George Mason

The Convention of States Project (COS) insists that Framer George Mason proposed “the Article V convention solution” to give State Legislatures a remedy to restrain federal overreach.

That’s not true!  George Mason never said that. COS made it up!

James Madison kept a Journal of what happened at the federal convention of 1787. Madison’s Journal shows that on June 11, 1787, George Mason said:

 “The plan now to be formed (our Constitution) will certainly be defective as the Confederation has been found on trial to be. Amendments, therefore, will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them in an easy, regular and Constitutional way…”

So George Mason agreed with the other Delegates that the purpose of Amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution. (James Madison’s Notes from 6/11/1787).

Say, for example, the People wanted to fix the defect in the Constitution which permitted slavery – but Congress didn’t want to abolish slavery. With the convention method, the People could get an amendment abolishing slavery.

At the constitutional convention of 1787, there was a dispute on whether Congress, under the Constitution the framers were drafting—our Constitution—should have any power over amendments.

George Mason wanted the people to be able to make Amendments without the approval of Congress; he said if only Congress can propose Amendments, the people won’t get the Amendments they want if Congress doesn’t agree.

So on the last day of deliberations, the convention method was added to Article V which permitted convention Delegates to propose Amendments. But remember, George Mason had already said on June 11 that the purpose of amendments was to fix defects in the Constitution.

Mason and the other Delegates had just spent 4 months creating a Constitution which delegated only a handful of enumerated powers to the federal government.

So when the federal government usurps powers not delegated, they’re ignoring the existing limitations on their powers.

Would an Amendment which says, “If a power isn’t delegated, the feds cannot exercise it,” work? No!  We already have such an Amendment—the 10th Amendment—and everybody ignores it!

Our problem is a disobedient federal government—it defies logic that the solution to a disobedient federal government would be to change the very document the government disobeys.

Click HERE for more detailed information on George Mason and the dispute over the development of Article V at the constitutional convention of 1787.