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Problem Identification Analyzing the Con Con as a Solution October 17, 2013 Richard D. Fry General Counsel, Patriot Coalition

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Presentation on theme: "Problem Identification Analyzing the Con Con as a Solution October 17, 2013 Richard D. Fry General Counsel, Patriot Coalition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Problem Identification Analyzing the Con Con as a Solution October 17, 2013 Richard D. Fry General Counsel, Patriot Coalition Richard@patriotcoalition.com

2 P ATRIOT C OALITION What We Will Cover Today 1.Identify the Root Problem 2.Will changing the Constitution solve the problem? 3.Restoring Constitutional Governance

3 Problem Identification The first question should be: “What is the problem?”

4 "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.“ -Henry David Thoreau Problem Identification

5 Before You Can Solve A Problem You Must Identify the Problem. If we ask the wrong questions, the answers won’t matter. If we don’t properly identify the root problem, there’s a good chance we won’t choose the correct solution, and we will be “hacking at the limbs.” Problem Identification

6 “Besides amassing a huge debt, federal officeholders often have disregarded individual liberty and constitutional limits on their own power.” -Rob Natelson, ALEC Article V Handbook for State LegislatorsALEC Article V Handbook for State Legislators “…politicians are not obeying it and judges are indulging in too much activism.” -Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, 2008Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, 2008 “The federal government is spending this country into the ground, seizing power from the states and taking liberty from the people.” – Convention of StatesConvention of States “The Federal Government is broken.” Citizens for Self-Governance Citizens for Self-Governance

7 Problem Identification Everyone agrees government is out of control. What causes that? Public servants don’t follow the Constitution.

8 Problem Identification The people that want to change the Constitution say that the root problem is “public servants do not follow the Constitution.” Is this the root problem?

9 No. That’s just a symptom. A doctor identifies symptoms, and traces them to the primary cause, which is the real problem. Problem Identification

10 Out-of-control government is a “symptom” of public servants not following the Constitution. The next logical question in tracing the symptom back to the root problem is: Why do public servants not follow the Constitution? Problem Identification

11 Public servants do not follow the Constitution because We the People do not require them to. THAT IS THE “ROOT PROBLEM!” Problem Identification

12 Unfortunately, many people are incorrectly identifying the problem. Their solution doesn’t even solve the problem they’ve identified, and it might kill the patient.

13 Identifying The Wrong Problem: Public servants do not follow the Constitution. Leads to The Wrong Solution: Change the Constitution.

14 The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem Article V of the Constitution tells us how to change it. Some people wrongly think we should change it with an Article V convention.

15 These folks suggest changing the Constitution will make public servants uphold it. Michael Farris Convention of States CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEWSTATES OF AMERICA

16 Their solution is to change the Constitution. Will their solution solve the problem? The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

17 No! Changing the Constitution will not make public servants follow the Constitution. The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

18 Do supporters of changing the Constitution explain “how” that will solve the problem? No! The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

19 If they aren’t talking about how changing the Constitution will solve the problem… What ARE they talking about? The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

20 They are only talking about potential amendments and the rules for controlling the convention. The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

21 What Rules for Controlling the Convention Are They Discussing? 1.Who will control it? States, Congress or delegates? 2.Can it be limited to a single amendment? 3.Can it be limited to a single "subject?” 4.Can it be limited to a single "topic?“ 5.Can the U.S. Supreme Court intervene? 6.Are the delegates representatives of the state legislatures, or of the people?

22 Does Who Controls the Convention Matter? Who will control it? States, Congress or the delegates? Will who controls the convention have any effect on whether our public servants follow a newly-revised Constitution?

23 Will Answering These Questions Matter? 1.Can it be limited to a single amendment? 2.Can it be limited to a single "subject?” 3.Can it be limited to a single "topic?“ 4.Can the U.S. Supreme Court intervene? 5.Are the delegates representatives of the state legislatures, or of the people? Will the answers to any of these questions make it likely or more likely that our public servants will follow a newly-revised Constitution?

24 Their solution does not address the problem they’ve identified. So, figuring out the rules for controlling the convention DOES NOT MATTER! What Rules for Controlling the Convention Are They Discussing?

25 What Amendments are They Discussing? 1.Term Limits for Congress. 2.Term Limits for Supreme Court. 3.Repeal the 17 th Amendment. 4.Limit Federal Spending and Taxation. 5.Limit Federal Bureaucracy. 6.Promote Free Enterprise. 7.Protect Private Property. 8.Grant States Direct Authority to Amend Constitution. 9.Grant States Authority to Check Congress. 10.Protect the Vote Amendment. 11.Parental Rights Amendment. (H.J. Res. 50)

26 The Answers to the Wrong Questions DO NOT MATTER! We already have “term limits” for Members of Congress. What they’re really proposing is limiting the total number of years a Member can serve. Will limiting the total time a Member of Congress can serve make them uphold the Constitution?

