*VIDEOS* With Only 3 Weeks Left Until NFL Pre-Season Begins, Here’s A Little Something To Fill The Football Gap


LEGENDS FOOTBALL LEAGUE

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CHICAGO BLISS VS LAS VEGAS SIN

1ST QUARTER

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2ND QUARTER

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3RD QUARTER

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4TH QUARTER

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*VIDEOS* Ed’s Executive Branch Dream Team


PART 1
Ted Cruz
Scott Walker
Mark Levin
Trey Gowdy
Frank Gaffney
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PART 2
Stanley McChrystal
Keith Alexander
John Bolton
Mark Thornton
Thomas Sowell
Newt Gingrich
Rex Tillerson
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PART 3
Sarah Palin
Allen West
Terry Miller
Joe Arpaio
Ben Carson
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PART 4
Ted Houghton
Pamela Paulk
Bill Whittle
Arthur Brooks
Thomas Schatz
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*AUDIO* Unnecessary Censorship And Dr. Ben Carson


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*VIDEO* The Science Is Settled – Al Gore Was Right


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Texas Fights Back Against Obama’s Illegal Alien Invasion

Texas-Led Border Security Surge ‘Imminent’ – Breitbart

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Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus today directed the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) to immediately begin law enforcement surge operations on the Texas/Mexico border. The DPS will attempt to combat the flood of illegal immigration into the state in the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the border. State leaders have authorized approximately $1.3 million per week to fund border security operations.

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FROM THE OFFICES OF:

Gov. Rick Perry
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
Speaker Joe Straus

Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus today directed the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) to immediately begin law enforcement surge operations on the Texas-Mexico border to combat the flood of illegal immigration into the state in the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the border. State leaders have authorized DPS to fund border security operations at approximately $1.3 million per week. “Texas can’t afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis and we will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened,” Gov. Perry said. “Until the federal government recognizes the danger it’s putting our citizens in by its inaction to secure the border, Texas law enforcement must do everything they can to keep our citizens and communities safe.” In a joint letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw, state leaders authorized DPS to conduct law enforcement surge operations using any funds appropriated to the agency. DPS surge operations will continue at least through the end of the calendar year. DPS must periodically report the results of the law enforcement surge to the governor and the legislature. “The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to secure the border and protect this country from the consequences of illegal immigration, but as Texans we know how to lead in areas where Washington has failed,” Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said. “Last year DPS conducted Operation Strong Safety and achieved astounding results. Crime rates related to drugs, cartels, transnational gangs, and illegal border activity plummeted because of the resources we allocated to stop illegal entry at the border. It’s time to make this type of presence on the border permanent.”

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) has apprehended more illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in the first eight months of the current federal fiscal year (over 160,000) than it did for all of fiscal year 2013 (154,453). In May 2014 alone, USCBP reported apprehending more than 1,100 illegal immigrants per day in the Rio Grande Valley. This year, like last year, more than half of the individuals apprehended at the Texas-Mexico border by USCBP are from countries other than Mexico. Additionally, 34,000 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) have been apprehended in Texas so far this year, with estimates that number will reach 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year. By comparison, 28,352 UAC were apprehended in fiscal year 2013. “In this current security and humanitarian crisis, the federal government’s failure to secure our border is resulting in serious consequences for Texas,” Speaker Straus said. “To immediately address these issues, today I join with Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to direct the Texas Department of Public Safety to use the appropriate resources to keep our state safe.” Previous law enforcement surge operations in the border region, such as Operation Strong Safety in 2013, have proven effective in reducing criminal activity and violence associated with human smuggling and drug trafficking in the border region.

State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) told Breitbart Texas she spoke with Governor Rick Perry’s (R-TX) Office and they confirmed the surge to deal with the Texas border crisis is about to begin. Details are not available at this time, but Riddle said, “It is going to happen.”

Riddle spoke with Governor Perry’s office about the issue and was assured it “is going to be coming soon.” She said Governor Perry’s office is working very closely with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst’s office along with the office of House Speaker Joe Straus.

“They are gathering together everything they need to begin this right away,” Riddle said. She told Breitbart Texas that she could not divulge any information about exactly when, how long, and where the surge would be for reasons of operational security. She also could not disclose what the operational objectives would be at this time.

