According to an email from Delegate Bob Marshall sent a few moments ago, tomorrow two pieces of legislation regarding a constitutional convention will come before the Rule Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates. They are HJ 497 sponsored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and HJ 499 by Delegate Jim LeMunyon.
Although many of us would agree that the federal government has grossly exceeded the authority granted to it by the U.S. Constitution, we have considerable reservations about a constitutional convention. Given that the 9th and 10th Amendments are routinely ignored, why would the federal government decide to honor some new amendment that would limit its power? Unfortunately, an Article V Convention, as proposed by these bills and others, could end up merely legitimizing the century and a half of usurpation that has already taken place.
As Delegate Marshall writes, “Once called by Congress, the Convention cannot be stopped or limited and will have complete authority to change any part of our Constitution! The only other convention, held in 1787, re-wrote the Articles of Confederation, and changed the ratification requirements from unanimous to three fourths! Yes, it gave us our present Constitution, but we had many statesmen of moral conviction who fought the War of Independence leading the nation at that time. Madison said he trembled at the thought of a second convention after witnessing the first!”
He goes on to add, “The state legislators planning the Article V Convention rejected a motion that would have prevented Members of Congress, the US Senate, federal judges and governors from serving as convention delegates. They also tabled a motion to restrict the subject matter of the convention.”
Anyone who cares about a constitutionally limited government certainly can be sympathetic to the aims of those proposing an Article V Convention. However, so far the case has not been sufficiently made to do so. It seems a far better remedy is to demand that our legislators in Washington adhere to the Constitution and replace though who have failed in this duty. In addition, we need to elect representatives to the General Assembly in Richmond who are not afraid to draw the line and say no to the federal government, show how the feds have violated the Constitution, and fight against any and all encroachment when necessary.
Delegate Marshall concludes his email by saying, “Please also urge your own state delegate and senator to OPPOSE ALL APPLICATIONS ASKING CONGRESS TO CALL AN ARTICLE V CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.”