27 Mark Levin’s book goes into great detail about the workings of an Article V Convention. He also proposes numerous amendments he would like to see a convention consider, such as a balanced budget amendment, term limits, and a repeal of the 17 th Amendment. If We the People won’t hold our elected officials accountable for not upholding the Constitution now, by what stretch of the imagination do we think they will follow a “new and improved” Constitution?

28 The Answers to the Wrong Questions DO NOT MATTER! These questions would be important and warrant our giving due diligence to answering them if holding an Article V Convention could address the root problem. It is inconceivable that any amendment that could be adopted at an Article V Convention and sent to the states for ratification could force public servants to follow the Constitution. The Constitution cannot defend itself. It’s survival and the preservation of our God-given Rights, for which it was ordained, depend entirely on the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

29 “The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will.” Chief Justice John Marshall, Cohens v. Virginia 19 U.S. 264 (1821) If We the People have lost our will to keep the Constitution alive, it will surely die. If we believe in the Liberty it was ordained to protect, we must take the necessary measures to restore it.

30 Changing the Constitution won’t make public servants follow the Constitution.

31 Remember what the root problem really is: We the People do not require public servants to follow the Constitution. THAT IS THE “ROOT PROBLEM!” Problem Identification

32 Before You Can Solve A Problem You Must Identify the Problem. If we ask the wrong questions, the answers won’t matter. If we don’t properly identify the problem, there’s a good chance we won’t choose the correct solution. Problem Identification

33 What have we learned about the folks wanting to change the Constitution? 1.They want a solution that doesn’t solve the problem they identified. 2.They identified the wrong problem. 3.They are “hacking at the limbs of evil.”

34 CAN WE TRUST THESE PEOPLE TO SOLVE A PROBLEM WHEN THEY REFUSE TO ADMIT THE REAL PROBLEM? Michael Farris Convention of States CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEWSTATES OF AMERICA

35 Questions and Answers Remember, strike at the root of evil: Ask the right questions so the answers will matter.

36 1.Public servants are our employees. 2.We the People are the boss. 3.The Constitution is the “employee handbook.” 4.Learn the Constitution. We can’t be a good boss over our public servants if we don’t know the Constitution. 5.Interview prospective employees (public servants.) 6.Only hire qualified public servants. 7.Hold them accountable to their Oath to the Constitution. 8.FIRE and REPLACE incompetent or derelict public servants. 9.Be ever vigilant in defending our God-given inalienable Rights, and we can restore Constitutional Governance, and “Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” ADDRESSING THE ROOT PROBLEM

37 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know

38 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know Pre-Constitutional Concepts 1.Sovereignty and its inherent authority. 2.The primary purpose of any legitimate government.

39 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know The Constitution 3.The Purpose and scope of the Constitution. 4.The fact that the Constitution was written for the “average voter” or the "average citizen.” 5.The only federal court that has the authority to hear a case in which a state is a party is the U.S. Supreme Court. (Article III §2 cl. 2)

40 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know The Constitution 6.A constitutional convention cannot be controlled and should be avoided at all costs. (Article V.) 7.The extent and meaning of the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2)

41 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know The Constitution 8.The extent and meaning of the "Oath Clause" of Article VI, Clause 3 9.Why States do not have the Constitutional power (or other authority) to “nullify” “federal law.”

42 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know Principles of Federalism 10. State courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the "lower“ federal courts to decide and interpret federal laws and the Constitution within their territorial boundaries.

43 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know Principles of Federalism 11. The Federal government cannot: require a state pass specific legislation, participate in a particular federal program ("scheme") or administrate a federal program ("scheme”)

44 A Dozen Concepts Every Patriot Should Know Principles of Federalism 12. Federalism is meant to directly protect the citizens.

45 Be ever vigilant in defending our God-given inalienable Rights. Restore Constitutional Governance! Defending Life and Liberty is the Pursuit of Happiness!

46 Want to know more? If you’d like to know more about this or any other issue the FIRE Coalition and Patriot Coalition champion, or would like our National Director Jeff Lewis and/or our General Counsel, Richard D. Fry to come speak to your group, contact them at: Jeff@PatriotCoalition.com,Jeff@PatriotCoalition.com or: Richard@PatriotCoalition.comRichard@PatriotCoalition.com Download this presentation here: http://patriotcoalition.com/docs/Con-Con-2013.pps

47 Problem Identification Analyzing the Con Con as a solution Richard D. Fry General Counsel, Patriot Coalition Richard@patriotcoalition.com

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