COS Pocket Guide

Article V Delegate Bills are Deceptive and Dangerous
By Janine Hansen, National Constitutional Issues Chairman Eagle Forum

How does a Delegate bill Limit the Limitless?

Delegate bills are designed by the proponents of Article V Constitutional Conventions to take the worry out of a wide-open Constitutional Convention proposing limitless amendments. But the “Convention of States Project” itself proposes limitless ideas for amendments exposing the erroneous idea that COS has any intention of limiting the number of amendments in an Article V Convention.

Delegate bills are a smoke screen designed to obscure the limitless amendments COS has up their sleeve.

In the “Convention of States” booklet published in 2018 and available on their website, “Article V Convention of States Citizen’s Pocket Guide, The Founders’ Constitutional Emergency Plan for ‘We the People’ to Save America from Federal Government Tyranny” COS lists an eye-opening number of limitless “possible Amendments to consider at an Article V Constitutional Convention of the Convention of States.

On pages 33 and 34 we read:

Possible Amendments to Consider at a Convention of States”

“At an Article V Convention of States, delegates will have the opportunity to debate and pass amendments that could:

  • Require Members of Congress to live under the same laws they pass for us.
  • Impose term limits on Members of Congress.
  • Pass a federal balanced budget amendment.
  • Require a photo ID to vote.
  • Get the federal government out of our healthcare system.
  • Get the federal government out of our education system.
  • Stop unelected federal bureaucrats from imposing regulations.
  • Set term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
  • Set term limits for federal bureaucrats, ending the dominance of the “deep state.”
  • Remove the authority of the federal government over state energy policy.
  • Remove the authority of the federal government over land use issues within state borders.
  • Force the federal government to honor its commitment to return federal lands to the states.
  • At this convention, delegates from the states will gather for the sole purpose of limiting the power, size, and spending of the federal government, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.”

Notice the broad range of subjects…from election law to energy policy, from education to healthcare. Is there an issue you can think of that doesn’t fit under COS’s enormous umbrella resolution?  Is there a pet amendment you would like to propose? Or perhaps that the Delegates from large population Left-leaning states, who will have the majority of delegates, would like to propose?

In addition to these limitless possibilities and subjects, the COS booklet goes on to list proposals from their Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia simulated Convention held in September 2016 on six IDEAS more subjects (not amendments but ideas). “The devil is in the details,” which are never provided.

  • Not increasing the public debt except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress.
  • Term limits on Members of Congress
  • Limiting federal overreach by returning the Commerce Clause to its original meaning.
  • Limiting the power of federal regulations by giving an easy congressional override.
  • Requiring a supermajority for federal taxes and repeal of the 16th Amendment.
  • Giving the states (by a 3/5ths vote) the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation or executive order.

The key that unlocks the limitless amendments at an Article V Constitutional Convention is the COS Resolution itself. The Convention of States Project recommends “limiting” a Constitutional Convention to three subjects, which open every Article in the U.S. Constitution to limitless amendments.

  1. “to impose Fiscal Restraints on the Federal Government” (That could mean a Balanced Budget of some sort but it is undefined and could mean much more).
  2. to limit “the Power and Jurisdiction of the Federal Government,” (This opens to amendments all Six of the Seven Articles of the Constitution in which our Founders limited the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government. In other words, it opens the door to limitless amendments to the entire Constitution).
  3. to “limit the terms of office for its officers and members of Congress”.

As we can see, the Convention of States Article V resolution proposes an application with Subjects, which are undefined and limitless, not specific amendments.  Therefore any Delegate bill purporting to limit what Delegates can do at a limitless COS convention is preposterous as demonstrated by COS’s own list of Possible Amendments to Consider at an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States.

Delegate bills are a Deceptive smoke screen as the Article V proposals are themselves limitless. Delegate bills are Dangerous as they lead America towards a wide-open and limitless Article V Constitutional Convention of the States allowing Legislators to recklessly say like Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine, “What me worry?”