Last week Arizona Speaker J. D. Mesnard and Senate President Steve Yarbrough invited their counterparts in the other 49 states to attend a Convention of States in Phoenix on September 12th. This letter of invitation is pursuant to the Call for the Convention contained in a Concurrent Resolution recently adopted by the Arizona legislature.
The stated purpose of this formal meeting is the adoption of rules and procedures which will govern a subsequent, Article V Amendment Convention. Congress will set the time and place of that Convention when 34 state Resolutions have been passed calling for it. The states, assembled in Phoenix, may choose to express their preferences for the time and place of the Article V Convention.
Each state is being asked to send Commissioners to Phoenix, preferably odd in number, which can either be jointly appointed by the Presiding Officers of a legislature, or chosen by legislative resolution. Each state decides how many Commissioners it will send. Voting will be conducted on a one state, one vote basis, and each state’s vote will be determined by a majority of its commissioners.
The reason this Convention of States is necessary is because of the Big Lie. Spread initially by the John Birch Society, and now adopted by left wing Common Cause, the lie is that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a runaway Convention, and the adoption of the Constitution was a violation of the Confederation of States Constitution, and thus illegal.
The Big Lie is that the delegates to Philadelphia only had the authority to amend the Articles of Confederation, not replace them. And the Bigger Lie is that, since amendments to the Articles of Confederation had to be unanimous, the adoption of the Constitution had to be unanimous.
The Biggest Lie is that the Articles of Confederation in any way lessened the absolute sovereignty of each individual state. The Articles were a voluntary association, no more. The states were not subject to its decisions any more than the United States is subject to the decisions of the United Nations. Only in adopting the Constitution did the states partially surrender their sovereignty to their new creation, the federal government.
The part of their sovereignty the states did not surrender is contained and expressed in Article V. There the states reserve for themselves the right to amend the Constitution.
This is the ultimate, highest power, which the states have never chosen to exercise, until now. 27 of the needed 34 states have now called for an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment, and the first such Convention in American history may well be held in 2018.
Because it will be the first such Convention in 230 years, an Article V Convention scares people. Who will be in control? Will they somehow abuse their power? How will the proceedings be conducted, and by who?
All these are legitimate questions, and they will be answered in Phoenix. The Commissioners from the 50 states in attendance there will be the very same people, by and large, who would be Commissioners to the subsequent Article V Convention.
If you wish to see what the Article V Convention will look like, look no further than Phoenix.