06/4/18

7-2 SCOTUS Decision, Jack Phillips Wins

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD.,
ET AL. v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
ET AL.

The high court decision is here.

Justice Ginsberg and Sotomayer were the dissenting opinions.

This is a decision that upholds the freedom of religion and the dedication to practice that religion. Frankly, it was never about the wedding cake, if the truth be told.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor today of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who declined to bake a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a historic case involving religious liberty, LGBT rights, and the First Amendment.

In the 7-2 ruling, the high court said the Colorado Commission of Civil Rights, which had ruled against Phillips, demonstrated “clear and impermissible hostility” toward the baker and cake artist’s Christian belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

“The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion.

As The Daily Signal previously reported, in 2014 Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice compared Phillips’ not making a cake to slavery and the Holocaust. Rice apparently didn’t know that Phillips’ father fought in World War II and was part of a group that helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor today of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who declined to bake a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is a historic case involving religious liberty, LGBT rights, and the First Amendment.

In the 7-2 ruling, the high court said the Colorado Commission of Civil Rights, which had ruled against Phillips, demonstrated “clear and impermissible hostility” toward the baker and cake artist’s Christian belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

“The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion.

As The Daily Signal previously reported, in 2014 Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice compared Phillips’ not making a cake to slavery and the Holocaust. Rice apparently didn’t know that Phillips’ father fought in World War II and was part of a group that helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp.

“For her to compare not making a cake to the Holocaust, knowing what my dad went through, is ludicrous, and personally offensive,” Phillips, 62, told The Daily Signal.

“This is a big win for the religious liberty of all Americans,” says Ryan Anderson, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “The Court held that the state of Colorado was ‘neither tolerant nor respectful’ of Jack Phillips’s beliefs about marriage. But as the Court also noted ‘religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.’”

“Americans should be free to live their lives, including at work, in accordance with their belief that marriage unites husband and wife. Congress and the states should make this crystal clear by passing legislation, such as the First Amendment Defense Act, which explicitly prevents the type of government intolerance that took place in Colorado,” Anderson added.

**

Meet the Lawyer Who’ll Argue at Supreme Court for Christian Baker’s Right to Free Speech

As far back as grade school, Kristen Waggoner’s father taught her to seek God’s purpose for her life.

This paternal counsel, after much prayer, resulted in her knowing her calling at age 13.

But growing up in a small mill town in Washington, she could not have guessed that, little more than 30 years later, she would be a lawyer arguing a widely known case in the nation’s capital before the nation’s highest court.

“My hope is that the court will use this case as an opportunity to say, ‘We’re protecting the liberty of both sides,’” Waggoner says.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Talk about culminations.

Waggoner will stand Tuesday before the nine justices of the Supreme Court and ask them to protect a Colorado baker’s constitutional right not to be forced by the government to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex marriage—or any other occasion or sentiment that would violate his traditional Christian faith.

Waggoner, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, the prominent Christian legal aid organization, represents Jack Phillips. The owner of a family business in Lakewood, Colorado, Phillips became famous for declining to make a cake in July 2012 for two men for a local celebration of their upcoming marriage in Massachusetts.

One way or another, Waggoner has been at Phillips’ side since shortly after he politely turned down the couple’s order of a wedding cake while offering to sell Charlie Craig and David Mullins virtually any other baked good made by his Masterpiece Cakeshop.

The two men left in anger and soon filed a formal complaint, triggering hateful phone calls, death threats, and legal proceedings in Colorado against Phillips.

Those events eventually would intersect with the calling heeded by Waggoner, 45, when she was barely a teenager: defending the rights of religious individuals and institutions in America.

Now, Waggoner finds herself on the verge of making her first arguments before the Supreme Court, on behalf of Phillips, 61, and those she describes as countless other creative professionals committed to living, working, and expressing themselves in line with their faith—or lack of it.

Room for a Different View of Marriage

Phillips and other people of faith are defending their freedom as radical activists and government officials across the country wield nondiscrimination laws on the local and state levels in ways never intended by legislators, Waggoner says:

They’re being used to silence and to punish people who have a different view of marriage. It’s no longer about a government affirming a right and a recognition of same-sex marriage. It’s now about requiring private citizens to affirm that as well—which violates the core convictions of millions of Americans who subscribe to the Abrahamic faiths. It’s not just Christianity, it’s Judaism, Islam.

When the Supreme Court was weighing whether to recognize same-sex marriage in the landmark 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, Waggoner reminds, advocates told people of faith that they had nothing to worry about, that their rights would be protected:

I think what’s so alarming is how we’ve gone so quickly from this concept of liberalism to, really, illiberalism. From tolerance to intolerance. … From ‘live and let live’ to … you either affirm my view or you’re branded as a bigot and you lose your business.

How is forcing Phillips to create a cake in violation of his conscience different than forcing an atheist singer to perform at religious service, she suggests, or requiring a Jewish artist to glorify the Holocaust?

Friend-of-the-court briefs in the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, show that “tons of people” who support same-sex marriage also support Phillips’ right to decline an order, she says.

“And that’s the right position, because that’s freedom for everyone, even those we disagree with. So it does an injustice to the case to suggest this is about same-sex marriage. It’s not. It’s about the right to live and to work and to speak consistent with your convictions, and not have the government tell you what to say.”

‘Part of a Bigger Story’

The Daily Signal’s interview with Waggoner occurs in her final week of preparing in Washington, D.C., for her Supreme Court appearance with fellow ADF lawyers defending Phillips. Among them are Jeremy Tedesco, who has logged many hours on the Phillips case, and her co-counsel, Jim Campbell.

Waggoner’s husband Benjamin is also a practicing attorney back home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Historically, his wife is a Seattle Seahawks fan, but these days relies on their three children—ages 9, 15, and 17—to keep her current with the football team’s progress.

In about an hour, she plans to be on a nightly 7:30 session on FaceTime with her third-grader son, a commitment while she is away.

Waggoner grew up as Kristen Kellie Behrends in Longview, Washington, about two hours south of Seattle and an hour north of Portland.

What she treasures most about her upbringing, Waggoner says, is that she was steeped in consistent values at home, church, and school that shaped her worldview without sheltering her.

Her father taught her from Scripture about “being an Esther, being a Deborah, used by God,” she says, and that “joy and fulfillment come from having a purpose that’s bigger than ourselves.”

“It’s not about us, we’re a part of a bigger story that has to do with helping human flourishing. And that just shaped my whole life, even now.”

A Defining Moment

Clint Behrends, a Christian pastor and educator, was principal of the school his elder daughter Kristen attended from first through 12th grade.

