Documentary on the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961-1962.http://vimeo.com/2563977
#1 Arizona 1996
#2 Arkansas 1952.
#3 California 1931
#4 Colorado 1910
#5 Illinois 1910
#6 Indiana 1907
#7 Iowa 1908
#8 Kansas 1907
#9 Louisiana 1908
#10 Connecticut 1949
#11 Kentucky 1861
#12 Massachusetts 1931
#13 Maine 1911
#14 Georgia 1832
#15 Michigan 1941
#16 Missouri 1905
#17 Montana 1911
#18 Alabama 1833
#19 Alaska 1982
#20 Florida 2010
#21 Nebraska 1949
#22 North Carolina 1907
#23 Nevada 1907
#24 North Dakota 2012
#25 Delaware 1978
#26 New Jersey 1907
#27 New Hampshire 1969
#28 New York 1789
#29 Oklahoma 1910
#30 Oregon 1909
#31 Pennsylvania 1943
#32 South Carolina 1833
#33 South Dakota 1989
#34 Wisconsin 1929
#35 Tennessee 1978
#36 Texas 1899
#37 Virginia 1789
#38 Washington 1911
#39 West Virginia 1971
#40 Wyoming 1910
#41 Utah 1987
#42 Rhode Island 1977
David Cobb of the Move To Amend (MTA) coalition here. I represent over 270,000 folks, several thousand endorsing/partnering organziations and over 150 local affilaites of the MTA coaliton. (NOTE: We were only formed in 2010, and every one of these categories is growing)....
We at MTA have not formally endorsed calling for a national Article V Convention, but we are very eager to engage in the discourse and discussion about whether we should, and what it would look like if we did so.
Much thanks to folks providing us all with this space for dialogue, and for those involved in the conversation.
Ever onward to the world we deserve,
The article briefly discusses the author's recent speeches at Harvard Law School and Cooley Law School
by Bill Walker
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
On September 10, 2010 in Lansing, Michigan a symposium entitled "Renewing the Compact: How Article V Empowers the People of the States" featured numerous speakers discussing various issues surrounding an Article V Convention. The Thomas M. Cooley Law Review published these speeches in its latest edition (Volume 28, Number 1).
I was one of the speakers at the symposium. The speech entitled "The Article V Convention: Discussing the Reality versus the Fantasy" as published in the law review can be read here. A video of the speech is view-able here along with videos of the other speakers at the symposium.
The law review combined my original speech along with an article I later published entitled "Rebuttal to Amending the Constitution by Convention--a Complete View of the Founders Plan." The reason for this is I discuss in detail the legal method whereby the states may limit a convention agenda in real time, that is, while the convention is in session or, if a state chooses, before the convention occurs. The present thinking of most is that a convention can be limited in the applications of the states for a convention call. However, this view is incorrect. The Supreme Court has ruled only that which Article V expressly states is constitutional and Article V contains no implied powers or authority. Thus, as Article V does not grant such power to the states they cannot use their application authority to limit a convention agenda. Article V does grant other powers to the states, which accomplish the same outcome however.
As the Constitution clearly states a convention call is based on nothing more than a simple numeric count of applying states, currently 34, with no other terms or conditions. As noted by Professor Larry Lessig in a recent published article in The American Prospect, "It is easier to imagine 34 states calling for a convention than it is to imagine 67 senators voting to propose an amendment to end the corrupting influence of money in Congress. Much easier. That’s because the 34 states need not agree on the reason for a convention; they only have to agree on the need for a convention. Some states might want a convention to propose a balanced-budget amendment. Some states might want a convention to propose amendments to address money in politics. Reformers of different stripes can thus work together for the chance to convince a convention of their own version of reform. Agreement on substance comes later; the first step is agreement on the process."
While the professor has not yet publicly acknowledged the long since published public record contained in the Congressional Record available at FOAVC I have no doubt that this will occur at some time in the future.
In other matters, I also spoke at the recent Harvard Conference held at Harvard University in September 2011. At that conference, I briefly discussed the criminal complaint filed with federal authorities vis-à-vis violation of oath of office for refusal to call an Article V Convention. While I am not at liberty to express more details at this time, I can state that the matter will reach conclusion shortly. Of course, I will publish all details in this regard at that time.
