History of the Con-Con Movement (Scary)
(Article V to US Constitution - basis for SJR1 - Quoted Below in Indented Paragraph)
How Many Have Read the Actual Article?
A proposal for a balanced budget amendment has been but two States short of the requisite number for some time.
*Constitutional Convention (Con Con) attempt started in 1964 with Ford Foundation - Ten years later, 100 social engineers finished their new constitution after spending $25 million.
*In 1974 the final draft of Ford Foundation's new constitution was published in a book entitled, The Emerging Constitution.
*The same year, 1974, V.P. Nelson Rockefeller engineered a resolution calling for an unlimited Con-Con. Opposition killed that attempt.
*In 1976, having failed with their attempts for Constitutional Convention, proponents began lobbying states to pass a resolution calling for a "limited" Con-Con under the ostensible purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment.
*By 1983, 32 of the required 34 states had passed the Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution. (which is still pending). This is the statement found on a scholarly explanation of Article V to the US Constitution: "The drive for an amendment to limit the Supreme Court's legislative apportionment decisions came within one State of the required number, and a proposal for a balanced budget amendment has been but two States short of the requisite number for some time. http://law.onecle.com/constitution/article-5/02-proposing-a-constitutional-amendment.html#01
*In 1993, an all-out effort was made when 12 states simultaneously introduced con-con resolutions. Opposition fought this attempt back. Information for bullet points above was taken from an article at this link that gives many more details, including details in the new constitution mentioned above: http://www.governamerica.com/commentary/con-con_editorial.html
National leaders fear that only two more states are needed to pass the Resolution to have satisfied the call for a Constitutional Convention. (However, in Arkansas we are being told that only two states have passed such an Amendment.) This fear is real because Congress has free reign (backed up by judicial decisions) to make and change policy on whether an amendment can even limit the time period for ratification in their Resolutions because Article V sets forth no language allowing such limitations.
Therefore, there is no way states can limit anything other than what is contained in Amendment V, and it would be up to Congress and the courts to decide if this present Resolution like SJR1, now being pushed in several states, would qualify as satisfying the last two states needed to call a Convention on the Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution that already has 32 states calling for one.
And note that Article V of the US Constitution says only that states can call a Convention for amendments and even then the Congress gets to decide if it will be ratified by legislatures or by State Conventions - and there are no rules or regulations set out to show what a State Convention is.
And there is nothing in Article V that sets out any of the limitations that proponents of SJR1 say protects us from a Constitutional Convention - limitations such as all Resolutions have to have the same language that we have heard several times now or that they can limit their Resolution to one amendment. Note that in all the emails sent out by legislators defending Arkansas SJR1 that they never quoted this Article. They gave all types of reasoning but never quoted the Article V itself.
I know this gets complicated and that is why there is such disagreement; but when one looks at the history behind this call for an "Amendment Convention, " it certainly would appear that true conservatives would be opposed to this movement.
Article V to the United States:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate. http://law.onecle.com/constitution/article-5/index.html
Note the language in AR SJR1 that sets this Resolution up to last forever:
"THAT this application constitutes a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until at least two-thirds (2/3) of the legislatures of the several states have made application for an equivalently limited amendments convention.: Found at this link: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2012F/Bills/SJR1.pdf
The article at this link is a great article explaining the views of proponents of SJR1 and why they are wrong: "POWERFUL FORCES CALLING FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: http://www.newswithviews.com/DeWeese/tom169.ht
Posted March, 2012