“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” – Amendment IX.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – Amendment X.
The 9th & 10th Amendments, the final seals put on the Bill of Rights, pretty much say it all. The reins are put on the federal government, a wall is established around federal power, and the States are, essentially, given free rein to control everything not specifically designated as belonging in the sphere of things to be controlled by federal power.
So, what’s the problem? How will calling a Convention of States to establish new powers and mandates solve our problems?
When an inebriated citizen fired his weapon into the air on New Year’s Eve, a number of years ago, someone was wounded by the stray bullet. That prompted a local councilman to propose a new law making it illegal to fire weapons into the air on holidays. The problem? It was already illegal to discharge a firearm in public.
So, when laws are disobeyed, let’s make more laws… that can be disobeyed. And when the Constitution is ignored, let’s propose amendments that can, and will, be equally ignored.
I contend, what some have disagreed with, that the original Constitutional Convention was called with the mandate to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation that was proving inadequate to its task, not as a proposal to write a new Constitution.
Some conventioneers arrived with different ideas and thus arose the disagreements between the federalists and the anti-federalists. The Articles were scrapped and a new Constitution was presented in its place.
Small government anti-federalists were only, finally, placated by a promise to return and establish a bill of rights. Understand that the restrictions on government regarding the liberty of “We the People” were not codified because conventioneers thought they needed to be codified, otherwise the restrictions and rights did not exist. The Bill of Rights was codified because anti-federalists were concerned that the restrictions on federal power and the rights of the people would eventually be forgotten or, worse yet, ignored. Voilà!
Point: a COS is not called with guidelines or restrictions, that’s not how it works. Additionally, your team is not guaranteed control over a COS. Progressives as well as conservatives desire control. Based on the clear thinking and level-headedness that pervaded colonial America, we were able to survive the first COS. Not everybody was happy but, as founding documents go, the Constitution is a pretty remarkable piece of work and the Bill of Rights is genius. In other words, it could have been a lot worse. I’m not sure I would be as trusting in an America so divided as it is today that a COS would be so successful.
Maybe, before we go to a COS, we should try adhering to the Constitution we already have and then see if we need more. But that probably makes too much sense.