Waggoner has two younger brothers and a younger sister, two of them adopted but born brother and sister. Her mother, Lavonne Behrends, “thrived” at being a stay-at-home mom for the most part, but also worked part time in accounting-related jobs.

Once a teacher in public schools, today her father is a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God denomination. He is associate pastor of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington, and superintendent of an affiliated school system.

Young Kristen would go to the principal’s office to visit her father three or four times a day, sometimes because she got into trouble. In these encounters, he urged her to find and develop her talents, and apply them in a way that would honor God.

And one day, Waggoner recalls, she saw clearly that defending ministries and religious freedom should be her path. Although her “rebellious teenage years” were not yet behind her at 13, she never really looked back, Waggoner recalls in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“That’s what I thought God was impressing on me to do, and it matched with my skill set,” she says. “And it worked out.”

Waggoner’s father was the first college graduate in the family, and she became the second.

By choice, her entire education was in Christian schools. She ran cross country and played volleyball and basketball in high school, where she continued to be a good student and graduated as valedictorian in a class of 21.

She won a drama scholarship to go to Northwest University, a school outside Seattle affiliated with the Assemblies of God. She ended up doing debate, winning some tournaments and “best speaker” awards. She also played volleyball. (“That and the law are my two loves.”)

Then it was on to law school at Regent University in Virginia Beach, where she won “best oralist” and the Whittier Moot Court Competition.

What grabbed her about law?

“I think that the pursuit of justice is something that really motivated me, and taking stands on principles,” she says, adding: “But once you start working with clients and you experience being able to help individuals, when most of the time they’re at their low point, it’s very fulfilling.”

‘On the Tough End’

Right after law school, she clerked for Richard Sanders, a member of the Washington state Supreme Court. She first sought a summer job with him two years earlier because he practiced constitutional law, not knowing he was running for a seat on the court.

“The day I called him to follow up on the status of my resume was the day he was elected to the [state] Supreme Court,” she recalls. “He picked up the phone and talked to me for about 45 minutes.”

Nearly two years later, a few weeks out from graduation and planning to clerk for a federal judge in Virginia, she got a call from the law school saying a justice on the Washington Supreme Court had been looking for her for weeks. Sanders was hiring; she interviewed and got a clerkship there.

The law school graduate proved to be “up for the challenge,” Sanders, now back in private practice, recalls, and she worked hard to “get better and better.”

“This is exactly where she should be, and this is what she does best,” the former judge says of Waggoner’s current role. “I think she realizes that she’s on the tough end of those arguments.”

Sanders, knowing his law clerk’s  interests, proved instrumental in urging her to look into the law firm where she would stay for 17 years.

Ellis, Li & ­­­­­McKinstry had a good reputation for its work in constitutional law in Seattle, not exactly a conservative bastion. It represented many large churches and religious organizations.

Sanders “consistently encouraged” her to go to work there, Waggoner recalls, rather than at a public interest law firm, to gain broader and deeper experience.

“My very first case was a religious liberty case,” Waggoner recalls, “which I don’t think is coincidental.”

‘A Lot Has Changed’

Ellis, Li & ­­­­­McKinstry also happens to be perhaps the nation’s largest private law firm made up of Christian attorneys, partner Keith Kemper tells The Daily Signal.

Kemper describes Waggoner as a tenacious but gracious advocate whose “incredibly strong work ethic” drives her to study up on the case at hand to learn more than her colleagues or opponents.

“She will be better prepared,” says Kemper, who supervised Waggoner in her early years with the firm. “She will know the material backward and forward.” More here from The Daily Signal.

05/23/18

Leftists Slowly Turning Off the Faucet of Free Speech

By: Lloyd Marcus

The majority of my fellow black friends, family and associates are low-info voters. They look at me in stunned disbelief when I tell them that every negative thing they believe about conservatives/Republicans is true of leftists/Democrats.

For example: Leftists say conservatives are intolerant. In reality, leftists are the ones totally intolerant of opposing views. Fake news media is not reporting that leftist operatives are physically beating up people and pushing legislation to jail people who will not submit to leftists’ anti-God and anti-America agendas. In essence, leftists are repealing our constitutional right to free speech.

Recently, a dozen Cheesecake Factory employees approached the table of a young black customer. Incredibly, the employees harassed and threaten to punch the restaurant’s patron in his face for wearing a MAGA hat. https://bit.ly/2Ip1Tl3

Can you believe that folks? Had the employees attacked a customer wearing a Black Lives Matter or homosexual rainbow logo hat, outraged leftists would demand that the Cheesecake Factory fire the employees immediately. By the way, the courageous young black customer has a good reason to support Trump. Black unemployment is at an all-time low. https://washex.am/2rkgpDW

With leftist college professors condoning violence to silence politically incorrect speech https://cbsloc.al/2rK5weY , a disturbing 19% of college students believe they have the moral high ground to physically assault people who express opinions they don’t like. https://bit.ly/2xdVIxM So it is not surprising that seniors and veterans https://bit.ly/2GnqwMS have been brutalized for wearing “Make America Great Again” attire. A 9 year old was harassed and banned from wearing his MAGA hat to school. https://abc30.tv/1VCfnMZ

Leftists put out narratives on various issues and then socially and physically beat the crap out of anyone who dares to challenge what leftists deem true.

Enraged leftists descended upon my wife with furious anger on Facebook for daring to say stats prove cops do not routinely murder blacks. Data confirms that blacks are the ones murdering blacks in record numbers in urban democrat strongholds. https://bit.ly/2ogopV9 Leftists quickly attacked my wife to defend their evil lie which has led to Black Lives Matter ambushing and assassinating police across America.

Another leftists lie that you had better not get caught challenging, especially if you are black, is America is an eternally racist hell-hole for blacks. Leftists are trying to economically and socially beat the crap out of black millennials Kanye West https://fxn.ws/2KxR0i2 and Candace Owens for suggesting that blacks should stop clinging to victim status and pursue their dreams.

I roll my eyes when black walking dead leftist zombies lecture me about how white America hated Obama being in the White House.

Blacks are only 12% of the population. Therefore, white America elected a black president two times. Black media queen, Oprah is worth 2 billion dollars. Obama’s “PROMISE program” forbids schools from reporting or punishing bad behavior by minority students. https://bit.ly/2tVfNbL Beginning in kindergarten through college, white students are taught to hate themselves for being white. https://nyp.st/2DBV1l8 It is counterproductive for blacks to continue viewing themselves as victims, still singing, “We Shall Overcome.”

