U.S. Constitution; application for a convention of the states. (HJ497)

Introduced By

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge) with support from 17 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Del. James Edmunds (R-South Boston), Del. Buddy Fowler (R-Ashland), Del. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg), Del. Tag Greason (R-Potomac Falls), Del. Chris Head (R-Roanoke), Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond), Del. John O'Bannon (R-Richmond), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill), Del. David Ramadan (R-South Riding), Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan), Del. Michael Webert (R-Marshall), Del. Tony Wilt (R-Harrisonburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

U.S. Constitution; application for a convention of the states. Makes application to Congress to call a convention of the states to propose amendments to the United States Constitution to restrain the abuse of power by the federal government. Read the Bill »

Status

01/27/2015: passed committee

History

DateAction
08/28/2014Committee
08/28/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15100168D
08/28/2014Referred to Committee on Rules
01/27/2015Reported from Rules (11-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2015Passed by for the day
02/02/2015Passed by for the day
02/03/2015Passed by for the day
02/04/2015Passed by for the day
02/05/2015Stricken from House calendar

Comments

Joshua Miller writes:

We need to follow the Constitution rather than trying to change the Constitution. I encourage the members of bother houses of Virginia's legislature to vote to rescind any/all past applications. Your first loyalty should be to those you claim to represent rather than being loyal to the RNC, Federal politicians, and corperate/profesional lobbyists. Of course, I'm speaing in general terms rather than specific accusations. But the point is that you have the power via the 10th Amendment (which is the supreme law of the land) to do nearly everything that needs to be done. Please stand up to Washington, DC and represent Virginia.

Please see http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/ for examples of viable solutions which do not require constitutional amendments. Thank you.

Eric Robeson writes:

Opening up the U. S. Constitution to revision is not a good thing. It is ill-advised.
1. The amendments/revisions would be proposed, debated and controlled by the delegates to an Article V convention. Who calls for the convention? Congress. Who selects the delegates to the convention? This is done in accordance with (IAW) the rules set up by Congress. How many amendments will be put forth for consideration/vote? This will be IAW the rules set up by Congress.

2. Do you think that this convention will consider only conservative changes (limits on government)? Or will this convention consider only progressive changes (bigger and more powerful government)? This will be up to the delegates. Because congress is made up of Democrats and Republicans, there will be a mix. I can guarantee that the damage of the progressive changes will far outweigh any "improvements" voted on by Republican/conservative delegates.

3. Just take a look at the legislation coming out of congress these days - this will give you an idea of what can be expected as a result of am Article V convention. Examples include: Obamacare; huge omnibus spending bills; the sequestration law that nearly guts defense.

Conclusion: An Article V convention will do great harm to the constitution owing to the "quality" of politicians we have voted into office in congress. Think Republicans will "stand up and fight"? I give you the omnibus spending bill passed this month as the GOP gave Mr. Obama nearly everything he wanted for nearly a whole year.

Elliott Emerick writes:

It appears that several people are concerned that this Convention could go the wrong direction and actually amend the Constitution to give more power to the Federal Government. However, a Convention has to be called for a specific reason, i.e. limiting the powers of the Federal Government. HJ497 limits potential amendments to "amendments to the United States Constitution that 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."

The only Convention this resolution can call for is one that would be limited to the above classes of Amendments. Either we will limit the Federal Government's power or nothing will happen.

Several people have also mentioned the 10th Amendment. The problem is that that amendment is obviously not being followed, the Federal Government is doing what it pleases and the Supreme Court seems fine with that. We saw the ACA originate in the Senate, which is entirely unconstitutional. If Washington wants to do something they will stretch and misconstrue the Constitution. Our best recourse is to unequivocally demand the rights and powers rightfully belonging to the States to restore the balance of power.

I see nothing wrong with pursuing legislation within the States to block unconstitutional Federal policy. But there would be an awful lot of legislation that would have to be continually passed and updated to keep the Federal Government in check by that method alone. A weed has to be pulled out by the roots, and this weed of corruption is no different, we have to remove it at the Federal level, not simply fight the symptoms of it.

What other options do we have?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The only Convention this resolution can call for is one that would be limited to the above classes of Amendments. Either we will limit the Federal Government's power or nothing will happen.

