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Only 34 (i.e. two thirds or approximately 67%) are required. So why has Congress ignored the Constitution?
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As events in several stories on this site are frequently changing links to the latest updated information will be posted here with appropriate titles. Be sure to check this reference each time you visit this site for the latest news on the Article V Convention.
March 27, 2015:
Government Responds to Sibley
March 20, 2016:
Sibley Appeal Slows Awaiting Government Response
February 14, 2016:
Appeal Underway in Sibley Lawsuit; FOAVC Presents New Feature
January 16, 2016:
Court Dismisses Sibley; Appeal Underway
December 27, 2015:
NARA Terminates Article V Convention
December 8, 2015:
Sibley Rebuts Gov't; Smith Files Reconsideration
November 29, 2015:
Sibley's Olive Branch Letter Spurned
November 15, 2015:
Plethora of AVC Activity Marks First Week in November
October 29, 2015:
Sibley Files First Papers in Superior Court; Government Seeks Censorship
October 18, 2015:
Sibley Wins First Round in AVC Lawsuit
August 3, 2015:
Natelson Lays AVC Rules Egg
July 11, 2015:
Sibley Files Final Response
July 4, 2015:
Filing Fly in Sibley Suit as Court Deadline nears
June 26, 2015:
Court Signals Bias in Sibley Lawsuit
June 21, 2015:
Flurry of Motions, Responses Marks latest Events in Sibley lawsuit
June 14, 2015:
Congress Defies Constitution
May 31, 2015:
FOAVC Presents New AVC Feature
Congress Signals Intent to Disobey Constitution
May 16, 2015:
DOJ acknowledges receipt of AG Letter
March 6, 2016
Congress Owes US TEN Conventions!!!
By Bill Walker
It would be wonderful if, on hearing the news Congress is obligated to call TEN Article V Conventions, Convention of States, Compact for America and Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force (among others) would publicly say something like, “We eagerly welcome the news that public record proves Congress is obligated to call, not one, but TEN Article V Conventions and we look forward to the first one!” won’t come to mind.
But don’t hold your breath.
The fact is these dedicated “same subject” directed convention maniacs are mesmerized. No matter the record, or the facts—even if those facts benefit what they want to achieve—they ignore them. So they all continue seeking new state applications in order to achieve the magical 34 applications required by Article V based on a bogus theory. The fact the states have already reached this threshold TEN times is ignored.
Public record proves Congress is now required to call TEN Article V Conventions. See: www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Numeric.htm. I have always said I estimated Congress was required to call between six and eight conventions based on the number of applications, the number of applying states and the number of times those states had repeatedly submitted applications to Congress. Given the terms of Article V (one application per state, call a convention whenever a set of two thirds of the state legislatures apply) it seemed fairly obvious multiple conventions were mandated. So I estimated between six and eight conventions owed. Only recently however were the public records examined and the results summarized: I was wrong. There are TEN conventions mandated by the applications!!!
If you accept the bogus theory of “same subject” directed convention as the basis of a convention call like the above groups then the public record (www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Amendment_Subject.htm) shows at least FOUR amendment subjects have reached the two thirds threshold required by Article V. All the above groups are charter members of the “same subject” directed convention theory, a theory long on conjecture but short on facts. Thus the fact all seek a balanced budget amendment and the states have already submitted the necessary applications for such a convention (IF “same subject” were the correct method of count) is ignored. See: www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Same_Subject_Convention.htm .
These people are so disconnected with political reality that when the facts of public record PROVE what they seek has already been achieved and what they believe in (same subject) is totally wrong, they ignore the facts and continue if nothing has happened. The problem is other concerned organizations cannot ignore this public record nor other facts about a “same subject” directed convention nor Supreme Court rulings nor public law nor anything else which might be described as official public record meaning these bogus ideas of “same subject” directed convention must and will ignored by them when they make their decisions about an Article V Convention.
