The state of Wyoming has adopted a resolution to inform Washington bureaucrats and bureaucracies of its opposition to any plans to hold a Constitutional Convention that would recommend changes or alterations to the nation’s founding document.
House Enrolled Joint Resolution 3 was signed recently by Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal.
The Wyoming Family Coalition said the measure, sponsored by state Rep. Bob Brechtel, R-Casper, is intended to announce the state’s opposition to “any attempts to dismantle the United States Constitution which has generally served the country well for nearly 230 years.”
WND reported earlier when Wyoming legislators expressed alarm at the idea previous votes in the state would be used to call for such a convention, and also when a public policy organization reported that the nation was only two state votes away from the necessary two-thirds required to call a convention.
Brechtel’s resolution repealed all prior requests formally made by Wyoming to call for a Constitutional Convention.
“A Constitutional Convention would open a Pandora’s Box in this country and would allow debate on our most precious rights,” said the WFC’s chairman, John Birbari of Lander.
“These rights come from God and are guaranteed by the lawful U.S. Constitution, they include our rights of free speech, the right to assemble, the right to practice the religion of our choice, the right to keep and bear arms and many others,” he said.
“Given the current climate in Washington, the people of Wyoming do not want these rights or any of the basic provisions of the Constitution threatened by a Constitutional Convention.”
The bill passed both houses with overwhelming majorities and was signed into law by the governor March 11.
“It takes 34 for states calling for a Constitutional Convention in order to have one,” Birbari said. “Until this action by our legislature, 32 states had issued the call including Wyoming. Now, it’s down to 31.”
Whether a rescission vote would be found valid, however, remains in question. Constitution expert John Eidsmoe, author of the book “Christianity & the Constitution,” told WND earlier there isn’t a clear constitutional directive on the issue.
A public policy organization recently issued an urgent alert that affirmative votes were needed from only two more states before a Constitutional Convention could be assembled in which “today’s corrupt politicians and judges” could formally change the U.S. Constitution’s “‘problematic’ provisions to reflect the philosophical and social mores of our contemporary society.”
“Don’t for one second doubt that delegates to a Con Con wouldn’t revise the First Amendment into a government-controlled privilege, replace the 2nd Amendment with a ‘collective’ right to self-defense, and abolish the 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendments, and the rest of the Bill of Rights,” said the warning from the American Policy Center.
Changes also could include the incorporation of “rights” to abortion and euthanasia, as well as the “separation” of church and state, the group said.
As WND reported, President Obama has expressed the belief that the U.S. Constitution needs to be interpreted through the lens of current events.
The final vote from the 1787 Constitutional Convention
Tom DeWeese, who runs the APC and its education and grass-roots work, previously told WND the possibilities stunned him when he discovered lawmakers in Ohio were considering a call for a Constitutional Convention. He explained that 32 other states already have taken a vote, and only one more would be needed to require Congress to name convention delegates who then would have more power than Congress itself. The Ohio vote later was delayed after DeWeese publicized its work.
Eidsmoe, who now is staff counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law, told WND the constitutional requirements for such an event are unclear.
“It leaves a lot of unanswered questions,” Eidsmoe told WND. “Ultimately it would have to be resolved by a court, but a court has never considered this.”
At the last Constitutional Convention, in 1787, the proposal was to make modifications to the Articles of Confederation, but delegates simply threw them out and wrote a new Constitution, according to historians.
Among other unanswered questions are how officers would be chosen, how delegates would be named and whether it would be open to the public or would allow changes in the Constitution be written behind closed doors, he said.
Chuck Baldwin, presidential candidate for the Constitution Party last year, said the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention were “freedom-loving patriots who had just fought a bloody war for independence and were in no mind to re-enact tyranny upon the land they had just fought to liberate.”
“However, can one imagine what would happen if the current bunch of politically correct leftists in Washington, D.C., were to be granted the power to rewrite our Constitution?” Baldwin continued. “It would be the end of the United States of America, and that is no hyperbole.”
The effort to establish a convention began about 40 years ago, mostly based on issues such as the desire for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
“Since then, 32 states have issued the call. The total number of states that are required to enact the Con Con is 34,” Baldwin wrote. “Simple math reveals that we are only two states short of this disaster. As word of this potential calamity began to surface, the effort stalled with the total states issuing the call stuck at 32.
“With the election of Barack Obama, however, supporters of a Con Con have been emboldened and are now trying to resurrect the momentum. The state that is currently in the crosshairs appears to be Ohio,” Baldwin said.
DeWeese wrote in his alert, “In truth no restrictive language from any state can legally limit the scope or outcome of a [Constitutional] Convention! Once a Convention is called Congress determines how the delegates to the Convention are chosen. Once chosen, those Convention delegates possess more power than the U.S. Congress itself.”
“DeWeese is right,” Baldwin added. “If called, a modern Constitutional Convention could declare the U.S. Constitution to be null and void, and could completely rewrite the document. For example, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger once declared, ‘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.’”
Melody Barnes, a senior domestic policy adviser to the Obama campaign, has told Fox News Obama’s “view is that our society isn’t static and the law isn’t static as well. That the Constitution is a living and breathing document and that the law and the justices who interpret it have to understand that.”
WND also reported Obama believes the Constitution is flawed, because it fails to address wealth redistribution, and he says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that.
Obama told Chicago’s public station WBEZ-FM that “redistributive change” is needed, pointing to what he regarded as a failure of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s.
The Warren court, he said, failed to “break free from the essential constraints” in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth. But Obama, then an Illinois state lawmaker, said the legislative branch of government, rather than the courts, probably was the ideal avenue for accomplishing that goal.
In the 2001 interview, Obama said:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK
But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
The video is available here:
WND also has reported an associate at a Chicago law firm whose partner served on a finance committee for Obama has advocated simply abandoning the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born” citizen.
The paper was written in 2006 by Sarah Herlihy, just two years after Obama had won a landslide election in Illinois to the U.S. Senate. Herlihy is listed as an associate at the Chicago firm of Kirkland & Ellis. A partner in the same firm, Bruce I. Ettelson, cites his membership on the finance committees for both Obama and Sen. Richard Durbin on the corporate website.
The issue of Obama’s own eligibility under the U.S. Constitution’s requirements that presidents be “natural born” citizens is the subject of nearly two dozen court cases, including several that have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Herlihy’s published paper reveals that the requirement likely was considered in a negative light by organizations linked to Obama in the months before he announced in 2007 his candidacy for the presidency.
“The natural born citizen requirement in Article II of the United States Constitution has been called the ‘stupidest provision’ in the Constitution, ‘undecidedly un-American,’ ‘blatantly discriminatory,’ and the ‘Constitution’s worst provision,’” Herlihy begins in her introduction to the paper titled, “Amending the Natural Born Citizen Requirement: Globalization as the Impetus and the Obstacle.”