You should know that this is far from clear—it's a hotly debated question among constitutional scholars. Most agree that a constitutional convention is free to consider any proposals that anybody might make from the floor at any time. There is no legal method of restricting proposals at a convention, because the constitution itself does not describe any such restrictions within Article V. This is a big part of why a so-called "Article V convention" has not been held once, in the history of the United States. But some others (including Virginia's Larry Sabato, in his 2007 book, "A More Perfect Constitution") argue that while the federal government can't restrict the purpose of an Article V convention, states could, in the form of legislation just like this bill. Again, though, that's far from clear.

Thomas Winslow writes:

Article V Convention of States is the last legal recourse to restrain the Federal government and to restore a more balanced power structure within the United States. The citizens of this country are mostly uneducated in what true federalism means, and why a division of power among the townships, counties, states, and national government is so critical for preserving liberty. States have ceded their power to the federal government. The US Congress has ceded its power to the executive. Generations of supreme court decisions have misinterpreted the original goals of the constitution. Lawyers and Judges train and learn not directly form the constitution as written, but from prior laws and supreme court decisions, many of which are not faithful to the tenants of liberty and the Constitution. Arguments of a runaway convention are specious. It is necessary and it is time. The Convention of States Project approach is unlike anything attempted before and stands the best chance of success. The potential risks and outcomes of an Article V Convention are of FAR less danger to this country's citizens than the absolute known dangers we are facing, given the current direction we are headed as a country. There is, however, one serious risk with an Article V Convention of States: politicians, cronies, and others who crave power more than justice and liberty will have a more difficult time in RE-transforming the nation that they all claim to love so much back into the top heavy (federal budget, taxation, and debt), lawless (executive actions, selective enforcement of laws), oppressive (Obamacare - buy this insurance or else), Orwellian (surveillance state) utopia we find ourselves in today. Pray for the success of the Convention of States Project. I wish the best to our leaders. May they make good decisions in the interest of preserving liberty and justice not just for themselves, but for the people they represent and to the Constitution which they are sworn to uphold and which, coincidentally, clearly enumerates their rightful role in this great Republic.

richard altice writes:

Simplistically, society is made up of those who abide by the law and those who don't. We now have preponderance of criminals in government and politics, they are not obeying the law now and will not in the future. Over the years, these criminals have worked civics out of schools curriculum to where the populace is uninformed on how to administer their government. We each are individually responsible for knowing the law, as ignorance is no excuse. The simplest thing to do is to educate the public in civics, re-institute common law ( our country was based on this) and bring back the common law grand juries (made up of the people by the people). It's in the Constitution! The remedy is hidden in plain sight!
Think about this one argument against gun control,"Outlaw guns and only criminal will have them". Does not this same argument apply here? Most assuredly, any change will not be as in favor of the people as what we presently have.
We, the people have let career politicians take over. We, the people have let these politicians raise their own pay checks and benefits. We, the people have let corporations turn our Republic into an oligarchy. It is the duty of the people to keep our Republic.
Common law is on the books now. An educated people can use it now. Using common law and common law grand juries will remove and fine corrupt politicians and government officials now. Why do you think that in 1922 there was a concerted effort to dissolve the common law grand juries claiming they were inefficient and unnecessary, to bring the people under the heel of corrupt government officials.
Our foundational documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution and the Preamble of the Virginia Constitution, all clearly say, we, the people give permission for this government. I, one of the people, am against this bill.

Noah Tickle writes:

"WE" Have what WE have for appx. 237yrs. Why would they change anything that they haven't read for appx 150yrs.

James Renwick Manship writes:

A modern “Parable” relating to Healing our "American Body Politic" that is Sick...

Many commentators and Citizens alike are concerned that our American political system, our "American Body Politic" is sick.

Debate surrounds in what way should We the People restore health to our American Body Politic.

One group of people suggest "Heart Surgery” - of that group most think all is needed is Heart Bypass Surgery. Others think Heart Transplant.

The Heart Bypass is akin to an Amendment to this Constitution, such as a “Balanced Budget Amendment”.

There are political movements in America and beyond who want to remove the “heart” of our current American Body Politic, this Constitution.

Those political movements have other “hearts”, other “constitutions” already drafted, ready to transplant into our American Body Politic.

The Heart Transplant is akin to when the Articles of Confederation were totally replaced by “this Constitution for the United States of America”.

Yet will a modern “Heart Transplant Team” have as skilled a man as George Washington leading the Convention, the “surgical team”.

At the Constitutional Convention, of the 55 men who served there, as many as 38 had served under the command of George Washington.

So then We the People had a skilled and experienced “surgical team”.