Folks, did you ever think a day would come when leftists would demand that we do not state the truth that there are only two genders?

College student Lake Ingle was kicked out of class for saying biologists officially say there are only two genders. https://fxn.ws/2HwkISh

Leftists have decreed that there are 71 different genders https://bit.ly/2pkc95t including no-gender and gender-fluid. Anyone caught publicly stating otherwise will suffer public humiliation and dire social, economic and even physical consequences. And yet, leftists are praised as paragons of tolerance.

Obama’s DOJ wanted to throw scientists in jail who disagreed with man-made climate change. https://bit.ly/2rM6Eif A California bill seeks to criminalize speaking biblical views on sexuality. https://bit.ly/2KrPwFq Remember the mentally disabled white man 4 leftists kidnapped and tortured for saying he likes Trump? https://bit.ly/2wRPNPM Intolerant of allowing parents to teach their child their values and principles, leftists seek to make homeschooling illegal. https://washex.am/2rTZOWZ

Leftists have brainwashed our kids into believing not hurting feelings should trump freedom. In less than an hour, 50 people on the campus of Yale signed a bogus petition to end our 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment protects our free speech, religion, assembly, the press and petition. https://bit.ly/2KFZzXB This sounds pretty intolerant to me.

Intolerant Missouri student VP, Brenda Smith-Lezama, wants our 1st Amendment right to free speech repealed because it causes an “unsafe” learning environment. https://bit.ly/2IuDbnb Can you imagine a young person spouting this crap? When I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in the 70s, we were encouraged to extend our thinking as far as our imaginations would allow. Today colleges demand that everyone think the same.

In a nutshell, intolerant leftists are hyper-aggressively stealthily silencing free speech via bullying or criminalizing. Meanwhile, leftists deceptively portray themselves as victims of hate from intolerant mainstream Americans.

Like the title of the old Marvin Gaye song, it is time for the American people to realize, “What’s Going On.” Now that you know, it is time for Americans to stand.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth: http://bit.ly/2kZqmUk
http://LloydMarcus.com

05/22/18

Meckler tells state legislators what they need to hear to get what he wants

By: Judi Caler

Mark Meckler, President of Convention of States Project (COSP), has spent much time and money over the past five years lobbying state legislators to support an Article V convention.  Meckler says the only way to rein in an abusive federal government is with amendments; and the only way to get the amendments is at an Article V convention.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides that Congress is to call a convention if 2/3 of the States (34) apply for it.  States “apply” by submitting to Congress resolutions passed by their Legislatures.

In order to procure Legislatures’ approval on such resolutions, Meckler flatters state legislators by suggesting they are the wise ones who can be trusted to smack down the feds at an Article V convention.  He also promises that legislators will have total control over the Delegates and can keep them from running amok and proposing “unauthorized” amendments or a new constitution.

So, imagine how surprised state legislators nationwide would be to learn that Meckler declared on Iowa radio recently that legislators aren’t to be trusted at an Article V convention, and that we shouldn’t trust any legislator anywhere!

In the segments that preceded Meckler’s appearance, host Simon Conway was livid that the Republican-dominated Iowa House didn’t have the votes to pass the “heartbeat” bill;[1]  and that leadership was refusing to bring the bill to a vote so that constituents could at least hold their representatives accountable.

Meckler’s first question was from a listener who texted,

Q: “[Our legislators] won’t pass a heartbeat bill (and) you want me to trust them with a convention?”                          

Meckler answered,

“If you think you have to trust [legislators] with a convention, you don’t understand how a convention works.  A convention is all about the people. All the states come together. And then it has to go out for ratification to all the states. So, the idea that you have to trust a legislator or a few legislators–the whole point is we need to step away from the legislatures [or legislators] in the convention. Don’t trust any legislator anywhere. Look, the Founders didn’t expect us to trust legislators. That’s why they gave us Article V.”[2]

Meckler’s response was consistent with derogatory remarks[3] by Robert Kelly, now COSP general counsel, in referring to state legislators.

But the Mark Meckler legislators know flatters them at hearings and expounds on their power under Article V. At a Nebraska committee hearing[4] on February 25, 2015, Meckler said,

 “…There’s not a lot of common sense in D.C. but when you travel around the country, it’s amazing, the common sense, and especially in a Legislature like this.You guys are inside. Maybe you don’t see it. I see it as an outsider. You guys are citizen legislators. That’s what the founders intended. They expected you guys to be running things. They trusted the common sense of the average person….” [p.49]

“Delegate selection, how the delegates are treated, what the authority of delegates is, is up to every state. And as an important part of that process, by the way, you’re going to limit delegate authority… According to standard law of agency… you have the right to limit any [delegate’s] authority to act on your behalf. If they act outside the scope of that authority, you have the right to say that they’re not acting within their authority and their authority has no actual legal effect under any law…So you guys have very strong control over your delegates before…and during deliberations in the [Art. V] convention.” [p.47]

So, when pinned down by ordinary citizens, Meckler says we shouldn’t trust state legislators with an Article V convention. And when talking to legislators, he butters them up by telling them they are so sensible that the Framers trusted them with the power to control Delegates to such a convention!

But the Truth is that the only power state legislatures are granted under Article V is to ask Congress to call a convention. Period.

Yet COSP tells state legislators that they will control the Delegates. COSP says this because legislators wouldn’t vote for Congress to call an Article V convention if they didn’t think state legislators could control the Delegates.

COSP operatives are creative in their insistence that Delegates can be controlled. They use arguments and techniques that defy our founding documents, logic, and even the dictionary. For instance,

  1. They sponsor “Faithful delegate” bills which are designed to give a false sense of security to legislators who think such bills will prevent a runaway convention.
  2. They write “Understandings” into some COSP applications to do the same as above [see linked pp.1-2; (1) through (12)].
  3. They promote pre-planning conventions to hammer out convention “rules” that Delegates can ignore.
  4. They wrongly equate Agreements or Compacts among the States (Art. 1, Sec. 10, last clause) with an Art. V convention.
  5. They use Newspeak to deny their “convention of states” is the same as a “constitutional convention” where our Constitution can be replaced.
  6. They stage a 3-day “simulated convention” to “prove” that an Article V convention called by Congress won’t run away and write a new Constitution.

It’s about time state legislators learn that COSP uses flattery and makes false claims simply to induce them to vote for COSP applications for an Article V convention.

The push for an Article V convention is heavily bankrolled by the Koch Brothers  and George Soros.  If there is such a convention, a new constitution with its own new mode of ratification is sure to be offered.  Will it be a constitution which moves the United States into the North American Union?  Or will it be a constitution which transforms us into a Marxist dictatorship?

