Constitutional Convention: Mark Levin Refuted

The Constitutional Convention of 1787

The Constitutional Convention of 1787

What Mark Levin says in “The Liberty Amendments” in support of an Article V convention is not true.1

On one side of this controversy are those who want to restore our Constitution by requiring federal and State officials to obey the Constitution we have; or by electing ones who will.  We show that the Oath of Office at Art. VI, last clause, requires federal 2 and state officials to support the Constitution.  This requires them to refuse to submit to – to nullify – acts of the federal government which violate the Constitution.  This is how they “support” the Constitution!

We note that the Oath of Office requires obedience to the Constitution alone.  The Oath does not require obedience to persons, to any agency of the federal government, or to any federal court.

Ted Cruz 2016


We understand that resistance to tyranny is a natural right – and it is a duty.

We have read original writings of our Framers and know what our Framers actually told the States to do when the federal government violates the Constitution: Nullification of the unlawful act is among the first of the recommended remediesnot one of which is “amendment of the Constitution”.

It is already proved in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers, that our Framers endorsed nullification by States of unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison summed it up as follows:

Woodrow Wilcox


“…when powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act4 is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…” 5

The claims of the nullification deniers have been proven to be false.  To persist in those claims – or to do as Levin seems to do and ignore the remedy of nullification – is intellectually and morally indefensible.  So why don’t they apologize to the public and recant their errors?

Instead, they continue to tell us that what we need is a “convention of the States” (which Levin and his mentors insist is provided by Article V of the Constitution) to propose amendments to the Constitution, and that this is the only way out.

Yes, they tell us, the only way to deal with a federal government which consistently ignores and tramples over the Constitution is …. to amend the Constitution!

Do you see how silly that is?

Levin’s Amendments

Levin starts his book by saying how bad things are and how the federal government has trampled and mangled the Constitution.  Those pages are true.  And they serve the purpose of making readers believe that Levin is “on our side”.  And because of that, many are induced to lay aside their critical thinking skills and accept on trust what Levin tells them. That is a deadly mistake.

Levin’s amendments actually gut our Constitution.  Most increase the powers of the federal government by making lawful what is now unconstitutional because it is not an “enumerated power”. Others put a band-aid on a problem without solving the problem. The amendments pertaining to “overrides” undermine the Constitution as the Objective Standard of what is lawful and what is not – and substitute majority vote therefor. 6

A Defective Constitution? Or a Disobedient Federal Government?

We must distinguish between defects within a Constitution, and a government’s refusal to obey the Constitution to which it is subject.  These are different problems calling for different remedies.

There were defects in the Constitution produced by the Federal Convention of 1787, such as provisions permitting slavery.  Provision for amendment must be made to repair such defects. 7

But our problem now is a disobedient federal government.  That calls for different remedies – and our Framers spelled them out. 3

It is idiotic to assert that you can rein in a federal government which ignores the Constitution by amending the Constitution!  Yet, that is “The Levin Plan”.

Now let us read Article V:

What Article V Really Says

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…”  [boldface mine]

Note that Congress “calls” the ConventionThe States don’t “call” it – all they can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.

There are many questions about Article V conventions; and James Madison raised them on two occasions at the Federal Convention of 1787: 8

  • On September 10, Madison remarked on the vagueness of the term, “call a Convention for the purpose”:  How was a Convention to be formed?  By what rule decide?  What the force of its acts?
  • On September 15, Madison commented on this again, and said that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, etc., which in constitutional regulations ought to be avoided when possible.

Mr. Madison saw that these questions are not addressed by Article V.  Eagle Forum has also raised this issue in Twenty Questions about a constitutional convention.

But since Congress “calls” it, Congress has the power to appoint whomsoever they will as delegates;9  and nothing in the Constitution says they can’t do this.

Now note that Art. V provides for two conventions:

  • The first is the one called by Congress to propose amendments.
  • After amendments are proposed, Art. V empowers Congress to select the mode of ratification: Shall the State Legislatures be the body to ratify or reject?  Or shall each State convene a convention for the purposes or ratifying or rejecting the proposed amendments?

The only convention Art. V authorizes States to convene is one within their respective borders to ratify or reject an amendment proposed by Congress or by the convention Congress called.

What Levin Claims Article V Says

As you see, Art. V makes no provision for a “state convention process” where the States control the convention.

Yet Levin makes the bizarre claims (p 16-17) that Art. V authorizes this “state convention process”; and that the convention called by Congress pursuant to Art. V is really:

  • A “creature …of the state legislatures”;
  • That during ratification of our Constitution, the Founders always talked about conventions for proposing amendments as representing the States; and
  • That the state legislatures determine the method for selection of their delegates; and the subject matter of the convention.