Some of the facts surrounding the applications make the assertions of the above groups laughable. Their assertions prove how out of touch they really are. For example, the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force claims “27 states” have submitted applications for a convention call. The public record shows the BBA Task Force is slightly behind the times. This record proves the necessary 34 applications to cause a convention call (assuming again acceptance of the “same subject” theory which again is a bogus theory) on the subject of a balanced budget was reached in 1983! The record is even more laughable if the correct method of count is used. By 1982 NINE Conventions were mandated meaning it was then possible to present the issue of a balanced budget amendment at convention NINE times.
Even the John Birch Society (JBS), a major opponent of an Article V Convention, looks like idiots in light of the public record. The dream of every JBS member is the repeal of the 16th Amendment—Federal Income Tax. The necessary applications needed to achieve their goal were reached in 1989—despite their campaign to stop an Article V Convention. In short, they were busy trying to defeat their most prized political goal and despite their best efforts, it was achieved anyway.
Speaking of the JBS campaign here’s the biggest laugh. The numeric count of state applications, which is the count of applying states with no other terms or conditions, and is what Article V specifies as the basis for a convention call, proves that prior to the start of the JBS campaign in 1983 to stop an Article V Convention, the states had submitted SEVEN sets of state applications for a convention call. Since 1983 the states have submitted THREE more sets of applications for a total of TEN sets of applications requiring TEN Conventions. Whenever I think of a “successful” political campaign I can assure you the JBS campaign to stop an Article V Convention won’t come to mind.
As to “same subject” directed conventions; the issues surrounding this bogus theory of convention tabulation should make any politically sane person (and I realize I might have said an oxymoron) cringe. I doubt anyone in the above groups will heed this message, but as I’ve said before, as the political reality of actually holding a convention begins to manifest itself, the blast furnace of the amendment process will begin to melt away such bogus ideas as “same subject,” “rescissions” and other such baloney reducing them to pools of irrelevancy. Political groups that cling to irrelevancy fade away. See: www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Same_Subject_Convention.htm .
What about the JBS assertion of rescission of applications affecting the public record of applications or that the 1787 Convention was a “runaway” and therefore a convention called under the terms of Article V should not be called? More horse manure which all of the groups above devour. No wonder these groups are in a fantasy world—they take their information from a declared opponent of the very thing they hope to achieve then wonder why it is so difficult to achieve what they want. The JBS assertion of rescission is forbidden by federal criminal law (a law which predates all so-called “rescissions”). The latter assertion of “runaway” convention is refuted by an official vote of Congress which determined years ago the 1787 convention acted entirely within the bounds of the call issued by Congress in 1787. In other words: there never was a runaway convention. See: www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Rescissions.htm and www.foavc.org/StateApplications/Runaway_Convention.htm.
Things are changing regarding an Article V Convention. While these records may not be the game changer they are the herald of events yet to come. It is time to separate fantasy from fact; reality from fiction; accuracy from error or more correctly, outright lying. Soon accuracy of information will become paramount in the Article V movement. Those groups who become accurate and rely on accurate information will remain. Those who do not will perish. It’s that simple. These groups will soon face, for them, a hard choice: either be accurate, accept the public record and make political choices based on that public record or remain as you are, make your decisions based on some fantasy theory which has no legal or constitutional standing and fall into the political abyss from which there is never a return.
Congress Begins Tabulation of AVC Applications
UPDATE: March 7, 2015: A letter to House of Representatives Legal Counsel Kirk Boyle demanding publication in the list of applications currently being gathered by the House Judiciary Committee was recently sent by Bill Walker of FOAVC. Publication of applications by the committee have apparently stalled at a count of ten applications. The letter noted per the request of Mr. Boyle in July, 2013, the April, 2013 letter Dan Marks was sent to the House Judiciary Committee. Mr. Walker’s letter pointed out Mr. Marks’ letter contained 42 states applications from 42 states in the form of published Congressional Record. As the records are already a matter of public record there is no basis not to publish them nor can they be referred to as “purported” applications having already been approved and certified as public record. Mr. Walker pointed out for members of the committee to withhold such information is a violation of federal law and gave the committee a deadline by which to either publish the applications in their list or face being reported for violation of federal criminal law.
