Is a Constitutional Convention Feasible?

A friend mentioned using a “Constitutional Convention” to overturn Obamacare. Is this feasible?
 
My answer: I don’t think a “Constitutional Convention” is anywhere near as easy as people think. But let’s take a closer look at it, to see what it says, as well as how best to make one happen should we need it. First, let’s take a look at the Source Document i.e. Article V of the U.S. Constitution:
 
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…”
This is beautifully written.  The only problem is that it’s horribly misunderstood.
For example, here’s a graphic that flat out gets a key element wrong, by giving power to Congress that the U.S. Constitution actually denies, and for very good reason:
Amending the Constitution - Wrong
Here’s another one that just flat out gets it wrong.  When you re-read Article V again, can you spot the error?
amending the constitution - also wrong
Here’s a far more accurate graphic.  In fact, it matches the text in Article V exactly, except for one minor point:
Amending the Constitution - Nearly Correct
In summary, Amendments to the U.S. Constitution can be initiated and ratified by one of two means:
 
– When initiated by Congress
– – Initiation requires 2/3 vote from BOTH Houses
– – Ratification – See Note 1
 
– When initiated by the States
– – Initiation requires 2/3 of the legislatures of the states via Conventions
– – Ratification – See Note 1
 
Note 1: Ratification requires 3/4 of legislatures of the states or by Conventions in 3/4 of the states, as proposed (but not mandated) by Congress.
 
In other words, while the initiation may originate from two different sources (Congress and the State legislature Conventions), the ratification is always performed by the States.
 
Thus, there is a means by which the States can not only resist, but actually steamroll over a wayward, do nothing or even a bad Congress. If 3/4 of the state legislatures are willing, they can pass a Constitutional amendment repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if not outlawing federal involvement in health care altogether, and they can do it even if 100% of all members of both the House and the Senate oppose it.

Oath of Office in the United States of America

One’s oath of office is not to be taken lightly. It forms the cornerstone upon which our Constitution, “the supreme Law of the Land,” sustains our nation.
The United States of America has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 32 and Title 42 of the United States Code.
 
The seven uniformed services are defined by 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5):
 
The term “uniformed services” means—
(A) the armed forces;
(B) the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
(C) the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
 
The five uniformed services that make up the United States Armed Forces are defined in the previous clause 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(4). The term “armed forces” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
 
As a member and commissioned officer of the United States Armed Forces, specifically the U.S. Air Force, I took the following oath of office in 1989:
 
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
One’s oath of office contains no expiration date.  Like my commission, conferred on me by President George H. W. Bush in 1989, my oath of office never expires.
 
Four other groups of people take precisely the same oath: Law enforcement officers, civil officers, judges and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the President of the United States of America.
 
The oath of office for law enforcement officers and civil officers, including every executive, legislative, and judicial officer, regardless of whether they serve at the local, county, state, or federal level, is the same as that for the federal uniformed services.

Furthermore, each justice or judge of the United States takes an additional oath commensurate with their special authority, specifically, the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office:

“I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.” – 28 U.S. Code § 453 – Oaths of justices and judges

Finally, the President of the United States of America:

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” – Article II, Section 1, Constitution for the United States of America

As to what all this means, how and why one’s adherence to one’s oath of office is the glue of loyalty which holds our nation together, merely type “oath of office” into the Search window on this website.  🙂

The short version, however, is that when everyone in a position of authority who takes an oath of office actually follows their oath of office, including taking the steps to ensure they know the U.S. Constitution through and through, as well as all application local, county, state, federal, and military law germain to their duty and position of responsibility, then you have a country that is united behind a single, common, purpose, standing firm on a 200+ year old foundation of law respected around the world.

There is no firmer nor finer place to be.

Why “Impeach Trump!” People are Blithering Idiots

Impeachment headlines are all the rage these days, and Google images is fully of all sorts of Impeach Trump buttons, banners, and bumper stickers, but it’s an utterly mindless rage, one fueled by hate and ignorance, not rationality, sound reasoning, or understanding of the law.

People, listen up!  Please get an education so you know what you’re talking about.

Speaking of impeachment (and education):

“The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” – Article I, Section 2.

Do you really think a House controlled by conservatives/Republicans will impeach Donald Trump? No more than a House controlled by liberals/Democrats impeached Obama for his impeachable offenses.  Unlike Trump, Obama actually committed impeachable offenses.

