The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 30, 2009, 10:13 PM   #1
44capnball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2007
Posts: 257
Constitutional Convention, Ohio, the 2A....?

First of all I am going to preface this with a request. I'm looking for constitutional scholarship here, not sarcasm. Please answer my questions honestly.

So, just answer the questions please, yes or no, with any *relevant* comments.

I read recently that Ohio introduced in the form of H.J.R. 8, a request to initiate a national Constitutional Convention.

Question: True, or not? If not, please provide links.

I also read that 34 states are needed to bring about such a convention, and Ohio was the 33rd. As I understand it, some of these requests date back to the 70's but are still hanging around.

Question: True, or not? If true, what does that mean?

Question: is it or isn't it true that a con con pushed over a certain issue, like balanced budget, would open up the opportunity to change other parts of the constitution?

Next, I found out about some group pushing for an Article V Convention. Looks to me like they avoid some topics of discussion, as I see from their forum. Check out http://www.foavc.org/. Basically they really just want the convention. Not sure why, unless their position re: excessive corruption is the true one.

Question: what do you all think of this? Wouldn't it be kind of a pandora's box to open a Con Con now, with the anti gunners hot for a new strategy to get rid of gun ownership? The Heller decision has forced them looking elsewhere, and a Con Con would be a pretty appealing chance.

To keep this from appearing drive-by I'm going to now tell you what I think.

I think there is something to this. Any other time, I have a feeling that calls for a con con would just go ignored, but we're in a crisis time. It's the crisis times when things like this get done. Enough states, and whaddya know...

I also think that a Con Con would be kind of hard to control. I mean, who chooses the delegates? What if they undo whole tracts of the Bill of Rights? What if the delegates turn out to be a bunch of failed-utopian, elitist anti-gun loons? If the failed-utopian loudmouths (wrongly) already consider gun owners to be the "cast of Deliverance", how likely is it they'll give any of y'all a voice at such a convention?

Personally I find it hard to believe that anyone calling for a Con Con would be ignorant of the dangers. I watched a couple videos by some guy from foavc.org. First impression was, there's something a little "off" about it.

To update this post, I did a little more reading, and sure enough, I see a couple of the people in that organization calling themselves "progressives".

Hmm, I sense gun control can't be far behind.
__________________
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
-George Orwell

Last edited by 44capnball; January 30, 2009 at 10:45 PM.
44capnball is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 01:12 AM   #2
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,318
Quote:
I read recently that Ohio introduced in the form of H.J.R. 8, a request to initiate a national Constitutional Convention.

Question: True, or not? If not, please provide links.
In the Ohio 127th General Assembly, both H.J.R. 8 and it s counterpart, S.J.R. 9, died in committee.
Quote:
I also read that 34 states are needed to bring about such a convention, and Ohio was the 33rd. As I understand it, some of these requests date back to the 70's but are still hanging around.

Question: True, or not? If true, what does that mean?
Sort of True. Article V of the COTUS provides the Congress will call for a convention to propose amendments, if 2/3rds of the States call for such a convention.

No one in Congress is keeping track of the con-con calls. My best guess, is that the States would have to sue for a Writ of Mandamus.

The Article does not specify that the calls must be on any singular subject, just that a call be made. Several States over the years have rescinded their calls, however it is not clear if this has any force as the Article is silent on such a matter.
Quote:
Question: is it or isn't it true that a con con pushed over a certain issue, like balanced budget, would open up the opportunity to change other parts of the constitution?
False. Here is the exact wording of the relevant portion of the Article:

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;

Read carefully, the convention will be called to propose amendments. What those amendments may be and how many of them there might be is left entirely up to the convention itself.

The only insulation is that the Congress provides for which mode of ratification will be used: 3/4ths of the State legislatures or 3/4ths of State conventions.

To put it bluntly, so many different amendments might be proposed, that it could alter completely what our Constitution says and is.

We have only one precedent of a con-con in our history. That was called to fix the problems inherent in the Articles of Confederation. The result of that convention was our current Constitution.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 03:01 AM   #3
1BigOak
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2009
Location: mobile al.
Posts: 22
when i think of the possibilities of this it gives me chills
1BigOak is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 08:01 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,243
It is my understanding that once issued, a state's call for a Constitutional Convention does not last forever.

It dies with each successive session of the state legislature unless specifically renewed.

