James Madison “trembled…”
James Madison, Father of our Constitution, said in his November 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that he “trembled” at the prospect of a second convention; and that if there were an Article V Convention:
“…the most violent partizans,”, and “individuals of insidious views” would strive to be delegates and would have “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country.
General Talking Points Against an Article V Convention
1. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence recognizes the inherent, sovereign Right of the People to alter or abolish their Form of Government and institute a new one. Delegates to an Article V convention therefore have the power to replace our Constitution and change the ratification process if they so desire. This happened in 1787 and could happen again. And we won’t have any Madisons, Jeffersons or Hamiltons to protect us.
2. The problem isn’t the Constitution, and that’s why amending it isn’t the solution. The Constitution is being ignored. Regarding fiscal restraints, the House already has the power of the purse and can refuse to spend beyond the enumerated powers. The Constitution needs to be defended and enforced, not amended or rewritten. If the government won’t comply with the Constitution now, why would they comply with an amended Constitution?
3. There is no mention of any limits in Article V; limiting a convention to one or more Amendments or one or more subjects is wishful thinking by the pro-convention lobby. Everything is unknown about an Article V convention; there are no precedents. Everything is up for grabs: the rules, the chairperson, the delegates, how many votes each state will get, the subject matter, etc. And it doesn’t matter if limitations are written into the bill or if “unfaithful delegate” bills are passed because state law cannot control an Article V convention.
4. The term “convention of states” is being used to make people believe that there is such a thing as a convention that can be controlled from start to finish by the States. But the only convention “for proposing amendments” is one called by Congress. A “Constitutional Convention,” a “Convention to Propose Amendments” and a “Convention of States” are just different names for the same thing. And Congress has total power to organize and set it up under Art I, Section 8; last paragraph. But once the convention is convened, the delegates become the sovereign representatives of the people and can do whatever they want.
5. The purpose of amendments to the U.S. Constitution is to correct errors and defects, not to place restraints on excessive uses of federal power. The Constitution already places clear restraints on the federal government through enumerated powers, most of which are listed in Article I, Section 8. The 10th Amendment makes it clear that all other powers are reserved by the States or the People. The State Legislatures already have the power to nullify any unconstitutional act by the federal government without a convention which risks our Constitution.