Monday, January 31, 2011

The Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) Con

     Since the late 1970's,  some 34 states have called for a new Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) that purportedly would be limited to considering a Balanced Budget Amendment or other amendment.  From the get-go, opponents of the Con-Con have called it the Con-Con con, in that a constitutional convention is exactly what the name implies: a constitutional convention. 
      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:  
      In a nutshell, a constitutional convention, regardless of the motivation for calling it, is still a constitutional convention. Anything and everything in the Constitution would be up for grabsThere is no quick fix for the problems that ail America, and a new constitutional amendment or convention is no substitute for a vigilant, well-informed citizenry.
    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


  1. The author makes two major mistakes in this post. First, he talks about the so-called Burger letter. The letter is a phoney as shown both by FAQ 8.6 and by Sweet Liberty, an anti convention website. Note the date of the letter and Sweet Liberty has been around since 1999.

    Second the author admits 34 states have applied for a convention call. The Constitution mandates Congress must call if this happens. Yet, the author urges we overthrow the Constitution and not obey it. Given he uses questionable references and urges we overthrow the Constitution, can we really believe what this guy says?

  2. I have searched in vain for something authoritative that supports your claims. The site you cite simply makes the claim (which you repeat) and offers no substantiation.
    I then did an Internet search, looking past the obvious suspects such as Rense and Ron Paul Forums. Eventually, I found a blog that repeats the same stuff you did. It offered convoluted verbiage intended to resemble reasoning; but, no, it didn't offer any substantiation either.
    The Burger letter, on the other hand, is a clear facsimile of a letter written on on a single sheet bearing the Supreme Court emblem, and dated 1988.
    I was aware of the Burger letter well before 1992, and probably closer to 1988. Burger died in 1995, having had six or seven years to publicly denounce the letter as a forgery and send someone to prison for it. That in itself is a powerful argument for the legitimacy of the letter.
    I'm sure you know that several of the states that had initially called for a Constitutional Convention have rescinded their call.
    Can you offer primary or secondary sources supporting your position that the Burger letter is a fraud?