State Sovereignty vs. Convention of States

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As I was studying The Federalist Papers last night, I marveled at the founders’ knowledge of world history and human nature. Their vision and wisdom of the proper form of limited government was astounding. Yet, for at least 100 years, we have lost that vision. Based on the current actions of Congress, I hardly think that the legislators of today have the same vision and understanding.

All of our elected representatives have taken an oath to defend the Constitution. Many I’m sure carry a copy with them. Some are quick to whip it out and boast about reverence for its principles. Yet, precious few follow and vote according to its precepts.

Congress has repeatedly violated their oath to support the Constitution. Consider the situation we find ourselves in today. Congress has:

  • Exceeded its enumerated powers into all sorts of areas, exploding the national debt to over $17 trillion not counting the unfunded liabilities probably in excess of $100 trillion.
  • Allowed the Executive branch to launch wars of aggression under the authority of NATO and the UN as in the case of Libya.
  • Allowed the continued violation of the 4th Amendment protections of privacy by not stopping the spying of all U.S. citizens by the NSA.
  • Allowed the Executive branch to make repeated changes to existing law without any check, as in the case of Obamacare.
  • We could go on and on, but there are too many to name in this short time.

And yet, where is Congress when these executive branch usurpation’s occur? Where is the Executive and the Judicial branch when Congress exceeds its authority?

A Balanced Budget Amendment doesn’t address the unconstitutional spending which caused the massive debt in the first place. Passing more amendments will be also be ignored or worse used to legalize the status quo. What makes us think Congress will abide by these new amendments? Further, why would we want to give authority to these violators of the Constitution, the power to modify or change it. It’s not the Constitution that’s broken, it’s the elected representatives that don’t honor it.

As for a Convention of States, there are no provisions in the Constitution on the authority to hold an Article V Convention of the States or on the rules that will be followed. Only Congress can call for a convention. The convention would set its own rules. What special interests would want to control the convention? Which states would not want to get more federal money? What kind of vote swapping and deal making would occur to give more authority to government and take away liberties from the People?

The reality is that we are in a post-Constitutional era. Unless the States force the Federal government into compliance by exercising the rightful remedy of nullification under the 10th Amendment, we will continue to see the usurpation on the Constitution.

We’ve seen the letters from legislative council warning that calls for nullification of federal laws is sedition and tantamount to treason. My fellow Georgians, this is just not so. On no less than two occasions in recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the dual sovereignty of the states and the federal government. See Mack/Printz vs. USA and Justice Roberts opinion on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The real issue is whether the Georgia Legislature is willing to refuse federal money? When accepting federal money the state is beholding to federal authority.

I’m sure that most of the proponents of an Article V Convention of the States have good intentions. We are all sick and tired of an out of control Federal government. A COS only delays the true remedy and is a dangerous move that could open up the entire Constitution. As the old saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. We have the tool of stop the overreach now: Nullification. Use it!

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