‘Messing With the Constitution’

By Thomas Sowell

We The People
We The People
Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- In recent years, a small but growing number of people have advocated a convention of states to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

The reaction to the proposal has been hostile, out of all proportion to either the originality or the danger of such a convention.

The political left has been especially vehement in its denunciations of what they call “messing with the Constitution.

A recent proposal by Governor Greg Abbott of Texas to hold a Constitutional convention of states has been denounced by the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union and nationally by an editorial in the liberal “USA Today.”

The irony in all this is that no one has messed with the Constitution more or longer than the political left, over the past hundred years.

This began with Progressives like Woodrow Wilson, who openly declared the Constitution an impediment to the kinds of “reforms” the Progressive movement wanted, and urged judges to “interpret” the Constitution in such a way as to loosen its limits on federal power.

It has long been a complaint of the left that the process of amending the Constitution is too hard, so they have depended on federal judges — especially Supreme Court Justices — to amend the Constitution, de facto and piecemeal, in a leftward direction.

This judicial amendment process has been going on now for generations, so that today government officials at the local, state or national level can often seize private property in disregard of the 5th Amendment's protections.

For nearly 40 years, the Supreme Court has been evading the 14th Amendment's provision of “equal protection” of the law for all, in order to let government-imposed group preferences and quotas continue, under the name of “affirmative action.”

Equal rights under the law have been made to vanish by saying the magic word “diversity,” whose sweeping benefits are simply assumed and proclaimed endlessly, rather than demonstrated.

The judicial pretense of merely “interpreting” the Constitution is just part of the dishonesty in this process. The underlying claim that it is almost impossible to amend the Constitution was belied during the very years when the Progressive movement was getting underway in the early 20th century.

The Constitution was amended four times in eight years! Over the years since it was adopted, the Constitution has been amended more than two dozen times.

Why, then, is the proposal to call a convention of states to propose — just propose — amendments to the Constitution considered such a radical and dangerous departure?

Legally, it is no departure at all. The Constitution itself lists a convention of states among the ways that amendments can be officially proposed. It has not yet been done, but these proposals will have to be put to a vote of the states, three-fourths of whom will have to agree before any amendment can become law.

Is it better to have the Constitution amended de facto by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court? By the unilateral actions of a president? By administrative rulings by anonymous bureaucrats in federal agencies, to whom federal judges “defer”?

The idea that a convention of states could run amok and rewrite the Constitution overlooks the fact that it would take the votes of two-thirds of the states just to convene a convention, and then three-fourths of the states to actually pass an amendment.

Far from proposing radical departures from the Constitution, most of Governor Abbott's proposed amendments would restore Constitutional protections that have been surreptitiously eroded by unelected federal judges and by unelected bureaucrats in administrative agencies, who create a major part of “the law of the land,” with the help of “deference” from federal judges.

Why are “We the People” to be kept out of all this, through our elected representatives, when these are the very words with which the Constitution of the United States begins?

Despite the left's portrayal of themselves as champions of the people, they consistently try to move decisions out of the hands of the general public and into the hands of officials insulated from the voters, such as unelected federal judges and anonymous bureaucrats with iron-clad job protection.

No wonder they don't want to have a convention that would restore a Constitution which begins with “We the People.”

About Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, as well as a prolific author including Black Rednecks And White Liberals. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read his articles visit his website above.

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SSGRickjusttryitJoeUSoonerBanditLiftNw8 Recent comment authors
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SSGRick
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SSGRick

I think we should first ratify the ORIGINAL FIRST amendment to the Constitution. Initially the first Congress proposed twelve amendments, of those 12 so far 11 have passed. The last was passed 203 years AFTER it was proposed and that is now the 27th amendment. We need to get the Original first amendment passed NOW! Only then will we get the TRUE representation in Congress we deserve! We may need to alter the language a bit but if you follow this link you will begin to see EXACTLY what this amendment means to us all. Oh and one other thing… Read more »

justtryit
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justtryit

Let’s run this country like a good ol’ Credit Union. We the people are the shareholders, and by that we own the corporation. The bogus appointed CEO of this organization has failed us miserably, and should be immediately voted out without any chance of securing a lifetime of paid security guards at our expense. Our Board of Governors’ is also corrupt and seriously affecting the solvency of our life savings; and should be voted out also with no chance of garnering any “retirement” portfolios! Until we get RID of the bad actors in our corporation, the by-laws established by our… Read more »

JoeUSooner
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JoeUSooner

1) NO Congressional vote should be taken until each and every member has – personally – read the full document, and has sworn in writing to have done so. 2) All non-financial bills in Congress should require a minimum two-thirds vote to pass. Any proposed bill that cannot gain support from two-out-of-three of our (supposedly intelligent, educated) representatives is damnably-well NOT likely to be a “good” law (is it?). 3) All financial bills in Congress should require a minimum of three-quarters vote to pass. Any financial bill that likewise cannot gain support of three-out-of-four of our (again, supposedly intelligent and… Read more »

Bandit
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Bandit

Don’t forget that the congressmen have to abide by the selfsame laws that every one else has to go by, also no forever payouts for them either.

LiftNw8
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LiftNw8

I think we need something like this to happen, one of the things that should happen is that term limits should be set for members of congress, this should start the process of ending the corruption in gov’t because the same players won’t be around endlessly making a career out of being politicians. Then we need language that protects the items we are guaranteed by out constitution itself.

TEX
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TEX

Texas succession will be coming up if liberal trash some how gets into the White House in ’16 ! There is no way in hell Hillary or any other socialist could win the presidency without major,major voters fraud ! Even democrats (the ones with some sense) are bailing out on democratic candidates and like Trump. Unless Trump does something so off the chart stupid he will be the next president ! It’s not his to win,it’s his to lose !

lowell
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lowell

Honestly, we have nothing left to lose. If the proceedings go according to plan, we still our guns; if they hijack the proceedings and codify all of their violations of the bill of rights, well, we still have our guns. Something has to give.