Constitutional convention a dangerous ploy
| June 26, 2022 12:00 AM
On June 19, the Daily Inter Lake published an op-ed titled “Montanans want term limits for Congress,” by former Republican state senator Ed Walker, in which he blames our organization for the reason Montana won’t apply for an Article V Convention and thereby Americans can’t get Congressional term limits.
Mr. Walker, a paid Montana chair for U.S. Term Limits, says most Americans support term limits, and that he supports amending the Constitution to accomplish this. To amend the Constitution, he advocates an Article V Convention, or a Con-Con. Thirty-four states need to apply to trigger a convention. But Montana won’t apply for a Con-Con, he claims, because the John Birch Society will not give the legislature “permission.”
As flattering as it is to be accused of having such influence, Mr. Walker’s tale that the JBS is holding up the Legislature from applying for a Con-Con, to summon the spirit of Big Tech censorship-speak, is “false.” His claim is not even close to reality. The JBS representative he mentioned in his op-ed said nothing of the sort Mr. Walker claims he did. Legislators are not waiting for permission from the JBS for anything. They do, however, want to hear robust debate on the matter.
As a former Montana resident and news reporter in Big Sky Country, I know Montanans don’t need – and don’t ask – for permission from others to do what they think is best. Mr. Walker most likely knows this as well. Yes, the JBS opposes a Con-Con. And yes, our Montanan members and supporters testified against it. But when Montanans rejected an Article V Convention application in the 2021 session, it was because, after having heard arguments for and against a Con-Con, they realized it was a bad idea.
This is very common. When legislators, and even supporters of a Con-Con, hear counter arguments, they realize a Con-Con is dangerous and could destroy the US Constitution. The founder and spokesperson of the organization leading the Con-Con push, Convention of States’ Mark Meckler, has declined numerous invitations to publicly debate a JBS representative on this vital topic. Mr. Walker, it appears, is not a fan of debate either. He has showed up to Con-Con talks in Montana, only to be removed for being disruptive.
There exists a slew of leftist organizations and publications salivating at the idea of opening up the Constitution. The socialists and Marxists have already drafted different versions of constitutions to replace the one created by our brilliant Founding Fathers.
Despite what Con-Con advocates say, there is no guarantee that an Article V Convention would not turn into a runaway convention. Congress will have a lot of say in the rules of a Con-Con. And as former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said about such a prospect, “I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa! Who knows what would come out of that?” Scalia said this during a time when Congress wasn’t even as insane as it is today.
The conservative legislatures of Ohio, South Dakota, Iowa, and Utah have recently shot down resolutions for a Con-Con because they recognized how dangerous it would be, for the reasons cited here – and many more.
If Mr. Walker is so concerned about term limits, we have good news for him, and anyone else who wants term limits. They already exist. They’re called elections. Those lawmakers who’ve been in Congress for decades, the ones he bemoans, can be removed next election. Furthermore, elections allow the few members of Congress who do follow the Constitution to keep serving.
Americans already have all the tools necessary to restore our amazing country. We don’t need to amend the Constitution, we need to obey it. That’s our solution. And it’s a darn good one.
We urge readers to visit jbs.org/concon to learn more about this dangerous ploy. And we encourage Montanans to tell their legislators to quash any attempts at a Con-Con this coming legislative session.
Paul Dragu is communications director for the John Birch Society. He lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.