UPDATE: January 29, 2015: The Clerk of the House of Representatives today published the first state application for an Article V Convention pursuit to the new House Rules passed on January 6, 2015. The application came from the state of Illinois. The House site located at: http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/memorials.aspx will list the date of the application and the state. One down, 765 to go. The text of the application can be viewed at: http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/memorial-pdfs/2015/Memorial-201501-IL.pdf . FOAVC will continue to publish its more complete list for a period of time until it is clear the House has "caught up" on its 238 years obligation of counting applications.
With a quiet addition to House rules on January 6, 2015 the House of Representatives began for the first time in history an official process for tabulation of state applications for an Article V Convention. This historic event went entirely unnoticed by the mainstream media as has been the case for all AVC events leaving one to wonder if the press will even cover a convention when it is called. Under newly enacted House rule Section 3 (c) “Separate Orders Providing for Transparency with Respect to Memorials submitted pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States” the rule, proposed by Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) was among several rule changes for the new 114th House of Representative which passed by on a party line vote of 234-172 with all but four Republicans favoring the new House rules. More...
Sibley Files Federal AVC Lawsuit Against Congress
April 12, 2015
Montgomery Blair Sibley, an attorney based in Maryland, became the second person in United States history to file a federal lawsuit against members of Congress for failure to call an Article V Convention as required by Article V of the United States Constitution with the filing of a federal complaint in Washington, DC. The first person to file this type of lawsuit was the author of this article who filed two cases, Walker v United States in 2000 and Walker v Members of Congress is 2004. The latter suit was appealed to the Supreme Court.
As announced in his blog Sibley filed his suit on April 9, 2015 in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Division. The defendants in the case are Majority leader Mitch McConnell of the United States Senate and John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and a writ of mandamus by the court requiring Congress to call an Article V Convention. It requests an advisory jury trial rather than a decision by the court itself. According to Mr. Sibley, the Superior Court was chosen as the court of choice because “it is an Article I federal court where ‘standing” is not a legal bar to the claim.”
In the past the federal government has asserted standing, or lack of the right to sue, as the basis to deny any lawsuit filed requiring Congress to obey the Constitution and call an Article V Convention. However, the latest Supreme Court ruling made in 1939, Coleman v Miller (the basis of the court rulings made in the two Walker lawsuits) states that any court ruling regarding the amendatory process in the Constitution is an “advisory” opinion. Advisory opinions do not require standing on the part of the plaintiff bringing the suit. Moreover the decision clearly states that while Congress has “exclusive” control over the amendment process, nevertheless, it is required to obey the Constitution. Article V gives no option to Congress on calling a convention if the states apply meaning Congress is peremptorily required to call the convention. It has been referred to by the Founders as “peremptory.”
In his complaint Mr. Montgomery lists 35 states which have submitted applications for a convention call. The Constitution mandates a convention call if two thirds of the state legislatures submit applications meaning 34 states must submit applications. Article V only requires applications by the states for a convention call to occur. It does not require submission of the same application from all states nor does it require the applications be for the same amendment subject. In all, 49 states have submitted a total of 766 applications for a convention call. To date, all applications have been ignored by Congress which, until recently, had not even bothered to tabulate the applications for purposes of counting, a necessary step to occur before a call can be issued.
court rules, the government has 60 days in which to respond to the
complaint. FOAVC will publish updates to this story as they occur.
AVC Legislative Report
While FOAVC has, up to now, published the Article V Convention Legislative Report by Georgia attorney David Guldenschuh, FOAVC can no longer ignore the fact that the report is presenting inaccurate information. For example, the report notes the passage of an application by the state of West Virginia and cites it as the "28th" state to submit an application with the subject of "balanced budget.
As shown above in our information on this website, based on information in the Congressional Record which is the governing record of applications as these are the records Congress will use as the basis for a convention call, West Virginia is actually the 40th State to submit such an application.
The Constitution does not require states submit applications on the same amendment subject. Instead, the Constitution only requires 34 (two-thirds) applications by the several states to cause a convention call. There is no limit on the number of times a state may apply or any limit on the number of conventions those sets of applications may cause.
