Image result for center for self governance

Click on the banner

 

I have reviewed the Convention of States approach to getting constitutional amendments and find it to be deeply flawed.

There are fewer than 200 persons alive today who are remotely capable of drafting well-written constitutional amendments, and it is unlikely that any of them would be elected or appointed to the convention you seem to envision. Good intentions are not enough. It is a highly advanced art that is vastly more difficult to get right than to design a mission to Mars. Well-written amendments have to not only express an aspiration, but provide effective structure and process, avoid unintended consequences, and be highly resistant to clever misinterpretation. There can be no ambiguities, because any ambiguity opens the way for distortion. It must always be kept in mind that the people who carry out any amendment will not share our concerns or our understandings. They are more likely to be enemies of our intentions.

But even were it possible to assemble those 200 experts, it is unlikely they would come up with competent amendments during a single convention of a few weeks. Hammering out sound amendments will be a process of many meetings over a period of years, with extensive discussion between meetings.

The only approach that might work would take the following steps:

1. A series of meetings to draft carefully constructed amendments.
2. Get at least 34 state legislatures to adopt identical resolutions demanding Congress propose those identical amendments to the state legislatures for ratification.
3. Get Congress to propose those identical amendments to the state legislatures, without changes.
4. Get at least 38 state legislatures to ratify those identical amendments.

No Article V convention. That won't work. What might work are a series of private conventions to do the hard work of drafting.

I have set for this strategy and some of my proposals for amendments at http://constitution.org/reform/us/con_amend.htm

Views: 31

Comment

You need to be a member of Constitution Club to add comments!

Join Constitution Club

Comment by Mike Cassidy on December 14, 2013 at 1:00pm

Mark Levin very effectively addresses the concerns you raise in his book _The Liberty Amendments_.

I believe a much more likely danger to such a convention of states process would simply be more of the same of what we are seeing today, and what has ultimately led us into this mess: a failure of politicians in all three branches of the federal government to be bound by the letter of the law of the land as it is so clearly defined in our Constitution, and a failure of anyone to hold them accountable in a timely fashion. Look at the numerous blatant criminal behaviors the current executive branch is getting away with because it knows even if charges are brought, it will be years before they are fully investigated and then maybe not even adjudicated, depending on who is in charge throughout the process.

© 2017   Created by Keith Broaders.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service