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Scott N. Bradley

There is a growing, well-funded, multifaceted movement within the United States to put our wonderful, God-ordained Constitution at risk by calling a convention as is provided for in Article V of the United States Constitution.  Following is the briefest review of the risks associated with a call for a convention.


The Lord Endorses the United States Constitution

Those familiar with the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be familiar with the fact that the Lord and those He has designated as His mortal spokesmen have unequivocally endorsed the United States Constitution. It would require volumes to fully elucidate the facts, but perhaps the following will suffice for the honest truth seeker:

In August, 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 98:4–11 the Lord endorsed the Constitution, stated that anything more or less than it “cometh of evil,” and we are to live by every word that He gives us.

In December, 1833, the Lord revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 101:77–80 that He established the Constitution and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

The Lord endorsed the Constitution, stating that anything more or less than it “cometh of evil.”

The Prophet Joseph Smith testified that the Savior dictated to him the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple. That dedicatory prayer is recorded as Doctrine and Covenants section 109. Verse 54 of that section expressed the Savior’s will that the Constitution of our land “be established forever.”

Most of the Latter-day prophets have spoken eloquently and powerfully as they have sustained these revelations. Brigham Young’s position is cited as an example of the words of the LDS prophets:

“I want to say to every man, the Constitution of the United States, as formed by our fathers, was dictated, was revealed, was put into their hearts by the Almighty, who sits enthroned in the midst of the heavens; although unknown to them, it was dictated by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, it is as good as I could ask for.” 1

What an incredible endorsement!

Paraphrasing the Prophet Joseph Smith’s advocacy of the matter, all faithful Latter-day Saints should be willing to personally not only say, but also live by the statement:

“I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth.” 2

In light of this, faithful LDS members should be willing to rally to stand foursquare for the preservation of the United States Constitution as it is brought in our day to the brink of the greatest threat against this marvelous republic since the 1860’s.

 

There is a growing, well-funded, multifaceted movement within the United States to put our wonderful, God-ordained Constitution at risk by calling a convention as is provided for in Article V of the United States Constitution. During the entire history of the United States the nation has only experienced one example of a similar call that was carried out at the national level. Following is the briefest review of the risks associated with a call for a convention.

Could a Modern Convention Replace Our God-Inspired Constitution?

Our nation’s only experience with a nationally-focused constitution convention testifies that if an Article V convention is started, there is no way to keep it from even creating an entirely new constitution; and we are at risk of losing our constitution and having it replaced by an entirely new constitution.

In fact, that is exactly what happened in the Convention of 1787.

When Congress called the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the convention was called “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation,” thereby rendering “the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the Union.”

However, when the delegates gathered in Philadelphia in May of 1787, they recognized that as a duly-constituted convention, they were legally authorized to set the existing constitution aside and create an entirely new constitution. That is exactly what they did, and in the process, they modified the process by which this new constitution would be ratified.

If an Article V convention is started, there is no way to keep it from even creating an entirely new constitution. In fact, that is exactly what happened in the Convention of 1787.
If an Article V convention is started, there is no way to keep it from even creating an entirely new constitution. In fact, that is exactly what happened in the Convention of 1787.

So Why Does Article V of the Constitution Provide for the Possibility of a Convention?

Often, when discussing my perspective with those who profess a belief in the LDS faith that the United States Constitution is a God-inspired document, those who advocate a new modern convention mockingly state:

“Oh, so you believe everything in the Constitution is inspired EXCEPT the power delegated within Article V to hold another convention.”

Nine years ago, I wrote an expansive 13-page white paper on the matter of the possibility of another convention from the LDS perspective, but in the interest of brevity perhaps the following synopsis will suffice as the basis of why the Lord had the convention option included in His Constitution:

The answer is found in a perfect example in the history of God’s dealings with His people. He gave the law of Moses. He fulfilled the law of Moses and improved upon it with his Gospel (see Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”)

He did not destroy the law, but fulfilled it in accord with His divine plan and will, and replaced it.

HE GAVE THE LAW, AND DID NOT HAVE OTHERS REPLACE IT. HE DID IT IN HIS TIME AND WAY.

Usurpers could try to preempt His will and timetable, but it would be wrong (see: 3 Nephi 1:24–25, for example). As in the Meridian of Time, when the Lord returns, He will work WITHIN the law He gave (the United States Constitution) and call a convention (as allowed in Article V) to make the modifications necessary so that He may rule as Lord of lords and King of kings over the entire earth (and the Constitution may be the governing “rule of law” during His Millennial World-wide Reign, as has been prophesied—below are MANY statements of the prophets to the effect that the Constitution will be that document).

So, Christ gives the law, and He fulfills the law. He will not destroy it. He works within it and delivers all that is required. I believe that in this we may find a “type and a shadow” of how He works, and we may logically apply the concept to His other operations, including the fulfillment of His purposes under the Constitutional law He has given in the latter-days. In His eternal wisdom, He foresaw the eventuality of his Millennial Reign and provided for it.

The Constitution is ignored and abused, not broken. The solution is to return.

The advocates of calling an immediate convention can (and do) mock this concept (I have heard their mocking tones and seen their smirking countenances). But as the Lord said to Moroni:

“Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness . . .” (Ether 12:26).

A convention (regardless of the name by which it is denominated) must not be used in today’s politically debauched and acrimonious time. Now is as was prophesied by Isaiah, a time when good is called evil, and evil is called good.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

Now is not the time to open our divinely inspired Charter of Liberty up to those who are most adept at violating it, and have the least understanding of its sublime principles. The fact they want to change it testifies of that!

The Constitution is not broken. It is being ignored and abused.

The solution is to return to it and apply Article VI (the oath to abide by it), not Article V.

