JBS Bulletin: January 2023

Stop a Con-Con

Stop, Nullify, and Rescind!

by Christian Gomez, Research Project Manager

With the start of 2022, state legislatures are already beginning to introduce resolutions applying to Congress to call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution (a constitutional convention). The Convention of States (COS) organization is targeting Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wyoming to pass such applications patterned after the same wording of their 19 active applications. Additionally, South Carolina and Georgia could also pass applications for a constitutional convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). It is imperative that state legislators thoroughly oppose and defeat those short-sighted and, frankly, dangerous resolutions that have the power to entirely rewrite the Constitution.

Legislators should instead use nullification to rein in unconstitutional federal actions. Additionally — and most importantly — they must introduce and pass resolutions to rescind (withdraw) all of their state’s previously passed applications for an Article V constitutional convention. Some convention advocates have suggested combining centuries-old convention applications that were never intended for a BBA together with contemporary BBA Con-Con applications. These dishonest and dubious tactics show how desperate the other side is for a convention.

Despite the claims made by COS, BBA advocates, and other Con-Con promoters — and regardless of the language in any “delegate accountability bills” — delegates to an Article V convention are not beholden or subject to the authority of their state governments, even if they were selected or sent by their state legislatures. Delegates to a constitutional convention (that is, any convention related to a constitution, such as the U.S. Constitution) are the sovereign representatives of the people — ultimately, they answer to and represent the people at a convention. This gives the delegates all authority to make whatever changes they see fit to the Constitution.

Given the almost universal lack of understanding about the Constitution and the principles that undergird it, coupled with the “present temper of America” in the 21st century, I too “should tremble for the result of a Second [Convention],” to quote James Madison. Constitutional amendments will not restore liberty — only constitutional enforcement can and will accomplish that enterprise.

In order to keep our Republic and restore liberty, it imperative that we safeguard the Constitution from the wiles of convention promoters. Contact and meet with your state legislators and any relevant committee members to inform them about the dangers of a Con-Con. Also urge them to oppose any such resolutions and rescind all previously passed Article V convention applications.

Utilize and distribute copies of both the July 11, 2022 TNA Special Report “Article V Convention: Will It Work?” and our reprint titled “COS Endorses JBS — Except for ‘One Blind Spot.’” Make sure your legislators and those on the relevant committee(s) have a copy of both materials.