Support New York’s Con-Con Rescission Resolutions

Alert Summary

Members of the New York State Legislature are attempting to pass B 477 and K 137, which would rescind every live application to Congress calling for a convention to propose amendments, under Article V of the Constitution, otherwise known as a constitutional convention (Con-Con).

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URGENT: Con-Con rescission resolutions B 477 (already having passed the Senate) and K 137 remain pending in the Assembly. The State Legislature must pass these important resolutions to protect the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, any Article V Con-Con is a major threat to the U.S. Constitution, and it is imperative that state legislators rescind each application for one! Contact your assemblyman and state senator to support these important resolutions.

Members of the New York State Legislature are attempting to pass resolutions to rescind every live application to Congress calling for a convention to propose amendments, under Article V of the Constitution, otherwise known as a federal Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).

Senate Resolution No. 477 (B 477) and Assembly Resolution No. 137 (K 137) would, if enacted by the Legislature, rescind all previously-passed Con-Con applications. It states, in part:

[T]he Legislature does hereby rescind, repeal, cancel, nullify, and supersede, any and all prior applications by the Legislature to the Congress of the United States of America to call a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States pursuant to the terms of Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America, …

B 477 and K 137 note that the Legislature has passed at least three Con-Con resolutions — in 1789, 1931, and 1972, respectively — though they note the historical record is incomplete. They then briefly note that a convention could get out of control or get exploited by interest groups.

B 477 and K 137 are correct, and this concern is not hypothetical. Already, advocates for a deceptive Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) Con-Con are pushing to use unrelated state applications as the basis for a BBA convention. This includes the 1789 New York application, under the then-newly ratified U.S. Constitution, applying to Congress to call an Article V convention of delegates to propose a Bill of Rights.

The 1789 convention application to Congress reads: “Convention of Deputies from the several States […] with full powers to take the said Constitution into their consideration, and to propose such amendments thereto, as they shall find best calculated to promote […] the great and unalienable rights of mankind.”

New York’s 1789 Con-Con application passed the New York State Legislature on Feb. 7, 1789 — over seven months before Congress created the amendments that would later be known as the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution).

The purpose and subject of New York’s 1789 application to Congress for an Article V convention was fulfilled with the ratification of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. However, Article V convention lobbyists are seeking to aggregate this centuries old application with modern applications for a BBA Con-Con in order to reach the two-thirds of the states (34 out of 50) required for Congress to call the convention that has the power to rewrite the Constitution.

However, any Article V convention, no matter how well intentioned, could lead to a runaway convention and 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.

Additionally, by the last years of his life, the late Justice Antonin Scalia stood opposed to an Article V convention. Asked about it in a 2015 interview, he remarked that “This is not a good century to write a constitution.”

A constitutional convention is unnecessary to protect individual liberty and limit the size and scope of government. The massive expansion of government and growing infringements on our liberties is not because of “problems” or “flaws” with the Constitution, but rather due to misinterpretation, wrongful application, or lack of enforcement altogether. If applied faithfully and accurately, in accordance with its original meaning, at least 80% of the federal government’s programs would likely be found unconstitutional.

Rather than passing Article V convention applications, which risk a runaway convention threatening our individual freedoms, the State Legislature should consider Article VI and nullify unconstitutional laws. Urge your assemblyman and state senator to pass B 477 and K 137, rescind all of New York’s previous applications to Congress to call for a constitutional convention, and to consider nullification as a safe and constitutional means to limit government instead.

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Contact your state legislators

Please help pass B 477 and K 137 by contacting your state legislators. Inform them of the dangers of a Con-Con and of the benefits of using nullification instead. Furthermore, urge them to accordingly rescind all Con-Con applications previously passed by the Legislature.

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