Tuesday, September 17, 2013


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, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
--Article V, US Constitution

Various groups, usually interested in limiting the power of the federal government, have looked towards Article V of the US Constitution, specifically the part in which 34 states can theoretically force Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution.

Over the decades, they've sought various remedy, various amendment.  From the popular election of Senators, to term limits, to a balanced federal budget.  In over 200 years, there hasn't been a convention called yet, although it sounds like the drums are beating just a little louder for something.

Can you get 34 states to call for one, in a single voice, in an unignorable voice?  I doubt it.  I don't see a reason strong enough to get 34 states - 67 or 68 state legislative bodies (depending on whether Nebraska gets in on the fun) to call for an Article V, at the same time, in the same voice, with the same resolute demand that would be required to get Congress to listen.  War?  Nope.  Corporate power?  Nope.  Income inequality?  Nope.  Moral issues?  Nope.  Feds spying on my e-mail?  Nope.  Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act?  Nope.  Marijuana?  Nope. 

And...even if you did.  Even if you got 34 states to, in a single voice, in a near simultaneous show of fraternity, demand an Article V Convention...I see a different set of problems.  1) Getting the conventioneers to agree on amendments to submit to the states.  2) Getting anyone to give a damn.  All we need is one celebrity with her hypno-butt, and even Fox News will be all over the shaking rear, instead of Philadelphia II.  Besides, no one watches C-SPAN.

Finally, if an amendment made it out, you'd need 38 states to ratify it.  HA!  You don't have 38 states that agree on weed, presidential candidate, or even same-sex marriage. 

IF an amendment that comes from an Article V convention is ratified by 38 states before my 40th birthday, I'll print out this blog entry, put ketchup on it, eat it, and post it on Youtube.

Happy Constitution Day. (9/17)

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