A Few (of the Many Dozens Possible) Additional Statements by Inspired Statesmen Regarding the Importance of Preserving the United States Constitution

Joseph Smith:

“We say that God is true, that the Constitution of the United States is true, that the Bible is true, the Book of Mormon is true, that Christ is true.” 3

David O. McKay:

“Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.” 4

“If we would make the world better, let us foster a keener appreciation of the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the government of the United States as framed by the founders of this nation. Here again self-proclaimed progressives cry that such old-time adherence is out of date. But there are some fundamental principles of this republic which, like eternal truths, never get out of date, and which are applicable at all times to liberty-loving peoples. Such are the underlying principles of the Constitution, a document framed by patriotic, freedom-loving men, who Latter-day Saints declare were inspired by the Lord.” 5

“I repeat that no greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this republic and of neighboring republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.” 6

Ezra Taft Benson:

“I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it.

“I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has now sent other choice spirits to help preserve it.” 7

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.:

“I have said to you before, brethren, that to me the Constitution is a part of my religion. In its place it is just as much a part of my religion as any other part. It is a part of my religion because it is one of those institutions which God has set up for His own purposes, and, as one of the brethren said today, set up so that this Church might be established, because under no other government in the world could the Church have been established as it has been established under this Government.” 8

“So, brethren, I wish you to understand that when we begin to tamper with the Constitution we begin to tamper with the law of Zion which God Himself set up, and no one may trifle with the word of God with impunity.” 9

“I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this Church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known, heavy as our sacrifices and grievous as our persecutions of the past have been.” 10

“The Constitution of the United States is a great and treasured part of my religion…. The overturning, or the material changing, or the distortion of any fundamental principle of our constitutional government would thus do violence to my religion.” 11


Interested in learning more? Read Scott Bradley’s response
to 12 Constitutional Convention MYTHS:

MYTH:
Article V of the Constitution allows the STATES to CALL a “convention of the states” to modify the Constitution.
MYTH:
The U.S. Congress has no power in the matter once the states “call” the convention.
MYTH:
The states may collude among themselves by prior agreement, compact, or arrangement to call a convention for their purposes according to their prior discussions, and thereafter call a convention by the Article V application process that supercedes and supplants the congressional prerogative and power in the matter.
MYTH:
Once the states have called the convention, they will be completely in charge of the “rules of engagement” associated with the convention; including defining and calling delegates, the number of delegates, one-state-one-vote voting allotment, control of the matters and issues upon which delegates may vote, etc.
MYTH:
The convention promoters assure us that the voting on proposed changes to the Constitution will be done on a One-State-One-Vote basis.
MYTH:
Advocates of the convention assure us that the delegates to the convention will be kept under the strict control of their states. They propose to do this through Voting Instructions, Delegate Recall by their State, Criminal Penalties Pre-Defined by the States for Violations (including: Misdemeanor Charges, Felony Charges, Fines, Prison Terms).
MYTH:
Promoters of the proposed convention resolution foster the falsehood that amendments could not be proposed during the convention that could result in modification of the amendment ratification process. They assert that because the Supreme Court would not allow the ratification window for the so-called Equal Rights Amendment to be extended from seven years to ten years that it would be impossible to ever change the current amendment ratification requirement of 3/4’s of the states.
MYTH:
Term Limits are proposed as a justification for calling a convention to change the Constitution. We are told that this is necessary because so many representatives are constantly being re-elected.
MYTH:
Those who seek a convention through this resolution purport to seek to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government through the amendments they hope to proposed in their convention.
MYTH:
Numerous concerns are enumerated by promoters of the convention which purportedly justify the necessity of changing the Constitution. Matters such as the ballooning federal deficit, onerous laws and regulations created by the Executive Branch, federal destruction of protections vouchsafed in the Bill of Rights, etc. are bandied about as requiring the Constitution to be changed.
MYTH:
Three Fourths of the states would not ratify a bad amendment.
MYTH:
Delegates to the proposed convention will be highly qualified representatives of the people who are soundly founded in the science of government, and will bring forth solutions to that which vexes the nation today.

An LDS perspective on the dangers of a modern Constitution Convention of ANY type

Notes:

  1. Henry, D. “The Prophets on the Christ.” Liahona: The Elders’ Journal (26 Dec 1908) 6:678; also in Roberts, B. H. Mormonism, 27-28
  2. Joseph Smith,15 October 1843, History, 1838–1856, volume E, pg. 1754, also, History of the Church 6:56-57
  3. Times and Seasons vol. 1, page 134; also, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 147-148
  4. CR, October 1939, p. 105
  5. CR, October 1940, p. 104.
  6. CR, April 1950, p. 37. Gospel Ideals, p.319-320
  7. Our Divine Constitution, President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1987, page 7
  8. Conference Report, October 1942, p.58
  9. Conference Report, October 1942, p.59
  10. Conference Report, April 1944
  11. Preface, Stand Fast by our Constitution
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Scott Bradley and his wife Tamara have five children and eight grandchildren. Scott spent many years fulfilling a variety of management assignments in the Bell System and AT&T, and for 16 years he served as an administrator at Utah State University. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science, a Masters of Public Administration, and a PhD in Constitutional Law. In 2006 and 2010 Scott unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate, seeking to restore the constitutional moorings of this great nation. Scott is Founder and Chairman of The Constitution Commemoration Foundation, Inc., a non-profit educational organization which seeks to foster increased understanding of the United States Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers, and also encourages a return to the original intent of proper government as understood and practiced at the time of Americas's founding.

15 COMMENTS

  1. This article is very well timed. Our government is under attack. The Lord has promised us His blessings as long as we are worthy and obey Him. I’m sad that so many in government have gone along with whatever is politically correct, not what the Lord would want. The point of why we have Article V has hit me like a lightning bolt. Comparing our inspired Constitution with the Law of Moses is an amazing statement as it “just makes sense.” I know the Constitution is inspired and from the Lord Himself and when He returns He won’t destroy the law but come to “fulfill” that law. That is a point I had never thought of. The gospel is true, the Constitution is inspired, Joseph Smith is and was a Prophet of the Lord, and we are being tested in what we do and how we support these truths. Thanks for your article. I love the Joseph Smith Foundation and their mission of bringing great people like Mr. Bradley to the discussion.