Who in America will be the “Lead Surgeon” today? Who else will be on the “Surgical Team”?

Will they respect George Washington? Or the work of George Washington and the other Founding Fathers?

Another Wise Way to health when one has “Heart Problems” is Diet and Exercise. Diet and Exercise is somewhat like “Repentance”.

The Bible talks of “Fasts” that are Diets. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness.

With a Diet our American Body Politic will lose excess weight, so to put less burden on our Heart, part of the Healing Process.

Excess weight is a result of excess spending, and elected servants of legislatures at the Federal and the State level are the proper “Exercise Coaches”.

Exercise of our American Body Politic will restore proper function to the various “appendages”, agencies and institutions of our government.

One of those “appendages” that has grown flabby is the Grand Jury, whose duty includes to investigate reports of government fraud, waste and abuse, and indict so to remove those sicknesses from the American Body Politic, by “Local Surgery” rather than “Heart Surgery”.

While the process of Diet and Exercise may take somewhat longer to restore Health, the risks from Heart Surgery are avoided, and a stronger American Body Politic will result from the gradual process of Healing by Diet and Exercise.

The Article V Constitution Convention, or “Con Con”, or Convention of States, is akin to a Heart Surgery Team.

Once the American Body Politic is prone on the table unable to move…

...will the Surgical Team do Heart Bypass Surgery (an Amendment or two) or Heart Transplant Surgery (replace "this Constitution")?

Many say that “this Constitution for the United States of America” was the “Miracle in Philadelphia”, a Gift of God.

Is it wise to vote to cut up a Miracle?

George Washington LIVE! writes:

In the Farewell Address, Washington wrote:

“...that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands,
may be sacredly maintained;
that its administration in every department
may be stamped with wisdom and virtue;
that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States,
under the auspices of liberty,
may be made complete by so careful a preservation
and so prudent a use of this blessing
as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it
to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation
which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop.”

Yet Washington does not stop, thank God.
Washington continues…

"Towards the preservation of your government,
and the permanency of your present happy state,
it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance
irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority,
but also that you resist with care
the spirit of innovation upon its principles,
however specious the pretexts.
One method of assault may be to effect,
in the forms of the Constitution,
alterations which will impair the energy of the system,
and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

The Article V Convention of States, in the current environment of over 50 years of educational deficiency as to the principles of this Constitution for the United States of America, is highly likely to create "innovations" and "alterations" "which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

James Renwick Manship writes:

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and Delegate Lee Ware are both fine men, but I believe neither has "played the chess game" of many moves into the future, and the potential for "Check Mate" by the forces of evil if this gambit of the Article V Convention of States "move" is taken now.

James Renwick Manship writes:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/some-va-republicans-want-to-amend-us-constitution-but-a-party-splits-in-the-way/2015/02/03/06a28c86-abcb-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html

...said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax). “There’s a lot of problems with this Constitution. I’ll just get up to this convention and start whacking away.”

John K Rooney writes:

Oppose all bills related to an Article V Convention to amend the US Constitution! These several bills coming before the House of Delegates are being deceitfully promoted, claiming certainty that that such a convention will be limited. They fail to remind audiences that the last such convention occurred in 1787 and resulted in the scrapping of the entire Articles of Confederation for the new Constitution. At that event, delegates were charged with the task of amending the Articles and all 13 states were required to approve the changes. The convention changed the ratification rules requiring only nine states. Relying on precedent, one should assume an Article V convention will most likely be a runaway event like the previous one, resulting in a dramatically changed document.

Moreover, promoters are stating that the Convention of the States concept is far different from an Article V Convention, which is an outright lie. If it was different, it would have no power. It is exactly the same as an Article V convention to promote amendments, just a re-branded version with fresh advertising. This is not the time to use the "nuclear option." While I'm not particularly opposed to the purposed amendments, such as a balanced budget, they still do not address the real problem, which is fascist control of our economy by international banks through the Federal Reserve System. The Fed currently is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and it facilitates the ever expanding debt and ever increasing size of government. It helps fund collectivism, the welfare state, illegal wars and the police state with unlimited fiat currency, currently illegal under the Constitution.

When someone tries to sell you a pack of lies, it is a red flag, back out! I fear an Article V convention will be disastrous to this country. The problem, outside of the 16th -17 Amendments, is not our current Constitution. The document is good, we as a people just don't want to abide by it or we are too apathetic to defend it. How can we be confident that our leaders will obey a new constitution if they trample over the one we have?