Does Levin cite any authority for these claims?  Words of our Framers, perhaps?

No!  He cites an article written by former law professor, Robert G. Natelson, who Levin says is an “expert” on this “state convention process” (p16, notes 28 & 29).

Here is the article by Natelson Levin cites as “authority” for his claims.  Note that:

  • Natelson announces that he will no longer call what he wants a “constitutional convention”.  Henceforth, he will call it a “convention for proposing amendments”, an “Article V Convention”, an “amendments convention” or a “convention of the states”. 10
  • Natelson doesn’t cite any authority from our Framers for the claims Levin regurgitates in his book.  Instead, Natelson cites other law review articles; and
  • Natelson claims it was “custom” at the time of our Founding for States to have all these powers in conventions.


Natelson’s article is no authority at all.  And even if he had proven that the “custom” at the time of our Framing was for States to have all these powers in conventions [someone really should have told James Madison about this "custom”]; what is there to make the Congress of today follow this 18th century  “custom” when Congress “calls” the convention under Art. V?

Levin also says he knows Congress’ role in the “state application process” is minimal and ministerial because:

  • The Framers and ratifiers adopted this “state convention process” for the purpose of establishing an alternative to the congressionally initiated amendment process; and
  • Alexander Hamilton said so in Federalist Paper No. 85.

Here, Levin commits the logical fallacy of “circular reasoning”:  We know, Levin argues, that Congress’ role in the state application process is “minimal and ministerial” because the Framers adopted this as an alternative to the method where Congress proposes the amendments directly.  Do you see?

Levin next claims that in Federalist No. 85, Hamilton said, respecting an Art. V convention, that Congress has “no option”, “will be obliged”, and that “nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body” (p 16-17).

Levin misrepresents what Hamilton says.  In Federalist No. 85, Hamilton merely says that Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it:

 “… By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States … to call a convention for proposing amendments … The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. …”

Levin wrongly extends Congress’ lack of discretion on the issue of “to call or not to call” to what follows the “call”:  How the convention is to be formed, the appointment of delegates, the other  questions raised by Madison on September 10 & 15, 1787, and Eagle Forum’s Twenty Questions.

I have never seen any of the Framers say that Congress has no power over what follows Congress’ “call”; and Levin doesn’t produce evidence that any of them ever did.

Levin misrepresents what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787.

This 4 page chart lays out what really happened at that Convention respecting Article V.

To introduce his discussion of that Convention, Levin makes the following fanciful claims:

“The Constitution itself provides the means for restoring self-government and averting societal catastrophe (or, in the case of societal collapse, resurrecting the civil society) in Article V.” (p 12)

“The fact is that Article V expressly grants state legislatures significant authority to rebalance the constitutional structure for the purpose of restoring our founding principles should the federal government shed its limitations, abandon its original purpose, and grow too powerful…” (p12-13)

Of course, Article V says no such thing!

Levin then quotes Edmund Randolph & George Mason, delegates to the Convention, as support for his claims respecting the purpose of Art. V.

Mr. Randolph & Col. Mason wanted a method of amendment Congress had nothing to do with.  This became an issue at the Convention; Randolph & Mason held the minority view.

On September 15, 1787, Randolph & Mason said they would not sign the Constitution unless Art. V were amended to require another general convention to approve amendments proposed by what they called “state conventions”.

So they moved that the following be added to Art. V:

“that amendments to the plan [C[Constitution]ight be offered by the State conventions, which should be submitted to, and finally decided on by, another general convention.”

This was voted on and all the States answered, “No”.

So Randolph & Mason – on whom Levin relies to support his fanciful claim that the purpose of Art. V is for the States to hold conventions to amend the Constitution when the federal government gets out of line – didn’t sign the Constitution because Art. V didn’t provide for the “state conventions” and the “general convention” they demanded; and Congress retained its major role in the amendment process.

Do you see?  Levin and his mentors are trying to resurrect Randolph’s & Mason’s plan of “state conventions to propose amendments” which was REJECTED by the Federal Convention of 1787!

Our Framers’ Concerns about “Conventions”

Now let us examine the “convention for proposing amendments” which Congress calls pursuant to Art. V; the “runaway” the Federal Convention of 1787 turned into, and “general conventions”.

We saw that James Madison raised concerns on September 10 &15, 1787, about Art. V conventions called by Congress, because of questions respecting how was a Convention to be formed, by what rule, & the procedures of such conventions.

