Mark Levin, Constitution Article V, and the “Liberty Amendments”
On his July 10 radio show, Mark Levin previewed contents of his new book called The Liberty Amendments. Levin points to Article V of the Constitution, which prescribes the methods by which the Constitution may be amended to reverse the federal power grab and runaway spending.
In the past, most conservatives have pushed off any notion of a Constitutional Convention or “Con-Con” because its agenda might be uncontrollable. For example the 2nd amendment could even be repealed. For years, Levin himself consistently said “no way” to a Con-Con.
But after his careful study of Article V and especially the record of the Founding Fathers’ debate on it (George Mason, James Madison et al), he argues we’ve all been missing something critical.
Article V was specifically designed to cover the situation we face today — an over-reaching federal government. The Founders knew that such a government, once entrenched, would never vote for amendments that would reduce its own hold on power. So they deliberately included a separate amendment process in Article V that keeps Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court out of the loop.
The time for that Article V process has clearly come, says Levin. It’s been there all along, clearly explained in the historical record, yet we’ve somehow disregarded it.
The debt of the United States shall not be increased except by three-fourths majority vote of both the House and Senate, nor may federal expenditures exceed 20 percent of gross domestic product except by three-fourths consent of the several state legislatures.
The merits of this particular amendment and wording aside, if 38 state legislatures were to ratify this amendment, it would be fully effective immediately as a formal amendment to the Constitution. No permission from Congress, the president, or the Supreme Court need be sought, none is required, and there is no appeal.* The state legislatures are the ultimate authority — by design. This may come as a shock those who’ve always presumed Washington rules us all.
Levin’s new book will be available in mid-August, and he includes 11 starter amendments for consideration by grassroots citizenry and, through them, by our state legislators.
If nothing else, this kind of peaceful, Constitutional rebellion of the states should put the fear of God into some of the ruling-class elites who have been perverting our constitutional republic for decades with ruinous debt, as well as other abuses and usurpations.
The first 10 minutes of the video/audio excerpt below cover the core concept. The remaining 20 minutes include additional explanation and discussion. The full Levin podcast is available (free) at this link. Look for the July 10 show. If you are reading this article long after its publication date, look for the show in the Levin archives at this link.
While this Article V concept can work, it won’t be easy, not least because none of the denizens of the Washington beltway will yield power willingly. But the Constitution and the Founders’ words are on our side, and we’d better make use of both before it’s too late.
Do you want to participate? Try your hand at writing some amendments yourself. Keep them simple. Mimic the tone and style of the Constitution. Add them to the Comments section below if you like. I offer this as another candidate:
No person shall serve more than three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate, except that a Senator or Representative in office when this amendment is ratified may serve out his/her current term.
What do you think? Let’s get the discussion going …
*Footnote: Constitution scholars (like Levin) need to weigh in, but to comply strictly with the wording of Article V, Congress may demand to play the role of administrator by calling an actual “convention”, which Article V says they shall (meaning must) call if two-thirds of the state legislatures demand it. But Congress would have no voting privileges at that convention. State legislatures would each get one vote, and when 38 states vote “aye” to ratification, it’s done — the amendment takes effect immediately. Like the Electoral College, delegates may be pre-sworn to vote in accordance with state legislature direction.