Riddle said, “We are going to feel this particularly here in the Houston area because of Houston’s role as a command and control center for the cartels – for both their drug and human trafficking operations.” She added that Texas Department of Public Safety Director (DPS) Steve McCraw told her last week that Houston is still the hub for these operations.

Riddle said, “Governor Perry is very angry that the feds are doing nothing about this problem.” She went on to say, “I didn’t expect the feds to do anything.” Breitbart Texas reported on June 17 that Governor Perry expressed his frustration with the Obama Administration on Fox New’s Fox and Friends Show.

Riddle reiterated several times that “this is going to happen very soon.” She said that with the cooperation of the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker this can come together without the need for the special session being called for by several legislators and grassroots activists.

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*VIDEO* Judge Jeanine Pirro Verbally Bitchslaps Obama Over Bergdahl Scandal


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*VIDEO* Trey Gowdy: The Master Mash-Up


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Memorial Day 2014 – God Bless Our Fallen Heroes


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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

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The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace… Who brought a sword.

- Joyce Kilmer

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Hollywood Patriots Sinise And Mantegna Understand The Price Of Freedom – Washington Free Beacon

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Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, two of Hollywood’s biggest patriots, are in Washington, D.C., to host the 25th annual Memorial Day concert on the west lawn of the Capitol.

It should be a given that actors, writers, and directors would appreciate the freedoms we enjoy here in America, but too often Hollywood seems to prefer celebrating those who are outspoken against American values, ideals, and even our service members. It’s dumbfounding considering that history teaches us artists are often the first to be silenced by totalitarian governments.

Sinise and Mantegna are two midwesterners who grew up with an understanding of the sacrifices members of our military have made to keep our nation free.

I had the honor of interviewing both of these patriots this week about the Memorial Day concert scheduled for Sunday night. The concert draws hundreds of thousands to the mall and it is free to the public.

I asked Sinise about his special connection to the troops and he said it really all started with his iconic performance as Lt. Dan in the film Forrest Gump. He has now started a foundation specifically designed to help wounded veterans, especially amputees.

“We have a whole new generation of Lt. Dan’s out there and we’ll highlight one of them at the concert this weekend,” he told me.

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Sinese has said that his appreciation for Memorial Day goes back to his childhood in Illinois: “When I was a kid, I loved the Memorial Day parade. Especially saluting the soldiers who had done so much for our country. I was too young to understand the words ‘sacrifice’ and ‘tribute,’ but I knew what a hero was. And that’s what our service members have always been to me.”

Mantegna also grew up in Chicago; having military members in his family instilled a special appreciation for those who have sacrificed for our country:

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“I had a lot of military in my family and they all came back from conflicts so there was no immediate attachment to Memorial Day in terms of a day of personal remembrance,” Mantegna said. “And yet, once I did that concert I realized Memorial Day is not just a holiday, it’s our most important holiday because of the sacrifices all these men and women made throughout our history.”

There’s plenty to complain about when it comes to some of the bone-headed, unpatriotic utterances from many of the members of the Hollywood community. But here are two examples of humble men who understand what it means to be truly free, and, sadly, what the cost of that freedom has been.

I know from personal experience there are more men and women like this in Hollywood. They just don’t get the attention they deserve.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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*VIDEO* Here’s A Little Reminder To Everyone Who Voted For Barack Hussein Obama – That He Is Pure Evil


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*VIDEO* Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Draft Class


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Ryan Shazier – LB – Height: 6’1″ – Weight: 237 – Grade: A-

Stephon Tuitt – DE – Height: 6’7″ – Weight: 313 – Grade: A

Dri Archer – WR, RB, KR – Height: 5’8″ – Weight: 173 – Grade: A+

Martavis Bryant – WR – Height: 6’5″ – Weight: 211 – Grade: A-

Shaquille Richardson – CB – Height: 6’0″ – Weight: 194 – Grade: B

Wesley Johnson – OT – Height: 6’5″ – Weight: 297 – Grade: A-

Jordan Zumwalt – LB – Height: 6’4″ – Weight: 235 – Grade: B-

Daniel McCullers – DT – Height: 6’7″ – Weight: 352 – Grade: A

Rob Blanchflower – TE – Height: 6’4″ – Weight: 256 – Grade: C+

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2014 NFL Draft Picks – Rounds 2 & 3 (Videos)

