David Barton voices support of Convention of States in letter

Wallbuilders Founder David Barton has authored a letter expressing his support for a Convention of States. Alongside his co-host on Wallbuilders Live Rick Green, Barton says he has spent years researching a Convention of States and is urging Americans to support this legislative effort to limit the scope of the federal government.

He writes:

Fellow Patriots,

It is exciting to see such a renewed interest in basic constitutional principles. Liberty lovers across America are studying their past in order to find ways to stop our federal government’s explosive growth and sprint towards socialism.

Fortunately, our Founding Fathers, with their thorough understanding of human nature, created constitutional means to restrain the federal government when it exceeded its jurisdiction. One specific means was the Constitution’s Article V amendment process by means of a Convention of the States. This is a proper solution.

We have not come to this conclusion lightly. Like many of our conservative friends, we initially avoided this constitutionally-specified process due to a fear of what might occur, or what could happen. But after years of research and studying the Founders’ original intent for this amendment process — and after years of witnessing an unconstitutional reshaping of our federal government — we are both confident that this is the correct course of action.

The Federalist Papers declare that the Constitution specifically furnishes each part of government “with constitutional arms” for its own “effectual powers of self-defense.” One such arm of self-defense that the Constitution gives to the states is an Article V Convention of States. For states to refuse to use this tool would be like going into a street fight, but refusing to use one of your biggest and most effective weapons. And it is illogical to consider the use of any constitutional provision as a threat to the Constitution. It makes as much sense as violating the free-market system to save it, or breaking health care to fix it.

We urge you to support all of the Constitution, and thus the efforts of the Convention of States to pass their extremely well-thought-out and strategic legislation in your home state and join us in a call to restore our constitutional republic.

God Bless,

David Barton
Founder and President, WallBuilders

Rick Green
Co-host, WallBuilders Live!
Author, The Citizen Guide to Our Constitution 

On radio this morning, Glenn reacted to David’s decision to lend his support to the growing push for an Article V Convention of States:

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  • Fred

    . Yes Mr. Barton is right The time has come. We must stand our ground and push back.

  • Anonymous

    The convention of states is a very very bad idea. We the people are sovereign. The government needs to need to abide by the Constitution as it is written. Congress needs to abide by the limitations imposed a article 1 section 8 of the Constitution. The other branches of government also must abide by the Constitutional limits. Specifically the Supreme Court and other courts must abide by the limits outlined in the Constitution. Those judges that do not abide by the Constitution should be impeached and removed. Additionally, any federal court that refuses to honor the Constitution should be abolished. Congress has the power to abolish any such Maverick Court.
    Blogger Publius-Hulda that has made an excellent argument against the convention of states. Please check that out at Freedom Outpost..

  • Felecia

    I agree with you on some points, however when you have a President and a Senate that will allow him to act in such a matter, there is no way that impeachment would go forward because there are far more law makers that will block such a process. If you keep pushing the American people we will have no other choice but to cut the nose off to spite the face…..It’s just a really SAD that we have to go to such measures

  • Felecia

    I have read that Georgia is the first to pass the Convention of States and I think that we need to have this bill brought before our Senators here in Texas and the people of this great state vote whether or not it is the best for Texans.

  • Frederick Johnsen

    It is unlikely that the states will pass such a measure in any degree, as its outcome could limit the federal legislative branch, which so many state politicians are both beholding to and aspiring toward. So, put away the fife and drum and get used to being governed by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  • PrayerBurden

    One thing is for SURE sir, things WILL continue as they are (and spiral downward) if we do NOTHING! ***I*** believe it is a worthy and worthwhile effort to go forward with the Convention. I also believe that to do NOTHING would be WORSE. I REFUSE to accept the staus quo and accept Obama’s desire to RULE by tyranny.

  • Anonymous

    The so-called con con is strongly supported by many many for left-wing organizations. They want to redo the Constitution in a manner that we won’t like. Your comments emphasize the point that we need to elect lawmakers who abide by the Constitution and then enforce it. They are to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and the domestic. I would again urge you and others to check out the Publius-Hulda
    blog at freedom outpost.

  • PrayerBurden

    It doesn’t help when those in power CONTINUE to interpret the Constitution as they please AND/OR outright ignore it and do whatever they want with NO consequences. The framers KNEW this might happen. THAT is why Article 5 was put into the Constitution. The Convention *is* a legal AND Constitutional way to reign in an out of control government.

