LETTER: North Dakota should reverse calls for constitutional convention
I read with interest the letter by Judy Stahl of Valley City, N.D., urging North Dakota legislators to reverse calls for an Article V national convention for proposing Constitutional amendments ("Rescind North Dakota's support for constitutional ...
I read with interest the letter by Judy Stahl of Valley City, N.D., urging North Dakota legislators to reverse calls for an Article V national convention for proposing Constitutional amendments ("Rescind North Dakota's support for constitutional convention," Page A4, July 26).
This led me to Lloyd Omdahl's column that predicted a convention will never happen, even if enough states call for one ("There will be no Article V constitutional convention," Page A4, Aug. 8).
Omdahl says Congress never will agree on details, so there will never be a convention. I disagree. Congress reaches agreement often enough to pass a lot of important legislation.
Besides, Article V says when enough states apply, Congress "shall" call a convention for proposing amendments (plural).
Omdahl also suggests that bad amendments wouldn't become law anyway because the proposals wouldn't win supermajority support from the states. Again, I disagree. The Constitution says amendments will become part of it when ratified by three-fourths of the legislatures "or by conventions in three-fourths thereof." The latter process likely would make it easier for the amendments to win approval.
Besides, have states always rejected bad amendments? How about the 18th, outlawing all drinking alcohol? Its passage led to years of violence and death by mobsters. Or the 16th, giving us the personal income tax and leading to a $20 trillion deficit and out-of-control big government? Or the 17th, giving us the popular vote for U.S. senators, so that they make all sorts of promises to be elected instead of being chosen by our state legislatures, ensuring another check on balance of power?
And why risk a convention that could rewrite the Constitution that has enabled more freedom and prosperity for more people than any other system?
Also, if followed, the Constitution provides the limitations to stop special interest spending that balloons the budget and attracts special interest electioneering.
No, Mr. Omdahl, reversing the convention calls would not be the Legislature "wasting its time" on "fruitless ventures."
Valley City, N.D.