  2. Good idea because a new Constitutional Convention may be hijacked by progressives and the whole process would be perverted just as the progressives have neutered the Democratic National Party’s convention and platforms.

  3. I am very concerned about the push for an article V convention. I am concerned that a populous, including a legislature not well versed in the Constitution would be choosing who would be responsible for defending freedom. I don’t agree with changing the Constitution to include term limits, as it really limits the people more than the candidates. If a representative is doing a great job I don’t want to be forced to vote for a different, maybe lesser, candidate. It’s up to us to pay attention and vote out those not upholding their Constitutional oath. I’d prefer for us to make cuts in government spending by staying within the bounds set forthin the Constitution, rather than balancing the budget around what we already spends.
    It would be beneficial for all LDS and Christians to study this document, along with the scriptures which also outlines the government’s proper role, and commit to living within its bounds. We need to hold our elected officials accountable at the ballot box. This will take sacrifice and committment, but it will be worth it. Let’s return to this beautiful, inspired document.

  4. Great article, Scott! This is an especially pertinent issue today for constitutionally-minded citizens! A good number of states have already passed legislation calling for a convention, and if they pass similar legislation in 2/3 of the states, a convention will be called. We can actually do something about this — legislation calling for a convention came up in my state just this last year, but was defeated after hundreds of concerned citizens called, emailed, and testified at the hearing to shut it down.

    This is a very well funded movement — I spoke with an older gentleman who’s been in the ‘freedom fight’ for a long, long time, and he said that he’s seen a solid push for a convention about every 25 years. He also commented that this was the first time that this movement is being backed and pushed so strongly by the ‘conservatives’, which is what makes this time around so deadly.

    If you were to hear about an ‘Article V Convention’ from, say, the Convention of States (the big-money organization leading the push right now), you’d be told there wasn’t a danger in the world, that we’d have total control of a convention, and that the convention results would all be exactly what we’d want — Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and even David Barton say this is a great solution (I’m sorry if I just mentioned your favorite conservative).

    Unfortunately, Convention of States encourages a lot of misinformation and misinterpretation of Article V. Scott nailed those pretty well with his list of ‘myths’ above. The Convention of States and those pushing for a convention try to ‘read those things in’ to Article V. Unfortunately, if we were to ever call one, all those things people ‘read in’ wouldn’t actually exist.

    The whole idea of a convention to amend or change the constitution is a little ludicrous to me. I mean, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the US government doesn’t follow our constitution as it is. So… changing the constitution… is going to fix the problem… how?

    The problem we have is an enforcement problem — and holding the government accountable to the constitution is, as Fredrick Douglas put it, best done by the ballot box, the jury box, and, last resort, the cartridge box.

  5. Thank you so much for this article. With so many voices on both sides of this issue it is often difficult to discern truth from error. I appreciate LDS Answers and Scott Bradley for taking the time to respond with a well articulated article that presented the doctrine based on scripture and the words and warnings of the prophets.

  6. Col. George Mason stood up at the 1787 Convention to oppose an earlier draft of Article V that did not allow for a Convention of States, because he pointed out “no amendments of the proper kind would be obtained should the government become oppressive.” The convention delegates saw the wisdom of this, and they unanimously adopted the Convention of States process into the text of Article V. I believe much of the overreach we see today is the result of the states not using their lawful authority to check the federal government using their constitutional tool in Article V. Article V is part of the U.S. Constitution, and it is lawful to use this constitutional to propose need reforms, as the Founders intended. There is nothing dangerous about it. Every day that Congress meets, it has the same power that a Convention of States would have: the power to propose (not enact) constitutional reforms. There is no danger to document, since whatever comes out of convention is only a proposal, and is not law unless ratified by 38 states. The real danger is the states and the people continuing to allow the status quo of a centralizing federal government violating the original Constitution to continue. The government now operates by a 3,000-page document that the Supreme Court publishes titled “The Constitution of the United States.” Clearly he Supreme Court has made itself the final arbiter of law in America, and the federal government accepts this. The only proven way to overturn the Supreme Court’s overreach is to use Article V (see the 11th and 13th Amendments, among others). Convention of States is the only way we will ever restore the Constitution.

  7. As I did not see my first attempt to comment here, several hours after posting, I suspect there is a review process which either has not taken place or has censored my reply.

    Reconsidering my original statements, thinking it covered topics LDSanswers.org would not want on their website, I edited it and produced a second version – which I will post shortly as a new comment.

    Assuming there is a review step, consider posting this new version as a counterpoint to the author’s original article. I suspect there are many of your readers who would be interested in these counterpoints.

  8. Trying to hold a constitutional convention IS going against Gods will and His doctrine. He does not change. Nor does his doctrine.
    The problems we see today, are not because the Constitution is wrong, or that it is outdated. It is because we are not following it. What we need to do is follow the Constitution as God instituted it to be, Not change it.
    We are in a very perilous time in history. We cannot allow the Constitution to be replaced.
    Just as J Reuben Clark, Jr stated in this article, if we pursue a Constitutional convention, “only blood will bring them back; [And we] will have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known”

  9. Thank you so very much for your courage and understanding of the law as originally intended by God. It has been so changed that it is almost completely illegitimate as states and cities enact and enforce laws that impede our liberty now. I am sure that just is in “good intention” the pathway to hell was created. So too will the pathway to the destruction of our ability to worship just as Daniel disobeyed the law he also followed God and was saved Meshach Shadrach and Abednego disobeyed. Are we willing to step into the flames trusting in Gods plan for us? I fear that too many do not even understand why we were given the constitution. They just don’t want to have any more fighting and I testify that this battle will never end due to the inalienable rights of heaven to choose ones own path. Even after this world changes into what we can see as glorious I believe that we have only had a chance to do all we can. Will you live the new law to be given at Adam Ondi Ahman? If we have a convention of the states the Times of the Gentiles will be over and as stated in D&C 101 we shall redeem it by money or blood. Ours will likely be by blood but I’m still learning and I can’t predict what is coming I am just a man with a heart that is imperfect. I just have strong feelings and many revelations upon the matter which will cause Armageddon!

