Monthly Archives: September 2011

Restraining the Federal Beast by Article V

During the first hour of Saturday’s The Forgotten Men radio show, we spoke with North Dakota State Senator, Curtis Olafson. Along with (the non-profit that wrote the language for the National Debt Relief Amendment), The Goldwater Institute, and other citizens across the country, Sen. Olafson is pressing the case that by using the tools the Founding Fathers left us (e.g. Article V of the US Constitution), we can begin to solve the challenges we face as a nation.  Sen. Olafson’s commentary (in italics below) not only highlights the unfounded concerns we’ve been brought up to fear, but it cuts to the heart of the debate whether an Amendments Convention would actually “runaway.” Please join Mark and I by taking time to educate yourself and those around you on this viable Constitutional solution. The only thing to fear is not fear itself; it’s continuing down the same path we’re on, which leads to certain disaster. By restraining the federal behemoth with tools such as the National Debt Relief Amendment, we can begin “to bind [it] down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

In order for an Amendments Convention to “runaway” and produce the adoption of an extremist or dangerous amendment, the following sequence of events would need to happen:

    1. 34 states need to pass resolutions which are identical in language and must contain the same proposed amendment(s) in order for Congress to be compelled to call an Amendments Convention.
    2. Delegates to an Amendments Convention are selected by the state legislatures and would act as an agent of their legislature. They would need to vote to ignore the will of their state and the mandate that they would receive to limit their deliberations to the amendment(s) specifically identified in the resolution. If they ignore the mandate from their state legislature, they could and should be immediately recalled and replaced.
    3. A convention voting to consider ideas beyond the scope and call of the resolution would immediately be challenged with court action. The court would need to brazenly ignore the clear intent of the Founding Fathers and wrongly rule that the convention is valid when they clearly should rule that the convention is null and void and order its dissolution.
    4. The convention delegates would then need to agree on a radical, extremist or dangerous amendment.
    5. Congress, in its ministerial capacity of submitting to the states any proposal agreed to in a convention, would need to ignore the fact that the convention ignored the restriction of the resolution and went beyond the scope and call of the convention. Congress should lawfully refuse to send the proposed amendment(s) to the states for ratification.
    6. 38 states would need to ignore the fact that the convention delegates went beyond the scope and call of the convention and would need to ratify the proposed amendment(s).
    7. The most important protection against a radical, extremist or dangerous amendment is this irrefutable fact: Unless and until 38 states ratify a proposed amendment, the Constitution is untouched and nothing changes.

Any individual or organization that preaches that we should fear an Article V Amendments Convention should be challenged to produce their list of 38 states that they fear would ratify a radical, extremist, or dangerous amendment.


For more information on an Article V Amendments Convention and the National Debt Relief Amendment, please visit the following links:

Senator Curtis Olafson’s Website