State legislators must reject all resolutions asking Congress to call an Article V convention. They must also rescind all outstanding applications from their states. Once a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop a new constitution with a new and easier mode of ratification from being imposed.

End Notes:


[1] Iowa’s “heartbeat” bill would ban most abortions at the baby’s first detectable heartbeat.

[2] News Radio 1040 WHO, Des Moines, Iowa; Simon Conway Show, April 9, 2018, at 20:35.

[3] On Mar. 15, 2014 at a debate in Yorktown, VA, staff attorney Robert Kelly, representing COSP, refers to state legislators as “scumbag politicians.”

[4] Transcript, Nebraska Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Feb. 25, 2015.


Judi Caler lives in California and is Article V Issues Director for Eagle Forum of California, and President of Citizens Against an Article V Convention.

05/12/18

Honest discourse about Article V convention needed

By Publius Huldah

Whether States should ask Congress to call a convention under Article V of our federal Constitution is one of the most important issues of our time.  The Delegates to such a convention, as Sovereign Representatives of The People, have the power to throw off the Constitution we have and set up a new Constitution – with a new and easier mode of ratification – which creates a new government.1

Americans need the Truth.  But former law professor Rob Natelson’s recent article in The Hill is filled with ad hominems and misstatements.  Natelson is legal advisor for pro-convention groups such as “Convention of States Project” (COSP).

 “Poisoning the well” fallacy

Natelson characterizes those who oppose an Article V convention as “big government advocates”; “Washington insiders” who protect “judges and politicians who abuse their positions”; chanters of “talking points” from the “disinformation campaign” of the 1960s and early 1970s who have “no real expertise on the subject”; and, like those involved in “voter suppression efforts”, use “fear and disinformation” to discourage citizens from exercising their rights.

And while such tactics clearly resonate with COSP’s cheerleading squad; 2 others immediately recognize the preemptive ad hominem attack known as the “poisoning the wellfallacy.  That fallacy is committed when one primes the audience with adverse information or false allegations about the opponent, in an attempt to bolster his own claim or discount the credibility of the opponent.

Obviously, Natelson’s characterizations don’t constitute proof that he is right, and opponents are wrong.

Misrepresentations, omissions, and irrelevant “academic research”

  1. Natelson asserts:

“Our founders designed this [Article V convention] as a way the people could fix the federal government if it became abusive or dysfunctional”.

But he presents no proof – and can’t because no one at the federal convention of 1787 (where our present Constitution was drafted) said such a thing.  As proved in The George Mason Fabrication, the Delegates agreed that the purpose of amendments is to correct defects in the Constitution.

  1. Natelson asserts:

“Any proposals must… be ratified by 38 states before they become law.”

That’s not true.  While any amendments to our Constitution must be ratified by 38 States; our Declaration of Independence says it’s the “self-evident” Right of a People to abolish their government and set up a new one.

We invoked that Right in 1776 to throw off the British Monarchy.

In 1787, we invoked that Right to throw off our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation; and set up a new Constitution – the one we now have – which created a new government.

How did we get from our first Constitution to our second Constitution?  There was a convention to propose amendments to our first Constitution! 

The Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

But the Delegates ignored this limitation – they ignored the instructions from their States  – and they wrote our second Constitution.

And in Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison invoked the “precious right” of a People to throw off one government and set up a new one, as justification for what they did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787.

We can’t stop that from happening at another convention.  Furthermore, any new constitution will have its own mode of ratification.  Whereas Art. 13 of the Articles of Confederation required amendments to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States; the new Constitution provided at Article VII that it would be ratified by 9 States.

Any proposed third constitution will have its own mode of ratification.  The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum (Art. XII, §1).  The States don’t ratify it – they are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

  1. Natelson asserts that “academic research” shows:

“…how the convention is chosen and operates: It is a meeting of state representatives of a kind very common in U.S. history…The convention follows a pre-set agenda and attendees are subject to state legislative direction.”

But Natelson doesn’t mention the federal “amendments” convention of 1787.  That convention involved Delegates who ignored the instructions from their States 3 and from the Continental Congress, and resulted in a new Constitution with a new and easier mode of ratification.  That is the “meeting” which is relevant to the convention Congress has the power to call under Article V of our Constitution. 

The “calling” of a convention by Congress is governed – not by Natelson’s “meetings” – but by provisions in our Constitution.  Article V delegates to Congress the power to “call” a convention; and Article I, § 8, last clause, delegates to Congress the power to make laws “necessary and proper” to carry out that power.

As to the sovereign powers of Delegates, look to the Declaration of Independence, the federal “amendments” convention of 1787, and Federalist No. 40 – not to Natelson’s “meetings”.

  1. In an earlier article, Georgetown law professor David Super cited Coleman v. Miller (1939) to show that as amending the Constitution is a “political question”; the courts are unlikely to intervene. 4

Natelson responded that Coleman is a 79-year old “minority opinion the courts have long repudiated”;   but doesn’t show where the Supreme Court “repudiated” its opinion.

What Coleman shows is this: we can’t expect federal courts to make Delegates obey instructions.  No one has power over Delegates – Delegates can take down one government and set up a new one.

Conclusion

Here’s an idea:  Let’s all read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution; elect only people who have also read them, know what they say, and agree to obey; and then let’s downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Endnotes:

1 This is why James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, four Supreme Court Justices, and other luminaries warned against an Article V convention.

2 At 5:25-7:35 mark.  Archived HERE.

3 The States’ instructions are HERE at endnote 9.

4 When a power is delegated to a “political” branch [legislative or executive], federal courts [“judicial” branch] traditionally abstain from interfering and substituting their judgment for that of the branch to which the power was delegated.

03/19/18

The Constitution of the United States as a Contract

By: Thomas Wigand | New Zeal

Cross-posted from Bear Witness Central

Author’s Note: This is an abridged version of “The Constitution of the United States of America as a Contract ” – one of the “communiqués” from my book Communiques from the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. This particular communiqué discusses our Constitution from what this writer believes to be a novel perspective – analyzed as a legal contract rather than as a political document – and from that, how there has been a Progressive-driven breach of contract. The original of this communiqué includes some of the “legalese” of contract interpretation principles used in law; here I have mostly excised those and distilled to the essence of the concept. In that sense, you will find this piece not unlike Mark Levin’s new book “Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism” (although my book was released a year before) – I say that not to brag, merely to acknowledge kinship with another who is working to warn Americans about the manifest anti-Americanism of the Progressive division of Collectivism.