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.” – Article I, Section 3

Do you really think you will ever be able to get a two-thirds majority of the Senate to rule against President Trump with more than half the Senate is conservative/Republican? Good luck with that…

“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States…” – Article I, Section 3

Hillary stepped down so that she wouldn’t be impeached over Benghazigate. Had she been impeached, she would have been ineligible to run for President.  The Demoncrap party saw the handwriting on the wall and chose the lesser of two evils so that she might actually have a shot at the Presidency in 2016.  It was clear she was being groomed for that very role for a long time.  Thankfully, enough voters recognized her for the crook she is.

“The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” – Article II, Section 2

When Obama pardoned over 2,000 criminals, he grossly violated Constitutional authority as most of those criminals had not committed any crimes “against the United States.”  Rather, most of them had violated various state laws, over which Obama had ZERO authority to grant either a reprieve or pardon.  That state’s governor, yes.  Obama, no.

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” – Article II, Section 4

President Donald Trump has committed absolutely zero instances of treason, bribery, high crimes, or misdemeanors. In fact, he personally hired a rather large legal team in order to prevent any such discretion.

BOTTOM LINE: President Donald Trump will NEVER be impeached, and for some very sound reasons:

1. He’s never committed any impeachable offences as defined by and required by the Constitution in order to be impeached.

2. You’ll never get a conservative/Republican House to impeach a Republican president.

3. You’ll never get a conservative/Republican Senate to cough up the two thirds votes required to convict.

Our Founding Fathers knew that one day, there would be a bunch of blithering idiots throughout our land who would incessantly cry “Impeach Trump! Impeach Trump! Impeach Trump!” They made impeachment difficult for precisely that reason, to prevent blithering idiots from disrupting the normal operations of government on the basis of nothing other than mob rule.

Now, while libtards and Demoncraps have every Constitutional right to continue blathering on about this issue if it makes them feel better, much like all babies need a good cry every now and then, it’ll never happen, because of the aforementioned reasons, unless Donald Trump actually does, one day in the future, commit a clearly impeachable offense.

And no, you cannot make this happen simply by whining about it louder, longer, harder, or by throwing more money at it.  The U.S. Constitution is “the supreme Law of the Land” for a reason, and We the People are going to follow it, whether you like it or not.

President Trump’s Immigration Authority

To the Honorable (insert your Congressman’s name, here):

I am writing you in specific protest of the actions of at least two federal judges, possibly more, who appear to me to be flagrantly violating the United States Constitution, federal law, and their oaths of office to each.

The authority of the President to determine the circumstances under which foreign nationals may enter the United States has been repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court.  In an 1892 case, Ekiu v. United States, the Court held that, “It is an accepted maxim of international law that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.”  Subsequent Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed this accepted maxim.

Specifically:

  1. President Trump did not create a law.  His executive order carried out an existing law.
  2. The text of President Trump’s executive order on immigration does not list any particular countries.  That formula was in the existing law.
  3. The law in question is the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which former President Obama signed into law.

US Code on Immigration

Furthermore, I respectfully request you initiate impeachment proceedings against the offending judges in direct response to their actions violating the law and the trust of the American people, as well as to send a clear message to all judges that We the People elect both our lawmakers — members of the House and the Senate — as well as the one who signs or vetoes bills — the President — and we expect all members of our judicial system at all levels to follow the law, from the supreme Law of the Land on down, without deviation or bent given to various political influence.

Background and Substantiating References:

“After a federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the immigration order temporarily banning refugees and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, the Department of Justice filed an appeal of the order on Saturday night.

“The Dept. of Justice asked that an emergency stay be issued pending the appeal to resume Trump’s ban efforts.

“The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco instead asked for the Trump administration to file a counter-response by Monday afternoon and denied the emergency stay.”

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/…/doj-emergency-stay-rejected-donald-…

I hereby find both the original federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to be in violation of their oaths of office, as follows:

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. [So help me God.]

The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Both the original federal judge as well as the judge(s) sitting on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are required by federal law to adhere to both the Constitution as well as the laws of the United States.

President Trump’s executive order begins with full and inarguable legal justification:

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) (INA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109 367) (Secure Fence Act), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104 208 Div. C) (IIRIRA), and in order to ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as to ensure that the Nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows…”

I have examined the legal references above. I know the Constitution very well, and immigration laws reasonably well.

Therefore, it is my informed opinion that there is zero lawful basis for either the original federal judge to block President Trump’s immigration order or for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the order as requested by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In my informed opinion, these judges are bad judges. This is not “good behavior” as required by our United States Constitution, and they need to be immediately removed from office for refusing to adhere to their oaths of office as members of the federal judiciary commensurate with our Constitution and federal law.

Sincerely…

Separation of Church and State Primer

“The religious group, which will run the ark’s operations, won a federal court ruling in January that clarified that it can make religious-based hires even as it seeks a Kentucky tourism tax incentive worth millions.”
 
