ID plays no small part.

The Repeal Amendment states:


Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.

Although the Repeal Amendment seems like a healthy attempt to wrest usurped power from the federal government and return it to the sovereign states it is flawed in that it serves to undermine the proper role of the federal government. It would actually reintroduce some of the weaknesses that were discovered in the original Articles of Confederation.

Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution contains a list of enumerated powers that the states established within the federal system. These powers are rightly exercised at the federal level. Unfortunately, the Repeal Amendment makes no provision to safeguard those powers and so it introduces a line of separation of powers which will move with the whim of the states.

What is needed is for the States to stand up and enforce the Constitution as it was written. They must make their case when the general government extends its legislative power beyond the clearly defined enumerated powers in the Constitution. Nullification is the best remedy when the federal courts sanction usurpation of power by the executive and legislative branches. Nullification is the concept that the states refuse to enforce a federal law within their jurisdiction.

A future blog will cover the concept of Nullification also known as interposition and the arguments for and against the supremacy of the states. It should be noted that these problems have been greatly exacerbated by the 17th Amendment. A repeal of that amendment would also serve to restore the federal system as originally intended. It too shall be covered in a future blog.

Written by federalexpression

January 30, 2011 at 2:13 am

Term Limits: An Attempt To Limit You

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This is part 1 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. Term Limits is a perpetual favorite among the conservative-minded electorate. It is often connected with a convention call because it is believed that the Congress would never approve an Amendment that will place limits upon itself.

Term Limits Limit You
There can be no argument. The fact is, a term limit on elected officials would remove power from the hands of the people. Simply stated, it would limit your options at the polls.

Term Limits: A Deficiency in The Articles of Confederation
Gouverneur Morris pointed to term limits as a defect in the Articles of Confederation when he said that imposing ineligibility “tended to destroy the great motive to good behavior, the hope of being rewarded by a reappointment.”

Roger ShermanRoger Sherman on the Rewards of Reappointment
“Frequent elections are necessary to preserve the good behavior of rulers. They also tend to give permanency to Government, by preserving that good behavior, because it ensures their re-election.” — James Madison’s record of the Convention of 1787

Alexander Hamilton on Term Limits
The Federalist, No.72: “Nothing appears more plausible at first sight, nor more ill-founded upon close inspection….”

 Term Limits and the Presidency
Ask yourself this question: Has a term limit on the president of the United States produced better presidents? Afterall, this is a perfectly good example of term limits in action. It is the only example we have presently to study. It is interesting to note that the Congress has not declared war since this Limit was put in place. That’s not to say that we haven’t been at war, however. Quite the contrary, we have fought many times since.

Eligibility vs. “Lame Duck”
In a system of a fixed number of terms, a certain percentage of the Congressmen are lame ducks during their final congressional term, and the people lose their leverage to keep their Representatives on good behavior.  Could you imagine a Congress with term limits set a three terms? We could have 1/3 of our House and Senate in “Lame  Duck” perpetually. What  impact could that have? Consider all the lobbyists providing retirement money for these out-going Congressmen. This hardly sounds like a recipe for representative government.

An elected official who faces term limits will have absolutely no inducement during his final term to listen to his constituents. He will be inclined to seek arrangements while in office that will benefit him when he is forced to leave. Is this the route to good government? Term limits will also send home good, capable, and honorable men and women who have performed admirably and who we desperately need to stay in office.

Conclusion
The lack of Term Limits in our Constitution is not a deficiency. It was a debated decision that considered the goal versus the results attained via the Articles of Confederation. It was identified as one of the deficiencies requiring a remedy. Short terms of office and frequent elections was determined to be the most prudent and effective means of attaining the desire goal of good government. The term limit debate seeks to treat a symptom rather than cure the disease.

UPDATE:
UsTermLimits.org has a suicidal facebook campaign promoting a two term limit on the Senate. I did a quick analysis to see what that might accomplish:

Lame Duck Session Analysis

A whopping 75% of the Senate in Lame Duck Sessions by years 11 & 12

As you can see, assuming a 75% re-election rate (and that is conservative), you could be looking at 75 of 100 senators or more in Lame Duck at the same time.

Resources: (Pdf Articles)

Written by federalexpression

January 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm

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