On Thursday, February 6, at 5 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time), in the Lincoln Room of the Idaho Legislature, a public debate is scheduled on the merits of the proposed Article V Constitution of States now being pushed in state legislatures across the United States.
That is, a debate will occur if Mark Meckler, the president of the “Convention of States” actually shows up, or sends someone else to argue for his position — that there should be a constitutional convention, or what he calls a “Convention of States” to consider amendments to the United States Constitution under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
Shawn Meehan, the founder of Guard the Constitution, and Robert Brown, a constitutional scholar, both opponents of the Article V convention pushed by Meckler and others, have been challenging Meckler to a public debate for some time.
Meckler’s organization, the Convention of States, has been working for several years for a convention to be called to amend the Constitution so as to “enforce it.”
In a press release this week, Meehan and Brown, said of Meckler, “His campaign of misinformation has graduated to accusing opponents [of the Convention of States’ push for a national constitutional convention] of being liars. As those opponents, we felt it time for us to exercise our moral right to insist Mr. Meckler show up and defend his accusations.”
Brown added, “When Mark Meckler elevated his roadshow to amend the Constitution into slandering opponents, Shawn and I agreed, we had to directly engage.” Brown wondered if Meckler would “show up with evidence to back his attacks, or will his absence reveal the truth?”
Meehan explained to The New American why this public challenge has become necessary. Meehan said that Meckler said on a radio program in Boise, Idaho, that the anti-Article V group goes around the country lying about the issue, and he was not going to debate liars. Meehan added that there is audio capturing Meckler saying more than once that he would not debate them because they are liars.
Because of this, Meehan contends that Meckler has a moral obligation to show up and defend his assertion that they are liars.
Brown promises that no matter who is there to debate in favor of an Article V Convention of States, legislators and the public will be treated to clear documentation of what the Founders really said to do to enforce the U.S. Constitution. Formal invitations have been delivered to members of the state legislature, a Boise State political science professor will moderate the debate, the local media is giving the proposed debate good coverage, and a substantial crowd is expected.
Article V proponents, such as Meckler, argue that a national convention (which they call a Convention of States) is needed to propose amendments to the Constitution to make sure the federal government follows the Constitution. But Meehan said, “Honest students of our Constitution know that the Founders never said to amend it to enforce it, so it is time to provide Mr. Meckler a simple way to present information in an attempt to prove his accusations. We look forward to Mr. Meckler changing his history of ducking debates after throwing accusations by showing up to support his comments.”
Should no one appear to support the Convention of States, the debate will become an interactive class on the issue. “We look forward to seeing our fellow Americans in Boise and via the live Internet stream as we show them proof of what the Founders really said about guarding the Constitution,” Meehan said.
Meehan served in the Air Force as a master sergeant and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since his retirement, he has worked with several groups around the country in efforts to educate state legislators on the dangers of changing our Constitution through Article V.
Brown has served as a coordinator and regional field director for The John Birch Society, covering Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Six of his lectures on the Constitution are part of a DVD series known as The Constitution is the Solution. He lives in Salt Lake City.
Brown and Meehan are warning that an Article V Convention could lead to the scrapping of our present U.S. Constitution. The dangers are real. At a recent forum at New York University sponsored by Harper’s Magazine, several participating “scholars” took turns trashing the U.S. Constitution. One participant, David Law, a Fulbright scholar and a member of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, was quite blunt: “Countries actually don’t need written constitutions.… We need to forget about constitutionalism entirely.” The other participants offered variations of this viewpoint.
One participant, however, was adamant on how to best accomplish the goal of abolishing the present Constitution of the United States — an Article V Convention. Lawrence Lessig, an advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, said in his book, Republic Lost, “[A] constitutional convention is the only final plausible strategy for forcing fundamental reform onto our Congress.”
Why is that? Lessig explained, “It’s going to be easier to organize movements within the states to demand fundamental reform than it will be to organize Congress for any particular amendment to the Constitution to effect that reform.” Among his objectives is to abolish the Electoral College.
In an article in the May 1993 Texas Law Review, Lessig even argued, “Perhaps … it is time to rewrite our Constitution.”
Lessig appeared in 2014 at the Citizen University’s Annual National Conference in Seattle with Mark Meckler, where both men argued for an Article V constitutional convention.
Rather than an unpredictable constitutional convention, the solution to our present out-of-control government is to educate the electorate in the principles found in our present Constitution — limited government, individual liberty, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism — so they will then choose members of Congress who will live up to their oaths to support our present Constitution.
Hopefully, Brown and Meehan will be able to convince the media, the public, and Idaho state legislators that the problem is not our Constitution, but the failure to follow it, and reject this effort by people such as Meckler and Lessig to roll the dice with it at a constitutional convention. As the late Justice Antonin Scalia wisely said, this is a bad century in which to write a constitution.
Photo of Mark Meckler: Gage Skidmore