  10. Hello, my friends. With the utmost of respect to Scott Bradley and to the pious leaders quoted above, it must fall to someone to disagree. My name is John. I wish to invite you to an open, honest, respectful discussion of this issue that affects every citizen equally, of all faiths. I have information that will come as quite a surprise to you all, after reading this article. One thing in it scares me the most, so I will begin with that where normally I would start somewhere else.

    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil…” I’ve attempted my whole life to live up to my mother’s expectations of me, my Catholic upbringing, and my Scout Oath. But I’m also a Constitutional conservative and as such, I’ve been reviled by half my beloved American brothers and sisters as a racist, misogynist homophobe – and much worse. My best friend of 30 is married to a woman to whom I’ve shown every kindness since I stood with them at their wedding. She has never been less than perfectly gracious and warm toward me… until I dared speak favorably of candidate Trump. At which point she publicly, violently, and without warning threw me out of my best friend’s life forever, and their daughter did the same. The loss is unspeakable. I can promise you that being judged evil is hurtful and untruthful. And yet now I must rise again in defense of the provisions in Article V.

    Please, my friends, get to know me. If you must bend the Third Commandment and be tempted to judge my words evil without even attempting to understand me… I cannot help that. But please refrain and hear me out. I’ve only known a few Mormons in my lifetime, but every single one has been a treasured blessing. Their present of a Book of Mormon inscribed so sweetly when they took me to see the Palmyra Pageant remains a tangible reminder for me (even though I confess not to have read it in its entirety) 20 years on. Please know that my respect for you is genuine, as is my love of all my American brethren. If I attempted to deceive you, my poor mother would disown me and I’d fear my own Judgment Day all the more for that heartbreak alone.

    I am a professional public historian specializing in the American Founding era among others. I claim no expertise, only specialization. I am also a volunteer activist who advocates the Convention of States Project (COSP) as well as Article V generally. Nobody pays me a red cent to stand in your line of fire, but my love of my country and Constitution compel it. And yes, I believe, my faith compels it. The most important thing to bring to your attention are the myths Dr. Bradley lays out for you.

    I humbly suggest that he believes these statements are “myths” because that’s what he learned in Constitutional Law. It’s an interesting aside I’m sure he would corroborate, that students can spend many semesters in advanced courses on Constitutional Law, and never once be required to read the Constitution. I would never suggest that he hasn’t, but as a historian I often find myself at odds with Constitutional scholars. I don’t quite understand that. The historical record says what it says, regardless of subsequent interpretation. Philosophically, he and I agree that we must return to the Founders’ understanding of what the Constitution meant. He simply seems to exempt the notion of using the Founders’ vision of Article V, and I don’t.

    First I’ll go through each “myth” then I’ll talk about the advisability of amendments generally. Then I’ll offer a counter-perspective on what it means to “preserve” the Constitution. Unlike Dr. Bradley, I will also explain the context of the historical remarks I’ll share with you. (What were those pious men really talking about when they made those statements? I’m genuinely interested to know.) I’ve seen Madison and Jefferson themselves quoted out of context to make them seem to beg future generations to avoid exercising Article V at all costs. Which honestly is a ridiculous assertion. Finally I’ll explain where the whole movement to oppose the convention method comes from. You will be stunned, I suspect. I was. In a separate thread, I’ll discuss what really happened in 1787.

    Please forgive the length of my posts. Any history student out there – or encountered anti-Mormon bias – knows that the truth is much more complicated than the bumper-sticker falsehoods. Dr. Bradley agrees with Chief Justice Warren Burger in his views on the convention method of proposing amendments (if conservative Phyllis Schlafly is to be believed, which I have recent reason to doubt on this point)… and they are both wrong. I do not judge Dr. Bradley’s heart, or his motives. Only his conclusions.

    The first thing you must all understand about these myths is… they themselves are not based on scripture of any sort. He didn’t even footnote them like he did everything else in the article (except for his summary of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which is also incorrect). As a COSP advocate, I have witnessed (usually by live streaming audio/video services but also in person) the debates occurring in each State capital as the COSP resolution is debated and voted on. And please know this:

    The arguments favoring the status quo over taking responsibility for the federal disaster are EXACTLY THE SAME IN EVERY STATE, EVERY TIME. They are voiced equally by GOP and Democrat, hard right and hard left, religious and atheist alike. They sound good. But they are wrong. Let’s begin with Article V itself, which he did not present for consideration.

    “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, WHICH, in either Case, SHALL BE VALID TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AS PART OF THIS CONSTITUTION, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year [1808] shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

    I cannot take the space to reprint every “myth.” I must impose upon you to scroll up and down to reference them.

    1. Dr. Bradley quibbles here with the word “call.” Anyone claiming that the Constitution says the States can “call” the convention is just wrong. Not telling myths. Just factually incorrect. And no knowledgeable advocate of the COSP makes that claim. But his insinuation doesn’t end there. Phyllis Schlafly made the same argument in 2013*, going on to say that States are mere supplicants to Congress because of the phrase,”ON THE APPLICATION OF THE LEGISLATURES OF TWO THIRDS OF THE SEVERAL STATES.” Today we assume this word meant the same to the Founders as to us but that is incorrect. This is not a job application or a college application that may be rejected by any reason by the receiving entity. This is more like “the application of force on an object.” Consider the words of Alexander Hamilton, who was present in Philadelphia when it was put into the Constitution:

    “The words of [Article V] are peremptory. The Congress ‘shall call a convention.’ Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body… We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.” (Federalist 85)

    2. That this statement is a myth, is itself a myth. Read Article V. Congress has ONE AND ONLY ONE role where conventions are concerned: it must “call” it when enough States resolve that it should do so. And that means nothing more than naming a time and place. (More on that later.) After the convention is over, Congress MAY choose a ratification mode, regardless whether the amendments are proposed by Congress or convention. There’s a reason Mrs. Schlafly made this mistake, but her grasp of Constitutional law fell short of fifth grade civics. I don’t know why Dr. Bradley makes it.

