The United States Constitution can be amended through the amendment process or through convention or “con con” as it is being referred to. Now states are pushing for another constitutional convention and opposition is increasingly mounting. Resolutions in opposition to a con con are springing up all across the country. The following is an example of one such resolution drafted by Harris County Republicans in Texas detailing the reasons for opposition to a Constitutional Convention (con con).
Resolution Opposing a Constitutional Convention
WHEREAS the United States of America has been blessed by the wisdom of the Founding Fathers who gave us a Constitution that defined the enumerated powers of the General Government, recognized the Sovereignty of the several States, and codified a commitment to individual liberty and freedom and provided for the peaceful succession of executive power; and
WHEREAS the state of our union is in dire disrepair due to the great effort by Progressives to make the Constitution into a living document where the Rule of Law would suffer through disregard by the Legislative Branch, encroachment by the Executive Branch, and liberal interpretation by the Judicial Branch of the General Government, threatens to make oppression and soft tyranny be more easily thrust upon the sovereign States and their citizens subject to contemporary whims in the name of social justice and equal outcome; and
WHEREAS the United States Senate and House of Representatives have over many decades passed legislation that ever increased the National debt, made a National debit a commonplace feature of the budget, and fostered intolerable Federal mandates among the States, seem incapable of taking the necessary actions to return our Nation’s budget back to a fiscally responsible position; and
WHEREAS in response, the Texas State Senate proposes to formally join with other States to call for a Constitutional Convention with the sole purpose of deciding a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment understanding that convening a Constitutional Convention is a very serious and costly matter, which should never be done lightly and only when there is great need; and
WHEREAS the Congress has sufficient power to balance the budget if they have the wisdom and political will to do so or to offer a Balanced Budget Amendment for ratification by the State Legislatures; and
WHEREAS Article V of the Constitution provides to the Congress and the States a remedy to alter the current Constitution from which the Congress has exercised numerous times but never by the individual States; and
WHEREAS it is believed that there is not currently sufficient conservative wisdom and leadership within the States to exhibit the discipline a Constitutional Convention to a single issue (Balanced Budget) nor resist the irresistible temptation to “fix” other Constitutional questions and issues; and
WHEREAS That even a Balanced Budget Amendment is fraught with danger as categorical proportions written into the budget could become destructive restraints as our needs change (e.g., sacrifices in one area might at times have to make up for increases in defense in times of danger); and
WHEREAS the Texas State Legislature Senate should continue to hold in abeyance a vote for a Constitutional Convention until such time as a majority of Texas citizens demand the Texas Legislature to act in realization that the General Government cannot rectify the irresponsible governance that has lead us to our Nation’s current fiscal crisis; therefore, be it:
RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee goes on record as opposing any increase in the National debt ceiling; and,
RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee goes on record as supporting any move by the Houses of Congress to balance the budget; and,
RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee goes on record as opposing any call by the Texas Senate for a Constitutional Convention at this time; and,
RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee goes on record as supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment as initiated by both Houses of Congress but only in a form that allows for reapportionment of priorities as needs change.
RESOLVED that within five (5) days of adoption the executive director will transmit a copy of this resolution with cover letter by email, fax and USPS to every member of the Texas legislature elected wholly or in part by the electors of Harris County, and to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and the County Chairmen of County Republican Parties bordering on Harris County.
February 27, 2011
The original Constitutional Convention only had two rules – the negotiations were to be kept secret and no item was to be considered closed, additional debate could resume at any time. In 1988, then Chief Justice Burger of the Supreme Court wrote of a modern day con con, “With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks. A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.” In the same letter he also wrote, “I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.”
To amend the US Constitution is a long and drawn out process which requires the ratification by a two thirds majority vote in the House, Senate, and State legislatures. A Con-Con does not have such rules. A Constitutional Convention may be convened with the sole purpose of one item such as a “balanced budget” amendment. However, once a con con is convened, there are no rules to stop it from morphing into something much more diabolical. In closing let me ask you a question. In today’s political landscape, do you trust politicians to conduct business with the same integrity as the likes of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton?