Addressing the Eagle Forum’s Questions about an Article V Convention- Barry a. Schlech, Ph.D.

The Eagle Forum, as well as the John Birch Society, OPPOSE a Convention of States* for several reasons, mostly surrounding the risks of a “runaway convention”, the uncertainty of the convention process or the fear of an unwanted outcome. Although I personally respect and agree with many of the Eagle Forum’s and Phyllis Schlafly’s values and positions, I believe their stance on the Article V Convention is misguided.  The criticisms brought by the John Birch Society have been thoroughly addressed by Michael Farris** and by Professor Robert G. Natelson***.

I and the Texas Patriots Tea Party ardently support a Texas Legislature resolution calling for a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.

Here are my responses to the fears and questions raised by the Eagle Forum:


QUESTIONS: DELEGATE SELECTION

How would Delegates be selected or elected to a Constitutional Convention?

What authority would be responsible for determining the number of Delegates from each state?

What authority would be responsible for electing the Delegates to the convention?

Would Delegates be selected based on Population, number of Registered Voters, or along Party lines?

Would Delegates be selected based on race, ethnicity or gender?

Could a state delegation be recalled by its legislature and its call for a convention be rescinded during the convention?

Would non-Delegates be permitted inside the convention hall?

Will demonstrators be allowed and/or controlled outside the convention hall?

Schlech RESPONSE: The State Legislatures would be responsible for selecting the number and appointing the delegates for their state delegation to the Convention of States. They could identify the delegates anyway they wish, e.g.. appointment, elections.  No matter how many delegates they assign to their specific delegation…that delegation would get only ONE vote on all issues at the Convention of States.  Remember it is a Convention of STATES and NOT a Convention of DELEGATES.  Selection of delegates on basis of race, ethnicity or gender is specifically forbidden by the 14th Amendment. Also, a state legislature may recall one or more of its delegates, but the legislature cannot rescind their application for a convention of states once it is filed. Also, as with most conventions, it would not be typical to have “non-delegates” on the floor of the convention or participate in any vote.  Non-delegates might be allowed in the gallery IF the Convention so approves. Regarding demonstrations: since we have the protection of the 1st Amendment and since most conventions have protestors outside the auditorium, this Convention of States would be no different and would not prevent groups from demonstrating peacefully outside the convention hall.

 


QUESTIONS: CONVENTION PROCESS ITSELF

What authority would be responsible for organizing the convention, such as committee selection, committee chairs and members, etc.?

How would the number of Delegates serving on any committee be selected and limited?

How would the Chair of the Convention be selected or elected?

What authority will establish the Rules of the Convention, such as setting a quorum, how to proceed if a state wishes to withdraw its delegation, etc.

Schlech RESPONSE: This Convention of States would be no different than ANY OTHER convention in its operation.  It would follow the normal American convention procedures and Robert’s Rules of Order in electing a chairman, appointing members of Rules & Resolution Committees, etc.  Each state would get ONE vote on any measures put before the convention.  It would be up to each state to determine how many delegates it wishes to send as part of their state delegation [e.g., 10, 20, 55, 124], but again, that state’s delegation would need to build a consensus and have ONE vote for their state.

 

QUESTIONS: CONVENTION VENUE

What authority would be responsible for selecting the venue for the Convention?

Where would the Convention be held?

Schlech RESPONSE: The U.S. Congress will establish the time and place for the Convention of States according to Article V.  If Congress takes an inordinate amount of time to decide the time and place, the state legislatures can override this decision and decide for themselves. The only function Congress has in this process is to call for a convention and set its time and place.

 

QUESTIONS: AMENDMENT APPROVAL

Would proposed amendments require a two-thirds majority vote for passage?

How would the number of votes required to pass a Constitutional Amendment be determined?

Would congress decide to submit Con Con [sic] amendments for ratification to the state legislatures or to a state constitutional convention as permitted under Article V of the constitution?

Schlech RESPONSE: DURING the convention, each Proposed Amendment needs to be approved by only a simple MAJORITY of  the STATES participating at the Convention of States and is ultimately sent to the 50 state legislatures for ratification.  If only 40 states participate in the Convention of States, then 21 states need to approve any proposed Amendment to be sent to the 50 state legislatures for ratification. Again, the power is with the state legislatures but Congress can decide if proposed Amendments would be ratified in each state by either the state legislature or by a state ratifying convention.

 

QUESTION: CONVENTION RISKS

What would happen if the Con Con [sic] decided to write its own rules so that 2/3 of the states need not be present to get amendments passed?

Schlech RESPONSE: The Convention of States is NOT a ConCon. It is NOT a convention to completely revamp our Constitution. It has a specific LIMITED agenda and it’s purpose is to PROPOSE Amendments to the U.S. Constitution for ratification by the states that falls within this specific limited agenda.

 

QUESTION: FUNDING

Who will fund this Convention?

Schlech RESPONSE: Who funds any Convention?  Interested parties provide the necessary funds to operate the convention.  It would be logical that each state legislature would participate in its funding.