Texans – Su’a-Filo, Xavier – OG – 6’4″ – 307 lbs – UCLA – 5.9
Video

Cowboys – Lawrence, Demarcus – DE – 6’3″ – 251 lbs – Boise State – 6.0
Video

Browns – Bitonio, Joel – OT – 6’4″ – 302 lbs – Nevada – 5.8
Video

Raiders – Carr, Derek – QB – 6’2″ – 214 lbs – Fresno State – 6.1
Video

Falcons – Hageman, Ra’Shede – DT – 6’6″ – 310 lbs – Minnesota – 6.0
Video

Buccaneers – Seferian-Jenkins, Austin – TE – 6’5″ – 262 lbs – Washington – 5.4
Video

Jaguars – Lee, Marqise – WR – 6’0″ – 192 lbs – USC – 6.2
Video

Lions – Van Noy, Kyle – OLB – 6’3″ – 243 lbs – BYU – 5.4
Video

Rams – Joyner, Lamarcus – CB – 5’8″ – 184 lbs – Florida State – 5.2
Video

Eagles – Matthews, Jordan – WR – 6’3″ – 212 lbs – Vanderbilt – 5.7
Video

Giants – Richburg, Weston – C – 6’3″ – 298 lbs – Colorado State – 5.3
Video

Bills – Kouandjio, Cyrus – OT – 6’7″ – 322 lbs – Alabama – 5.8
Video

Seahawks – Richardson, Paul – WR – 6’0″ – 175 lbs – Colorado – 5.2
Video

Steelers – Tuitt, Stephon – DE – 6’5″ – 304 lbs – Notre Dame – 6.1
Video

Redskins – Murphy, Trent – OLB – 6’5″ – 250 lbs – Stanford – 5.6
Video

Ravens – Jernigan, Timmy – NT – 6’2″ – 299 lbs – Florida State – 5.8
Video

Jets – Amaro, Jace – TE – 6’5″ – 265 lbs – Texas Tech – 5.5
Video

Chargers – Attaochu, Jeremiah – OLB – 6’3″ – 252 lbs – Georgia Tech – 5.8
Video

Bears – Ferguson, Ego – DT – 6’3″ – 315 lbs – LSU – 5.4
Video

Cardinals – Niklas, Troy – TE – 6’6″ – 270 lbs – Notre Dame – 5.6
Video

Packers – Adams, Davante – WR – 6’1″ – 212 lbs – Fresno State – 5.7
Video

Titans – Sankey, Bishop – RB – 5’9″ – 209 lbs – Washington – 5.6
Video

Bengals – Hill, Jeremy – RB – 6’1″ – 233 lbs – LSU – 5.5
Video

Broncos – Latimer, Cody – WR – 6’2″ – 215 lbs – Indiana – 5.2
Video

49ers – Hyde, Carlos – RB – 6’0″ – 230 lbs – Ohio State – 6.1
Video

Saints – Jean-Baptiste, Stanley – CB – 6’3″ – 218 lbs – Nebraska – 5.3
Video

Colts – Mewhort, Jack – OT – 6’6″ – 309 lbs – Ohio State – 5.6
Video

Panthers – Ealy, Kony – DE – 6’4″ – 273 lbs – Missouri – 5.8
Video

Jaguars – Robinson, Allen – WR – 6’2″ – 220 lbs – Penn State – 5.6
Video

Patriots – Garoppolo, Jimmy – QB – 6’2″ – 226 lbs – Eastern Illinois – 5.8
Video

Dolphins – Landry, Jarvis – WR – 5’11″ – 205 lbs – LSU – 5.6
Video

Seahawks – Britt, Justin – OT – 6’6″ – 325 lbs – Missouri – 5.1
Video

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Texans – Fiedorowicz, C.J. – TE – 6’5″ – 265 lbs – Iowa – 5.4