Yet Levin claims that in Federalist No. 43, Madison shows he considered an Art. V convention as prudent a method of amendment as having Congress propose the amendments (p 15).

Madison does not say that in Federalist No. 43! 11

Second, Levin’s claim is contradicted by Madison’s words in his letter of November 2, 1788 to G. L. Turberville on the same subject.

In his letter to Turberville, Madison speaks, with reference to modes of originating amendments, of both a “general convention” and an “Article V Convention”, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, “the origination of amendments in Congress”.

Madison advises that amendments be originated in Congress – not in an Art. V Convention, for the various reasons set forth in his letter; and that:

“2. A [["general”]onvention cannot be called without the unanimous consent of the parties who are to be bound by it, if first principles are to be recurred to; or without the previous application of ⅔ of the State legislatures, if the forms of the Constitution [Art[Art. V] to be pursued. The difficulties in either of these cases must evidently be much greater than will attend the origination of amendments in Congress, which may be done at the instance of a single State Legislature, or even without a single instruction on the subject…” [bol[boldface mine]

Do you see?  Madison advises that when States want amendments, they instruct their Congressional delegation to pursue it.  This is the best way for the States to “originate amendments”!

That is the mode Madison strongly recommended; that is the mode we have followed.  On May 5, 1789, Rep. Bland (pages 258-261) introduced into Congress the petition from the State of Virginia for an Art. V Convention to propose amendments.  But on June 8, 1789, Madison (pages 448-460) introduced 12 proposed amendments for Congress to propose to the State Legislatures.  And on September 24, 1789, the House & Senate having agreed on the wording of the proposed 12 amendments; the House requested the President to transmit them to the States for ratification. 

If we cannot elect to Congress people who will follow the instructions of their State Legislatures & constituents and propose those amendments which actually need to be made; how can we trust Congress to “call” a convention?

And as to another “general” or “runaway” convention, perish the thought!:

On September 15,1787, in response to Randolph’s & Mason’s demands for a “general convention” to decide on amendments,  Mr. Pinckney pointed out that nothing but confusion and contrariety will spring from calling forth the deliberations and amendments of the different States, on the subject of government at large.  States will never agree in their plans; and the deputies to a second convention, coming together under the discordant impressions of their constituents, will never agree.  “Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

In Federalist No. 85 (9th para), Hamilton spoke of:

“…the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”

James Madison warned against another general convention in his letter to Turberville :

“3… an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it … would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. … it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America…” [bol[boldface mine]

Do we have “violent partizans”, “individuals of insidious views”, and any who would exploit an opportunity to sap “the very foundations of the fabric” today?  Yes, we do.  They are in Congress, the executive branch, the federal Courts, “conservative” circles – and they are invading our Country at a furious rate.  And what now is the “present temper of America”? 

Why a “Runaway” Article V Convention is a Real Possibility and a Grave Danger.

Pursuant to the authority granted by Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress Resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):

Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [bol[boldface mine]

So!  The Convention of 1787 was called by the Continental Congress for the “sole and express purpose” of proposing revisions to the Articles of Confederation.

But the delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution. 12

As to delegates, the Continental Congress expressly directed the States to appoint the delegates.

But there is no requirement in Art. V of our Constitution that States be permitted to appoint delegates; and no “custom” from the era of the Continental Congress can bind the Congress of today.

So if Congress of today were to call an Art. V convention, Congress would most likely get delegates who would do what Congress wants.

And will Congress appoint Islamists as delegates?  La Raza Mexicans?  Other special interest groups?  How can Congress be prevented from appointing whomsoever they will?

And if the delegates duly appointed by Congress, and acting under the Authority of Congress, come up with a new Constitution, will the new Constitution outlaw Christianity?  (Obama is outlawing it in the military, and Congress isn’t doing a thing about it).  Will it institute Sharia? Will it disarm the American People?  Will it follow the UN Model where “rights” are privileges granted and withdrawn by the State?  Will it outlaw private property?

And this new Constitution will have its own mode of ratification.  This new mode of ratification can be whatever the delegates want – a majority vote in Congress, perhaps?

There is no way to stop them from “running away” and writing a new Constitution with its own mode of ratification. They can cram a new Constitution down your throat and you won’t be able to do a thing about it.