QUESTION: UNCERTAINTY

If these questions cannot be answered (and they CANNOT), then why would any state legislator even consider voting for such an uncertain event as an Article V Constitutional Convention [sic]?

Schlech RESPONSE: These questions are reasonable questions but they CAN be answered as above, but they also show how uninformed the author is about Convention procedures and rules of order. They also show an extreme distrust of our state legislatures and our state legislators. Sure there could be a few really radical states, but NO Amendment would be passed on for ratification unless a MAJORITY of state delegations approve it at the Convention of States.  And ultimately, really crazy amendment proposals would not garner the 38 states needed for approval, ratification and adoption. Undoubtedly there will be many Amendments proposed that will not get this majority of approval. Any individual or group that opposes a Convention of States is obviously satisfied with the status quo in Washington DC and the seemingly unending power-mongering going on there. The fear of a “runaway convention” is offset by the EXISTING “runaway” of government spending, unconstitutional Executive Orders, power of unelected bureaucrats, unconstitutional legislation from the bench and total deafness to the electorate and citizen values. What could be more “runaway” than what we currently have in Washington? The power of the states has been totally ignored in the current process as Washington dictates what the states will do, when and where and how.  This is NOT the system that the Founders intended and they EXPECTED the states to assert their AUTHORITY OVER the Federal Government. We are frustrated every time any of the 3 branches seems to ignore or dishonor our Constitution. The Convention of States is a way to HONOR that Constitution and is ONE very bold way for the states to REGAIN this power that they have lost or given away over the last 8 decades. We support all 50 states in calling for a convention of the states specifically limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. Washington’s current crop of federal actors will not do this on their own! The states must step up here. Texas must also participate in this process. The nation is counting on us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Improperly referenced by the Eagle Forum as a “Constitutional Convention” or “ConCon”

** Farris, Michael. Answering the John Birch Society Questions about Article V. Published by the Convention of States Project. {Mr. Farris is the Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at Citizens for Self-Govenance and  Chancellor of Patrick henry College]

*** Natelson, Robert G. Answers to Criticisms. [ Professor Natelson is the Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at Independence Institute and is one of America’s best-known constitutional scholars.]

 

Dr. Barry A. Schlech is a pharmaceutical microbiologist and worked in the pharmaceutical business for 39 years before becoming active in the tea party movement and conservative politics.  He is currently the VP for Communications and WebMaster for the Texas Patriots Tea Party in Burleson, Texas.

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Comment by Barry Wind on March 21, 2014 at 6:30am

This has to be carefully crafted in a way that we don't open the door to legal and illegal immigrants that can overwhelm the system by numbers and end with say sharia law or those who would get in power to push it on the country. We are trying to fix it according to the founding documents not to wind up worse off than the country is already.

Comment by Dwight Carmichael on March 21, 2014 at 5:43am

I think that the states wouldn't stand for that, nor do I think the House would either. Oh I believe he'll try. I just don't think he'll succeed.

Comment by Helen Simon on March 21, 2014 at 5:27am

I am on Eagle Forum's side with this issue. I listen to Levin a lot, but I am a Christian, and trust my Brothers more. This is a religious war, the God hating communists in control now, elitists including many rinos, who chose power and wealth over honoring God, and the God lovers who demonstrate it by their honor..Eagle Forum is proven and found honorable.

Comment by Donald Ross Hill on March 21, 2014 at 5:13am

Very interesting post. Useful information. I can only hope that this can be effectively accomplished before Mr. Obama performs another Executive order to stop it. And we all know he will try.

Comment by Oleg Gielman on March 21, 2014 at 5:08am
The Balance of Powers Act is designed to bypass the ConCon ...Google it, or find it on Patriots for America (PFA).
Comment by Jim Hood on March 21, 2014 at 5:07am

I would recomend that lawyers and current or past politicians be barred  from this convention.

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

ALERT ALERT

TEA PARTY -> Lois Lerner Case Explodes:
IRS Docs Link McCain’s Office To Tea Party Attacks

[CLICK TO VIEW]

Since announcing his brain cancer was terminal, Arizon Sen. John McCain has continued to make headlines, but not due to his medical status. Instead, it has been one controversy after another revolving around him, and now one more had been added to the list.

This one is based in his dislike not for Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, but of the tea party.

McCain has never really endeared himself to conservatives, and he made his feeling public about the tea party movement at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in 2015, according to a Yahoo report.

“I think also — I probably shouldn’t say this — but some of (the tea party) appeals to the bad angels of our nature rather than the better angels of our nature,” McCain said.

This attitude ties into the latest scandal swirling around McCain.

One of a number of scandals that plagued President Barack Obama and his administration involved the IRS targeting tea party groups after 2010. It seemed that their tax-exempt status requests were denied or delayed due to intense political partisanship in the agency.

In May 2013, The Washington Post reported that the IRS’s exempt-organizations division director Lois Lerner “let slip” the week prior “that low-level IRS staffers had focused extra scrutiny on conservative groups with words such as ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names.”