Sometimes things don’t turn out right. It is easier to believe everything is going to be fine, but the reality we have seen through history should humble each of us. Look around the nation and the globe at the various crises facing average people. What would you do once you realized it was too late to stop something you could have influenced? Let’s get real: There is still time.
Peaceful protest is beginning to turn violent in Europe. Police control crowds with little concern for the safety of civilians; it is action meant to quell an insurrection. In the U.S., we see a sudden rise in the popularity of secession petitions in nearly every state as we rush toward the fiscal cliff with no sense of positive resolution.
History has demonstrated who will get the short end of the stick in these solutions: the common people. We have seen throughout the world that leaders are continuing to give away nearly everything in tax breaks for the wealthy, cutting services and benefits to the people who paid in to these systems. Soon many Americans will face the loss of the Social Security they paid for all their lives. This issue has been on the table for years on a national scale; when will it make you angry enough to react and take action? Once you realize they stole money you earned? When, after you question the powers that be, you are answered with silence? What if it meant the health care of your mother or child? Could being forced into this situation anger civilians, anger you, to the point of violence, as it has in Europe? At what point will they – at what point will you – say enough?
Those who run our government are detached from the reality of economics. All civilians pay the price for the mistakes of people who live outside the average citizen’s economic circumstances. We the people face the same dilemma our forefathers did: We struggle for honest government representation in the face of corporate violation and the restriction of our given rights as human beings.
Our nation’s Constitution affords its citizens the right to gather and propose solutions at a constitutional convention. This right has never been implemented. It requires the application of 34 states. Article V.org has counted 42 states with standing applications. According to the Federal Government, the count is zero and always has been.
The federal government does not track the applications.
In fact, Congress ignored numerous requests to stage the nation’s first constitutional convention. On July 9, 2012, the Congressional Research Service reported:
“Between 1973 and 1992, 22 bills were introduced in the House and 19 in the Senate that sought to establish a procedural framework that would apply to an Article V Convention. Proponents argued that constitutional convention procedures legislation would eliminate many of the uncertainties inherent in first-time consideration of such an event and would also facilitate contingency planning, thus enabling Congress to respond in an orderly fashion to a call for an Article V Convention. The Senate, in fact, passed constitutional convention procedures bills, the ‘Federal Constitutional Convention Procedures Act’ on two separate occasions: as S. 215 in 1971 in the 92nd Congress, and as S. 1272 in 1983, in the 93rd Congress. Neither bill was considered in the House, although the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the general issue in 1985.”
The opportunity to call for a constitutional convention is available to us. We can, we are obligated to, reform our system as citizens. We can improve an already good thing to fix mistakes, loopholes, and oversights. We can adapt to the changing world. Iceland did this recently, with great success. Iceland’s citizens did not bother to meet; they made changes to the constitution to prevent things they knew were wrong. They did not go behind closed doors, they had it online for everyone to read and contribute ideas to.
In last week’s U.S. election, Colorado amended their constitution to legalize marijuana. This is a permanent change that dictates how the future laws will be written. That same idea can be applied to national debt, budget, trade, prohibition, election law, and so forth. We do not need to destroy a system to make it work better, nor should we fear a departure from a status quo that is clearly not working. Small changes have a huge impact.
For instance, consider the way we count votes. We only ask citizens for their first choice. We could choose instead to track a ranked vote, which would allow third party candidates to see more second place votes. The totals would reflect a very different, and possibly a more reflective, popular vote. The way we count votes could change the dynamic of two party politics dramatically.
We as a nation must embrace the opportunity to make changes. We are responsible for saving ourselves from the powerful, the people who write the laws, but who are not subject to their inconsistencies and their failings. Our forefathers went through all of this before, and they had hindsight when writing the U.S. Constitution. They knew that eventually this day would come. We have done an admirable job holding on to our rights and democratic tools, but not long after September 11th, we forgot how important they were. Freedoms were exchanged for false securities. But it is within our power to revive the Constitution to a living, breathing document, and an involved and vocal citizenry is obliged to foster its evolution.
Before the Civil War, many states began holding their own abolitionist conventions. They, of course, did not succeed, and the nation plunged in to a bloody war. It does not matter if we cannot be certain of success; we have to call for what we believe this nation needs. We need to gather, to discuss, to deliberate. For ourselves, for our children, we must fix the problems that a broken system refuses to address. Our Congress needs to hear a clear demand from the American people for an Article V Convection to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.