Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Article V Amendments Convention Debate

This is a debate from the Arkansas Tea Party Alliance Meeting. The topic is whether or not now is the time to ask Congress to call an Article V convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution. I represented the "No" side. Mark Alspaugh of the Convention of States project represented the "Yes" side.

I was mostly satisfied with the results, though my opponent got the last word to make some incorrect assumptions that I had no opportunity to counter. For example, he dismissed my evidence that George Mason was dissatisfied with the final form of article V by saying that "Article V was approved unanimously" as if that meant Mason must have been for it. But votes in that convention were not counted by delegate, but by state delegation. So for example, if the three federalists in the Virginia delegation voted to approve Article V then the vote for Virginia would be "yes" even if Mason and Randolph had voted against it. Mason's comments at the next to last day of convention provide ample indication that he did not trust the article V process to correct what he saw as weaknesses in the document. That may be a tempest in a teapot anyway because today's ruling class does not care what the founding fathers thought an article V convention ought to look like.


2 Comments:

Blogger MyTwoSenseWorth said...

What's irrefutable is that George Mason argued for Article V to be included in the Constitution to ensure that the states would have a method of amending the Constitution to remedy errors discovered in the normal conduct of government, without interference from Congress, IN THE EVENT THAT THE ERROR INVOLVED CONGRESS ITSELF. Has there ever been a time in history that better fit that description?

Applying to Congress for a Convention of the States is the long game… it’s the only chance we have of ever imposing term limits and changing the face of Congress forever, ensuring that the people always have a true, representative selection of candidates to choose from, not just those the Party has chosen for us.

11:57 AM, October 27, 2015  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

No sir, what is irrefutable is that he found the original form of article V to be "exceptionable and dangerous" because the methods of changing the constitution were directly or indirectly through Congress. A change was then suggested by someone else and adopted, which moved it from Congress directly controlling the process to Congress calling a convention to control the process, on application of the states. Madison or Adams, forget which, said they did not see how that would make much difference. I agree, and I suspect that Mason did as well, for if you examine the minutes of Sept. 15th of the convention you will see that Mason wanted a true convention of states leading to a general convention to correct what he saw as defects in the document. He wanted a guarantee that would happen before the constitution was approved or else he would not vote for it. If he had been satisfied with the procedures in Article V to be a convention of states then there would have been no need for him to have insisted on one outside of Article V.

12:29 PM, October 27, 2015  

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