    3. Hmmm… ok, I was wrong. This is a new one on me. I’ve never heard ANYONE say anything so silly before. If no one has ever heard a story before, does it qualify as a “myth?” He has completely missed the mark how conventions between the States have always worked in all their 300-year common-law history.

    4. Although Dr. Bradley does not explicitly say so, everyone else who makes exactly this claim does so because the Constitution does not specify what the convention rules shall be, and therefore, they say, “no one knows what the rules will be.” This is nonsense. Conventions between the States have occurred not once, as the “scholars” proclaim, but at least 39 times, all documented. They have all worked essentially the same way. Constitutional Law programs overlook them because most of them didn’t discuss the Constitution. But the topic of conversation being something else doesn’t morph a well-established procedure into an amorphous monster hiding in the closet in the dark. There’s a reason the Constitution doesn’t spell it out, and anyone reading the Preamble for the first time can explain what the Constitution IS, and what it is NOT:

    It IS a blueprint for the structure of and powers granted TO (not BY) the federal government BY (not TO) the States, and the People. It is NOT a rulebook for telling the sovereign States how to conduct their business. And conventions between the States are State business.

    My friends, think about it: Are you aware that Constitutional scholars also find no guidelines in the Constitution for deciding the structure of State legislatures – for example, whether they must have one house or two? Or three?? Did you also know that Constitutional scholars find no guidelines in the Constitution for deciding where to locate State capitals? Did you know there are no guidelines in the Constitution for mandating how Governors are elected or how State taxes are levied? My goodness… why doesn’t anarchy reign from sea to shining sea?

    5. This is not a myth, this is a fact. That IS what the COSP leaders promise. Although to be technically accurate, they SHOULD promise only that IF voting in convention will be unequal suffrage, the vote to make it so would have to take place on an equal suffrage basis. And since we cannot imagine the majority of States voting themselves out of an equal voice with NY and CA, we talk about it as a non-issue. And for the record, in 38 of the 39 documented cases of conventions between the States, voting has been on a one-State, one-vote basis. In the only exception (St. Louis Convention of 1889), each State had EIGHT votes. So, yes… ALWAYS equal suffrage.

    6. Also not a myth. This, too, is in fact what COSP leaders have said. IN and FL – among the 12 already forwarding their resolutions to Congress – have already passed recent laws making violations of the commissions felonies. But they don’t need to, as delegates (technically, “commissioners”) are bound by their instructions (technically, “commissions”) to act as the agents of the State legislatures who wrote them. This is covered under the civil body of law called the laws of agency, which any second-year law student can explain. Or me, if you’d like to know more.

    7. Dr. Bradley has not identified these “myths” very carefully. A lawyer ought to be more careful in his choice of words. COSP leaders have made statements that a proposal to change the ratification procedure in the Constitution is not covered in their resolution, and therefore cannot be considered in convention. That’s the way all such conventions have always worked. Always. Dr. Bradley calls this “false” presumably because the Constitution doesn’t say so. Please refer back to point #4. (So what’s the “myth?” That the leaders claim it, or that it’s false?)

    8. Same careless wording. It is a fact that term limits are proposed as a reason for getting together. The COS resolution aims to propose amendments in three areas: term limits, fiscal restraints, and limiting federal scope and jurisdiction. What’s the “myth?” We can discuss the wisdom of term limits here if necessary…

    9. Again… what’s the “myth?” I’ve been a technical writer long enough to be able to dissect his sentences all day long, but I trust you get the point…

    10. If someone would like to clarify the “myth,” I’ll debate it. He’s lost me.

    11. Not true; no one has made this claim either. We believe there aren’t 13 individual, separate State houses who wouldn’t say “NO” to revoking the Bill of Rights (or do nothing at all) – WHICH IS ALL IT WOULD TAKE TO KILL ANY PROPOSAL. But bad amendments?

    The article makes many claims from the Prophets about preserving the Constitution. (Although interestingly no one is quoted as opposing AMENDMENTS…) Doe anyone know the LDS position on the 18th Amendment in 1917? How about its repeal in 1933? I’m genuinely curious… Regardless of one’s view of the evil of alcohol, one or the other of those amendments would qualify as a “bad” amendment. Yes, the States passed them. But they also forced their proposal in the first place. The only question before us, then, is whether the proposals we make now are “bad” proposals. Let’s discuss.

    12. Again, not a myth. This is a “presumption.” Personally, I’d MUCH rather have delegates who are well versed in the subject areas to be discussed, complemented by competent historians who understand the Framers’ concept of federalism, than who are “soundly founded in the science of government.” Because the latter, EVERY ONE OF THEM, are REALLY “soundly founded” in the ARROGANCE of MASSIVE, MONOLITHIC government – because that’s the only kind being taught in our lifetimes. We all know it.

  11. PART II

    Now to the next promised topic: the advisability of amendments. I have seen many of you say that we must not “change” the Constitution. But it is already changed! While you and I have been jealously guarding the blueprints, the federal government has walled us in and turned the meeting room into a labyrinth. But by golly, the blueprints are (mostly) intact!

    Do a Google search for the US Constitution, Annotated. I kid you not: they call it CONAN.It is the version of the Constitution that the federal government follows… and it is 3000 pages long. It is “annotated” by every Supreme Court decision, until those many adornments are given more weight in the Court’s deliberations (and in Constitutional Law lecture halls) than the 4-page version you and I hold dear. It’s been a 240-year game of “telephone” where one person whispers into the next’s ear, “LIBERTY,” and generations and millions later it comes out as “OBAMACARE.”