In addition, “internal reviews have shown that Lerner knew about the targeting in 2011 — but neither Congress nor the public knew until (2013).” Despite this, Lerner was never prosecuted and was allowed to retire with her taxpayer-funded pension intact.

This did not change, even after House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, an Illinois Republican, wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In it, they begged him to reopen a probe into the matter, according to Jay Sekulow, chief council for the American Center for Law and Justice, writing in a commentary for Fox News.

When President Donald Trump was sworn into office, some held out hope that the perceived injustices from Obama’s tenure would somehow be made right. However, in September 2017, Trump’s administration had already preemptively declined to pursue criminal charges against Lerner “based on the available evidence,” according to Fox News.

But more has since been uncovered about the scandal. Government watchdog group Judicial Watch has obtained and released “internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”

Judicial Watch �dd0e

JW President @TomFitton: Much of what you know about the IRS scandal is thanks to JW... Our new docs show the scandal is bipartisan in nature. A McCain staffer suggested Lois Lerner audit all of the 501(c)(4) groups in a way that'd be financially ruinous.

Meeting notes from April 30, 2013, involving Kerner, Lerner, “and other high-ranking IRS officials” were obtained by JW. With the meeting taking place only 10 days before the IRS scandal exploded into the public view, they are particularly incriminating against Kerner and Lerner:

“Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time.”

“Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely.”

“Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints.”

“Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.”

Thus far, there is no evidence that McCain knew about or directed Kerner to take such action. It is plausible that Kerner, knowing of McCain’s dislike of the tea party, opted to be a proactive and loyal staffer by urging the IRS to take action against the groups.

But McCain’s personality does little to keep him far removed from the scandal and tongues are wagging with speculation as to his involvement. Regardless, McCain’s frosty relationship with President Donald Trump has not made the Arizona senator many fans among Trump supporters.

New suspicions about him betraying the tea party won’t help matters at all.

OMG

Chelsea Handler Says Fox Doesn’t Work With
Black People, Obviously Doesn’t Watch Network

Humor is supposed to be based on truth. After all, the reason we laugh at a joke or scenario is because it triggers a feeling of recognition about reality, especially if it’s presented in an unexpected way.

It doesn’t look like “comedian” Chelsea Handler has a very firm grasp on truth or reality, however.

After a production error during a Fox News broadcast was called out by users on Twitter, the raunchy and sex-obsessed Handler tried to bash the network … but ended up showing off her ignorance instead.

“Fox News honored Aretha Franklin by using a graphic that contained a photo of Patti LaBelle,” the comedian and television host posted on Twitter Thursday evening.

That part was true enough: Fox admitted that they made a mistake on a background slide during a tribute to the late soul singer, and accidentally showed a faded photo of LaBelle. The main image still showed Franklin, who passed away on Thursday in Detroit.

Broadcast television is complex, which you would think Handler understands after being involved in TV for many years. Honest mistakes happen on every network. But no: In Handler’s alternate reality, the only explanation for the mistake was racism.

“It’s probably hard for anyone who works at Fox News to tell black people apart because they’ve never worked with any,” she declared.

Chelsea Handler  @chelseahandler

Fox News honored Aretha Franklin by using a graphic that contained a photo of Patti LaBelle. It’s probably hard for anyone who works at Fox News to tell black people apart because they’ve never worked with any.

Was she trying to be bitter or funny? It was hard to tell, but either way, that statement shows just how isolated the Hollywood left is from reality.

If she really believes that Fox has “never worked with any” black people, maybe she should try an experiment: Actually watch the channel for a minute.

She would probably tune in to the face of Harris Faulkner, the enthusiastic and Emmy-winning host of “Outnumbered,” which airs every single weekday.

Or, maybe she could get a clue from Deneen Borelli, another well-known face of Fox News for nearly a decade. How about the venerable Juan Williams, co-host of “The Five” and a “Fox News Sunday” regular for over 20 years?

Nah. They apparently don’t count, because Handler would rather live in an alternate reality of ignorance than admit she was the one making racial assumptions.

We’re not finished! Moving on to frequent guest contributors to Fox News, how about Candace Owens? Brandon Tatum? Ben Carson? Larry Elder? All of these smart individuals are familiar faces at Fox, and all are — look closely! — African American.

That’s saying nothing of the behind-the-scenes staff at Fox, a good number of whom are of course black. In fact, it’s completely possible the photo mix-up was accidentally made by a black employee. Handler openly assumed the race of the staff members who made the error, while knowing nothing.

Once again, the left has tipped their hand and revealed just how elitist and out of touch they are.

Handler has likely never turned on Fox News in her life, yet she thinks she’s an expert on it. She eagerly diminishes and waves away the contributions of black Americans to one of the most popular news stations in the nation, while lecturing others about race.

This type of attitude implies that only “liberal approved” black voices count. If they don’t parrot a 43-year-old white comedian’s politics, they’re invisible to her.

That arrogant view, and not an honest editing mistake, is perhaps the real outrage here … and it’s exactly why so many black voters are walking away from the left.

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