On page 15, Levin commits a formal fallacy (an argument defective as to form) when he attempts to prove that an Art. V convention can’t possibly turn into a “runaway”. Here is the form of his argument:

  1. 1.      He was originally skeptical of “the state convention process” because it could turn into a “runaway”.
  2. Art. V says a proposed amendment has no effect unless ratified by ¾ of the States.
  3. 3.      Therefore, the “state convention process” can’t result in a “hijack of the Constitution” ["["runaway”]>

His conclusion (3) is a form of non sequitur – it doesn’t follow from the premises (1 & 2).  And our concern is not with amendments – those are subject to approval by three-fourths of the States.  Our concern is that the convention will “runaway” and write a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification which does not require approval by three-fourths of the States.  Do you see?


Few of us can name even 5 of the enumerated powers of Congress and 4 of the enumerated powers of the President.  Why?  Because we never bothered to learn our Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton expected THE PEOPLE to be “the natural guardians of the Constitution”.  But you can’t “guard” the Constitution if you don’t trouble yourself to learn it.

Since we never bothered to learn the Constitution, we elected politicians who also hadn’t bothered to learn it.  So they ignored the Constitution when they assumed office.

This is why, after more than 100 years of electing politicians who ignore the Constitution, we are now under tyranny and headed for disaster.

Do we now want a way out which allows us to avoid confronting our own personal failures as Guardians of the Constitution?  When charlatans who “sound good” offer us a scapegoat, do we jump on it?  Do we chant, “The Constitution is broken!  Fix the Constitution!”  And shall we pretend that we too know all about how to amend a Constitution most of us never bothered to read?

Our Constitution depended on our knowing our Constitution and in electing representatives who would obey it – and getting rid of them when they didn’t.

James Madison said on June 20, 1788 at the Virginia Ratifying Convention:

“…. But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

We are in a “wretched situation” because we lost our virtue.  Renounce handouts and pride in pretended “knowingness”.  Learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President.  This chart will get you started.  Learn about nullification.  Form delegations and go to your State Legislators, educate them and demand they start nullifying unconstitutional acts of the federal government.  States should nullify obamacare!  If Legislators aren’t willing to renounce federal funding, recall or defeat them! PH



1 We must stop believing whatever we are told.  We must demand proof by original source documents, and think for ourselves.

2 The President’s Oath is set forth at Art. II, §1, last clause.

3 These are among the remedies our Framers advised when the federal government usurps power:

►In Federalist No. 44 (12th para from end), Madison says elect more faithful representatives!:

“… In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers…”

But we keep reelecting the same sorry people because we know their names and they are in our party.

►States should nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government! This is proven with links to original sources in James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers.

►In Federalist No. 46 (last half), Madison shows how individual States or several States carry out various degrees of resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments.  See also: What Should States Do When The Federal Government Usurps Power?

►In Federalist No. 28 (last 5 paras), Hamilton says:

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success …” [i[itali[italics mine]style="padding-left: 30px;">“…The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them…”

“It may safely be received as an axiom …that the State governments will … afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority…. The legislatures … can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition…”

“…When will the time arrive that the federal government can raise and maintain an army capable of erecting a despotism over the great body of the people … who are in a situation, through the medium of their State governments, to take measures for their own defense…”

4 Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, 8th Resolution.

5 James Madison, Notes on Nullification (1834). The quote is near the end.  Use “find” function.

6 Later, I will show why Levin’s proposed amendments gut our Constitution.  Meanwhile, you read the Constitution, learn the enumerated powers of Congress, and see if you can figure out what is wrong with the proposed amendments.  Use your own head and trust no one.

7 Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787 that an easy mode should be established for fixing defects which will probably appear in the new system ... the National Legislature will be the first to perceive, and will be most sensible to, the necessity of amendments…

8 What happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 respecting Art. V is laid out in this 4 page chart.

9 “Citizens for Self-Governance”, headed by the Michael Farris who is pushing the “parental rights amendment, represents that the “Convention of the States” will soon:

“…open the application process for leadership positions across the country. Consider applying to be a District Captain, Legislative Liaison, or State Director…”

thereby making the gullible believe that they can be a “player” in this “Convention of the States”.

10 Phyllis Schlafly, Kelleigh Nelson, Henry Lamb and others have done such a magnificent job of warning The People of the dangers of a constitutional convention, that many now understand that such is likely to result in a new Constitution – with its own method of ratification – being forced on us.

So!  Proponents now call it by another name: “Convention of the States” or “state convention process”.  Is the purpose of the name change to deceive you? To make you think it is something “different” from the Art. V convention Congress calls?

11 In Federalist No. 43, Madison comments on Art. V:

“8…That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other…”

12 We were fortunate (except for slavery) with the Constitution of 1787, even though the Federal Convention was a “runaway”.  Look who was there!:  George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin; and they weren’t drowned out by subversives.  They would be today. PH

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

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Publius Huldah is a retired litigation attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs. She also shows how The People can, by learning our Founding Principles themselves, restore our Constitutional Republic.
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  • Bob Ellis

    I’m about half way through reading Levin’s “Liberty Amendments” book right now.