    I am a US peacetime army veteran intelligence soldier (as well as a technical writer, public historian, and many other things). I swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States… [and] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” I believe with every cell in my body that the COSP is the only hope of survival left open to this Grand American Experiment, this unprecedented and unsurpassed Constitution. But I’ll give you a different perspective on what it means to “preserve” it.

    In 1806, the young America was already facing economic extinction, in danger of being bullied into the dustbin of history by the powerful French and British navies. We struggled to keep our mercantile fleet operational despite continual harassment on the seas. Things had evolved so badly that in the spring, foreign ships fired upon ours in our own northeastern harbors. Yet the businessmen of New England wanted to preserve their economic ties at all costs. On July 4 – our 30th birthday – they were treated to an address by future Secretary of State Daniel Webster. He urged them to stand up and defend this nation with every ounce of resolve, for “We live under the only government that ever existed, which was formed by the deliberate consultations of the people. Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in six thousand years, cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once destroyed, would have a void to be filled, perhaps for centuries, with evolution and tumult, riot and despotism.”

    He went on to say, “When we speak of PRESERVING the Constitution, we mean not the PAPER on which it is written, but the SPIRIT WHICH DWELLS IN IT.. Republicanism, unless you guard it, will creep out of its case of parchment LIKE A SNAKE OUT OF ITS SKIN. You may have a Despotism under the name of a Republic. You may… see [a government] possesses all the external modes of freedom, and yet find nothing of the essence, the vitality of freedom in it; just as you may contemplate the embalmed body, where art hath preserved proportion and form, amidst nerves without motion, and veins void of blood.”

    I ask you to point to the vitality of freedom in our current form of government. I think, you will find none. The Bill of Rights is under daily assault while corruption reigns supreme. It is bigger and deeper than any elected official can correct. You know it, and I know it.

    The Founders knew the fallibility inherent in all human beings. They had THEMSELVES created the Articles of Confederation and yet George Mason observed while deliberating the new charter on June 11, 1787, “The [Constitution] will certainly be defective, as the [Articles of] Confederation has been found on trial to be. Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Nat’l Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse consent on that very account.”

    Go back and read again Article V – the last clause of the last sentence. It was clearly intended that “no State without its consent shall be deprived of equal suffrage in the Senate.” And so they have not been… although thanks to the 17th Amendment that all the States clamored for, their suffrage went from equally one-State-two-votes to equally one-State-ZERO-votes. Because now, the People elect their Senators and not the State legislatures. So the Senators’ constituents are not the States at all. How do we return to the Founders’ intent without an amendment? We cannot.

    Read Article V a third time and answer me, how many methods are there to amend the Constitution? Only two. Do you mean to tell me that it’s ok with LDS if Congress amends the Constitution but not the People, though their States? Do you honestly mean to tell me that you expect Congress will limit ITSELF?

    Let’s discuss…

  12. PART III

    Dr. Bradley states, “Our nation’s only experience with a nationally-focused constitution convention testifies that if an Article V convention is started, there is no way to keep it from even creating an entirely new constitution; and we are at risk of losing our constitution and having it replaced by an entirely new constitution.”

    This is historical scholarship at its worst. I am sorry, sir, but respectfully, you COULD NOT BE more incorrect. I will explore in detail the events of 1787 subsequently. Here, I wish to focus more on where the fallacy he has repeated comes from. It even has a name: the “runaway convention” myth. The (nominally) conservative John Birch Society spreads this insidious distortion every day. So does the Eagle Forum started by Mrs. Schlafly and now run by her son Andy. So do self-anointed “Constitutional scholars” like Publius Huldah (in fact a disgraced lawyer named Joanna Scutari who can be researched) and radio personality KrisAnn Hall. So do other voices on the left, especially among the 200 Soros-funded progressive groups Hillary presented in opposition to the COSP last year.

    So where does it come from? A recent study published by the Independence Institute traced the usage of the term “runaway convention” in publications to its first appearance in the late 60s. It was coined by Theodore Sorensen (a Kennedy speechwriter) and Arthur Goldberg (a Kennedy-appointed Supreme Court Justice). Look them up and corroborate my summary here by reading the source article… but ask yourself why a Supreme Court Justice would disseminate such a backward interpretation of the events of 1787?

    Then read further and discover that it was a deliberate ruse to cause people to shrink from Article V as a way to protect the new progressive strategy of judicial activism. Do you recall what was happening around that same time?

    1973. Roe v. Wade. When Warren Burger’s Court turned the most self-evident, inalienable Right endowed by our Creator of all – the Right to Life – on its ear and ruled abortion Constitutional, he now had the motive of pride to spread this falsehood – and he did so in many instances. (I do not know or judge his heart, but the facts of his influence on that decision and his subsequent statements on Article V are a matter of public record.) When a convention was proposed to overturn Roe v. Wade, he squashed it along with his allies on the left. When Balanced Budget Amendment talks loomed, he squashed them along with his progressive allies. Mrs. Schlafly deferred to him uncritically, presumably assuming his motives pure, and propagated the false narrative in her newsletter “The Schlafly Report” Vol. 47 No. 2, September 2013 as she’d often done prior to that. That same newsletter bears her organization’s seal, emblazoned with the claim, “Leading the Pro-Family Movement since 1972.” How utterly, supremely successful Sorensen’s and Goldberg’s strategy had been!

    You have all seen in the past year what lengths some powerful people at the highest levels of government will go to, to distort, corrupt, and lie in order to achieve their aims. The only thing new in this is its undeniable, ironclad proof. But this large-sale, underground, long-term societal undermining has been going on in this country since the Communist Manifesto at least, and no doubt many of you can cite much older examples of this human sin elsewhere.

