38.6 F
Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeIllinois NewsThorner: Misguided conservatives ramp up efforts for Constitutional Convention

Thorner: Misguided conservatives ramp up efforts for Constitutional Convention




By Nancy Thorner - 

The Convention of the States (COS) is an Article V Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), supported and funded by well-connected conservatives that refuse to acknowledge the danger their effort could usher onto our republic. 

Radio talk show host, Mark Levin, started pushing for a constitutional convention several years ago, arguing in his book, The Liberty Amendments, that such a convention is the last hope “to reform the federal government from its degenerate, bloated, imperial structure back to its (smaller) republican roots.” 

Unfortunately, many otherwise well-educated and well-meaning conservatives have succumbed to Levin’s siren to insist that an Article V convention is the only way to restore the balance of federalism in our Republic.

They evidently are not aware that under Article V of the Constitution, our founding fathers established two methods for future generations to add amendments to the Constitution:  1) either two-thirds of both houses of Congress can propose an amendment, and then three-fourths of the states ratify if they call it. . . or not – the safe method or 2) two-thirds (34) of the states call for a federal constitutional convention, and then three-fourths of the states ratify whatever amendments are proposed by the convention. This method must be avoided at all costs.  It could lead to a runaway convention in which our original Constitution would be scrapped and a new Constitution would be substituted. 

Consider also a big financier of global fascism, George Soros. Soros is pumping millions of dollars into the same Article V campaign that is being promoted by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Allen West, and other popular conservative spokesmen, as he pushes for a new "progressive" U.S. Constitution by the year 2020.

Conservatives must not be fooled by Con Con activists

Conservatives should shudder at the thought of a convention populated by activists, who endowed with power have a Soros credit card in their pocket and a commitment to “social justice” as their purpose.  Instead, many grassroots, Tea Party, and Christian groups are being infiltrated with progressive ideas by people presenting themselves as Conservatives, Christians, or Patriots.

The enemies of the Constitution are targeting 2017 for passage of the Convention of States (COS).  They are gearing up to exploit the Republican majorities in state legislatures.

A sign that the Con Con issue is really heating up is that during the past month there has been more than 60 articles reflecting the big push for a "Con Con" (Article V Convention, misnamed a "Convention of States" or "COS")  In that 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republican Party, the possibility now exists for Con Con to be passed under the guise of "term limits" or a "balanced budget amendment." 

The good news is that Gun Owners of America just reaffirmed their opposition to Con Con.  (The NRA, having at least one Board member who is a Con Con supporter, won't speak out against a Con Con.) Without question, one of the first things a Con Con would do is to dilute or repeal the Second Amendment.

Victory over Con Con in Congress

Pro-Constitutional Convention advocates tried to sneak a deceptive provision into the new House Rules on the first day Congress was back in session, Tuesday, January 3, 2017.  The provision — which became the second order of business in the House after the election of Speaker Paul Ryan — was deceptively called the "10 Amendment" rule (regarding the 10th Amendment) and would have purportedly limited a Con Con (Article V Convention) to the amendments initially proposed.  In other words, the proposed Rules change was a pretentious hoax that would have merely created a false appearance of protection.  There is no way to limit the proposed type or number of Con Con amendments during an Article V convention). 

The Rules change proposal failed and was not included in the House Rules for the 2017 session.  You may find the full text here of the newly adopted House Rules

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) proposed the deceptive 10th Amendment Rule; Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform based in D.C., fully endorsed the Rules change.  In a letter to Congress members dated January 2, 2017, Norquist asked the House to change its Rules in a way that would encourage calling a Con Con or Article V convention.  The first two paragraphs of Norquist's letter to Congress are noted below (For the full text of Norquist's letter see here):

January 2, 2017

Dear Republican Members of Congress:

I write to urge you to support an Amendment to the House Rules package proposed by Rep. Kevin Cramer and endorsed by House Rules Chair Pete Sessions that could help restore the Article I Legislative Power of Congress.

The proposed "10th Amendment Rule" would protect the Constitution by recognizing and enforcing the Constitution and especially the 10th Amendment power of states to strictly limit the scope of a Constitutional Amendment process initiated by the states…

Grover Norquist specifically cited Pete Session, House Rules Chair, as being supportive of the "10th Amendment Rule. It just so happens that Rep. Sessions is from Texas, from where much of the pressure for Con Con is coming. Both the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas have built big political war chests and both have been persuaded to support a Con Con, which has already been pre-filed there as the Convention of States legislation.  