Redskins – Moses, Morgan – OT – 6’6″ – 314 lbs – Virginia – 5.4

Dolphins – Turner, Billy – OT – 6’5″ – 315 lbs – North Dakota State – 5.3

Falcons – Southward, Dezmen – FS – 6’0″ – 211 lbs – Wisconsin – 5.3

Buccaneers – Sims, Charles – RB – 6’0″ – 214 lbs – West Virginia – 5.3

49ers – Martin, Marcus – C – 6’3″ – 320 lbs – USC – 5.6

Browns – Kirksey, Christian – OLB – 6’2″ – 233 lbs – Iowa – 5.2

Vikings – Crichton, Scott – DE – 6’3″ – 273 lbs – Oregon State – 5.5

Bills – Brown, Preston – ILB – 6’1″ – 251 lbs – Louisville – 5.3

Giants – Bromley, Jay – DT – 6’3″ – 306 lbs – Syracuse – 5.3

Rams – Mason, Tre – RB – 5’8″ – 207 lbs – Auburn – 5.8

Lions – Swanson, Travis – C – 6’5″ – 312 lbs – Arkansas – 5.5

49ers – Borland, Chris – ILB – 5’11″ – 248 lbs – Wisconsin – 5.3

Redskins – Long, Spencer – OG – 6’5″ – 320 lbs – Nebraska – 5.2

Ravens – Brooks, Terrence – FS – 5’11″ – 198 lbs – Florida State – 5.3

Jets – McDougle, Dexter – CB – 5’10″ – 196 lbs – Maryland – 5.1

Raiders – Jackson, Gabe – OG – 6’3″ – 336 lbs – Mississippi State – 5.7

Bears – Sutton, Will – DT – 6’0″ – 303 lbs – Arizona State – 5.2

Texans – Nix, Louis – NT – 6’2″ – 331 lbs – Nptre Dame – 5.9

Cardinals – Martin, Kareem – DE – 6’6″ – 272 lbs – North Carolina – 5.6

Packers – Thornton, Khyri – DT – 6’3″ – 304 lbs – Southern Miss – 5.1

Eagles – Huff, Josh – WR – 5’11″ – 206 lbs – Oregon – 5.2

Chiefs – Gaines, Phillip – CB – 6’0″ – 193 lbs – Rice – 5.2

Bengals – Clarke, Will – DE – 6’6″ – 271 lbs – West Virginia – 5.1

Chargers – Watt, Chris – OG – 6’3″ – 310 lbs – Notre Dame – 5.4

Colts – Moncrief, Donte – WR – 6’2″ – 221 lbs – Mississippi – 5.9

Cardinals – Brown, John – WR – 5’10″ – 179 lbs – Pittsburgh State – 5.1

Panthers – Turner, Trai – OG – 6’3″ – 310 lbs – LSU – 5.5

Jaguars – Linder, Brandon – OG – 6’6″ – 311 lbs – Miami – 5.2

Browns – West, Terrance – RB – 5’9″ – 225 lbs – Towson – 5.3

Broncos – Schofield, Michael – OT – 6’6″ – 301 lbs – Michigan – 5.2

Vikings – McKinnon, Jerick – RB – 5’9″ – 209 lbs – Georgia Southern – 5.4

Steelers – Archer, Dri – RB – 5’8″ – 173 lbs – Kent State – 5.5

Packers – Rodgers, Richard – TE – 6’4″ – 257 lbs – California – 5.2

Ravens – Gillmore, Crockett – TE – 6’6″ – 260 lbs – Colorado State – 5.1

49ers – Thomas, Brandon – OT – 6’3″ – 317 lbs – Clemson – 5.4

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Click HERE to view results of ROUND 1.

Click HERE to view results of ROUNDS 4 THROUGH 7.

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Your Daley Gator Article V Convention Of The States Post-Apalooza (Videos)

Indiana To Host Meeting For Planning Article V Convention – American Thinker

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The movement toward calling a state-led Constitutional Convention for the purpose of altering the Constitution bypassing Congress, as specified by Article V of the Constitution, has taken a step forward. Dan Carden of the Northwest Indiana Times reports:

Legislative leaders in all 50 states have been asked to send delegates to Indianapolis for a second discussion on the state-led process for crafting amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and to begin shaping the rules and procedures a Convention of the States that would follow.

Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is among the organizers of the June 12-13 meeting of The Mount Vernon Assembly that will convene in the Indiana Statehouse.

He said delegates won’t be proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution this time. Instead, the goal is “to put a structure and a foundation in place for a Convention of the States, so that we can have consensus on how this thing is going to be run.” (snip)

Long said he’s heard the calls for fast action on an Article V convention, but is confident the careful, thoughtful approach being taken by The Mount Vernon Assembly is the best way to ensure Congress authorizes a Convention of the States and that any proposed constitutional amendments are seen as legitimate.

“This is the one group that is moving forward, with state legislators, putting a process in place so whatever ideas ultimately win out and get to a convention, we will have everything ready to go and the process will work effectively,” Long said. “Without this structure, it won’t work.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from 33 states initially met in December at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia to see if there was sufficient support to move forward with planning for a Convention of the States.

