A NOTE FROM FRED
One of the most dangerous efforts taking place in the country has been operating below the radar screen. A New York Times article this week put a spotlight on the effort to call a constitutional convention to pass a federal balanced budget amendment. 28 states now claim to have passed resolutions calling for the convention. This would leave supporters just six states short of the 34 needed. If a constitutional convention is called, most experts agree that the convention delegates would not be limited to the balanced budget amendment and could report out any number of amendments on any constitutional provisions they want to change. This would place all of the rights protected by the Constitution up for grabs, including protections for civil rights, freedom of speech and religion and voting and privacy rights, among others. There are no existing rules that govern a constitutional convention and no historical guidance on what those rules should be. While any amendment reported by the convention would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states, this would not mitigate the dangers involved in throwing our entire constitutional history on the table and subjecting it to a potential massive rewrite. After all, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison won’t be at this convention.