URGENT: The New Hampshire Senate Rules and Enrolled Bills Committee is expected to vote tomorrow (Wednesday, May 17) on Con-Con “delegate bill” HB 269. The vote is expected to occur at 11:30 am that day. If the bill passes, the full Senate is expected to vote on it sometime in late May or early June. Meanwhile, the full Senate tabled HB 392, a second delegate bill — however, it could reconsider this bill at any time. In order to kill both delegate bills, the Senate must declare them “inexpedient to legislate.” Please contact your senator and urge him or her to oppose these deceptive resolutions.
Additionally, contact Kevin Condict, the Senate committee aide (firstname.lastname@example.org), and urge the committee to recommend that HB 269 is “inexpedient to legislate.” Send your letter in PDF form, if possible, and address it to “Sen. Kevin Avard, Chairman; Sen. Sharon Carson, V Chairman; and Members of the Senate Rules and Enrolled Bills Committee.”
HB 392 and HB 269 are designed to give false assurance that a convention won’t get out of control, doing this by ostensibly regulating the appointment and conduct of delegates. Such legislation would be completely useless at preventing a runaway convention — for example, HB 392 and HB 269 don’t regulate delegates from other states, and it doesn’t prevent delegates from proposing an entirely new constitution (in the 1787 Convention, states also attempted to limit delegates’ authority). Contact your state senator, and urge him or her to declare these deceptive bills “inexpedient to legislate”!
Members of the New Hampshire General Court are seeking to pass resolutions applying to Congress to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments,” under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, otherwise known as a federal constitutional convention (Con-Con) or “convention of states,” as some erroneously refer to it.
House Bill 269 (HB 269) and House Bill 392 (HB 392) have also been introduced. They would ostensibly regulate the conduct of delegates to a convention and are designed to give false assurance that a convention won’t get out of control. Such bills would be completely useless at preventing a runaway convention — for example, they don’t regulate delegates from other states, and don’t prevent delegates from proposing an entirely new constitution (in the 1787 Convention, states also attempted to limit delegates’ authority).
House Concurrent Resolution 1 (HCR 1) and House Concurrent Resolution 4 (HCR 4) were previously introduced. On February 23, 2023, the House rejected HCR 1 by a 156-192 vote. Also, on March 16, 2023, the House rejected HCR 4 by a 145-224 vote.
The vaguely-worded language of HCR 1 claims that a convention would somehow be “limited to” the mentioned topics, and it also gives a list of “reservations, understandings, and declarations” that seek to convince legislators that a convention will not get out of control. In reality, any Article V convention could lead to a runaway convention that would reverse many of the Constitution’s limitations on government power and interference. In other words, a Con-Con could accomplish the same goals that many of its advocates claim to be fighting against. As evidence, a 2016 Convention of States (COS) controlled simulation resulted in amendments massively increasing the federal government and expanding its spending powers.
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia understood the danger of a constitutional convention. While he voiced support for one at a 1979 event, the justice had reversed his opinion by 2014 due to the uncertainty of what could come out of it. In 2015, Scalia reiterated his opposition to an Article V convention, stating “this is not a good century to write a constitution.” Furthermore, what kind of delegates would New Hampshire send to such a convention? Constitutionalist conservatives or RINO moderates and liberals?
Show me a single state where Constitutionalists comprise a majority of the state legislature.
At this point in history, an Article V Convention of the States would be a disaster.
In 1979, then-U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, correctly warned about an Article V convention:
If we hold a constitutional convention, every group in the country — majority, minority, middle-of-the-road, left, right, up, down — is going to get its two bits in and we are going to wind up with a constitution that will be so far different from the one we have lived under for 200 years that I doubt that the Republic could continue.
In addition to its unpredictable nature, an Article V convention also threatens U.S. national security. In 1984, when the U.S. was only two states away from Congress calling a federal constitutional convention under the guise of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird wrote an op-ed warning of the perils convening a convention. Secretary Laird correctly noted that such a convention’s “scope and authority aren’t defined or limited by the Constitution.” Of the implications of holding such a convention, Laird warned:
If a convention were called, our allies and foes alike would soon realize the new pressures imposed upon our republic. The mere act of convening a constitutional convention would send tremors throughout all those economies that depend on the dollar. It would undermine our neighbors’ confidence in our constitutional integrity and would weaken not only our economic stability but the stability of the free world. That’s a price we cannot afford.
Both Goldwater and Laird considered an Article V Convention threatening to the continuity of the United States’ republican form of government. It would be foolhardy and downright reckless to disregard these and other legitimate concerns.
An Article V convention possesses the inherent power to propose any changes to the U.S. Constitution, including drafting and proposing an entirely new “modern” (i.e. socialist) constitution. Instead, the New Hampshire General Court should consider Article VI and nullify unconstitutional laws. Furthermore, state lawmakers should also consider rescinding any and all previously passed Article V convention applications to Congress.
Above all, urge your state representative and senator to oppose HB 392, HB 269, and all other pro-Article V convention resolutions and to instead consider nullification as a safe and constitutional means to limit government.
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