Long said he expects The Mount Vernon Assembly will meet a third time later this year to tweak and finalize the decisions it makes at the Indianapolis session. Then state legislatures in 2015 can begin sending identical resolutions to Congress requesting a Convention of the States.

He said the topic of the first proposed amendment likely will be a requirement for a balanced federal budget or some other plan to rein in the national debt.

“We need something to change and this is, I think, the only way it’s going to happen – the states are going to have to take charge,” Long said.

The process outlined by Mark Levin in his bestselling book, The Liberty Amendments, is beginning to unfold. Sen. Long is to be commended for his careful and deliberate process. It won’t be easy or quick, and a lot of debate lies ahead. The right has no monopoly on Article V consideration:

On Friday Vermont became the first state to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which precipitated a flood of cash into politics.

Mike Monetta, 37, drove from Boston with a colleague and spent more than 10 hours Thursday in the House gallery waiting for the lower chamber to vote on the Senate-passed resolution, which – as lawmakers race to wrap things up before the end of the biennium – was taken up at the end of a marathon floor session.

He was back in the gallery Friday morning to see Vermont’s resolution get final approval from the House. Monetta is the organizing director for Wolf PAC, which he described as a political action committee to end all political action committees.

“We exist for only one purpose and that’s to get a 28th amendment to get all money out of politics,” he explained.

The Left wants to limit the scope of the First Amendment freedom of speech guarantees, while conservatives want to limit government. Which do you suppose will better stand up to debate?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:
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THE FEDERALIST NO. 85 – JAMES MADISON

(Excerpt) – By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States [which at present amount to nine], to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof.” The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. And of consequence, all the declamation about the disinclination to a change vanishes in air. Nor however difficult it may be supposed to unite two thirds or three fourths of the State legislatures, in amendments which may affect local interests, can there be any room to apprehend any such difficulty in a union on points which are merely relative to the general liberty or security of the people. We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.

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Related video:

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ARTICLE V CONVENTION DEBATE

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Related articles:
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THE ARTICLE V CONVENTION TO PROPOSE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR CONGRESS – CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

(Excerpt) – Thomas H. Neale
Specialist in American National Government
April 11, 2014

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two ways of amending the nation’s fundamental charter. Congress, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, may propose amendments to the states for ratification, a procedure used for all 27 current amendments. Alternatively, if the legislatures of two-thirds of the states apply, 34 at present, Congress “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” This alternative, known as an Article V Convention, has yet to be implemented. This report examines the Article V Convention, focusing on contemporary issues for Congress. CRS Report R42592, The Article V Convention for Pro posing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress examines the procedure’s constitutional origins and history and provides an analysis of related state procedures.

Significant developments in this issue have occurred recently: in March 2014, the Georgia Legislature applied for a convention to consider a balanced federal budget amendment, revoking its rescission of an earlier application; in April 2014, Tennessee took similar action. While both applications are valid, they may revive questions as to the constitutionality of rescissions of state applications for an Article V Convention and whether convention applications are valid indefinitely. Either issue could have an impact on the prospects for a convention. In other recent actions, the legislatures of Ohio, in November 2013, and Michigan, in March 2014, applied to Congress for an Article V Convention to consider a balanced federal budget amendment; these are the first new state applications since 1982 and are also the 33rd and 34th applications for the balanced budget amendment convention. If all 32 previous related state applications are valid, it is arguable that the constitutional requirement for requests from two-thirds of the states has been met, and that Congress should consider calling a convention.

Internet- and social media-driven public policy campaigns have also embraced the Article V Convention as an alternative to perceived policy deadlock at the federal level. In 2011, the “Conference on a Constitutional Convention,” drew participants ranging from conservative libertarians to progressives together to discuss and promote a convention. In December 2013, a meeting of state legislators advocated a convention, while the “Convention of States” called for a convention to offer amendments to “impose fiscal restraints and limit the power of the federal government.” Also in 2013, the advocacy group Compact for America proposed the “Compact for a Balanced Budget,” an interstate compact that would provide a “turn-key” application, by which, with a single vote, states could join the compact; call for a convention; agree to its format, membership, and duration; adopt and propose a specific balanced budget amendment; and prospectively commit themselves to ratify the amendment.