    But the myth in question begins as a protection of abortion. Can anyone please explain to me the LDS position on abortion?

  13. PART IV

    I believe this will conclude all the topics I promised to bring up. If I missed anything, let me know. I am honored to discuss it with you.

    I will insert here a document I wrote for someone else because again, Dr. Bradley’s errors are not his alone. So rather than quoting him and responding (except the one statement), please read what follows and then read his first paragraphs again. It will all be clear, I promise.

    It’s not going to format very well, sadly. I don’t know if I can post a hyperlink here, but I doubt it. If you’d like to investigate it further, the original is footnoted with sources. Email me for a copy: john_antkowiak at yahoo.

    Why should you read this? Because Dr. Bradley began his summary with the false premise, “When Congress called the Constitutional Convention of 1787…”

    One sentence from my excerpted paper bears repeating up front: “When Congress issued its purported ‘call,’ EIGHT STATES HAD ALREADY RESOLVED TO MEET AT THE SPECIFIED TIME AND PLACE.”

    How could they have known when to meet before Congress issued its “call?” They could not, pure and simple. Besides, the power to call a convention between the States was not granted to Congress in the Articles of Confederation. It would have been unconscionable for it to have done so. But read on:

    “The last time we had a convention was 1787, when they ignored their instructions and threw out the government. They will do so again.”

    Sound familiar? Why does this fallacy persist when it’s so easily discredited?

    – “The last time we did this was” 2017, not 1787.
    – The delegates to Philadelphia carried out their instructions faithfully. The fallacy assumes Congress initiated the call and issued instructions. It did not.
    – Article V allows nothing but proposals of amendments to THIS CONSTITUTION.

    THE PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION WAS NOT THE ONLY CONVENTION BETWEEN THE STATES

    Contrary to popular belief, America has seen not one but 39 documented cases of conventions between the States, or colonies before that. Seven of them, including the meetings of the Uniform Law Commission held annually since 1892 except 1945, took place after 1787. They’ve all worked essentially the same way. Not one of them has ever exceeded its authority, not even in 1787. The purpose of a convention called under Article V being the Constitution and not some other business doesn’t morph a well-established procedure into an amorphous monster hiding in a closet in the dark. A summary of procedures is attached.

    CPMGRESS DID NOT ISSUE THE CALL TO THE PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION

    The oft-mistaken “call” is this statement from the Journals of the Continental Congress dated February 21, 1787, which was also transmitted to the State legislatures:

    “Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”

    The motion that passed was a non-binding opinion only, even though it was cited in the Acts of two States and its language mirrored in a third. When Congress issued its purported “call,” EIGHT STATES HAD ALREADY RESOLVED TO MEET AT THE SPECIFIED TIME AND PLACE.

    The Journal also clearly states that this opinion was issued following the recommendation of the 1786 Report of the Annapolis Convention, sent to Congress as a mere courtesy:

    “Your Commissioners, with the most respectful deference, beg leave to suggest their unanimous conviction, that it may essentially tend to advance the interests of the union, if the States, by whom they have been respectively delegated, would themselves concur, and use their endeavours to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of Commissioners, to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Foederal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled, as when agreed to, by them, and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State will effectually provide for the same. Though your Commissioners could not with propriety address these observations and sentiments to any but the states they have the honor to Represent, they have nevertheless concluded from motives of respect, to transmit Copies of this report to the United States in Congress assembled, and to the executives of the other States.”

    THE PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION DIDN’T RUN AWAY; A MODERN CONVENTION CANNOT RUN AWAY

    Article V states:

    “The Congress… on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for PROPOSING Amendments, which… shall be valid… as Part of THIS CONSTITUTION, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

    Article V authorizes NEITHER a “Constitutional Convention” NOR “throwing out the Constitution.” Black’s Law dictionary defines a Constitutional Convention as “a duly constituted assembly of delegates or representatives of the people of a state or nation for the purpose of framing, revising or amending its constitution.” Note that none of those three verbs is present in Article V; a convention is empowered to accomplish none of them. It may PROPOSE only. In law as in no other profession, words’ definitions MATTER.

    WHAT DID THE DELEGATE INSTRUCTIONS SAY?

    Virginia, 23 November 1786:

    “BE it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, That seven Commissioners be appointed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, who, or any three of them, are hereby authorized as Deputies from this Commonwealth, to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorised by other States, to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia, as above recommended, and to join with them in devising and discussing all such alterations and further provisions, as may be necessary to render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such an Act for that purpose, to the United States in Congress, as, when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.”

    New Jersey, 24 November 1786

    “Resolved,That the Honorable David Brearley, William C. Houston, William Paterson and John Neilson, esquires, commissioners appointed on the part of this state, or any three of them, be, and they hereby are authorized and empowered to meet such commissioners as have been or may be appointed by the other states in the Union at the city of Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on the second Monday in May next, for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such further provisions as shall appear necessary to render the Constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies thereof.”

    Pennsylvania, 30 December 1786

    “Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, That Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Fitzsimons, James Wilson and Governeur Morris, Esquires, are hereby appointed deputies from this state to meet in the convention of the deputies of the respective states of North-America, to be held at the city of Philadelphia, on the second day of the month of May next. And the said… Esquires… are hereby constituted and appointed deputies… with powers to meet such deputies as may be appointed and authorised by the other states to assemble… and to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing all such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the foederal constitution fully adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such act or acts for that purpose, to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several states, will effectually provide for the same.”

    North Carolina, 6 January 1787

    “Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the state of North-Carolina, and by the authority of the same, That five Commissioners be appointed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, who, or any three of them, are hereby authorised as Deputies from this state, to meet at Philadelphia on the first day of May next, then and there to meet and confer with such Deputies as may be appointed by the other states for similar purposes, and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remove the defects of our foederal union, and to procure the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and that they report such an act to the General Assembly of this state, as when agreed to by them, will effectually provide for the same.”