    I had been of the same opinion of Phyllis Schlafly and other conservatives whom I respect that a constitutional convention to amend the constitution was very dangerous, but I saw an interview of Levin about his book that caused me to ponder: “Have I been wrong?”

    While I think there are some good ideas in Levin’s book that could move our nation back toward the model the founders intended (e.g. repeal the 17th Amendment) and could remove the excuses used by statists to quash liberty, I have been looking on every page for something that might tell me how you can force a congress and a people who hold the constitution in contempt TO ACTUALLY OBEY THAT CONSTITUTION.

    Levin had me going there for a while with his assertion that the concon process wouldn’t get out of control-because of a supposed requirement that 3/4 of the states would have to ratify whatever the concon came up with. However, Publius Huldah has done an excellent job of pointing out that the language of Article V could be leveraged by an unscrupulous congress to wrestle control of the process from the states and the people.

    In the end, for me, it comes down to the question: how can we force the federal government to obey NEW constitutional language when it has shown belligerent contempt for the EXISTING language? Sure, we could remove the “wiggle room” for some of their current excuses, but it wouldn’t be long before they manufactured new excuses to ignore the constitution.

    As I said during a recent television interview on this subject, it comes down to what John Adams articulated 200 years ago: “we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    As long as we as a society reject our Christian heritage and pretend that morality doesn’t matter, we cannot expect to have a government that will honor the law and its duty to the law.

    • thisoldspouse

      I think that, amazingly, Mark Levin has been quite naive about the monster we are dealing with. That monster is a now profligate, godless society that WANTS to violate the Constitution and use it for toilet paper.

      He insists on playing by the same rules of a past, sane society, when the rule book has been shredded by our new overlords.

    • johnrhett

      I agree. At best, a concon would be merely a gesture [an empty gesture]. As you say, the problem is that the ruling class and a good share of the populace hold the constitution in contempt and ignore it, so why would they suddenly find respect for another amendment? They would just ignore that one, too.

      And at worst, it could end up being a complete disaster if Levin is wrong about the process on any point. There are other constitutional scholars who make the case that we could lose our constitution and our country.

      • publiushuldah

        The fear of an Art. V Convention keeps me awake at night for the same reasons Madison “trembled” at the prospect of another Convention.

        But I question the motives of those calling for an Art. V Convention because they are actively misrepresenting its nature. They can not support their claims that the States would have complete control over such a Convention. Not only does such a claim contradict the plain words of Art. V [the States petition Congress for Congress to call it], but they can not come up with any words from our Framers saying the States will control it.

        Levin had to misrepresent what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 in order to “support” his claim that the States control it. Levin cited as support for his claims the minority view of Randolph & Mason which was REJECTED at the convention!

        And if you press the proponents of an Art. V Convention for quotes from our Framers supporting their position, they will mumble something about how “modern research” supports their view.

        Some (Tim Baldwin, apparently) also say that the American Bar Association has pronounced that an Art. V Convention can be limited to proposing Amendments - therefore, it can be limited to proposing amendments!

        Good Heavens, Folks! When our “conservative leaders and thinkers” are as dishonest or ignorant or shallow as they variously seem to be (and illogical as well), the last thing we want is an Article V Convention!

        • thisoldspouse

          Then we sink with or without an Article V Convention, it seems. We have nothing to lose by making the effort, do we?

          Rethinking this, a shakeup by forcing a state con-con would at least jar both political parties into the reality of their limited power to the deference of the states, even if not ultimately effective.

          Again, we are damned if we don’t, obviously.

          • publiushuldah

            A “state con con”?
            What is that?

            And no, an Article V convention won’t “shake-up” the authoritarians - they are drooling for an Art. V convention: That’s how they get rid of our Constitution.

            It is sad how easily people are deceived….. but that is why for almost all of recorded history, people have lived under tyranny.

  • groscoe

    Thanks Publius…….
    Masterfully done…….

    will share with all my contacts……

  • Dave

    Publius, thanks for the education… and i agree a Con-Con would be disastrous!

  • Dave Freeman

    Dear Publius,

    A close friend just sent me your latest article in the
    American Clarion; thank you so much, it’s a breath of fresh air! I thought most
    of my friends could greatly benefit from it, so I published the link on Mark
    Levin’s FB page.