The Constitution of the United States of America as a Contract

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

George Washington

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.

Abraham Lincoln

To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

It is submitted to you that we could (and should?) look at the Constitution as equivalent to a legally binding contract between the people of the United States of America as one party to the contract, and the federal government as the other party.

Discussion regarding the Constitution of the United States of America typically revolves around a debate between “strict constructionists” (Conservatives and objective legal scholars) and “living document” proponents (Progressives and agenda-driven “legal scholars”). In the interest of illuminating the fundamental premise of the debate, let’s approach it from a slightly different angle – by applying legal concepts from “contract law.”

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03/14/18

National School Walkout: Marxists Rally Thousands Of Students Against Guns And The Constitution

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Today, thousands of students walked out of their classrooms across America to protest against gun violence. They usually did so with the full blessing and encouragement of their teachers. This sprang up after the mass murder in Parkland, Florida last month at a high school by a disgruntled former student who is also a deranged psychopath. 14 students and three staff members were killed in the shooting.

The National School Walkout was organized by the same people who organized the Women’s Marches. Marxists who are against the Constitution and the Second Amendment and think this is the time to take it down. Wealthy leftists including George Soros are funding the movement along with celebrities who have deep, anti-American pockets, such as Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney. According to EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March, there are more than 3,130 school walkouts scheduled across the country, as NPR’s Adrienne St. Clair reports.

“I’m just mad there’s no action by our government representatives,” Daniel Rogov, a junior in Brooklyn, New York, said today. Which is not true. Many would like to train and arm teachers at schools. They would also like to employ former police and veterans to guard schools. But stripping people of the right to bear arms, simply gives more control to the bad guys and encourages violence. “It’s all thoughts and prayers; it’s all talk,” he told ABC News. “After a gun violence tragedy there’s a speech talking about how we need change but there never is change.” These are the talking points of the radicals and Marxists who have coached and trained these kids into being useful idiots for their political agenda.

The walkout began at 10 a.m. in each time zone across the nation. It was scheduled to last 17 minutes. One minute for each of the victims gunned down in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Some schools are expelling kids who are walking out and I agree with them. This should not be allowed.

To the students at Stoneman Douglas, Daniel’s message is, “Keep making your voices heard. While the politicians might stop talking about this, we’re not done.” No, they aren’t and those like Daniel and David Hogg are being used as walking, talking propagandists to abridge our rights and destroy them forever. Over 3,000 walkout events were registered to take part in today’s call on Congress to pass tighter gun control laws, according to ENOUGH National School Walkout, the event organizers. They are taking place in virtually every state – the professional organizers did their job well. Some of the walkouts, especially in California, even turned violent today and this is just the beginning, not the end.

“Remember why we are walking out,” Stoneman Douglas survivor Lauren Hogg wrote on Twitter today. “We are walking out for my friends that passed, all children that have been taken because of gun violence. We are walking out for the empty desks in my classes, and the unsaid goodbyes. This epidemic of School shootings must stop.” No, they are walking out to further a radical anti-gun agenda by Marxists and are too stupid to see it. In Washington, DC, a huge crowd of chanting students gathered in front of the White House. Once the clock struck 10 a.m., the students silently sat down with their backs to the White House. There were also ‘die-ins’ that took place in various locations.

“We just want the White House to hear us,” Abby Silverman of Bethesda, Maryland, told ABC News outside the White House. Leftists are making progress in taking away gun rights from those under 21, even though they serve in the military and these kids are helping them. Kevin Butler told ABC News he came to the White House to “make sure there are stricter gun laws,” and even though the President wasn’t there during the sit-in, Kevin thinks their voices will be heard. Yes, they will… and mainstream America rejects them.

Outside Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, students chanted “Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?” None. They never have, but they do protect and lobby for Second Amendment rights. These kids are being taught that the NRA and anyone who owns a gun or supports gun rights is a murderer. It’s monstrous. Parents should speak with their kids about being used like this.

In Times Square, students protested silently. Women’s March Youth Coordinator Tabitha St. Bernard Jacobs, one of the adults coordinating students in the movement, told ABC News before the event that while the walkout was sparked by the Florida school shooting, the event is about pressuring Congress to act against gun violence overall. They were just waiting for an emergency to trigger them. She said the walkout was a way to shed light on the kind of gun violence that exists not just in schools but every day, like shootings that affect communities of color or devastate cities like Chicago. You know… the city that is led by liberal Marxists and has the strictest gun laws in the nation… that Chicago. It’s so bad there that Navy medics train for combat because it’s as bad or worse than being on the front-lines in Afghanistan.

While many school districts were supportive of the protests, some schools from Pennsylvania to Georgia had reportedly threatened to discipline students participating in walkouts, which I think is very appropriate. In Plainfield, Illinois, where some students had planned to walk out, doing so came with a guideline. Students who wanted to participate in the walkout also had to attend an after-school discussion with state legislators to discuss issues that relate to school violence, like the political process, school safety, gun control and what influences politicians, Plainfield School District Superintendent Lane Abrell told ABC News. A student who walked out but did not attend the discussion with state legislators would get a one-hour detention, Abrell said. At least it’s a start.

Abrell said the walkout “in my opinion … doesn’t really solve the issue,” and the meeting with local legislators is a way for students who are genuinely passionate about the cause to learn how school violence issues can be solved. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said schools could punish students for missing class for walkouts, but the punishment should only be because students missed school and not as a harsher punishment because the students participated in a protest. Dozens of colleges and universities have said they won’t penalize applicants who are peaceful student protesters.

This wasn’t just high schoolers and college students. Many elementary students took part in the walkout as well. The walkouts on Wednesday are among several protests planned for coming weeks. The March for Our Lives rally for school safety is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital on March 24, its organizers said. And another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.

Not all students support this and many are walking out under peer pressure. Parents should find out how their children are reacting to this so they don’t become radicalized.

01/24/18

The “Compact” Gimmick to circumvent the Powers granted to Congress by Article V

By: Publius Huldah

The supremacy clause at Article VI, clause 2, US Constitution, says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Two bills, SJR 31 & HJR 49, which purport to provide for the selection and control of “commissioners” to an “interstate convention” for “proposing amendments” to our federal Constitution, have recently been filed in the Virginia General Assembly.  The bills assert that such an “interstate convention” is authorized by Article I, §10, clause 3; the 10th Amendment; and Article V of our Constitution.

As shown below, the bills are unconstitutional because they seek to circumvent Article V, and are not encompassed within Article I, §10, clause 3, or the 10th Amendment.  Under the supremacy clause, they would be struck down.

