A Constitutional Convention... Can you say Pandora's Box?
by Bob Price on March 29, 2011 at 6:08 PM
Many people, including our own US Senator John Cornyn, are calling for the convening of a US Constitutional Convention (con-con) to require the balancing of the federal budget by Constitutional Amendment. A con-con in this day in time is a VERY BAD idea for many reasons. Not the least of which is giving our current extremist liberal/socialists an open book opportunity to edit the very core foundational document of our nation, the US Constitution. Additionally, the merrit of a balanced budget amendment (BBA) in and of itself will address the problem of an over-spending and over-reaching federal government. Balancing the budget does nothing if you do not address the issue of the size and scope of the government.
In an article posted this week at Patriot Statesman titled "Rolling the Dice with Constitutional Conventions", Conservative Activist Dan Comstock looks into this issue and provides excellent analysis of the pros and cons of this issue.
In support of the idea of a con-con, Comstock says, "It is fair to say that a Congress that cannot bring itself to balance the budget would seem unlikely to be able to to initiate a Balanced Budget Amendment." He continues, "The logic seems to follow that in order to have a balanced budget we must have a Balanced Budget Amendment in place; and, therefore the States must act in the only way they can which is to apply for a Constitutional Convention."
Comstock says states might attempt to bluff the Congress into a BBA by threatening a con-con. "This I believe would be foolhardy and would amount to either a bluff which could be called or an action which might be lamented. The unanticipated results that are possible stemming from a Constitutional Convention should give pause to a nation that has never amended its Constitution in this manner since the Articles of Confederation were replaced in their entirety by the United States Constitution," he continued.
Comstock makes the point that our Congress already has the authority to require a balanced budget by legislative authority. "Amending the Constitution for the purpose of accomplishing a political aim for which the Congress already has the power to enforce, is in stark contrast to amending the Constitution to make a needed change in order to further restrict or empower in some way the Legislative, Executive or Judicial Branch of Government," he explains.
Retired Chief Justice Warren Burger, in a letter dated June 22, 1988 spoke out strongly against the idea of having a new (second to the original one) Constitutional Convention. The following excerpts are noted: "...I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention….. Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a 'miracle'. Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subjects needing attention. I have discouraged the idea of a Constitutional Convention, and I am glad to see states rescinding their previous resolutions requesting a Convention. In these Bicentennial years, we should be celebrating its long life, not challenging its very existence. Whatever may need repair on our Constitution can be dealt with by specific amendments."
Comstock concludes, "My belief is that all State applications for Constitutional Conventions should be rescinded. We must vote into Congressional office those who will vigorously pursue the values of Constitutional and limited Government, and vote out of office those who are unwilling to make a 100% effort in that regard."
Please visit Patriot Statesman for the complete commentary by Mr. Comstock.
Many, including other bloggers at TexasGOPVote would agree. What say you?