    The “Liberty Amendments” appears to be all the rage amongst
    my peers and yet for some unknown reason I’ve hesitated to buy it? After
    reading your most informative article it put the brakes on my purchasing it. I
    may just borrow it from a friend after I finish reading: “Thomas Jefferson –
    The Art of Power”

    Would you consider debating Levin on this important matter?
    I would certainly pay to see it, if it were staged here in Las Vegas.

    I think you’re what the JBS would call an “Americanist”; I
    salute you.

    Dave Freeman

    LVMPD Sergeant, retired

    • publiushuldah

      Well, a “debate” in that sense is not the best forum for today on this issue.

      With the advent of the internet, the most productive “debate” takes the form of Levin’s (and any other of the proponents of an Art. V Convention) writing a paper where he responds, point by point, to what I said in my initial paper.

      Did I misquote? Where?
      Did I misstate what a Framer said? What?
      Did I make any errors of Fact? Where?
      Did I fail to address something I should have addressed? What?
      Did I make any errors in Logic? Identify the fallacy!

      And if I made no errors, then what Honor demands is clear. [Well, it once was clear.]

      But with one exception, all I have seen so far are personal smears and some vile words used to describe me which Bob Ellis would not permit on his paper!

  • retiredday

    I’m curious. How does one contact Mark Levin? I tried on Facebook but got no response. I just asked him the simple question referred to near the beginning of this article : If lawmakers who are sworn to protect and defend the constitution are currently ignoring and distorting the constitution, what makes anyone think that amending the constitution will have any effect at all? Has Mark Levin ever addressed this question?

    • Bob Ellis

      If he has addressed it, I am unaware (will still be on the lookout as I finish the last half of his book).

      ‘Fraid I don’t know how to contact him beyond the channels it sounds like you’re trying (maybe call his radio show or see if he has an email address on his website).

      If you find out anything, I’d like to know. That, to me, is the biggest hurdle. If the people don’t hold our elected representatives accountable to their oath, I can’t imagine anything that will be effective.

    • johnrhett

      Don’t bother. I tried and tried to get Levin to answer the question of why he thinks that the people who ignore the constitution now would be willing to follow another amendment, and he responded by banning me. No discussion, just banishment. I’m no longer allowed to post comments on anything he writes, not even his FB posts.

      • publiushuldah

        That is very sad.

      • Kukye

        Joseph Farah banned me from his website because I use the proper race description of “n***o”. If you use this term he will kick you out faster than Dick Cheney at an Obama rally.

        As DK pointed out, “black is not a race”. It is an ethnicity. It is actually a liberal term to make fun of n***oes.

        I told him you are insulting n****oes by calling them black and you are only going to make things worse by this cowardly insulting term.

        Sure enough, things have gotten worse. If you look up the term “black” you will see as an adjective it has very negative connotations and if you look it up as a verb it reverts to the term “black”, and as a noun it also has negative connotations.

        The proper way to describe them is “n***oes” and if you look up the word it actually has an elegant description.

        So, Mr. Farah is probably unknowingly playing a racist’s hand due to ill advice or cowardliness.

        • thisoldspouse

          It’s one of the proper designations of one of the 3 (4 in some schools) racial stocks, for crying out loud! A higher education fund even contains this nomenclature. I don’t get it.

    • The Blue Tail Gadfly

      I respectfully emailed Rush Limbaugh after he pronounced the Constitution broken in order to support Mark Levin’s book… received no response as well.

      Your question hits the nail on the head and is one that they are incapable of answering. Instead, they employ logical fallacies of a straw-man argument and an appeal to fear by arguing that it is better to do anything than nothing because all is already lost. Falsely representing that our position is to do nothing in such a crisis.

      Reminds me of that old saying in politics, “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste”.

      This push for an Article V Convention is nothing more than radical activism. We are being played.


      • publiushuldah

        Yes we are. But as you see, it works.

  • DurkaDurka

    This hasn’t avoided a civil war before. Why would it work now. When your back is against the wall, politics are over.

    • thisoldspouse

      You dare to speak the dangerous truth, Durka. It is true, politics is over. Our system is broken beyond repair. The only remaining solution is obvious to honest observers.

      • Dee Wulf

        Yea, just look what happened with Jeff Davis and the gang when they tried secession (a form of nullification). For most people, might makes right.

    • publiushuldah

      It is still within the powers of The People to remedy this at the ballot box - that was the initial remedy our Framers advised:

      James Madison in Federalist No. 44 (12th para from end) tells us to annul the acts of usurpers in the federal government by electing more faithful

      Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 21 (5th para) says, “…The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men…”

      But we keep reelecting the usurpers - due in part to misplaced party loyalty.

