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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Conventional Wisdom

Um, VT Digger, I love you, but this article is spectacularly awful.  

Start with the hed: LEAHY PUSHES FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM.  Pat, in fact, does no such thing.  He did move Udall's proposed resolution through Judiciary, and would like to see an Amendment pass, but I see no call for Convention.

Then there's this:

The measure must be brought to the Senate floor, and passed by both chambers. Thirty-four states must then vote to hold a convention. If a convention is held, 38 states (three-quarters) must vote to approve the amendment.

In May, the Vermont Legislature became the first state to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to reverse the Supreme Court rulings that critics say allow wealthy donors to disproportionately influence American politics.

I think I see the problem.  Vermont certainly did pass a resolution proposing a limited Article V convention.  However, here's what Udall's proposed resolution says:

[T]he following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States.

Yeah, that's not a call for Convention, but rather a standard Article V process which has been used for every Amendment since the very beginning--no other method has ever been used.  So the author appears to be conflating the two approaches because of Vermont's resolution.

There's a big difference, and Digger should be more careful.  Proposing a single amendment is a much narrower thing than calling for the States to gather to make changes, which would be a much woolier, unpredictable process.

I guess it doesn't really matter that much since it's most likely DOA on the Senate floor, let alone in the House.  Still...


July 12, 2014 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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"...calling for the States to gather to make changes, which would be a much woolier, unpredictable process."

Hey, just think of it like a Shriner's Convention, but with fewer funny hats and more binge drinking. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | Jul 12, 2014 11:08:23 AM

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