  • melissa

    NEVER!!!!!

  • ThatDogDontHunt

    You can check Publius Huldah but I would urge everyone to also google Citizens for Self Governance and do some critical thinking about the alternatives. Make your own decisions on what is the best way to return this country to it’s constitutional roots. It bugs me when Publius declares the ideas of Mark Levin and Rob Natelson a scam when they are just as learned about the constitution as Publius. Research both sides and make your own informed decision.

  • Draxx

    Why can’t there be more people like David Barton? I have followed his commentaries, group conversations, and interviews for a while now… And, Our Fore-Fathers Wanted Men Like Him To Run This Great Nation (at least once great in the past, but it can be Restored). They Dreaded People Like Pelosi, McCain, the Obummers, Clintons, and too many to list others running this country!!!

    People, Do Anything You Can To Support The “Convention of States” Happening Sooner Than Later!

    Tyranny Preys On The Lazy and Do Nothings Out There, and then Attacks Those That Think Differently (or aren’t in the Good Ol’ Boys Club)… Do You Want To Be A Victim -or- A Hero Saving This Country With Others Willing To Risk Everything To Save It…?

  • Anonymous

    Sir, I believe your motives are pure and I will assume your heart is in the right place. But I believe you are completely wrong in your assessment of the Convention of States (COS) effort. Unlike many, I have actually read many of the postings at Publius. After a while I felt the need for a tin foil hat, and I had to stop from time to time so I could scrape my fingernails down a chalkboard for relief – but I read it.
    COS is not a “con-con” as you refer to in your post below. That would be a Constitutional Convention, which is totally different from a COS. The safeguards which exist to prevent a COS from turning into this mythical runaway process where the Constitution is trashed are many. To imply that all those safeguards would be defeated is to stretch to the point of incredulity.
    On the other hand, the current trajectory of the country leads to an almost certain point of serfdom.
    Yes, the Supreme Court should abide by the Constitution AS WRITTEN, but they don’t. Yes, some judges should probably be impeached, but it isn’t happening.Yes, the states should exercise their 10th Amendment authority, but they aren’t.
    So we can either sit around and talk about what should be happening, but isn’t, OR we can use the legitimate process that the Founders provided for times such as these.
    I have chosen the side of proactive Constitutional patriotism in the form of the Convention of States. I hope others will visit the website and volunteer.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FvmesaxXg Revan

    I feel Consitutional Convention may be the only way. Yes their our dangers of this backfiring in our faces but we cannot simply do nothing as the ruling class of both parties take in more power for themselves.

  • cindy

    south carolina has joined in this and our senators are meeting to continue the ongoing of this convention. we do have to do something. i am not sure what the final count is on number of states so far, think we still need a few to make it go.

  • TEXAS PATRIOT

    I am going to talk to my state representative about this.

  • Anonymous

    I seem to remember hearing that pResident Obama actually taught a class once on the Constitution. But judging by the way he leads (if you can call it that ), I think that he must have taught about constipation, cause his leadership stinks to high heaven.
    DAVID BARTON for President!!! Glenn can be VP.

  • CHARLES F. GOTTER

    Just what do you folks propose we change the Constitution into that isn’t already covered by the one we have. Just because we have a virtually illegal government right now who gets away with treasonous behavior doesn’t mean we throw it all out and start over. We just don’t have quality of intellect and desire for freedom today as was in the founders back in the years around 1776. Without some specifics about what is proposed this is risky. There are many people who want something different and you won’t get what it is you are after!

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    There is no difference between a Constitutional Convention (Con Con), an Article V Convention, or a Convention of the States. Anyone who tells you differently is misleading you. There are many different factions who would love to fundamentally alter or abolish this Constitution and they obviously all don’t come from the “left” either.

    A Convention will not solve any of our problems, it is snake oil. Learn how you are being deceived by these pied pipers:

    http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/propaganda-and-the-conspiracy-against-our-constitution/

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Hi Buddy,

    You are correct, here is the link to Publius Huldah’s blog:

    http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/

    And here is one to her latest article exposing the Balanced Budget Amendment Hoax:

    http://noisyroom.net/blog/2014/01/30/balancing-the-budget-or-adding-a-national-sales-tax-to-the-income-tax/

    Everyone should read the comment left by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., priceless!