      But those “little” people in Colorado just showed us that we can vote out the usurpers!

      Vote them out! Annul their bad acts that way! Don’t have an Art. V Convention!

      • thisoldspouse

        The parasites have attained critical mass, publius, and they are incorrigible. And they reproduce after their own kind.

  • Kukye

    I hope people ask for a REFUND on Mark Levin’s fake book. I never did like his “whiney” voice and the way he puts people down on his talk show. Very arrogant man.

    I’m glad Publius gives him his own SMACKDOWN!

    • publiushuldah

      OK! I’ll write a paper on this. But basically, the federal government was intended to operate on import tariffs, along with excise taxes on a few carefully selected items (whiskey, etc.) Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1

      If there were a shortfall, the federal government would apportion the amount needed to make up the shortfall to the States based on population - and it was up to the States to collect the amount due in the manner which seemed to them to be best. Art. I, Sec. 2, cl. 3 & Art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 4 & 5.

      And if you look down the short list of enumerated powers, you will see that the federal government was designed to be so small that it wouldn’t need much money - except for the military.

      The 16th amendment was a terrible mistake. The federal government should be downsized and the 16th & 17th amendments repealed. WE THE PEOPLE should elect to Congress people pledged to propose and support Amendments to repeal them.

      We must lay aside party loyalty and henceforth think only of loyalty to The Constitution.

      I was at a Republican Party event a while ago, and each table had free bumper stickers for Republican Senator LaMar Alexander’s re-election campaign and for our sharia compliant Republican Governor. The party supports them b/c they are “republicans”.

      Now, it that any way to choose a candidate?

      • [email protected]

        I notice no one here including Publius is suggesting any pro-active measures to change what is happening in Washington. Lein states very clearly that his proposed amendments are just that….proposals. They are merely suggestions.
        Just saying we have to make Congress “obey” the Constitution does nothing without showing some way to make this happen. I sincerely wish that Congress would cease their criminal disregard of the Constitution but it will not happen. It is not in human nature to willingly give up power. There are a few moral men among in Congress such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz but they cannot carry the day on their own. Someone, and I believe it was Cruz proposed a bill requiring all new legislation to cite the Constitution and show that Congress had the authority to enact the new legislatiuon in the proposed bill. It was dismissed with almost no comment.
        Check out the website for Citizens for Self Governance.
        Amending the Constititution to minimize Washington power and influence is the best proposal I have heard. That being said I challenge anyone to come up with a more plausible way to regain control of Washington.

        • publiushuldah

          Why don’t you read footnote 3 of my paper, look up the cited Federalist Papers and read them.

          Read also my comment just above to DurkaDurka.

          As long as you make “what you already believe” the standard by which you judge what others write, then you will never come to see Truth.

          We have become a People who are so ignorant and morally blind that we can not distinguish between Truth and Lies, and we can not elect faithful persons to public office; and yet you think that a corrupt People can re-write the Constitution and that the result will be a good one?

          Are you unable to see that the things which Mark Levin says are simply NOT True? I did prove it. Or do you accept whatever he says because it fits what you already believe?

          THAT is the mindset which is destroying this Country.

          • retiredday

            Right on PH! Reference Johnrhett’s comment that Levin isn’t open to a real discussion, and he was banned for just asking a question!

            I find it very revealing when voices in the media call for a “national conversation” on any number issues, but if you pay attention to which voices are being heard, and which are not, you realize there is no genuine conversation going on. It’s all crafted to conform to political correctness, and framed for the benefit of “the agenda”.

            I don’t believe the system is dead. We, “the little people” simply have to use it, as they did in Colorado.

            • Bob Ellis

              Exactly right! The only problem with the U.S. Constitution is that (a) our leaders are giving it the middle finger and (b) we the people aren’t giving them their walking papers for doing so.

              Now how to educate and motivate a misled and disengaged electorate…? I’d pay good money to have a workable answer to that one. Thought the Tea Party movement was the beginning of a return to an informed public, but four years later, it seems the American people just turned over, fluffed the pillow and went back to sleep.

              • publiushuldah

                I think the Tea Parties got infiltrated by the establishment conservatives.

                Also, it’s like pulling teeth w/o Novocaine to get most people to read the Declaration and Constitution.

              • Bob Ellis

                One did in a certain area of our state. They tried in my area, but they were shown the door.

            • publiushuldah

              And furthermore, they attempt to silence dissenting voices by intimidating us by calling us filthy names, and hurling personal insults.

              I even saw a website where the guy went on a diatribe about how Phyllis Schlafly (of all people) was a “liar”! Well, of course, she isn’t - the guy just didn’t understand what she wrote.

