Now members of the Republican caucus in the Senate are joining their colleagues in the House of Representatives to introduce a resolution asking Congress to call a Constitutional Convention (Con Con). The resolution is Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 9. You can see the text of the resolution here.
Like it’s brother in the House, the Senate version displays a lack of knowledge of historical precedent regarding the calling of a Con Con. And like its brother in the House it looks as if the Senators are trying desperately to avoid being confused by the facts that might be raised by public testimony and the necessary delay caused by careful deliberation of the possible consequences of the calling of a Con Con (see part I).
Ohio Senators and Representatives believe that they can control the proceedings of a Con Con by the mere passage of a resolution which purports to restrict any Ohio delegation to discussing matters relating to a balanced budget amendment. As former Chief Justice Warren Burger said in a letter written to Phyllis Schlafly
…there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose.”(emphasis added)
The video series (in 4 parts) attached below is an excellent argument refutation of the idea that state legislatures and even federal legislatures can in any way control what happens in any Constitutional Convention. It was designed for the viewing of state legislators who are embroiled in Con Con resolution debates. Delegates to a Con Con once chosen become super-legislators who answer to no one but themselves for their proposals.
Granted, any new document would have to go through a ratification process, however fighting a new Constitution would be a long, hard, ugly and expensive battle which is guaranteed to leave the nation split along ideological lines. It is not difficult to envision civil unrest, riots or even civil war as a result of any re-writing of the current Constitution. We need to stop this before it starts.
How Can I Get Involved?
Please contact your Representatives and Senators by phone TODAY! It is imperative that Ohio not call for a Con Con. It appears that we would be the 33rd state to make such a call (3 or 4 have rescinded but Congress often ignores rescisions) with only 34 necessary to force Congress to call a convention under article V of the Constitution. If you don’t know how to get their phone number click here to go to the Ohio Legislature website. Follow the easy instructions to get their names. Once you have the name, click it to go to the representative’s or senator’s website where you can get their phone number. Pick up the phone and call. Ask to speak to the representative. Tell whoever takes the phone call politely but firmly that you want them to vote no on HJR 8. They may ask why and you can politely explain what you’ve learned here.
These resolutions are fast-tracked with the wheels greased. The time to act is now.