Straight Talk about an Article V Convention

Straight Talk about an Article V Convention

- in Publius Huldah
@Publius Huldah



By Publius Huldah

This speech was presented to Campaign For Liberty – Memphis on March 24, 2014. It exposes some of the false claims made by those pushing for the so-called “convention of states.” [1]


Straight Talk about an Article V Convention from Publius Huldah on Vimeo.

Below are hyperlinks to the exhibits referred to in the speech. Additional resources are also included.

The one page Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, and federal system is HERE.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report [2] cited in the speech was dated March 7, 2014. CRS’s revised Report, dated April 11, 2014, isHERE. The Report exposes as false the assurances that the States would be in control of a convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress …” (page 4)

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; (5)  setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (page 4) [3]“. . .

[In previous bills filed in Congress] [a]pportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college, with each state assigned a number equal to its combined Senate and House delegations. Some bills included the District of Columbia, assigning it three delegates, but others did not include the federal district. . .” (page 37; see also page 41)

“. . . A related question concerns vote allocation in an Article V Convention. Would delegates vote per capita, or would each state cast a single vote, during the convention’s deliberations, and on the final question of proposing amendments?. . .” [then follows a discussion of different views on this undecided issue] (page 41)

“Article V itself is silent on membership in an Article V Convention, so it is arguable that Congress, in summoning a convention to consider amendments, might choose to include the District of Columbia and U.S. territories as either full members at a convention, or possibly as observers. As noted previously, some versions of the Article V Convention procedures bills introduced in the late 20th century did provide for delegates representing the District of Columbia, although not for U.S. territories . . .” (page 42)

Page 40 of the Report shows there doesn’t seem to be any:

“. . . constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . . “

So! As the CRS Report states on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

Do you see? But by then, it will be too late to stop it. HERE is former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger’s letter confirming this. [4]

The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE. For a discussion showing how Michael Farris’ proposed amendment delegates power over children to the federal and State governments, go HERE and HERE.

To see how six of Mark Levin’s so-called “liberty amendments” do the opposite of what he claims, go HERE.

To see – on one page – proof of the original intents of the “interstate commerce,” “general welfare,” and “necessary and proper” clauses, go HERE.

The proponents of a convention portray the States as victims of federal tyranny. But the Truth is that the States voluntarily surrendered their retained powers, and the natural rights of The People, TO the federal government. And they did it for federal funds. Today, States get from 20% (Alaska) to 45.3% (Mississippi) of their State budgets from the federal government. State governments don’t want to rein in the feds! The people who run your State will do anything to keep their federal funds. HERE is the Pew Report.

Our Framers – those who actually signed the Constitution – NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:

  • the novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision (Mr. Gerry at the federal convention on June 5, 1787);
  • amendments remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton at the federal convention on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

HERE are the Articles of Confederation. Note that Art. XIII required approval of amendments by every State.

HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.”

HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville. Copy it to word processing, make paragraph breaks, & highlight it. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.

HERE is Joe Wolverton’s article about the Socialists’ involvement in the push for a convention.

HERE is the Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII addresses ratification by a referendum called by the President. Read HEREabout the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Read them and see what is being planned for you.

HERE is the screen shot of Jordan Sillars’ comment approving the re-writing of our Constitution.

For Q’s & A’s on this issue, go HERE.


[1] There is no such thing as a “convention of states” to propose amendments. The term is a marketing gimmick used by proponents of an Article V convention to manipulate people into believing that the States would control an Article V convention – from start to finish.

Article V, US Constitution, provides two methods for proposing amendments to the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and submits them to the States for ratification [the method we used for our existing 27 Amendments]; or
  2. Congress calls a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments [for good reason, we have never used this method].

[2] Even though we have never had an Article V convention; Congress has examined procedures for “calling” a convention so as to be ready if the need arises. The CRS Report proves that Congress has historically viewed its powers respecting “calling” a convention as exclusive and extensive. I thankRobert Brown for bringing the CRS Report to my attention.

[3] The position Congress has historically taken in this regard is totally consistent with Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, which delegates to Congress power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powervested in Congress at Art. V to “call” the convention.

[4] Folks! For the sake of your Posterity, you must understand this: Aftera convention is convened, the delegates can do whatever they want – including coming up with an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification. Chief Justice Burger wrote in his June 22, 1988 letter to Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly:

      “… there 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. . .”


The federal convention of 1787, which was called by the Continental Congress “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation,” should serve as a warning: The delegates to the 1787 convention ignoredtheir instructions from the Continental Congress [and from their States];ignored Art. XIII of the Articles of Confederation which required the States to obey Congress on matters covered by the Articles, and wrote an entirely NEW Constitution with a NEW method of ratification which required only 9 of the 13 States for ratification. PH

Credits: Many thanks to Devvy Kidd, Blue Tail Gadfly, and M. Craig Elachie, from whom I lifted the very best lines in the speech. PH

© Publius Huldah


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  1. vassar bushmills

    Now what did I do?
    I agree 100% in all that you say, Huldah. Of course you’re right. It’s just that sometimes I got the impression you thought Satan had sneaked in those few convention sentences on Article V while no one was paying attention. I know for a fact Satan didn’t even know America was on God’s drawing board until after the Constitution was ratified (and has been trying to undo it ever since. He’s damned near there, too, just so we all know what our true mission is here.) So I assume the Framers had other intentions by inserting Art V, And a look at American history, especially before the rise of Van Buren, Jackson, the Dem Party and the cynical new meme of get-all-you-can government, it was true that the people, through their states could have approached the Congress with a demand for a convention and Congress would have fallen prostrate at their feet. After al, in 1828, Congress and all its employees could not have filled a decent sized Anglican church in Richmond, and the few powers it did have had nothing to do with the lives of the few million citizens living around the country. I can’t imagine a freer time in America.
    That time has gone, and with it the sting of any rebuke the Framers intended from an Article V convention call.
    You have never been wrong in bullhorning the demagoguery behind this recent campaign for a convention. I chimed in to point out-and-out mercenary intentions, which I believe a successful election next month will prove out. We’ve been watching Meckler and Dranias and note they have gone quiet (r) lately. For if the GOP wins big, the respective politicians will simply fade away, forgetting their votes cast for a convention…which is a muddled mess, by the way, some claiming as many as 24 states, others only 4. The hucksters’ fundraising will be finished, until another opportunity arises, and they will simply take the money and run. We’d always suspected this motive among some of those people.
    As ill-executed as this Art V parade has been, should any of them make a presentation to Congress, as you’ve warned, this Congress, or any Congress since 1913, will face two basic choices, 1) call the convention, then hi-jack it by setting the rules and agenda themselves, or 2) just ignoring it. Either way, the states and the people will be shut out.
    Our role out here has been to simply to let those state representatives know of the other side of the coin. With the devil on one shoulder already whispering in their ears, it has been important that that little angel be on the other, whispering cautionary words, like , STOP, THINK, Slow down, Bridge is out, Slow to 50! No one’s done that more admirably than you have, and in that, I think you’ve largely succeeded.
    Me, my only qualified approval of this whole process has been that it might lead to an outbreak of shillelagh law, where I think the people stand a better chance of winning. It would be like choosing up sides all over again in a giant game of chicken. The convention sentences of Art V are like the appendix, a vestigial remain of an organ no longer of value in a body that once was. I’m all for restoring that body, giving that organ some real teeth.

  2. Oh, Friend, Vassar Bushmills! Please read and listen CRITICALLY and show me where I am wrong. You have had me in a state of bewilderment for a year or so on this issue.

Comments are closed.

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