- Eric Blankenburg, The Eric Blankenburg Report, 02-12-2023
One of the most controversial topics among patriots is whether we should hold a Convention of the States, as defined in Article V of the Constitution, to create new constitutional amendments to rein in the federal government. Some believe that it is absolutely necessary to restore the republic. Others are fearful that a Convention would be hijacked by the left who would rob us of the liberties guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights. I understand the positions of both sides.
I certainly agree that a few well-developed amendments could help restore the proper balance between the federal government and the states. But I also agree that it would be devastating if the woke mob somehow captured the process, crippled the First Amendment, and eliminated the Second Amendment.
How Would a Convention Work?
Two-thirds of the states are needed to call a Convention. Today, that means that the state legislatures of 34 states would have to agree to do so. During the Convention, every state would get one vote. Small states like Idaho and Wyoming would have the same power as large states like California and New York. A simple majority of states at the Convention is needed to propose an amendment. Any proposed amendments would then need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states today), either by a vote of their legislatures or by holding their own Conventions.
Justice Scalia Thought It Was Needed
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was an advocate of using Article V to rein in the federal government. He believed that Congress has become unwilling to reform itself. As he correctly stated, the founders foresaw the problems of a recalcitrant Congress and provided a mechanism to remedy them.
He concluded that the risks of holding a Convention would be minimal and reasonable one to take. He didn’t think that we should wait for the “good graces” of the people in power to willingly limit their behavior. He believed that we must act.
I agree with the late Justice Scalia that the potential rewards of holding a Convention far outweigh the potential risks. There are more than enough states with solid GOP majorities in their legislatures to block any destructive amendments that might arise from an unruly Convention. Look at what happened to the so-called Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA initially had broad bipartisan support. Yet, Conservatives were able to mobilize and stop it.
What Amendments Would a Convention Propose?
Convention of States Action has been coordinating with state legislatures to call a convention. Their program includes amendments to 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.
While I wholeheartedly agree with their program, I also believe that we need to repeal the 17th Amendment. When we were in school, we learned about the checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government. But we didn’t learn about the checks and balances between the states and the federal government. They had been eliminated by the 17th amendment at the height of the Progressive Era. The federal government has been growing and usurping the power of the states and the people ever since. Repealing the 17th Amendment would restore the founder’s vision of making the federal government accountable to the states through the Senate.
There are other ideas for amendments as well. For example, Mark Levin has a big list of proposed amendments, including repealing the 17th Amendment.
Convention of States Action, Mark Levin, and I all agree on the need for term limits. But I’ve recently discovered that term limits are somehow a controversial subject among patriots. Many believe that voters are here to term-limit politicians, so we don’t need anything else. I understand their point. But the system operates very differently today than it did when the country was young. Today, gerrymandered congressional districts and the power of incumbency ensures that the overwhelming majority of Congressmen never have to worry about their positions. For example, Adam Schiff, who is one of the most loathsome members in the history of Congress, regularly wins reelection with 77% or more of the vote. What voters are going to limit his term in office? The same is true for so many other powerful politicians who are in safe districts.
Term limits should also apply to political appointees to prevent the corruption that comes from people rotating between the government and the big corporations who do business with the government.
Where are we in the Process?
Convention of States Action started this process in 2013. They have already made a lot of progress. 18 state legislatures have passed the application to hold a Convention of the States. 6 States, including North Carolina, have passed the application in one chamber. 8 more states have bills pending. More states need to be brought on board.
It’s Time to Unite and Act
I know that there is a lot of apprehensions among some patriots about holding a Convention of the States. But we need everyone onboard to succeed. As Justice Scalia said, the large potential benefits far outweigh the small potential risks.
How much longer are we going to sit by while career politicians and the administrative state consolidate more power for themselves, while slowly robbing us of our liberties, and burying our children under a mountain of debt? It’s time for patriots to unite and act.
The Blankenburg Report
Eric is a husband, father of four, technology guy, U.S. Air Force veteran, and left coast refugee. He is a lifelong conservative and “disgruntled” Republican, who has sought ways to help the GOP live up to its values. When Eric is not working or spending time with his family, he likes to write about a variety of current issues. Eric is a regular writer for Liberty First Grassroots (LFG).