In a 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger wrote that a constitutional convention could not be limited to single issues or even a few issues. Specifically, he wrote the following:
"...[T]here is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don't like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress 'for the sole and express purpose.'
"With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecdy, with no pres coverage and no leaks. A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.
"Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a 'miracle.' Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subjects needing attention. I have discouraged the idea of a Constitutional Convention, and I am glad to see states rescinding their previous resolutions requesting a Convention."
Here's the link to Chief Justice Burger's letter:
Recently, someone began circulating a resolution for a major political party to present at a state party convention. The resolution in its original form contained divisive language: language pitting Republicans against Democrats and conservatives against liberals. It's not a partisan issue; it's an American issue.
I've taken the liberty of changing or deleting the divisive language and correcting the punctuation and grammar. As it was written strictly for one political party in one state, I've made other needed changes. Please make any other changes you believe are necessary. Below is my emended version of the resolution against the Con Con.
WHEREAS, the State Legislature will be/may be considering a number of Senate and House Joint Resolutions calling upon Congress to call a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) for the purpose of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment or other supposedly limited purposes to the Constitution, and
WHEREAS , there is no provision in the Constitution or in law to limit the convention to any one agenda item, and
WHEREAS, a runaway convention carries a host of unintended consequences:
• Repeal of the Second Amendment
• Repeal of the Tenth Amendment
• Repeal of the Electoral College in favor of a popular presidential election
• Repeal of presidential term limits
• Recognition of International Law as a part of our Supreme Court decision making (which is already being done unconstitutionally
• Re-write of the Fourteenth Amendment by excluding the “under the jurisdiction thereof” phrase to include children born of Illegal Aliens
• Adoption of a North American Union (open borders as proposed by George W. Bush,) and
WHEREAS, a Balanced Budget Amendment without a cap on federal spending and taxes would require a large tax increase and/or exorbitant fees to match the revenue with the spending, and
WHEREAS, a Balanced Budget Amendment without built-in safeguards to cap spending would merely give constitutional cover to the big spenders to raise taxes, and
WHEREAS, the cost of waging an effective campaign against bad amendments would be enormous and possibly a losing effort, and
WHEREAS, the original constitution was intended to protect the people from excessive governmental control and is still sufficient to meet today’s needs if the president, the congress and the judiciary would honor and enforce the original intent, and
WHEREAS, only 34 states are needed to force congress to call a ConCon and only two more states are needed, now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED BY ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_____________________________that all (name of state) legislators be contacted and urged to vote NO on any and all resolutions calling for a Constitutional Convention for any reason however well-intended., and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 1979 resolution, or any other resolution, calling for a Constitutional Convention be rescinded, and
BE IT FURTHER RESLVED that a copy of this resolution be faxed to every state Senator and House Member.
PASSED AND APPROVED this ___day of January, 2011