“We are a religious group and we make no apology about that, and (federal law) allows us that,” Ham said Thursday. “We’re requiring them to be Christians, that’s the bottom line.”
 
Those of you who think for one second that “separation of church and state” is a part of U.S. law need a history lesson. Most people, including a lot of anti-religious historians, get this horribly wrong, possibly by intent, as the many letters our Founding Fathers wrote clarifying the matter are readily available in the Library of Congress, if not online. I know this for a fact, personal first-hand knowledge, for I spent an appreciable portion of the summer of 1982 holding them in my white-gloved hands as I read through hundreds of the more than 50,000 documents kept in what was then The American Heritage room of the Library of Congress.
With that in mind…
 
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
 
The first part prevents Congress from allowing the establishment of any official religion or church. It was craft specifically to avoid the problem of the period, whereby England had established the Church of England as the “official” religion while persecuting all others. Some folks in Congress wanted to establish Christianity as the official religion, but most of the authors of our Bill of Rights wisely knew that if they did that, the next step would be to define which denominations were “acceptable” as “Christian,” and the saga of religious persecution that drove millions out of Europe would infect the United States and fester our freedoms forever.
 
The second part is much clearer, and simply means that Congress can NOT interfere with the free practice of religions. Subsequent decisions by various federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court have established this applies at all judicial and legislative levels throughout our country.
 
BOTTOM LINE: Those who attempt to use Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” clause found ONLY in his letter to the Danbury Baptists are committing the SAME religious intolerance and persecution our Founding Fathers escaped from Europe and were trying to prevent here in the United States.
 
If you believe otherwise, you’re a Constitutionally illiterate idiot and are in serious need of an objective Civics class taught by someone who is not an anti-Constitutional atheist.
 
 

Solving America’s Problems Requires Clear Thinking

Yesterday I stumbled across a rather insightful editorial by Bart Hinkle at the Richmond Times.  He demonstrated such clear thinking that I wrote the author a letter, presented here with minor corrections for spelling, punctuation, and grammar:

I found your recent article to be very insightful.  It is a fascinating look at what ails America today. It boils down to dereliction of duty to “support and defend the Constitution” at ALL levels of government.

I concur with you that Congress has failed to do its duty to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” almost certainly because the loyalty of many Congressman to their party or various idealistic excursions has increasingly eclipsed their loyalty to the proven reality of the Constitution.  Sadly, we see the same thing in the Supreme Court, which should never be the case.  With respect to the points you made in your article, I believe additional factors have come into play, including the increasing fear of being labeled politically incorrect, and the corresponding unwillingness to take necessary and more permanent actions against elected officials who refuse to abide by “the supreme Law of the Land.”

Shortly after retiring from my career as an Air Force officer, I began working to educate people on the dangers facing our nation, particularly from the erosion of the absolute moral base our Founding Fathers cautioned was essential to the long-term health of our nation.  With such a moral base, even an imperfect Constitution and its resulting society would survive, as leaders would retain the same principles, precepts, and moral values held by the framers.  The resolution of unanticipated issues would naturally incline towards the time-tested precepts which have served our nation so well for so long.  Without such a moral base, even a perfect Constitution would eventually fail.  A nation lacking proper morals would be increasingly opposed to Constitutional principles and values, until its leaders began ignoring increasingly larger portions of the Constitution, eventually leaving it behind altogether.

Our Founding Fathers did a miraculous job crafting our Constitution.  It is extremely difficult, however, if not impossible, to create a legal foundation capable of fighting the erosion of society when that society’s elected and appointed leaders, either out of ignorance or willful malice, fail to follow the written legal foundation.

In light of this perspective, I submit to you three additional avenues of failure, along with some proposals for amendments that might be able to stem the flow of our nation’s life-blood, even restore proper function in the presence of decreasing loyalty to the Constitution:

Failure 1:  Education of the people:  Sadly, too many Americans are voting for government officials at all levels not because of what a candidate can do for their country, but because of what a candidate can do for them.  This self-seeking behavior and failure to delay gratification ultimately results in poorer results.  Candidates are rarely able to deliver on their campaign promises.  When a person believes rhetoric promising him or her a better life, and votes for that candidate, they wind up doing little to work hard and secure that life for themselves.  Instead, they wait around for the candidate to make their lives better.  When that fails, they become embittered at the “other guy” their candidate blames as the problem, or they become embittered with the system itself.

