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The Liberty Amendments

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  • The Liberty Amendments

    I recently read Mark Levin's new book, The Liberty Amendments, Restoring the American Republic. If you haven't read the book, or at least fully understand his proposal, this probably won't make a lot of sense. Levin proposes calling a Convention of the States under Article V, which allows 2/3 of the legislatures of the states to call a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments. Levin proposes eleven specific amendments, although the Convention could add or remove any or all. The amendments would then have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states before they become part of the Constitution. This completely bypasses the president and Congress.

    The amendments proposed include: term limits for members of Congress, restoration of the power of state legislatures to elect Senators (as the original Constitution did), term limits for members of the Supreme Court, amendments limiting the federal power to tax and spend, an amendment that would put limits on the powers of the federal bureaucracy, one to limit the reach of the Interstate Commerce Clause to matters that truly cross state lines, one to prevent confiscation of private property for purposes of increasing the tax base, and power for the states to check the actions of both Congress and the Supreme Court. Levin does a good job of explaining the purpose of each one.

    There has long been a perception that a Constitutional Convention could run amuck and rewrite the Constitution to favor Liberal or Conservative principles. Levin explains why this is not the case. Only specific amendments could be proposed and have to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures. There has already been a gathering at Mount Vernon of politicians who support the idea and several state legislatures have some action moving through to call for such a convention.

    My feeling is that we are losing the Republic and without getting into a blame game (there is plenty to go around for all sides), the government IS the problem. Something truly drastic is going to be needed to restore it and it's my feeling, both as a citizen and an attorney, that these proposed amendments might be the answer.

    I encourage everyone to read Mark Levin's book and try to understand the intent. You don't have to be a constitutional law professor to get the message.

  • #2
    I plan to read it. Washington is so corrupt now. We have a president who is currently rewriting or throwing out legislation of which he is not legally allowed to do. The corruption is on both sides of the aisle. Politicians are elected and then pass legislation based not on the will of the majority but on perpetuating their power in Washington. Power of the people needs to be returned to the states. Good thread.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've read the amendments and a little bit of the explanations. It will never happen. These amendments would result in massive reductions in the size and scope of the federal government. Too many people lined up at trough to let that happen.

      Comment


      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        I see the need. I am not confident in that change process which has never been done and likely for a reason. Yet I agree there is a chance, and in one area in particular, I bet ALL state conventions would agree to return control of their National Guard units to their respective state governors and greatly reduce federal control, e.g., state National Guard units could not be deployed outside of the United States unless Congress declared war, ... Undo parts of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2007, etc.
        My $0.01

      • Brewmeister
        Brewmeister commented
        Editing a comment
        Unfortunately most people are either too uniformed or too stupid to understand anything beyond immediate gratification of their narrowest self-interests.

      • packsaddle
        packsaddle commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with Twocubdad. This is unrealistic. I actually do not agree with legislating term limits. We already have term limits. They're called 'elections'.

    • #4
      If Mike Levin is for t I will not even waste my time reading it.

      Comment


      • Brewmeister
        Brewmeister commented
        Editing a comment
        It's unclear as to whether Mike Levin supports this or if Mike is related to the book's author, Mark.

    • #5
      I'd like to see it happen.

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      • #6
        Since the Civil War, the downward spiral of increased federal government power, decreased state power has taken its toll. Unfortunately, it is exactly what our Founding Fathers set up the US Constitution to avoid. It gave a few powers to the Federal government and ALL THE REST to the States! The Founding Fathers would be appalled at what the US has become. The American Dream is over and each year that passes it will be that much harder to reverse the declining spiral we are in and have been for quite some time.

        Stosh

        Comment


        • RememberSchiff
          RememberSchiff commented
          Editing a comment
          IMO they would also be stunned that "checks and balances' has failed, the Legislative and Judicial branches have shirked or handed-over their responsibilities. The Executive branch wages war, signs treaties, conducts surveillance and seizures without warrants, approves position appointment which are constitutionally Congress' responsibilities. And the Supreme Court, well if you cannot uphold individual rights or state rights, I guess corporate rights is good enough. Another $0.01
          Last edited by RememberSchiff; 01-17-2014, 07:06 AM.