While FOAVC will continue to publish the report as it believes it presents the best information regarding current efforts to pass new applications by various political groups (even though it is clear such applications are not required as the Constitution has been satisfied TEN times) we feel duty bound to notify our readers of the fact the list does not reflect the true picture of the state applications and their constitutional effect as it exists today.
A discussion of the report and the issues regarding these various groups can be found at www.foavc.org/reference/file62.pdf. The report will be updated as new information is submitted to FOAVC by Mr. Guldenschuh. The latest report is at: www.foavc.org/AVCLPR/04172016.pdf .
People v Natelson: The FEC Showdown
Regulation Vote Signals Fed Decision on Rogue AVC Fiduciary Theory
A decision by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on a petition to change the regulatory definition of elected federal office to include delegates to an Article V Convention has become the battleground to determine whether an Article V Convention will be an open, freely elected convention or is hijacked by well financed special interests bent on making a convention nothing more than an orchestrated showpiece for their own political agenda. The crux of this argument is the Robert Natelson (master/slave) theory. Read more...
The First Set of Applications by the States
Since the beginning of this nation the states have applied for an Article V Convention at an average rate of one application every four months. The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that amendment subject has no bearing on the amendment process. The Constitution only specifies one standard for a convention call--an application from each of two-thirds of the state legislatures. You can view the first application submitted by each state at this link. http://foavc.org/reference/statelist.pdf As the evidence proves by 1911 two-thirds of the states had submitted applications for an Article V Convention. The Constitution does not permit nor allow so-called rescissions of the applications. Even if it did, long before a single rescission was submitted (1947 state of Maine to correct a textual error) the states had satisfied the single requirement of the Constitution.
You may also read a summation created by long time convention supporter John Guise showing in sequence of application the state, its date of application, the number of states in the union at the time of the application and the number of states needed to cause a convention call. Accordingly, it can be stated that as of Friday, March 13, 1908 with the application of the state of Washington Congress has been obligated to call an Article V Convention as mandated by the United States Constitution.
Liberty Amendments Miss the "Mark"
In his newly released book, “The Liberty Amendments—Restoring The American Republic” national conservative radio talk show host Mark R. Levin discusses an Article V Convention and offers twelve amendments he believes a convention should propose. To its credit his book has caused a stir of public interest in an Article V Convention. This is no surprise given the fact Americans are totally fed up with the national government and are desperate for a solution—any reasonable solution—so long as it works. Whatever other issues surround Article V, it is irrefutable—amendments work.
Unfortunately, Levin’s book is a perfect example of a golden opportunity deliberately perverted to advance a dangerous political agenda having nothing to do with “his” proposed amendments. Combined with the fact the book is woefully inaccurate, misleading and was obsolete before publication Levin’s book is presently worthless—except for the fact, as already noted, it has greatly raised public awareness about an Article V Convention. Read More...
Congress Sets State Applications As Zero;
Passes Law Mandating Delegates Be Elected
In only what can be only described as a kiss off response Kirk Boyle, legal counsel of the House of Representatives responded in a one page letter to Dan Marks' request for an official count of state applications currently recognized by Congress for an Article V Convention call. The sheer volume of applications in question is best appreciated by examination of this map.
Mr. Boyle’s response was succinct—number of applying states counted by Congress: zero.
Mr. Boyle stated Karen Haas, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Read More...
FAQ Page Link
There is a lot more you can learn about an Article V Convention by visiting our FAQ Page! For example:
A Letter from Thomas E. Brennan, Former Chief Justice of MichiganClick here to read letter...
Articles By Bill Walker
FOAVC Co-Founder Bill Walker has been an active advocate for an Article V Convention for twenty five years. During that time he has written numerous articles on the Article V Convention. Beginning in 2000 Mr. Walker filed the first of two federal lawsuits in United States history regarding the obligation of Congress to call an Article V Convention. A detailed record of the suits may be found at: http://www.article5.org. His second lawsuit, Walker v Members of Congress, filed in 2004, was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Walker has spoken at Cooley Law School (Part 1), (Part 2) and Harvard Law School. He was first person in United States history to gather the public record of state applications into a single photographic record presenting the actual text of state applications viewable on the Internet. Previous published lists only presented the congressional record references but did not show the actual texts of the applications.