There have been, by some counts, over 500 separate state calls for Constitutional Conventions since the adoption of the US Constitution.

Obviously a call from, say, Tennessee in 1895 isn't going to be used to support the 34-state requirement in 2008.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 10:47 AM   #5
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,318
As far as I know, there is no case law on this. Certainly the Constitution is silent on the matter.

Just as certain, the Congress won't move on it, unless forced to.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 11:17 AM   #6
44capnball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2007
Posts: 257
Quote:
Read carefully, the convention will be called to propose amendments. What those amendments may be and how many of them there might be is left entirely up to the convention itself.
Ok, that's sort of what I was getting at. Supposing they said, we hereby call for a con con. Because, uh, we need a balanced budget. Yeah that's the ticket... (I mean doesn't there have to be a token reason for the call?)

Once they get that con con, that's when they can propose whatever they want. That convention sounds a like the proverbial can of worms.

Quote:
To put it bluntly, so many different amendments might be proposed, that it could alter completely what our Constitution says and is.
That's the biggest concern I was wondering about.

Quote:
We have only one precedent of a con-con in our history.
A big reason it is kind of unsettling to think about. The only one we had, created a new nation.

Quote:
when i think of the possibilities of this it gives me chills
I feel the same way. There is, floating around in books and proposals by population scientists and various modern day utopians, versions of a so called constitution. Unsurprisingly, it contains basicallly no individual rights. That which is not granted by their list, doesn't exist.

There is a mindset that says we are running out of resources and have to take drastic action at the international level. Now, this crowd have toned down their talking points since the 70's but it's pretty clear they never let go of their original ideas. Given the chance for a con con, this bunch would have a field day.

It is the national crisis situation, that would hatch such an opportunity.

Quote:
Just as certain, the Congress won't move on it, unless forced to.
Agreed.

Quote:
Obviously a call from, say, Tennessee in 1895 isn't going to be used to support the 34-state requirement in 2008.
I guess it would have to be all recent calls, question is, how recent? I guess if a national crisis got big enough with the economy (or whatever) there would be the 34, soon enough.
__________________
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
-George Orwell
44capnball is offline  
Old January 31, 2009, 12:35 PM   #7
Al Norris
Staff
 
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
Obviously a call from, say, Tennessee in 1895 isn't going to be used to support the 34-state requirement in 2008.
Why would you say that? There's nothing preventing such an action. After all, the 27th amendment had been floating around since it was introduced on 9/25/1789, until finally ratified on 5/7/1992.

It's like the rescission of a call. Nothing says it can be rescinded, and nothing says it can't. You will find legal scholars for both schools of thought.

If one is to use precedent, then amendment 27 (originally amendment #2 of the proposed amendments) sets the standard. A call for a con-con is valid until rescinded by the State that called it.

(Bonus points for anyone who knows what the original amendment #1 was - oh, it's still "out there")

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44capnball
Ok, that's sort of what I was getting at. Supposing they said, we hereby call for a con con. Because, uh, we need a balanced budget. Yeah that's the ticket... (I mean doesn't there have to be a token reason for the call?)
Nothing in the constitutional text alludes to having a call for any specific reason other than to have a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution.
__________________
National listings of the Current 2A Cases.
Al Norris is offline  
Old February 1, 2009, 06:21 AM   #8
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,741
The real drawback to a Constitutional Convention

is that once convened, EVERYTHING is on the table. And that include our entire system of govt. If the delegates decided we needed a monarchy (and the states ratified it) then that's what we would get.

This sounds extreme, and it is, but it is not outside the realm of possibility. Once said convention begins, everything is negotiable.

I'm not sure of the exact details, but last time this issue came up, we heard how the delegates would be chosen by the states (the legislatures), and how the numbers of delegates would be mandated by Congress, according to some arcane formula, supposedly allowing for representation according to population.

Also, that the sitting govt would remain in office until the convention was concluded.

I for one, don't care to have our Constitution "adjusted" by politicians from New York and California because they have the most people. We don't need new "interpretations" or a new Constitution. It ain't broke, it don't need fixin!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 1, 2009, 10:25 AM   #9
miboso
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2007
Location: Real northern California
Posts: 504
Quote:
It ain't broke, it don't need fixin!
It just needs followin'!
__________________
David
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of These United States of America, and to the Republic which it defines.
miboso is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09696 seconds with 7 queries