I. What Article V says about amending our Constitution

Article V says:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments…”

Our existing 27 Amendments were obtained under the first method:  Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

We’ve never had a convention under Article V – they are dangerous!  If Congress calls an Article V convention, our existing Constitution could be replaced with a new Constitution which sets up a completely new structure of government. 1

Nevertheless, the People granted to Congress at Article V the power to “call” a convention; and to the Delegates to the convention, the power to “propose amendments”. 2

Yet the Convention of States Project (COS), in brazen disregard of the plain meaning of Article V, has long insisted that the States “call” the convention; the States propose the amendments for the convention to rubberstamp; and the States will have total control over the Delegates to the convention.

SJR 31 & HJR 49 are an implicit admission that we who oppose an Article V convention have proved our point:  Congress really does “call” the Convention; and pursuant to its grant of power to “call” the convention, Congress really is granted by Article I, §8, last clause, the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers granted to Congress by Article V; and the States actually have no power over an Article V convention – except to ask Congress to “call” one. 3

The Congressional Research Service Report dated April 11, 2014 likewise reflects Congress’ clear awareness that it alone has the power to organize and set up an Article V convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” [page 4]

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; 4 (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” [page 4] [italics added]

And contrary to COS’s previous assurances that the States would have total control over an Article V convention, the CRS Report says on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

In other words, we’ll have to get a convention before we know what the Delegates are going to do!

II. The new Gimmick to circumvent Congress’ powers under Article V

SJR 31 & HJR 49 make the bizarre claim that Article I, §10, clause 3, which says:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State…”

is really talking about an “interstate convention” for the States to meet and “propose amendments” to our Constitution!

First of all, our federal Constitution doesn’t address “interstate conventions”! 5 State and local governments and private organizations may hold nationwide conventions (gatherings) on an endless list of matters: trade shows, book fairs, sports events, high school marching band contests, agricultural fairs, meetings of County Sheriffs, whatever they like!  And they don’t need permission from Congress.

Secondly, a “Compact with another State” within the meaning of Article I, §10, clause 3, is separate, distinct, and totally unrelated to the Article V convention called by Congress for the purpose of addressing our federal Constitution. “Compact”, as used in Article I, §10, clause 3, means binding agreements or contracts between States which deal with state matters. Traditionally, “compacts” have been used to resolve such matters as boundary disputes between States; and may be used to address various other issues between States. 6

Article V governs amendments to our Constitution – not Article I, §10, clause 3!  Virginia may not lawfully set up any gimmick to circumvent the powers granted by Article V to Congress.  And Congress may not lawfully approve a “compact” which violates our Constitution!

Thirdly, SJR 31 & HJR 49 claim the 10th Amendment gives States the power to hold an “interstate convention” to propose amendments to the Constitution.  Rubbish!  The 10th Amendment addresses powers “reserved to the States…or to the people.”  It is inapplicable here because no powers respecting an Article V convention were reserved to the States: The People granted to Congress the power to “call” an Article V convention; and to the Delegates, the power to “propose amendments”.  The only power the States have is to ask Congress to call the convention.

Once the requisite number of States has applied to Congress, it’s out of the States’ hands.  Pursuant to Article I, § 8, last clause; 7 Congress has the power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention.  And then, our Fate is in the hands of the Delegates; and they can do whatever they want – as they did in 1787.

III. The new Gimmick attempts to circumvent the Plenipotentiary Powers of the Delegates

to an Article V Convention.

Article V shows on its face that the convention is the deliberative body.  The Delegates hold the Power to “propose amendments”; or, to do what our Framers did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787 (invoke the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) and write a new Constitution which creates a new government.

So, while the States are free to propose amendments to their Congressional Delegations [and this is what James Madison advised]; 8 the States have no authority to dictate the amendments to be proposed at the convention called by Congress.

And as shown in “Why states can’t prevent a runaway convention” and “Delegates to an Article V Convention can’t be controlled by state laws!” attempts to control Delegates with “unfaithful delegate” laws are laughably ineffective.

Apparently, the convention lobby  now concedes that “unfaithful delegate” bills won’t work, since with SJR 31 & HJR 49, they attempt to circumvent the plenipotentiary powers held by Delegates to an Article V convention, by fabricating a new kind of convention (meeting) out of  Article I, § 10, clause 3!

IV. The solution is to enforce the Constitution we already have

Americans don‘t know what our Constitution says and don’t care what it says. They want what they want; and elect politicians like themselves. The politicians made a mess. To fix the mess, Americans must read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and enforce them with their votes and by repudiating unconstitutional federal programs.  State and local governments must enforce our Constitution by renouncing federal funds to implement unconstitutional programs and by nullification. See also James Madison’s specific suggestions on how States & Citizens can resist federal usurpations.

End notes:

1 This is why Brilliant Men (Madison, Hamilton, four US Supreme Court Justices, and other eminent jurists and scholars) have warned against another convention.  And this flyer sets forth the Facts of the federal “amendments convention” of 1787 at which our existing Constitution was drafted to replace our first Constitution (the Articles of Confederation).

2 The issue in U.S. v. Sprague  (1931) was whether the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) should have been ratified by conventions in each State instead of by State Legislatures. The Supreme Court held that Article V “is a grant of authority by the people to Congress” and that the people “deliberately made the grant of power to Congress in respect to the choice of the mode of ratification of amendments.” Accordingly, Congress had authority to select ratification of the proposed 18th Amendment by State Legislatures instead of by conventions in each State.

3 THIS handy chart lists who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

4 Congress is under no obligation to permit States to participate in the Convention.  Congress has the power to appoint its own members, federal judges, or whomever else they want as Delegates!

5 “Convention” has several meanings. It can be a meeting or gathering, such as a national convention of County Court Clerks or architects; or it can refer to a treaty with foreign countries, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the laws of war.  The author of SJR 31 & HJR 49 may have fallen victim to the Fallacy of Ambiguity since he slips and slides between the two meanings.  “Compact” in Art. I, §10, cl. 3, means “agreement” or “contract” – not meetings!

6 E.g., States could properly enter into “Compacts”, within the meaning of Art. I, §10, cl. 3, wherein they agree to prohibit waste being discharged into a River shared by them; or respecting the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the River.  Even though the federal government has no delegated authority to deal directly with such issues; the requirement of Consent by Congress to such Compacts is proper because States situated above or below the proposed dam could be affected by the dam.

Neither the Federalist Papers nor Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 set forth what our Framers meant by “compacts” at Art. I, §10, cl.3.  Here are two secondary sources: The Evolving Use and the Changing Role of Interstate Compacts: A practitioner’s guide, by Caroline N. Broun & Michael L. Buenger (see pages 1-9 for the historical basis of “interstate compacts”).  See also Justice Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), Book 3, Ch. 35, §§ 1395-1403.

