Article V of the Constitution: An Emergency Solution, Hidden in Plain Sight
Some people don’t believe it.
In school, we were taught, along with reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic, how the Constitution is amended: an amendment must go before both houses of Congress and pass a two-thirds vote. Before it becomes a permanent part of the Constitution, three fourths of the state legislatures would have to ratify it.
But there’s another way to change the Constitution, and it’s hidden in plain sight in Article V, one that many of us have never even heard of. Here’s the text of Article V:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, also as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress…
Did you catch the second way to change the Constitution?
In addition to the way stated above, the founders put a little gift in Article V for us. In fact, George Mason is the one who made sure to include what some have called a “Constitutional Emergency Cord” to be pulled in case of government overreach. Mason urged his fellow founders, “It would be improper to require the consent of the National Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent on that very account.”
The founders paid attention to Mason’s argument and changed Article V to reflect this second way: Congress will call a convention if two thirds of the states petition to call a convention in which they can consider new amendments. In both the first and second scenarios, three fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendments before they become permanent.
Therein lies the beauty of Article V. It gives us two ways to change things up when times get challenging. Amending the Constitution isn’t too easy (which would throw society into chaos), and it’s not too hard (which would make the Constitution so rigid that the people might rebel against it).
Since the government has tried to reach into our homes, medical care, and pockets, frustrated citizens have talked of rebelling against the government or even secession. But this extreme reaction ignores the fact that the founders saw this day coming and gave us a Constitutional tool which allows us to restrain the out-of-control federal government. Knowing human nature, the founders knew the federal government would eventually grow like a fungus and try to cover every aspect of our lives. That’s why there’s a modern-day interest in Article V. Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments brought it into the public eye, Glenn Beck has also been promoting it on his show, Hannity and Limbaugh are talking about it, and several well-known leaders – such as Tom Coburn, Michael Farris, Mike Huckabee, and David Barton – have publicly endorsed it.
As President of Citizens for Self-Governance, I’ve been advocating a convention of states since long before the idea reached the general public. We’ve even created a viable strategy to bring a convention to reality.
Many times, people lament how powerful and abusive our federal government has become, without realizing there’s a way to fight it – right there in Article V of the Constitution. So now you know. Now you see.
But we have to do more than just see it.
This week, the Convention of States resolution is pending in multiple state legislatures. Many state legislators are standing up and calling for an Amending Convention under Article V. These brave legislators are fighting to take the power from the federal leviathan and return it to you, the sovereign citizen. But they can’t do it without your help.
And you can help.
If you’re in Florida, Arizona, or Georgia, your self-governance moment is now. Call, fax, and email your representatives. Go to Convention of States and get the details of who is on the relevant committees so that you can reach out to the right people and tell them to vote for the Convention of States resolution.
Now you know it’s there, and now is the time. Article V of the Constitution: a solution as big as the problem.
It is our moral obligation to use it.
Mark Meckler is the President of Citizens for Self-Governance, which created the Convention of States Project.