              Of course, Johnrhett got banned! They can not respond to our arguments on an intellectual basis. And they know it.

              Fortunately, some of us still have spines - can not be bullied - and will rise up to the occasion, no matter what it is!

      • Kukye

        Thanks! I will look forward to that article.

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Isn’t it amazing that these very people who advocate for Mark Levin’s borrowed ideas say they revere the wisdom of our Founders/Framers but do not listen?

    In all the Founders’ writings, whether they were Federalists or Anti-Federalists, they constantly stressed Virtue being the necessity of a republic.

    What Mark Levin is prescribing is indeed the opposite of what the Founders did. Notice the order of events John Adams lists of the American Revolution, it simply cannot work any other way:

    “But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.” John Adams

    Because the Founders already fought that war and gave us the greatest Constitution ever written by man; the real fight, which has and always will be, is to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen in order to restore our nation back to one of liberty. Not fundamentally altering the Constitution with more laws that will also be ignored.

    “Machiavel, discoursing on these matters, finds virtue to be so essentially necessary to the establishment and preservation of liberty, that he thinks it impossible for a corrupted people to set up a good government, or for a tyranny to be introduced if they be virtuous; and makes this conclusion, ‘That where the matter (that is, the body of the people) is not corrupted, tumults and disorders do not hurt; and where it is corrupted, good laws do no good:’ which being confirmed by reason and experience, I think no wise man has ever contradicted him.” ~Algernon Sydney (Discourses in Government)

    No wise man has ever contradicted him…..


    • publiushuldah

      I love your comment, Blue Tail!

      And Algernon Sydney is one of those whom Thomas Jefferson & James Madison put on the list of persons to be studied by law students at the University of Virginia. I have the link somewhere, if anyone wants it.

      How do the American People recover their lost virtue when our pastors today are, for the most part, such a sorry lot?

      • The Blue Tail Gadfly

        Hi PH,

        You asked a pretty tough question. The answer is simple but as the old adage goes, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”.

        The answer being Jesus Christ, of course.

        Noah Webster outlined the problem perfectly which also happens to be the remedy:

        “The foundation of all free government and all social order must
        be laid in families and in the discipline of youth. Young persons must
        not only be furnished with knowledge, but they must be accustomed to
        subordination and subjected to the authority and influence of good
        principles. It will avail little that youths are made to understand
        truth and correct principles, unless they are accustomed to submit to be governed by them… And any system of education… which limits
        instruction to the arts and sciences, and rejects the aids of religion
        in forming the character of citizens, is essentially defective.”

        No coincidence our education system is just the opposite. It’s going to take awhile to dig ourselves out of this mess, there are no quick fixes.


        • publiushuldah

          Oh, What a wise man was Noah Webster.

          And you too for finding that and in seeing its significance.

          Now I see!

          We must dismantle the public schools and replace them with homeschools, homeschool co-ops, private schools, church schools; and for the poor children, private schools with volunteer teachers, etc.

          It would help greatly if our pastors would start teaching obedience to God instead of their idiotic man-made theories about Divine Facts.

          • justdooit

            Obedience to God on the Lord’s day or Sunday? The pastors of today wouldn’t even give you a true description of apostasy…but they surely preach it.

            Repentance is one of the most important keys to salvation.

            That is why it was said as it was in the days of Noe only a few shall be saved!

            (publiushuldah…you’re the best ever! KN thinks so too…lol)

  • valsthewoman

    My question becomes if we nullify as many states seem to have attempted, how do we prevent the Supreme Court from declaring a law constitutional when it clearly is a violation?

    • publiushuldah

      James Madison answered your excellent question. He said the States have the right to nullify unconstitutional acts of the Judicial Branch of the federal government [the U.S. supreme Court]. Madison said the federal courts are just as likely to usurp powers as the other branches; thus the States may properly nullify acts of all three.

      I quote Madison and link to his original writing in my paper, “James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers” to which I link in the paper above and here:

      Let me know if you have any more Questions!

      P.S. Love your shoes.

  • spin43

    It’s like having new immigration laws that won’t be enforced, just like the old ones. Why new Amendments when The Obama regime refuse to follow the Constitution as written? We need a strong conservative third party and states to start nullifying.

  • gsawpenny

    You are in error. No court in the history of the US has ever held up the right of nullification going all the way back to the early 1800’s. The final nail in the coffin was Cooper v. Arron in 1958. Indeed, the “Supremacy Clause,” which states -

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    lays waste to your entire argument. A constitutional convention is the only way to go.