  • Susan

    I think George Soros is also behind Con Con. It will help him and his Constitution slayers with in the end. So Be Very CAREFUL.

  • Anonymous

    As long as it is Constitutional and respects the citizens

  • Rachael

    Are we SO DUMB to think a new or amended Constitution will be followed by those in power? Are we So DUMB to think we can elect exceptional people to this convention when we can not even elect our school boards?
    An Article V convention is DANGEROUS – from 40 years of working the in the legislatures, I have not found ENOUGH legislators equal to James Madison and George Washington.

  • Anonymous

    I find it interesting that the naysayers for either the Con Con or COS have fears that our enemies — leftists, progressives, etc. — will take over and subvert the procedures of the convention, and thus destroy our Constitution.

    What if we said that of the original group of men who thought to remedy the weaknesses of the early forms of government we had, and wound up surprising themselves and the rest of the nation, even the world, with what they ultimately did come up with? Remember, there were still Tories and Loyalists there they had to convince.

    There was division among themselves, but didn’t stoop to bickering. Lively discussion took place, but all were allowed to speak, and points were debated until unanimity began to come forth. Even then, there were a few who refused to sign initially, until the Bill of Rights was added.

    Can we not do the same today?

    When things were looking grim, Benjamin Franklin stood and made an appeal to begin daily deliberations with prayer. The recommendation failed, but only because the clergy had to be paid, and they had no money. BUT, the recommendation hit home, and sobered the participants, who settled down with renewed determination to work it out, and work it out they did.

    Laus Deo

  • Jeff

    Just wondering, because I’m not familiar with this convention of states.. what does it mean?

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Rob Natelson went to Publius Huldah’s site and quickly tucked tail and ran when confronted. You can read it here, it’s at Comment 38.

    http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/mark-levin-refuted-keep-the-feds-in-check-with-nullification-not-amendments/

    It should be noted that Mark Levin refuses to debate anyone on the subject. I am not a Libertarian so I have my disagreements with Tom Woods, but he has Mark Levin pegged and is correct about State Nullification being the answer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkHvW30oaoQ

  • ken.

    if the government doesn’t respect the constitution now, why would anyone believe they would after a convention of states? also with the government we have now why would anyone trust them to do the right thing in a convention of states?

  • Bonnie Somer

    According to the constitution since the states created the fed govt they can change it and they alone have power over the congress and pres this is the last laugh we the people get and must use it now to end this pen and phone disaster, obamacare govt coercion wealth redistribution, dodd frank, and the rest of his take our all we own scheme, the govt agencies are being used against us and violate the 9th and 10th amendments, art iv sect 4 is being violated the fed immig laws must be upheld and voting IDs are a great idea, this marxist progressive globalist is a monster a cancer that must be removed now. V Jarrett and his entire CZARS and cabinet are all the same COME TO DC ON MAY 16TH WE NEED U ALL

  • Bonnie Somer

    IT IS NOT SO MUCH AS IT MUST CHANGE BUT WHAT MUST BE ADDED CLEAR VOTING ID LAWS THAT ALL LEGAL AMERICANS MUST HAVE AN ID AND SHOW IT, THAT ILLEGALS HAVE ZERO RIGHTS NOW AND CANNOT DO ANYTHING HERE THEY R NOT CITIZENS, THEN PROPERTY RIGHTS, GUN RIGHTS WHICH ARE BEING INFRINGED ALL THE TIME, OUR SOVEREIGNTY MILITARY, WEALTH, OIL COAL AND NAT GAS, THAT GOVT CANNOT CONTROL OUR SCHOOLS, THAT WE MUST PROTECT OUR LAND AND OUR FAMILIES AND NOT CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION MAKE SURE THAT WE ADD THESE ITEMS AND DEFEND IT MAKE TERM LIMITS FOR THE SUPREME COURT AND MAYBE ONE 4 YR TERM FOR THE PRES THINGS LIKE THAT.

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    seconded.

  • rinohunter

    Could you show me the Constitutionally-defined safeguards? I have read Article V up and down, but I don’t see what you are talking about.

