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Kahuna

The Liberty Amendments

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
I'm not so sure. People are really pretty fed up with the status quo in D.C. Since this does not involve inside the Beltway action at all, I think there is a chance. Just a chance, that's all.

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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.
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

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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

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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

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

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If Mike Levin is for t I will not even waste my time reading it.
It's unclear as to whether Mike Levin supports this or if Mike is related to the book's author, Mark.

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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.
Unfortunately most people are either too uniformed or too stupid to understand anything beyond immediate gratification of their narrowest self-interests.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.
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'.

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