Past promoters of a Constitutional convention have desired to remove the very checks and balances that limit government. Many of these entities such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation still seek to accelerate new world order socialism by dramatically altering or replacing our Constitution. They are being joined by others such as Code Pink, Occupy, Soros, Sierra Club and many other progressive organizations. While I may be in favor of eliminating corporate person-hood, a Con con is not the way to do it! Those favoring peace are joining with those who favor war, such as neocon cheerleader Mark Levin on the Republican side. Levin, a Zionist radio talker, has captivated the attention of millions of "conservatives" with his screechy voice and cries of "A-hole" to those who disagree with him. "You shall know them by their fruits." Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, Jesus said, referring to hypocrisy. As Levin champions reigning in government through a Convention of the States, his totalitarian side leaks out from his broadcast. He is in favor of military intervention (wars of aggression-murder) if it means "securing America." He has no problem with torture of various styles, even mocks those who criticize it. George Washington, fearing God, condemned the use of torture. Levin calls those who oppose the unconstitutional Federal Reserve cartel a bunch of crazy kooks. More on this wolf later.

Don't listen to deceptive propagandists selling the CON. It will not be limited. If you value the 1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment or 10th Amendment or protection of due process or habeas corpus, decide to defend the Constitution. If enough of us get involved, we can get proper amendments safely passed through Congress. The states have already ratified 27 of them. Go to the General Assembly web site and call ALL the delegates and senators and tell them to oppose all bills related to an Article V Convention. Now is the time. Thank you.

John K Rooney
Tri-Cities Liberty Alliance
Petersburg

Dana Mason writes:

Vote no to all Convention of States bills remaining. If the state legislators continue to allow federal over-reach by collusion and acceptance of Washington's dollars, then the growth will never cease. Your legislative body, more so than the Constitution, holds the key to reining in much of this tyranny. With nothing but questionable "legal treatise," faulty argumentation, threats and smear campaigns, the organizers of the Convention of States are desperately trying to ramrod this through the General Assembly, demonstrating the very objection as a frenetic and chaotic body ensuing from a convention. The level of disagreement over securing unalienable liberty exists against a backdrop of ignorance, which should precisely convince all that seeking an Article V is the furthest thing from a viable option. As the pivotal body between localities and Washington, you must prevail as arbitors of liberty and limited government. Vote no to these resolutions.

Respectfully,

Dana Mason
Staunton

Ed Long writes:

I find it mind boggling that General Assembly House Republicans are pushing for a Con Con. They appear to be closely listening to and following the instructions of the Lobbyists who want a Con Con - but are Stone Walling and trying to avoid listening to Citizens who are in opposition - the very citizens they are elected to represent. On the other hand - I salute Senator Black for his wisdom and support for preserving our Constitution as it is.

I find it even more amazing that Democrats are making better sense. To quote: “Every nut job in America would be at that convention,” said Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax). “It would not be any Jeffersons or Madisons.” See that statement at the following link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/some-va-republicans-want-to-amend-us-constitution-but-a-party-splits-in-the-way/2015/02/03/06a28c86-abcb-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html

And then there individuals whose remarks in the same WaPo article scare the dickens out of me, such as Delegate Sickles: “I’m against it, but if we have one, I want to be a delegate,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax). “There’s a lot of problems with this Constitution. I’ll just get up to this convention and start whacking away.”

Del Sickles' statement is an explicit example for why I and a host of other Virginians believe a Con Con will be no less than a "Run-Away Convention."

Several weeks ago I worked at a table at a Gun Show which provided information on Federal Government and General Assembly activities. I spoke to 200 of the attendees about the Con Con bills. One (1) was in favor. The other 199 were opposed because of the potential threat to the 2nd Amendment. Given that Delegate Sickles is anti-gun their fear would seem well-founded.

And then there individuals such as some of those who leading the lobbying for a Con Con who appear to believe their opponents, including those they have to publicly debate, are not entitled to speak their opinions. Such people apparently do not believe in the 1st Amendment.

marsha maines writes:

Unless all members of the Bar are registered with the bar as INACTIVE STATUS, they cannot be lawfully serving in the Legislative Branch of government.

Any and all legislation created by members of the bar while in "active" status with the Bar - have committed a violation of separation of powers - and any such legislation ever passed, is voidable for conflict of interest.

ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE BAR MUST RECUSE THEMSELVES FROM THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ARE NOT ELIGIBLE DELEGATES FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.