Today, as in the past, we will need a brave ” civic virtue,” not a timid civility, to keep our republic. — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, American Enterprise Institute speech, Feb 16, 2001


SD House Taxation Kills Constitutional Convention Bill

February 20, 2013   ·   By   ·   4 Comments

budgetYesterday, the South Dakota State House Taxation committee made the wise decision to kill HJR 1003, a bill to make ” formal application to Congress to call a limited constitutional convention for the sole purpose of proposing a federal balanced budget amendment.”

As I pointed out recently, while we desperately need a balanced budget, calling a constitutional convention-while authorized by Article V of the U.S. Constitution-to work on it could easily get out of control and scuttle what remains of our constitution. With all the America-hating, death culture, sexual anarchist Leftists plaguing the political scene today, the God-given rights that have been preserved by the U.S. Constitution for over 200 years could quickly become a thing of memory.

Reporting on the vote yesterday, the Rapid City Journal:

Rep. Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs, said there has been a decades-old debate among legal scholars about whether a convention can be limited to a single topic.

Russell said that dispute alone convinced him to avoid seeking a convention.

He recalled the example of most members of the Legislature voting to accept more than $800 million of federal stimulus aid during the Rounds administration, even though the spending drove the federal deficit deeper. Russell voted against the stimulus funding.

Russell praised Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, for seeking the convention but said it creates an unnecessary risk he isn’t willing to take.

“I don’t think this is the mechanism because I think it could be a runaway convention, and I have serious fears.” Russell said.

No, as hard as it is, we are better off pressing our elected representatives to work within the existing constitution, or to amend the constitution to require a balanced budget via the amendment and ratification process.

A bill that sought to try to limit the authority of South Dakota delegates to such a theoretical convention was killed last week, and another bill dealing with the issue was also tabled recently.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year veteran of the United States Air Force, a political writer for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for nearly 20 years, including a Tea Party leader and organizer since 2009. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Bill Walker

    “No, as hard as it is, we are better off pressing our elected
    representatives to work within the existing constitution, or to amend
    the constitution to require a balanced budget via the amendment and
    ratification process.”

    Someone needs to have Bob Ellis read a copy of the Constitution sometime before letting him post. That way, inaccuracies like this can be avoided. An Article V Convention IS one of the two amendment and ratification processes in the Constitution. There is no such thing as a “constitutional convention.”

    Now if Mr. Ellis thinks he so correct, then would he care to explain why 49 states have already submitted 748 applications for a convention call? If the convention is such a danger then why have the states asked for it in such massive numbers? The reason the call has not been issued is not because of any danger but because Congress refuses to obey the Constitution and call it as required. The applications can be read at

    Oh and by the way… 36 states have already asked for a balanced budget amendment to be considered by the convention. So it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever as to the obligation of Congress to call.

    • Bob Ellis

      What Bob originally meant to say was “…require a balanced budget via the CONVENTIONAL amendment and ratification process” (since, having amended our constitution some 27 times via congressional legislation versus only once by convention, congressional action would be the conventional way of doing it), but using the word “conventional” in an article talking about a constitutional convention might have caused additional confusion. So I left out the word and forgot to adjust the rest of the sentence accordingly. I turn out a few thousand words every day, so I apologize for flubbing this one.

      However, if Bill was perhaps more knowledgeable of those 27 amendments, or less eager to gamble with our existing constitution in the circus of a constitutional convention, he might have gleaned this despite the errant syntax.

      And yes, since Article V discusses calling a convention for the purposes of amending the constitution, there is indeed the concept of a “constitutional convention”-especially since most people who have ever discussed a constitutional convention know what one is. And the last one we had ended up throwing out what amounted to the old constitution, the Articles of Confederation.

      Frankly, 49 states, 36 states, or even 57 states doing a particular thing doesn’t impress me. History is filled with the idiocy of crowds following other idiots over a cliff, so large numbers or majorities don’t impress me.

      What impresses me is wisdom, and knowing what a freak show the modern political climate is like (30-50% full of anti-Americans, narcissists, hedonists, anarchists, and morons with an IQ at roughly room temperature), it just isn’t wisdom to trust a runaway constitutional convention to a gaggle like that.

      You may be willing to take that gamble, but I am not. There is a much simpler way (though it does require people to pull their head out of their anus, educate themselves and do some rational thinking), and that is to require lawful, responsible behavior from our elected officials-or put ones in who will behave lawfully and responsibly.

      If they won’t do that within the framework of our nation’s existing highest law, it’s pretty inconceivable not to mention unlikely from a practical standpoint that they would ever do so in the wake of a freakshow constitutional convention.

      • WXRGina

        Right, Bob!

        We must never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

        • Bob Ellis

          The bigger the group, the higher the potential for groupthink stupidity. History teaches this lesson.

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