    Delaware, 3 February 1787

    “BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the General Assembly of Delaware, That George Read, Gunning Bedford, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, and Jacob Broom, Esquires, are hereby appointed Deputies from this State to meet in the Convention of the Deputies of other States, to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the Second Day of May next. And the said George Read, Gunning Bedford, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, and Jacob Broom, Esquires, or any Three of them, are hereby constituted and appointed Deputies from this State, with Powers to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by the other States to assemble in the said Convention at the City aforesaid, and to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, such Alterations and further Provisions, as may be necessary to render the Foederal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such Act or Acts for that Purpose to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, may effectually provide for the same: So always and provided, that such Alterations, or further Provisions… do not extend to that Part of the Fifth Article of the Confederation of the said States… which declares, that in determining Questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one Vote. ”

    Georgia, 10 February 1787

    “Be it ordained by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of Georgia, in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, That William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pendleton, Esquires, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners, who, or any two or more of them, are hereby authorised as deputies from this state to meet such deputies as may be appointed and authorised by other states, to assemble in convention at Philadelphia, and to join with them in devising and discussing all such alterations and farther provisions, as may be necessary to render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of the union, and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several states, will effectually provide for the same.”

    New York, 26-28 February 1787

    “Resolved… That three delegates be appointed on the part of this state, to meet such delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other states respectively, on the second Monday in May next at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and to the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall… render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union; and that in case of such concurrence the two houses of the legislature will on Tuesday next, proceed to nominate and appoint the said delegates in like manner as is directed by the constitution of this state, for nominating and appointing delegates to Congress.”

    Massachusetts, 7-9 March 1787

    On February 22, Massachusetts passed a resolution empowering five Commissioners “to meet… Commissioners… of the other States… at Philadelphia on the second day of May next.” On March 3, the legislature chose its five delegates. Thus Massachusetts became the eighth State to resolve to attend the convention before the statement from Congress reached them. On March 7, it repealed the February 22 resolution and replaced it with the following, explicitly because of the February 21 opinion of Congress:

    “Whereas the Legislature… did… elect the honorable… Delegates, or any three of them to attend and represent this Commonwealth at the aforesaid Convention, for the sole & express purpose mentioned in the aforerecited resolve of Congress — Resolved that his excellency the Governour be, & he hereby is requested to grant to the said [esquires] a commission agreeably to said resolution of Congress… And it is further Resolved, that the Said Delegates… are hereby instructed not to accede to any alterations or additions… which may appear to them, not to consist with the true republican Spirit and Genius of the Said Confederation: and particularly that they by no means interfere with the fifth of the Said Articles which provides, ‘for the annual election of Delegates in Congress, with a power reserved to each State to recall its Delegates, or any of them within the Year & to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year — And which also provides, that no person shall be capable of being a Delegate for more than three years in any term of six years, or being a Delegate shall be capable of holding any Office under the United States for which he or any other for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.’”

    South Carolina, 8 March 1787

    “Be it enacted… THAT five commissioners be forthwith appointed… who or any three or more of them… shall be and are hereby authorised as deputies from this state, to meet such deputies or commissioners as may be appointed and authorised by other of the united states, to assemble in convention at the city of Philadelphia in the month of May next after passing this act… and to join with such deputies or commissioners… in devising and discussing all such alterations, clauses, articles and provisions as may be thought necessary to render the foederal constitution entirely adequate to the actual situation and future good government of the confederated states, and… in reporting such an act to the united states in congress assembled, as when approved and agreed to by them, and duly ratified and confirmed by the several states, will effectually provide for the exigencies of the union.”

    Connecticut, 17 May 1787

    Connecticut also cited the February 21 opinion of Congress:

    “Be it enacted… That the Hon’ble William S. Johnson, Roger Sherman & Oliver Ellsworth Esqrs be… appointed Delegates to attend the [said] Convention, and are requested to proceed to the City of Philadelphia for that Purpose, without Delay, and the said Delegates, and in Case of Sickness or Accident, such one or more of them, as shall actually attend the said Convention, is and are hereby authorized and impowered to represent this State therein, & to confer with such Delegates appointed by the several States, for the Purposes mentioned in the [said] Act of Congress… to discuss upon such Alterations and Provisions, agreeable to the general Principles of Republican Government, as they shall think proper, to render the foederal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of Government, and the Preservation of the Union; and they are further directed, pursuant to the said Act of Congress, to report such Alterations and Provisions, as may be agreed to, by a Majority of the united States represented in Convention, to the Congress of the United States, and to the General Assembly of this State.”

    Maryland, 26 May 1787

    “Be it enacted, by the general assembly of Maryland, That the honourable James McHenry, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Carroll, John Francis Mercer, and Luther Martin, Esquires, be appointed and authorised, on behalf of this state, to meet such deputies as may be appointed and authorised by any other of the United States to assemble in convention at Philadelphia, for the purpose of revising the federal system, and to join with them in considering such alterations, and further provisions, as may be necessary to render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of the union, and in reporting such an act for that purpose to the United States in congress assembled, as, when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several states, will effectually provide for the same; and the said deputies, or such of them as shall attend the said convention, shall have full power to represent this state for the purposes aforesaid; and the said deputies are hereby directed to report the proceedings of the said convention, and any act agreed to therein, to the next session of the general assembly of this state.”

    New Hampshire, 27 June 1787

    “Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in general court convened, that John Langdon, John Pickering, Nicholas Gilman, and Benjamin West Esqrs be, and hereby are, appointed Commissioners; they, or any two of them, are hereby authorized, and impowered, as Deputies from this State to meet at Philadelphia said Convention, or any other place to which the said Convention may be adjourned; for the purposes aforesaid, there to confer with such deputies, as are, or may be appointed by the other States for similar purposes; and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our federal union; and to procure, and secure, the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and to report such an act, to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.”

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