Links to his works are listed below. Anyone wishing to contact Mr. Walker may do so at: email@example.com.
Proposed Rules Submitted for AVC ApplicationsUPDATE: May 10, 2015: In a letter dated April 30, 2015 word was received the petition for updating NARA rules in regards to Article V Applications is now in process. In other news Mr. John Simms, legal counsel to the office of the Inspector General of the NARA indicated they had no idea on how to proceed regarding a request within the petition for an inspection of the records. Mr. Simms suggested a FOIA request be made to the office of Legislative Affairs in NARA but was unsure if this would cause any response from NARA.
UPDATE: April 24, 2015: In a brief conversation with NARA Inspector General James Springs, Mr. Springs stated that the request for an inspection of the convention records in the custody of the NARA is being studied by the counsel to the NARA Inspector General's office. Congress recently revised the law regarding inspection of federal records to remove the GSA from the process. The new law is so new even GSA officials were unaware of it until a few weeks ago. The law places inspections of all federal records under the responsibility of the NARA.
A petition for the commence of rule making activities by the National Records and Archives Administration (NARA) related to the compilation, display and presentation of state Article V applications currently in the custody of the NARA was recently submitted by Bill Walker of Friends of the Article V Convention (FOAVC) to the office of the Federal Register. Submission of the proposed regulations to the Federal Register is the first step in adopting the proposed rules for the NARA.
In addition, other government officials were sent copies of the petition which is intended to establish a series of federal regulations regarding state applications currently held by the NARA. The government officials were requested to use their offices to facilitate and resolve other problems associated with state applications that lie outside the jurisdiction of the NARA.
In addition, Mr. Walker sent a proposed convention call to these officials. “In combination,” said Mr. Walker, “the proposed NARA regulations and proposed call emphatically disproves the tired argument that no rules exist regarding a convention or that they cannot be written.” Walker went on to point out that the basis of this call and proposed regulations are supported by numerous Supreme Court rulings as well as numerous federal statutes and regulations. “The fact is that those who say no regulations can be written fail to understand a fundamental point—that in any question regarding the Constitution, all the Constitution must be satisfied and therefore all the Constitution must be applied to any constitutional question,” said Walker.
Walker stated too often those who have not properly studied the issue of an Article V Convention simply assume because operational issues such as election of delegates, convention agenda and so forth are not mentioned in Article V, that the Constitution simply does not supply any answer about these questions. “This is entirely false,” said Walker. “The courts have repeatedly ruled on many issues regarding the operational aspects of a convention. It simply requires a little bit of digging on the part of the individual to locate the answers. Most people do not this. Therefore they are susceptible to false statements by convention opponents or political groups who rely on this ignorance to further their political agenda.”
The overall purpose of the proposed regulations is to establish a reliable, verifiable catalogue of state applications available for constitutional use by Congress in calling conventions as well as being available for public review.
The CRS ReportsUPDATE: On March 29, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published the newest in a series of reports on the Article V Convention. This is important because these reports are sent to members of Congress and often serve as basis of decisions for Congress. The report, entitled "The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Current Developments" as indicated by its title, discusses several recent events in the Article V Convention movement. In April, 2014 the CRS published an updated version of its 2012 report on the Article V Convention. The report was the second such report in two months, the first report being published March 7, 2014. Both reports provide the latest details about events occurring in the Article V Convention movement.
The March, 2016 report can be read at:
The April, 2014 report can be read at:
The March, 2014 report can be read at:
ArticleV.Org Letter To CongressAt the suggestion of House of Representatives Parliamentarian Tom Wickman, Dan Marks of ArticleV.org has sent a letter of inquiry to Karen Haas, Clerk for the United States House of Representatives regarding the official congressional count of applications by the states for a convention call. Read More...
Other Articles by FOAVC Founders
You can read other articles by other FOAVC Founders and other Article V Convention supporters by clicking here!