7 Former law professor and pro-convention operative Rob Natelson’s statements to the contrary are untrue.  See “Rob Natelson perverts the Necessary and Proper Clause and thinks in circles”.

8 E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (pages 297-301) at the end of Madison’s point 2 [and then read Madison’s point 3!]

01/20/18

Restoring Something Beautiful

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

We’re in the process of going through items left after my parents died.  They had an old Steeple Clock on their mantle over a fireplace that at one time had been in my grandparent’s apartment.  It didn’t work; but was too beautiful to toss in the trash and so it remained on their mantle over a fireplace that also wasn’t used.

It sat in our U-haul storage unit until this past November when we cleaned everything out to avoid having to pay anymore rent.  The clock didn’t work; but just looking at it took me on a time traveler’s trip back to when I was a young boy visiting my grandparents.

I’d spend the night on a small sofa listening and observing from my vantage point.  They’d leave the window of their small apartment open as they had no air conditioning and a gentle breeze keep the apartment moderately comfortable.

On the half hour their clock would let go a single chimed note while on the hour that same note would repeat until the indicated hour was matched.  It wasn’t a fancy chime; yet eloquent in its somber trembling.  My memory was doing its best to recall the tone that had been silenced when the inner workings had become worn.

I took the clock in for repairs and asked what it would cost to have it brought back to life.  The repairman carefully examined the old clock, admiring the craftsmanship while at the same time pointing out parts which needed replacement.

“Leave it with me any you can have it back in a few weeks.”  He went on to explain how this particular clock might be worth something to a collector.   I agreed to have it repaired in spite of realizing how much the bill would be.

Yesterday we picked the clock up and drove back to our house in the country where it was placed on the hutch, the very same hutch that had once been in my grandparent’s apartment.  Some things are worth repairing; this clock was one of them.

But that’s not why I’m writing today, at least not the main reason.

I look around and see what has happened to my country.  The thought occurred to me that it’s much like that old Steeple Clock that seemed to have outlived its usefulness.  At one time it was a beautiful instrument admired and adored; but over time and through neglect had stopped providing what it was designed to do.

This past week someone left a comment on a public forum, a comment which bothered me then; and still does.  It indicated a cancer has metastasized within our society to the point of destroying the very foundations.  Quoted as written:

“There is no such thing as “god-given” rights. Rights are those aspects of mutual respect and cooperation that the collective agrees to confer on each other, as codified in the Constitution. As for “socialist sh**holes”, socialism is the natural end result of the ongoing evolutionary imperative for humans to thrive collectively rather than attempting to do so individually. It’s just how people work.”

The magnificent workings of our nation no longer shine as brightly as they once did: worn to the point of becoming inoperable, at least that’s what some would say.  Our constitutional republic isn’t ticking strongly, if at all.  There are far too many who would be satisfied to toss it away in favor of one more to their liking, one that didn’t require as much upkeep.

The upkeep I refer to can be identified as self discipline, obedience to eternal laws and principle which shaped our nation from its infancy and at the top of that list, faith in God.  Our founders were aware of the need to be ever mindful of our Creator, the Hand of the Lord or, as often was recorded, Divine Providence as they expressed gratitude for what was given.

You aren’t foolish enough to think this nation just happened out of the blue are you? Well, apparently many of my fellow citizens haven’t got a clue.

Let’s remember, let us all remember… this land we call America was held in reserve for those who would serve Him and individual rights come from God.  The alternative is that rights are no different than entitlements dispensed from government.  If the latter is true then rights can be taken away as easily as they were given depending on who is in power.

Our constitutional republic is the prize sought after by the entire world.  For some it’s a goal worthy of anything to become part of or to emulate; for others it’s an obstacle to be destroyed, dealt with in order to bring about a totalitarian socialist Utopian collective which would remove individual liberty.

It would be difficult, even foolhardy to ignore the similarities between what the scriptures have to say…

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”—Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-16.

… and a quote by Ronald Reagan.

“America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”

America, the nation our founders helped bring about, that America will take quite a bit of effort to restore.  We’ve let it become run down, nearly silenced over the past several years.  But something that beautiful is worth restoring.

01/20/18

The Article V Convention for Proposing Amendments and Joanna Martin’s Selective View of History

*** NoisyRoom.net is posting this to air both sides of the debate. It should be noted that we do not condone personal attacks while debating the relevant facts. We support vigorous free debate on constitutional issues. Both sides will be allowed to share their views and our readers can decide for themselves whose logic is more reasoned and based on fact concerning the subject matter. It is worthy of note that in debate, one attacks the argument not the arguer. Attacks on the arguer belong to a Logical Fallacy called “ad hominem.”

By: Gary Porter and David Dietrich

Joanna Martin, aka “Publius Huldah,” has a selective view of history. Once again, in her article, “COS Project’s ‘Simulated Convention’ Dog and Pony Show and What They Did There,” she attempts to use it to scare us with the “horrors” of Article V.

Martin writes: “…for the past 100 years, the federal and state governments and the American People have ignored our Constitution.”

In the face of such a broadly cast net, we agree, certainly as regards the American people, but to respond directly: so what? What does Ms. Martin intend to do about this? What is the constitutional remedy she offers? Moreover, how can We the People return our nation to “Original Intent”?[1] While we don’t doubt Martin’s patriotism, she has a jaundiced view of what is a clearly constitutional method of repairing a damaged document. The Declaration is very clear on this subject. So is Article V. Instead of helping to restore the Constitution’s “chains,” she is “chained” to the status quo.

Martin Writes: “…Delegates would have the right, as recognized in the 2nd paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, to throw off the Constitution we have and write a new Constitution which creates a new government.”

Really? Let’s review: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  As Jefferson implies, the Right of the People is in effect at ALL times.  But, this broader right has nothing to do with a Convention for proposing Amendments.  Convention delegates are most certainly NOT delegated the right to do anything they want, much less “write a new Constitution, which creates a new government.”   A plain reading of the Article V text makes this clear to any fourth grader.  Once again, only “the People” may delegate the right to transform their government.  Since an Article V Convention for proposing Amendments has only one delegated goal – to propose Amendments, any fear of something else emanating is misguided.