  • MikefromNC

    Of course you saw it, you just didn’t listen to your eyes. Remember the part about 2/3 of the states having to agree to any proposal, and the part after that about 3/4 of the states then having to ratify it? Do you seriously think that 2/3 of the states would propose whatever crazy thing you may be worried about, and then that 3/4 of the states would ratify that in a separate action?
    Not to mention the easily winnable legal challenges if even one state’s delegate(s) was to reverse course after arriving at the convention with the written and agreed upon purpose to reduce and restrain the power, scope and jurisdiction of the federal gov’t.
    If you really believe that those things would be overcome, please tell me what is stopping the crazies right now, as we speak?

  • MikefromNC

    How about congressional term limits?
    How about repeal of the 17th amendment?
    How about limits on spending and taxation?
    That would be a good start.

    You do realize that there are already 27 amendments to the Constitution, right?

    The idea is to reduce the size, power, scope and jurisdiction of the federal government. This isn’t an effort to get people to go make up whatever they want to at the time. If there is too much specificity there will never be enough agreement to get to the proposal stage, much less the ratification. But any specific proposal would have to be germane to the overall idea, which I just described. That requirement is included in the actual application filed by each state. There is a sample application at the Convention of States website. Go check it out.

  • MikefromNC

    The “government we have now” specifically congress and the president, have no say so in this. They do abide by the Constitution, but only as they and the courts have interpreted it, not as it was written or intended. Specific and unambiguous wording would go a long way.

  • ttexlax

    Well,,, I’d just about given up and was was trying to figure how to survive a tyrant government. The last election did that for me. How do you say disgust with utmost emphisis? Disgust with my fellow Americans for being so stupid and letting us get here. Now I am seeing my liberal friends that used to just regurgitate the MSM in leiu of debate w/me just plain duck when debate even landed on the lawn. Are they beginning to see a sliver of light?

    This may be a possible solution where I assumed none existed. Only fear I may have is the American people may be dumbed down (gov edu) too much to grasp the signifance of what this may bring. Reason being is I’ve seen the Fair Tax move very little and I believe the main reason it has slowed down is because it takes some concentration to grasp the true good things it could bring and truly get the conceipt.
    Boils down to I have a bunch of homework to do! I’m hoping the Blaze will set someone on this to get it to the front burner and get my fellow Americans off their duff and get their heads into information gathering because the replies here give me much to think about.

    I’m getten to it!

    Thanks Guys!

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    A lot of the questions being asked in this thread have been answered in many places. You can start by looking at the latest Liberty Amendments discussion at TheRightScoop, and you’ll find many links there to get up to speed on all the issues, including specific links to FAQ’s at ConventionOfStates, and a link to a complete answer prepared by Michael Farris to the JBS claims about the process.

    Ignore anyone claiming it’s a “Con-Con.” Just learn what the Article Five second process to create Amendments actually is, and you’ll see that the old fears of a “runaway convention” were based on a lie about the conventions that was pushed by the left back before the 1980′s.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    That is simply untrue. The difference between an actual Constitutional Convention (which cannot occur again under the Constitution under which we now operate) and the Article Five process is well understood and well documented.

    An “Article V Convention” IS a “Convention of States.” States may hold other conventions, and they have done so many times. Not all Conventions of the states are Article Five Conventions for Proposing Amendments.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Excellent! This is exactly what to do. Please stop by the ArticleFiveProcess and click on the shield link to the AFP scoreboard, where you can let us know if your representative is going to support this process or not.

    (EDIT: The Shield linking to the scoreboard is showing up way down the page for some reason. If you go to this article instead, you’ll see the Article V. shield where it’s supposed to be, on the right side of the page.)

    By tracking all the state representative’s responses, we can follow this process, and use it to leverage more success among other state legislators.

    By the way, ConventionOfStates has recommended talking points to use when calling or writing your representative (if you want to have an idea of what others are saying to their reps). You can see all of the links by starting at the recent FAQ I mentioned in a previous comment.

    The point is, for the vast majority of Americans, their local statehouse reps are folks who live and work in the same part of the state that they do. In the majority of districts, the Representative is only reimbursed for expenses and travel, and so must maintain their place of business or job. Their kids might well attend the same school as yours.

