MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

December 2023 Newsletter

by | Dec 1, 2023 | AVC Newsletter | 0 comments


media attacks escalate as article v proponent mike johnson becomes speaker

by Vickie Deppe

Newsweek celebrated Thanksgiving by dropping a late-night hit piece on Convention of States Action. Relying exclusively on input provided by activist organization Faithful America, the piece is rife with factual errors, probably the most egregious being, “Article V of the founding document also allows amendments to be ratified in a constitutional convention, which can be triggered at the request of two-thirds of state legislatures.” Had anyone at Newsweek bothered to read the Constitution, they would know that the text plainly states that amendments proposed by the states at a convention called under the authority of Article V must undergo the same ratification process as those that originate in Congress. COSA was given just hours—at night on a major holiday—to respond. Faithful America should provide Newsweek with a receipt for its in-kind donation. 

Politico did better, quoting directly from both advocates and opponents; though author Laura Jedeed couldn’t disguise her alarm at the prospect that states might actually use their constitutional authority to impose reforms on Washington. Ms. Jedeed references a New Yorker piece entitled “State Legislatures are Torching Democracy” to make the case that the delegates to an Article V Convention would be more conservative than the population as a whole. However, the Supreme Court’s 1964 Reynolds v. Sims decision actually made state legislatures even more democratic than the United States Congress. 

According to the 2020 census, states with Republican-controlled legislatures are home to 50% of the US population as compared to 44% who live in states in which the legislature is controlled by Democrats. When the legislative session convenes in January, Democrats will be only slightly underrepresented with control of 41% of state legislative chambers…not nearly as skewed as the cherry-picked Wyoming vs. California comparison. Moreover, this gap fades from insignificant to completely meaningless considering the extremely high bar of ratification: 75% of the states must ratify anything that comes out of an Article V Convention—the highest threshold of any political endeavor in the United States. Whatever Republicans hope to achieve, they will need the support of blue states to get there. That opponents like Russ Feingold, the source of this ridiculous comparison, must resort to disingenuous scare tactics like these calls into question not only his methods, but his motives, as well. 

Ms. Jedeed correctly observes: “COSA’s version of an Article V convention seems deliberately designed to leave liberals and progressives in the cold.” Though vilifying political opponents is, unfortunately, an effective fundraising and grassroots mobilization strategy on both sides of the aisle, conservative Article V activists must remember that amending the Constitution is different from every other political endeavor in the United States. Absent overwhelmingly lopsided one-party control not seen in over a generation, it requires bi-partisan cooperation. If current electoral and demographic trends hold, COSA will need the help of an ever-increasing number of blue state legislatures to call a convention, and still more to get anything that may come of it ratified. COSA’s messaging, endorsements, and loss of momentum suggest that they still don’t realize what power brokers in Washington have known all along: it’s not left vs. right…it’s DC insiders vs. the rest of us. 


Article V News

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) became the first Republican to introduce campaign finance legislation. Hawley’s bill seeks to prohibit publicly traded corporations from making campaign-related expenditures. Though it has been hailed by observers as an attempt to overturn Citizens United—which held that money is a form of constitutionally-protected speech that extends to corporations—Supreme Court decisions cannot be overturned with legislation. A subsequent decision or constitutional amendment such as may be proposed at the convention being advanced by Wolf-PAC is required. Whether the more narrowly-tailored legislation will be passed by Congress, signed into law by the President, and withstand judicial scrutiny remains to be seen. 

In South Carolina, two delegate selection and oversight measures have been prefiled. H4625 and H4626 have been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. 

The Phoenix Correspondence Commission will have its next meeting on Friday, December 8. If you are interested in learning more about the work of the PCC or would like to find out if your state is represented, please visit https://phoenix-correspondence-commission.gov/ or contact Executive Director W. Bruce Lee at Bruce.Lee@Phoenix-Correspondence-Commission.gov

Constitution Boot Camp 

If you haven’t begun working through the Constitution Boot Camp, it’s not too late to catch up! This month’s lesson is Article I, Section 2: The House, beginning on page 6


If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. 

Milton Berle