Congress would face a range of questions if an Article V Convention seemed likely, including the following. What constitutes a legitimate state application? Does Congress have discretion as to whether it must call a convention? What vehicle does it use to call a convention? Could a convention consider any issue, or must it be limited to a specific issue? Could a “runaway convention propose amendments outside its mandate? Could Congress choose not to propose a convention-approved amendment to the states? What role would Congress have in defining a convention, including issues such as rules of procedure and voting, number and apportionment of delegates, funding and duration, service by Members of Congress, and other questions. Under these circumstances, Congress could consult a range of information resources in fashioning its response. These include the record of the founders’ original intent, scholarly works cited in this report and elsewhere, historical examples and pr ecedents, and relevant hearings, reports, and bills produced by Congress from the 1970s through the 1990s.

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How Michigan May Have Triggered Convention To Amend U.S. Constitution – Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature may have inadvertently made history last month when it adopted a resolution urging a convention of the states for the purpose of drafting a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Article V requires Congress to authorize a convention when 34 states have called for an amendment on the same topic, but that threshold has never been reached.

Conventional wisdom suggests – and supporters repeatedly stated – that by adopting its resolution, Michigan had joined more than 20 other states with similar applications.

But Michigan may unknowingly have been the 34th state to call for a federal balanced budget amendment, according to at least one constitutional scholar. A California Congressman is asking U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to consider the argument and explore whether a convention should be called.

The dispute hinges on an apparently untested legal question: Can a state rescind an application after petitioning Congress?

“There is a school of thought – scholars are very divided on the subject – that once a state Legislature has said ‘yes’ to an Article V Convention, it is without the ability to then turn around and change it’s mind and say, ‘No, we don’t want that any more,” said Gregory Watson, a constitutional expert who works as a staffer in the Texas House.

“The issue has never been brought before a federal court, and that’s why I think perhaps, maybe, possibly someone somewhere – not necessarily in Michigan – could file a lawsuit in a federal court claiming that the 34-state threshold has indeed been met.”

Watson, best known for spearheading ratification of the 27th Amendment some 200 years after it was proposed, believes that Michigan became the 22nd state with a clearly active application calling for a convention and balanced budget amendment. By his tally, 12 other states applied decades ago before they later changed their minds, but he’s not sure they had the authority to do so.

“If a federal judge were to rule that the activities that occurred in Lansing on March 26, 2014, did indeed make it the 34th state, then it was a very historic day,” Watson said. “If the judge ruled that, ‘No, a state can repeal it’s previous request,’ then it was not a historic day.”

Michigan’s resolution made national headlines last week, with The Washington Times and Fox News reporting on the prospect of a constitutional convention and questions over how many states have active applications.

Citing published reports, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) sent a letter to Boehner suggesting that the House “should lead an effort to ascertain whether 34 states have voted affirmatively” for a convention and asking the speaker to direct appropriate entities to make that determination.

“A balanced budget amendment is long overdue and remains an effective tool to address runaway spending and deficits,” Hunter wrote. “With the recent decision by Michigan lawmakers, it is important that the House – and those of us who support a balanced budget amendment – determine whether the necessary number of states have acted and the appropriate role of Congress should this be the case.”

Still, even some supporters are skeptical.

Rob Natelson, a constitutional scholar and former law professor, told The Washington Times that states have always had the ability to rescind applications and does not think Michigan’s resolution is the 34th of its kind.

“I think it’s unlikely that a request for Congress to call a convention at this point would get anywhere,” said Natelson, who wrote an Article V handbook for state lawmakers published by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative organization that supports the push for a balanced budget amendment.

State Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) said he was aware that there was some sort of dispute over the status of old applications when he introduced the balanced budget resolution in Michigan’s upper chamber last year, but he was surprised to learn that Congressman Hunter raised the issue with Boehner in D.C.

“The latest count that I was getting back from the group of legislators that I’ve been working with is that we were going to be number 23,” Green said Wednesday.

The issue may very well end up in federal courts, Green acknowledged, but he would prefer that other states sign on soon so that there is no question over active convention applications. Any proposed resolution would have to be ratified by 38 states.

“My goal is to get a balanced budget amendment done, and if it comes sooner rather than later, I’m all for it,” Green said. “I’d like to see it get done right now, when for sure we’d have 38 states that would (ratify) it. After the next election, you never know.”