    This isn’t like trying to get someone in DC to give you the time of day. This is like calling your neighbors.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Whenever someone claims “so-and-so refuses to debate me” it only means, “they won’t talk to me.”

    If this guy is so smart, then he can make his points out in the open like everyone else, and stop hiding behind some claim about a debate that is never going to happen.

    “The debate” is all over the Internet, is on many New Media outlets, and it’s ongoing and won’t stop for people who just want to disparage others and make strange accusations.

    Your claim that someone “turned tail and ran” is a lame attempt at bullying. Any group can gang up on someone. Your pals at that site didn’t invent that tactic. The fact is Natelson and many others are out there every day working this issue, in public, and with many other groups. You don’t “win” the debate by making bullying claims.

    What conservative thinks that way?

    You do your research, make your arguments, and let them stand on their merits. Leave the ad hominem to the left.

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  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Well well, I must be doing something right to garner such a distinguished visit from someone such as yourself from Erick Erickson’s Red State.

    Your sophistry may work on the weak minded, but it will be of no help here. You are relying on the fallacy of equivocation to save your indefensible argument:

    Re: “Re: “Constitutional Convention (which cannot occur again under the Constitution under which we now operate)”

    Funny, the chief architect of the Constitution, James Madison disagrees with you:

    “You wish to know my sentiments on the project of another general Convention as suggested by New York. I shall give them to you with great frankness . . .

    http://www.familytales.org/dbDisplay.php?id=ltr_mad1627

    “An “Article V Convention” IS a “Convention of States.” States may hold other conventions. Not all Conventions of the states are Article Five Conventions for Proposing Amendments.”

    That is completely meaningless which only serves to discombobulate the readers. Lets take a look at what Article V really says.

    “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments…”

    The Congress shall call a convention on the application of the required states. Combine that with Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 in the Constitution

    “The Congress shall have Power … To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    Article V is one of Congress’ foregoing Powers. That means the US Congress will decide on the rules of how a convention will be conducted, not your group. Furthermore, there is no mention of a Convention of the States in the Constitution.

    Every time your side gets defeated in this push for a Article V Constitutional Convention, your kind simply change the name and claim it is something totally different. Very similar tactic as the socialists calling themselves Democrats, then progressives, and then liberals.

    I am not claiming you are one of those, I am asserting you share the same worldview as them.

    ~BTG

    “Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what can not be directly overthrown.” ~George Washington’s Farewell Address.

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Re: “The fact is Natelson and many others are out there every day working this issue, in public, and with many other groups. You don’t “win” the debate by making bullying claims.”

    What does “working the issue” mean?

    Does it mean he just keeps writing articles for his distorted interpretations without regard for facts and inquiry? Can you be a little more specific in what you are suggesting?

    Re: “What conservative thinks that way?… You do your research, make your arguments, and let them stand on their merits. Leave the ad hominem to the left.”

    That’s some pretty good advice there K-Bob; you must have just learned it because in your article titled, ‘Kooks, Neoconfederates, and Article Five’, you wrote:

    “These questions illustrate why the Conservative Critics come across as “neoconfederates and kooks” rather than as men and women engaged in the serious attempt to restore what the Founders gave mankind. The “kookiness” doesn’t derive from the concepts of nullification and interposition. It derives from the vehemence of their arguments, and the strange challenges they issue regarding the willingness to debate.” ~K-Bob 01/21/2014

    Or are comments on Disqus held to a higher standard than your articles at Red State . com?

    Too bad you just can’t boot me like you do others over there who disagree with you. lol

    ~BTG

    “I fully expect the most vociferous critics of this constitutional process to be among those who support or have contributed to all manner of constitutional evasions and distortions in favor of the increasing centralization and concentration of power, which is precisely what the Constitution was established to prevent.” ~Mark Levin’s preemptive ad-hominem attacks, 8/12/2013 Breitbart interview

  • The Blue Tail Gadfly

    Hi K-Bob,

    I wanted to address this topic separately.

    Re: “Any group can gang up on someone. Your pals at that site didn’t invent that tactic.”

    That is a straw-man argument.

    No one was ganging up on Rob Natelson, he posted and Publius Huldah confronted him with serious questions. For you to suggest otherwise, continues to prove your deceitful intentions.

    ~BTG

    “It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s
    believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” ~Thomas Jefferson