Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Real Article

A conservative friend was telling me that we need an Article Five convention to fix our problems.  Article Five of the Constitution allows for amendments.  So far, we've ony used the first method, where a supermajority of the Congress passes the new rule before it goes to the states, but there's a second method whereby we propose amendments through a national convention if requested by two-thirds of the states.

I asked what kind of problems. He replied the way the Congress and the courts have taken away our freedom in many particular instances, some of which he listed.  I agree there are a lot of things that could be better, but this isn't the way to do it.

This part of the Constitution is essentially an idea the Founders liked that didn't work out.  Yes, it's still the law of the land, but I wouldn't call the clause dormant so much as hopeless.  Most don't want it, and you need a supermajority to get it off the ground.

That's because no one is sure what would happen with such a convention, even if we believe we could keep it restricted to certain concepts.  Most Americans don't hate things so much that they're willing to take such chances, and are even a little frightened of those who do want to change things.

Really, which side dominates so much that they want to take the chance?  The reason my friend was unhappy was because the White House and the Congress has mostly been controlled by Democrats lately, and sometimes the courts (particularly in the Obamacare case) come out with bad decisions.  But even when he's got the majority on his side, it's not enough.

Right now, there are 30 Republican governors, and 27 states have Republican-controlled legislatures, so by number the states are more red than blue, but that's still not enough--you need a minimum of 34 states' support. And generally the red states don't want to take the leap of faith.

To put it another way, if you're so unhappy with things, then work to get Republicans elected to Congress.  Then take back the White House, and see to it that judges you like are nominated.  If you can't manage that, what chance do you think you have of amending the Constitution in ways you like?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "little" frightened? heheheheheh

I think Democrats and Independents would really approve Republicans talking like this- it would help to remove them further from the scene

3:07 AM, August 28, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe a constitutional convention could fix the Senate problem and reduce the ability of those sparsely populated square red states to block the will of the majority.

4:17 AM, August 28, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Since any supermajority of states would quite a few of those sparsely populated red square states, I hardly think it likely a constitutional convention would ever vote to diminish their only protection against a tyranny of the majority.

8:34 AM, August 28, 2013  

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