Check out Grover P. Norquist's interactive relationship map to observe observe the scope of his influence and wide spread connections.   This article discusses the coalitions formed by Article V Con-Con groups, and who is holding hands with whom.  

Existing state applications for an Article V Convention and resolutions rescinding prior applications 

Not only is Texas being targeted. Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, in an article published recently by multiple newspapers in Wisconsin, demonstrates that Wisconsin is being targeted by the COS project.  He described himself as the "honorary chairman" of the apparently unrelated American Transparency organization, but he's featured on the Convention of States website. It is interesting that Tom Coburn was part of the Never Trump movement, as many in COS likewise were and might still be.  Posted information about Tom Coburn can be found here.  Read here Andy Schlafly's rebuttal to Coburn's editorial. 

Two years ago Section 3(d) of the rules package authorized the Judiciary Committee to maintain a public list of state applications for an Article V convention or resolutions rescinding prior applications.  Before then, there was never any central list of applications.  The status of states can be found here.  

  • Twelve states have been targeted for 2017 by the promoters of a constitutional convention — a "Con Con" or "Convention of States".
  • Eight states have enacted resolutions for a Convention of States, some using language different from others, but each of the eight states should rescind its call.
  • Seventeen states that have passed a Convention of States should rescind it.  A recent example is the rescission by Delaware of all of its prior resolutions for a Con Con.
  • Here are some efforts at rescission 2017.

Argument against a Convention of States 

Following are some of the best arguments against a Convention of States to defeat the enemies of the Constitution who seek a constitutional convention to change it:

  • *Require a fiscal note, which is billions of dollars in lost entitlements to states
  • Justice Scalia called this proposal for an Article V convention a "horrible idea" at a public event less than a year before he passed away.
  • Phyllis Schlafly completely opposed a Con Con and Convention of States, and all variations on the concept.
  •  Convention of States would be a vote against the conservative Republican national platform, which emphatically rejected this.
  •  Convention of States would enable liberals to repeal the Electoral College.
  •  Convention of States would open the door to repealing the Second Amendment.
  •  Convention of States would facilitate a new constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion.

*For example, in which of the targeted states can we compel the legislature to attach a fiscal note for the planned constitutional convention, including delegate expenses and the loss to the state of federal entitlements? Forcing a fiscal note to the tune of the millions or billions of dollars. for the Con Con project would stop it in these targeted Republican states.

Past opposition to Con Con

Heed what some influential people had to say about a Constitutional Convention

1) Barry Goldwater said: “[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.”

2) Chief Justice Warren Burger said:  "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 prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  Proverbs 27:12 

With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks.  A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation. 


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories


  1. Should start renaming it Cal Con. That’s a more appropriate and apt description. Wherever you go, call it Cal Con. Cal Con could stick and it could convince nominals why it’s a really bad idea to give California the ability to control a Con.

  2. For my edification, what 34 states would ratify repealling the 2nd Amendment, tax-payer funded abortions or repealling the Electoral College? I think the founders gave serious thought to Article V and opted to have an alternative to reliance on Congress for introducing and ratifying Amendments to the Constitution. History shows us that Congress has not had a perfect record in this area, ie…Prohibition. Whether through Congress initiating or a Convention of States, the process is not quick or easy and I don’t think we should fear either. Just my thought.

  3. A convention of the states is not a all out Constitutional Convention. It can be called to address specific items such as term limits, balanced budgets etc. Mark Levin brings this up in his books and on his show regularly.

  4. Nancy, I couldn’t disagree with you more. A convention of states is not a constitutional convention. If a convention is proposed, the 34 state legislatures required have full say as to their delegates and the agenda. Congress has no control over this, other than “call” the convention. It is impossible to have a “run away convention” because 34 states must agree on the agenda, line by line. Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, and Milton Friedman all suggested the convention of states as a way to by-step the federal government to regain federal control for issues such as balanced budget amendments. How can you dismiss a constitutional means to amend the constitution? Only our Congress is wise enough to amend the constitution? No. Our constitution is being amended every day by federal judges and federal bureaucracies without our consent. We need to strengthen states’ rights and the convention of states is the best way to do this.