To be sure, anyone, any group, even Congress could draft a new Constitution and post it on the internet for all Americans to consider. Mr. Rexford G. Tugwell, a fellow at the Left-leaning “Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions,”[2] drafted a looney “Constitution for the New-States of America” in 1974, well before the internet was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. Mr. Tugwell died five years later and someone eventually posted his “masterpiece” on the internet. Read the document. Why Martin and Company believe Article V convention delegates, lacking any authority to do so, are going to feel empowered to take this or any other “constitution” and put it into effect “on behalf of the American people,” is simply beyond comprehension. Somehow she has convinced herself (if she is to be believed) that this is going to happen. And the American people are apparently going to sit back and let this happen? Astounding! If you believe that, we have a bridge we’d like you to look at. An Article V Convention attempting to impose a new Constitution on America is a flight of fantasy!

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11/29/17

The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment and Daniel Webster

By Publius Huldah

“The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.” Daniel Webster, 4th of July Oration, 1802.

We live in a time of constitutional illiteracy.  A recent survey found that only 26% of Americans can name the three branches of the federal government. Yet every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows all about how to amend a document he never bothered to read.  Our lawyers were indoctrinated in law school with the Supreme Court’s perversions of our Constitution, and know nothing of our actual Constitution. We should read and learn the Constitution we have before we tinker with it or jump on the bandwagon of tinkerers.  Otherwise, we destroy the “fair and lovely fabric” we were given.

Summary

Under our Constitution, Congress makes the laws, and the President enforces them. The powers of “making” and “enforcing” are separated so that the President and Congress may act as a “check” on each other.

But 100 years ago, Congress starting passing laws they had no constitutional authority to make, and delegated the details to be written in by agencies within the Executive Branch. This process continued and resulted in the Code of Federal Regulations which contains the huge body of regulations made by agencies within the Executive Branch. And thus we got the unconstitutional administrative law state under which every aspect of our lives is being increasingly regulated and controlled. 1

And now appear those who, under the promise of limiting the regulatory administrative law state, propose an Amendment to our Constitution which would legalize it!

1. Only the Legislative Branch has Constitutional Authority to make Laws

Article I of our Constitution created the Legislative Branch of the federal government.  Section 1 thereunder says:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

That means what it says.  Only Congress may make laws [and laws are restricted to the powers granted in the Constitution]; and laws may be made only by elected Senators and Representatives in Congress.

2. The Executive Branch Enforces the Laws Congress makes

Article II of our Constitution created the Executive Branch. A primary function of that branch is to enforce laws passed by the Legislative Branch. Since the President’s Oath is to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, he is obligated to refuse to enforce any Act of Congress which is unconstitutional.

3. Rulemaking by Agencies in the Executive Branch

But during the early 1900s, Congress began to make laws outside the scope of the handful of powers granted to the federal government, and delegated the details to be written by unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Branch.

This is now routine practice: Congress passes an overall statutory framework, and bureaucrats in the Executive Agencies write the rules to flesh it out. The Agencies themselves are often unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers granted in the Constitution. 2

To illustrate:  Congress passed – without reading – the over 2,000-page Obamacare act. Then it went to the Department of Health & Human Services (an unconstitutional federal agency) to have tens of thousands of additional pages of regulations added to fill out the framework.

This unconstitutional practice resulted in the infamous Code of Federal Regulations. The Code is so huge it’s difficult to impossible to keep up with the rules and revisions which pretend to regulate one’s trade, business, or profession.

The administrative law state and agency rules are unconstitutional!  They violate Art. I, § 1, US Constitution, and are outside the scope of powers granted to the federal government.

So, what’s the solution?

4. The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment

Roman Buhler of the “The Madison Coalition” says we should support the “Regulation Freedom” Amendment to the US Constitution:

“Whenever one quarter of the Members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation, it shall require a majority vote of the House and Senate to adopt that regulation.”

Do you see the trap the amendment sets?  It would legalize rulemaking by federal agencies in the Executive Branch and would thus supersede Article I, §1 of our Constitution!  And the entire existing Code of Federal Regulations and the rulemaking process itself – which now violate the Constitution – would be made constitutional!

The amendment would thus bring about a fundamental transformation of our Constitution from one where Laws are made by elected Representatives on only a handful of enumerated powers; to the administrative law state where laws are made by unelected, nameless, faceless bureaucrats in the Executive Branch (the same branch that accuses, prosecutes, and judges violations).  The executive agencies would make whatever Rules they please—and they would stand unless Congress, which often doesn’t even read the laws they pass, overrules it.

It protects 2nd Amendment Rights?

In an email dated November 10, 2017, Mr. Buhler said his proposed amendment “protects 2nd Amendment Rights”.

But his amendment does the opposite – it legalizes all the existing federal regulations which restrict firearms and ammunition. Look at Title 27, Chapter II, Subchapter B, Parts 478 and 479 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  As of now, every rule in Parts 478 & 479 is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated in the Constitution; violates Article I, §1; and violates the 2nd Amendment. But with Buhler’s proposed amendment, all those rules would become constitutional!

Furthermore, the amendment would provide constitutional authority for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make whatever future rules they want – and they would all be constitutional unless Congress objects and votes against them.

So the amendment vastly increases the powers of the federal government by legalizing what is now grotesquely unconstitutional.

5. Daniel Webster’s Warning

We are in a state of moral, religious, intellectual, and psychological decline. We don’t know what our Constitution says, and didn’t bother to find out. We elected people who didn’t know and didn’t care – and they made a mess.

To fix the mess, we must learn and enforce the Constitution we have and elect people who know it and obey it.  We can gradually downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers. And as to Buhler’s proposed amendment, heed Daniel Webster’s warning:

“…If an angel should be winged from Heaven, on an errand of mercy to our country, the first accents that would glow on his lips would be, Beware! Be cautious! You have everything to lose; you have nothing to gain. We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people.  Miracles do not cluster.  That which has happened but once in six thousand years cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism…”Webster’s Oration.

Endnotes:

1 Administrative law judges in Executive Branch agencies decide whether violations of agency rules have occurred. The agencies thus act as lawmaker, prosecutor, and judge!  Isaiah 33:22 says God is our Judge, Law-giver, and King. Because humans are corrupt, our Framers separated the functions into three separate branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  And since the Oath of Office requires persons within each branch to obey the Constitution – not the other brancheseach branch has a “check” on the other branches.

2 Where’s the constitutional authority for the Dept. of Education?  Energy? Agriculture?   Housing & Urban Development?  Labor?  Environmental Protection?  etc., etc., etc.?

3 Our existing, but long ignored, Constitution limits federal power to the enumerated powers.  But the proposed amendment would supersede that limitation because it permits the exercise of federal power on whatever the Executive Agencies make rules about!