        • DigitalScout
          DigitalScout commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, that pesky Civil War that emancipated an entire class of oppressed Americans. Which of course led to women wanting to vote. This liberty thing is getting out of hand.

        • RememberSchiff
          RememberSchiff commented
          Editing a comment
          Writ of habeas corpus was first suspended during the Civil War which would incarcerate many Americans without charges, without trial. Sorry to say, it has been repeated several times since. Sorry no liberty for you and your family George Takei, welcome to life in horse stables at a war relocation center (WW2).

      • #7
        A Constitutional Convention could in theory offer a new Constitution... The original Constitutional Convention was called to amend the Articles of Confederacy.

        I'm not sure that you could call a Constitutional Convention for the sole purpose of offering Amendments and NOT have it be open ended.

        I think that if you repealed Direct Election of Senators, the whole situation would solve itself within 10 years. That one was a well intentioned reform that has totally destroyed Federalism.

        Comment


        • Kahuna
          Kahuna commented
          Editing a comment
          I assure you that it not only can be limited to those amendments, but it would have to be that way. The Convention of States can only be called to vote on specific proposals. The convention could not rewrite the Constitution. This is a big misunderstanding that many people have. And remember, 3/4 of the state legislatures must ratify any amendments passed.

        • Merlyn_LeRoy
          Merlyn_LeRoy commented
          Editing a comment
          Article V doesn't read that way to me:

          "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"

          Looks to me like amendments are proposed at the convention.

      • #8
        Term Limits in California also proved to be a reform that caused more problems. New members of the State Legislature start working on their next position, nobody as the experience, and unelected bureaucrats and staffers hold the knowledge and power.

        Improving/fixing the takings clause debacle that was shown in the Kelo decision is simple - pass it at the state level. That is what the Supreme Court told us to do.

        I would love to see Wickard v Filburn overturned - that was when the Commerce Clause really got out of whack. The current court is nibbling away, but it could be tough to go further (and the net neutrality decision could end up with a solution that is not worth the price).

        Always remember that the convention to fix the Articles (as noted by Pack18Alex) resulted in the Constitution. Patrick Henry refused to serve under the new form, and predicted many of the modern problems we have today.

        Comment


        • DuctTape
          DuctTape commented
          Editing a comment
          Ben Franklin also predicted it. Jefferson was quite clear about the dangers of a country which moved beyond an agrarian system. I don't think the founders would be appalled. In fact I don't think they would be very surprised. Throughout history, no republic nor democracy had lasted, the founders as educated men would have been well aware of history and known the system would have devolved.

      • #9
        Mr. Levin's book sounds like a must read; I'm going to see if I can pick it up after work today. From my point of view this Nation has two issues:

        1. A government that is no longer "of the people, for the people, and by the people" ... that could care less about the people outside of an election.
        2. People what are so self-involved, and/or so distracted by social crack, like professional sports, to be remotely aware of what's happening in this nation.

        If we solve the second issue, the first will quickly be resolved. Mr. Levin's book sounds like it could be the striker that rings the liberty bell. As you stated, "We the people" can correct our own issues, peacefully, if we pry ourselves away from reality TV long enough to become aware of our reality. I fear that if "The People" don't wake up soon, others who are less informed, will attempt to force change in more destructive ways.

        Comment


        • #10
          Merlin, the amendments are proposed at the convention, but the convention is called only for the purpose of voting on amendments which are proposed by the states.

          Comment


          • Merlyn_LeRoy
            Merlyn_LeRoy commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't see where it says that at all; it says "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments". To me, that says that the place to propose amendments is at the convention.

        • #11
          Somewhere in the past week-2 weeks I saw a headline about Virginia preparing for a constituional convention (phrased like "WHY is VA preparing for...") but I can't remember where and the only thing Google is giving me is Glenn Beck which I don't read, but apparently VA and SC have already called for the convention http://www.glennbeck.com/2013/12/04/...ion-of-states/

          Comment


          • #12
            Several States are moving in that direction. Of course, the main stream media is oblivious to the whole thing. I guess it's going to be up to me to write an op-ed to my local mullet wrapper about the process and send out emails to my state legislators.

            Comment

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