Sen. Mike Lee Supports Article V Initiatives to Amend Constitution
On February 1, 2014, my wife and I had the pleasure of attending a dinner that included Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6), both of whom spoke and answered questions from the (approximately) 100 people who attended.
My favorite topic that evening dealt with the Constitution’s Article V provision wherein state legislatures have the power to amend the US Constitution without the permission or approval of Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court.
(Note: The Article V state-driven process for amending the Constitution, “Process 2”, does assign an administrative obligation to Congress, but gives Congress no vote or veto power whatsoever — the state legislatures are the final authority.)
Most Americans are still unaware of this Article V provision, explicitly placed in the Constitution by the Framers. In particular, George Mason and James Madison foresaw the day when the federal government could become so powerful and overbearing that We the People, through our state legislatures, would have to re-assert our ultimate authority and amend the Constitution ourselves.
So what did Rep. Schweikert and Senator Lee have to say? Relying mostly on my recollection:
Rep. Schweikert spoke (among other things) about the culture and mentality in Congress. As he has been telling us since he was first elected to Congress (2010), virtually all his colleagues in both chambers care most about getting re-elected. It should not be surprising, therefore, that an addiction to spending and borrowing has overtaken Congress. The cash we send to Washington can be used, indirectly, to buy votes, especially by the powerful lifetime legislative-class elites in both parties. Newcomers who try to stand in the way can get run over or marginalized.
Mike Lee spoke in general terms about Big Government, and in the open Q&A session I had the opportunity to ask him about Article V initiatives like ConventionOfStates.com (COS) and CompactForAmerica.org (CFA) that could provide an effective “intervention” for Congress’ spending and borrowing addiction.
These are the key points in Sen. Lee’s response —
- Sen. Lee used to oppose attempts to use Article V Process 2 because he thought the results were too unpredictable.
- After its publication in August, 2013, Sen. Lee read Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments three times(!), and he has had multiple conversations with Mark Levin.
- Consequently, Sen. Lee now favors using Article V Process 2 initiatives to amend the Constitution.
- Like Mark Levin, Sen. Lee offered no endorsement or preference for any of the current initiatives. I inferred that, like Levin, Lee’s view is “the more, the better.”
- Sen. Lee said there is still an element of risk in pursuing Article V Process 2, but things in Washington are now so out of control that the risk of not using Article V Process 2 is much greater.
- Sen. Lee’s final three-word summary regarding the pursuit of Article V Process 2 initiatives was: “I support it.”
When a Constitutional Republican of Sen. Lee’s experience and intellect endorses the use of Article V Process 2, I take it as confirmation that we “Fivers” are on the right track!
A proper term-limits amendment could break up the “old bulls’ clubs” in both parties, giving the newly elected Constitutionalists greater sway. And a sensible balanced budget amendment could break the pattern of runaway spending and borrowing. Some in Congress who feel they are stuck on the spending and borrowing treadmill, like those Rep. Schweikert talked about, would tacitly welcome the outside intervention of the state legislatures. And supporters like Lee and Schweikert could help draw Congress to the resulting changes.
There are multiple Fiver initiatives that are now pursuing different Article V Process 2 mechanisms. While we have differing means, we have common ends, and it is vital that we view one another as allies in this fight.
Do you want to get involved? Visit ConventionOfStates.com, CompactForAmerica.org, or other Article V sites and sign up. Join one or more of these groups, but please do join up. Our greatest strength is in our numbers and our commitment to take back our government by We the People from the ever-growing Leviathan in Washington.
More WesternFreePress.com articles on Article V —
For more articles, see the WesternFreePress.com bibliography at this link.
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