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Constitutionally Rein in Federal Government and Recall the President By George Henry Edwards

 

Thomas Jefferson, wrote "Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the Ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age wisdom more than human and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.” --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. "Let us go on perfecting the Constitution by adding, by way of amendment, those forms which time and trial show are still wanting." --Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803.

 

"A Handbook for Legislators and Citizens," Perhaps the most comprehensive information on the 2013 Convention of the States Project, can be accessed by copying and pasting the following URL into the address bar of your Web browser, --

http://conventionofstates.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/COS-Handbook-3.0-Online.pdf

 

A key quote from page 10 of that Handbook is:

“American citizens have become so frustrated with runaway federal power that they have begun discussing ideas like nullification and even secession. Such ideas are not only impractical; they could ultimately lead to a violent conflict. We need not turn to such dangerous alternatives. The Founders gave us a legitimate path to save our liberty by using our state governments to impose binding restraints on the federal government. . . . A convention of States needs to be called to ensure that we are able to debate and impose a complete package of restraint on the misuse of power by all branches of the federal government.”

 

The key advantage of the Article V. convention of the states approach is that it does not depend on the federal government: “The Congress . . .on the Application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments . . . which . . .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 Congress.”

 

The 2013 Convention of States uniform wording for the application for a convention “would allow ALL amendments germane to ‘reducing the power of the federal government’ to be considered,” but amendments of any other type would not be authorized should such be proposed by the delegates. If their appointing legislatures or judicial action did not throw such out as non-compliant, only one fourth of the state legislatures would be required to defeat the passage of any such amendment. This is a greater “check and balance” than that against out-of-control federal power. And this uniform approach is already in process in 12 states.

 

Alternately or in parallel: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution,” subject to the same ratification process by the state legislatures or state conventions. Voters could petition for such action, but there is zero chance that congress would follow through with the required two-thirds vote for any amendment further limiting its power.

 

A single amendment approach with at least some chance of passage might be to provide for recall of a president and vice president as this would not affect the power of congress. It would in fact help protect congressional power against an overreaching executive branch. This approach has historic precedent in the congressional limiting of presidential terms to two.

America should put its “pedal to the metal” and use both constitutional approaches: the convention of states approach and the individual amendment approach rather than dawdle arguing which approach is best.