The Department of Education and liberal school systems has been largely complicit in this area of demise by lowering and even eliminating the bar in vital areas like civics and history while cluttering the educational landscape with requirements that eclipse a child’s opportunity to obtain a full, well-rounded education suitable for understanding how human society really works.  This is really the root problem of what’s going on in America.  If the people stopped electing those who are undermining our Republic, the problem would largely disappear.  Our Republic would be preserved.  Sadly, many people are no longer capable of correctly assessing the worth of a candidate, or envisioning the long-term effects of electing a candidate.

Possible solutions:  Eliminate the Department of Education and use those funds at the state level to provide for a more graduated pay scale for teachers instead of the current rise and cap pay curves; raise standards required of teachers; ensure those standards reflect the requirements addressed as outlined above.

Failure 2:  Personification of the corporate:  No serious student of the Constitution would ever conclude that our Founding Fathers meant to give business the same access to our government as We the People, much less a 1000% greater influence over Congressional decision-making.  The fallout from this decision has lead to increasingly darker decisions being made by Congress, ones that treat citizens as cattle to be mined for their ability to be skimmed for a fat, corporate/federal profit, instead of the rightful rulers of our once-great nation.

Possible solution:  Check Citizens United with an amendment that declares corporate anthropomorphization to be verboten.  Ensure it reaffirms the Constitution’s focus on We the People under sovereign States as the rightful owners of our own country.

Failure 3:  Senators and Representatives are too similar.  This arose as a result of the 17th Amendment.  Article I, Section 3, which used to read:  “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof…”  The Amendment now reads:  “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof…”  While I understand this was an attempt to solve problems involving legislative corruption and deadlocks, I do not agree it was the best solution.  For all intents and purposes, what we now have are a House and a Senate that look very similar.  Even dividing Congress into two houses makes little sense when the people elect one Representative from their district and two more to represent the State as a whole.  Why not instead simply elect “general Congressmen,” and scrap the two-house system?

Possible solution:  Repeal the 17th Amendment.  The original issue is that “There was a sense that senatorial elections were ‘bought and sold’, changing hands for favors and sums of money rather than because of the competence of the candidate.”  That sounds the same as it is today, so what problem was actually solved?  If none, then that’s strike one against the 17th Amendment.  As far as electoral deadlocks, the solution is simple:  Require states to provide for a tiebreaker, much as we have for the Supreme Court and the Senate.  An example might be, “In case of tie, the Assistant Governor will cast the tie-breaking vote.”  They could also flip a coin, roll die, or spin a wheel.  States could choose whatever method they want, so long as it’s expedient.  To help deter delays in breaking such ties, simply stipulate that if the states fail to provide two Senators, those positions will simply remain unfilled and the State will be underrepresented in Congress, something no State wants to face.  Our Constitution set the precedence for that by requiring percentage votes of “members present” for many things, including very important things, such as treaties and impeachment.

Bart, I thoroughly enjoyed your article and have bookmarked you in the hopes of reading many more to come!

Sincerely…

Here is Bart’s response:

Thank you for the note. You raise some very interesting points.

All the best,
B.

It was my pleasure.  

Court Rules People Have a “Fundamental Right” to Own Assault Weapons

OUTSTANDING!

From the article…

In a major victory for gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Thursday sided with a broad coalition of gun owners, businesses and organizations that challenged the constitutionality of a Maryland ban on assault weapons and other laws aimed at curbing gun violence. 

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the state’s prohibition on what the court called “the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles commonly kept by several million American citizens” amounted to a violation of their rights under the Constitution.

Well, almost outstanding.  The judge seriously erred when he said, “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”  That’s not quite the “fundamental right” our Founding Fathers penned into the Constitution via our Second Amendment.

Chief Judge William Traxler erred when he limited the scope of understanding to “in defense of hearth and home.”  A “hearth” is the floor in front of a fireplace, where families of old would gather for dinner, usually cooked over that fireplace, and while away the evening hours basking in its warmth, discussing the day, and playing.

Our Second Amendment knows no such bounds, either on location or type and size of arms.

The Constitution states that all ratified amendments become a part of the Constitution.  Thus, the Constitution states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This prohibition against the right of the people to keep and bear arms is absolute.  It’s application isn’t limited to a specific government entity.  It applies to everyone.  Furthermore, it’s scope isn’t limited, either.  For example, it’s not limited to “hearth and home,” but rather applies every where a free man may travel.

It’s not even limited to “firearms.”  Our Founding Fathers chose the term, “arms,” even though knew exceedingly well that the term “firearms” was a type of arms that used a rapidly-burning powder to discharge a projectile.  A sword is also a type of arms, as is a club, mace, hatchet, machete, and knife.  They are all “arms.”  Thus, any restriction — infringement — on their size, length, weight, caliber, action, mechanism, or capacity constitutes an infringement, and an un-Constitutional one, at that.