If all this sounds hypothetical, that’s because it is at this point.

An Article V Convention has never been called, and it’s not even clear whether Congress or states or delegates would set the rules. The nation’s last constitutional convention was its first, as the founding fathers drafted the document now under dispute.

Despite those unknowns, supporters say states must act and force the federal government to stop what they believe is a reckless and now-annual pattern of deficit spending.

Michigan Joint Resolution V, like those adopted by several other states, calls for an amendment limiting federal appropriations to estimated revenues in each fiscal year, allowing exceptions only in the case of a national emergency.

Critics argue that a balanced budget amendment would limit the federal government’s ability to respond to fiscal crises or make strategic investments, and some have suggested the process could devolve into a “runaway convention” ruled more by public pressure, lobbyists and outside influences than sound policy.

“Government would become more beholden to artificial spending limits that would all but ensure that the shutdown of the federal government we just saw last month would become an all too-common occurrence,” State Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) said in November during an early floor debate on the resolution.

“Congress already struggles to complete its most basic functions. Why would we bog down the process even further? This amendment wouldn’t limit government, it would drown it.”

The resolution passed the Michigan House with some bipartisan support, but the Senate vote split directly down party lines, with all Democrats voting against it.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed the push for a federal balanced budget amendment in his January State of the State address but the joint resolution did not require his signature for adoption.

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ARTICLE V CONVENTION SUMPOSIUM

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Article V: Congress, Conventions, And Constitutional Amendments – Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. & Trent England

Advocates of a “living” Constitution argue that the Founders’ Constitution is hopelessly outdated and unable to grow and adapt to the times. The amendment procedure detailed in Article V belies such claims. As Madison explains in The Federalist, the amendment procedure allows subsequent generations to correct errors and make whatever “useful alterations will be suggested by experience.” Yet at the same time, the difficulty of constitutional amendment prevents the Constitution from being deprived “of that veneration, which time bestows on everything, and without which the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability.” By design, the amendment process requires extensive deliberation and ensures that amendments are the settled opinion of the American people. To date, as was expected, every amendment to the Constitution has been proposed through Congress before being ratified by the states. Although there have been several attempts to call an Article V amending convention – some of which have driven Congress to act – the extensive unknowns and significant risks involved in that uncharted option make congressional proposal of amendments abundantly more prudent and the most viable method to achieve serious constitutional reform. This essay is adapted from The Heritage Guide to the Constitution for a new series providing constitutional guidance for lawmakers.

“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…” – Article V

The process of amendment developed with the emergence of written constitutions that established popular government. The charters granted by William Penn in 1682 and 1683 provided for amending, as did eight of the state constitutions in effect in 1787. Three state constitutions provided for amendment through the legislature, and the other five gave the power to specially elected conventions.

The Articles of Confederation provided for amendments to be proposed by Congress and ratified by the unanimous vote of all thirteen state legislatures. This proved to be a major flaw in the Articles, as it created an insuperable obstacle to constitutional reform. The amendment process in the Constitution, as James Madison explained in The Federalist No. 43, was meant to establish a balance between the excesses of constant change and inflexibility: “It guards equally against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults.”

In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Justice Joseph Story wrote that a government that provides

no means of change, but assumes to be fixed and unalterable, must, after a while, become wholly unsuited to the circumstances of the nation; and it will either degenerate into a despotism, or by the pressure of its inequalities bring on a revolution… The great principle to be sought is to make the changes practicable, but not too easy; to secure due deliberation, and caution; and to follow experience, rather than to open a way for experiments, suggested by mere speculation or theory.

In its final form, Article V creates two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution: through Congress or by a special convention called by the states for the purpose of proposing amendments. In either case, the proposed amendment or amendments must then be ratified by the states, either (as determined by Congress) by state legislatures or by ratifying conventions in the states.

The Virginia Plan introduced at the start of the Constitutional Convention called for amendment “whensoever it shall seem necessary.” The Committee of Detail proposed a process whereby Congress would call for a constitutional convention on the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. George Mason feared this method was insufficient to protect the states, while Alexander Hamilton thought that Congress should be able to propose amendments independent of the states. Madison (as recorded in his Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787) thought the vagueness of an amendment convention sufficiently problematic to reject the provision: “How was a Convention to be formed? By what rule decide? What the force of its acts?” After further debate, the delegates passed language proposed by Madison (and seconded by Alexander Hamilton) that the national legislature shall propose amendments when two-thirds of each House deems it necessary, or on the application of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Proposed amendments were to be ratified by three-fourths of the states in their legislatures or by state convention.

