Here are powerful videos of conservative Mark Levin talking about his new book, “The Liberty Amendments,” on “Hannity” last night. Incredibly thought-provoking.
Levin proposes in his new book that the Founders left a process to us in Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution by which the states collectively can bypass Congress and the Executive Branch and propose amendments to the Constitution. He said that process was placed in the Constitution by the Founders as a mechanism of recourse in the event the central Government became too powerful and out of control.
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Part 2 here:
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Levin explained that this alternative way of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution requires two-thirds of the states to inform Congress they are going to hold a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. Proposed Amendments can then be debated and if approved by the convention can then be sent to the States for ratification. It would take three-fourths of the states to ratify an amendment. This method has never been successfully tried in U.S. History. All other amendments have followed the other process in Article V by which two-thirds of both the House and Senate approve an amendment, and then send it on to the states where three-fourths must vote to ratify it to become law.
Here are the Amendments Levin believes States should propose:
1. Term Limits – “12 years and out”
2. Return to Election of Senators by State Legislatures
3. Provide a way for States (3/5) or Congress (3/5 vote) to override Supreme Court decisions
4. Limits on Taxation and Bureaucracy
Mark Levin will be on “Hannity” Friday night for the full hour with a live audience to discuss his proposals in more detail.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Cornell University provides the following note on the “Convention alternative” (numbers are linked annotations at Cornell’s site):
The Convention Alternative.—Because it has never successfully been invoked, the convention method of amendment is sur[p.900]rounded by a lengthy list of questions.21 When and how is a convention to be convened? Must the applications of the requisite number of States be identical or ask for substantially the same amendment or merely deal with the same subject matter? Must the requisite number of petitions be contemporaneous with each other, substantially contemporaneous, or strung out over several years? Could a convention be limited to consideration of the amendment or the subject matter which it is called to consider? These are only a few of the obvious questions and others lurk to be revealed on deeper consideration.22 This method has been close to utilization several times. Only one State was lacking when the Senate finally permitted passage of an amendment providing for the direct election of Senators.23 Two States were lacking in a petition drive for a constitutional limitation on income tax rates.24 The drive for an amendment to limit the Supreme Court’s legislative apportionment decisions came within one State of the required number, and a proposal for a balanced budget amendment has been but two States short of the requisite number for some time.25 Arguments existed in each instance against counting all the petitions, but the political realities no doubt are that if there is an authentic national movement underlying a petitioning by two–thirds of the States there will be a response by Congress.