The Constitutional Convention made two specific exceptions to the Amendments Clause, concerning the slave trade (Article V, Clause 2) and equal state suffrage in the Senate (Article V, Clause 2), but defeated a motion to prevent amendments that affected internal police powers in the states.

Just before the end of the Convention, George Mason objected that the amendment proposal would allow Congress to block as well as propose amendments, and the method was changed again to require Congress to call a convention to propose amendments on the application of two-thirds of the states. Madison did not see why Congress would not be equally bound by two-thirds of the states directly proposing amendments as opposed to the same number calling for an amendments convention, especially when the proposed Article V convention process left so many unresolved questions. In the end, Madison did not object to including an amendments convention “except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum etc. which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.”

The careful consideration of the amending power demonstrates that the Framers would have been astonished by more recent theories claiming the right of the Supreme Court to superintend a “living” or “evolving” Constitution outside of the amendment process. More significantly, the double supermajority requirements – two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and three-quarters of the states – create extensive deliberation and stability in the amendment process and restrain factions and special interests. It helps keep the Constitution as a “constitution,” and not an assemblage of legislative enactments. Most importantly, it also roots the amending process in the Founders’ unique concept of structural federalism based on the dual sovereignty of the state and national governments.

The advantage of the Amendments Clause was immediately apparent. The lack of a bill of rights – the Convention had considered and rejected this option – became a rallying cry during the ratification debate. Partly to head off an attempt to call for another general convention or an open-ended amendments convention, but mostly to legitimize the Constitution among patriots who were Anti-Federalists, the advocates of the Constitution (led by Madison) agreed to add amendments in the first session of Congress. North Carolina and Rhode Island acceded to the Constitution, and further disagreements were cabined within the constitutional structure.

Madison had wanted the amendments that became the Bill of Rights to be interwoven into the relevant sections of the Constitution. More for stylistic rather than substantive reasons, though, Congress proposed (and set the precedent for) amendments appended separately at the end of the document. Some have argued that this method makes amendments more susceptible to an activist interpretation than they would be otherwise.

As Madison predicted, the difficulties inherent in an Article V amendments convention have prevented its use, though some state applications (depending on how those applications are written and counted, an additional controversy in the Article V convention process) have come within one or two states of the requisite two-thirds. Precisely because of the potential chaos of the process, the very threat of an amendments convention can be used to pressure Congress to act rather than risk an amendments convention. The movement favoring direct election of Senators was just one state away from an amending convention when Congress proposed the Seventeenth Amendment in 1911. Most recently, in the 1980s, state applications for a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment led Congress to vote on such an amendment and pass the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act (later declared unconstitutional in part by the Supreme Court) requiring the federal budget to be balanced.

There have been hundreds of applications for an amending convention over the years from virtually every state. Because no amending convention has ever occurred, an important question is whether such a convention can be limited in scope, either to a particular proposal or within a particular subject. While most calls for amending conventions in the nineteenth century were general, the modern trend is to call (and thus count applications) for conventions limited to considering a single, specific amendment. Some scholars maintain that such attempts violate the very mechanism created by Article V: the text says that upon application of the states Congress “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,” not for confirming a particular amendment already written, approved, and proposed by state legislatures (which would effectively turn the convention for proposing amendments into a ratifying convention). Indeed, it is not at all clear as a matter of constitutional construction (and doubtful in principle) that the power of two-thirds of the states to issue applications for a convention restricts, supersedes, or overrides the power of all the states assembled in that convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. Other questions include the many practical aspects of how an amending convention would operate and whether any aspects of such a convention (including going beyond its instructions) would be subject to judicial review.

The Federalist Papers, unfortunately, offer no guidance on this matter. Madison refers to amendment conventions in Federalist No. 43 only in general terms, noting that Article V “equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors.” And in Federalist No. 85, while Hamilton discusses how Congress cannot limit the scope of an Article V convention, he says nothing as to whether states can or cannot do so.

The requirement that amendments proposed by such a convention must be ratified by three-fourths of the states is a significant limit on the process and likely prevents a true “runaway” convention from fundamentally altering the Constitution. Serious scholars will undoubtedly continue to debate the historical record and speculate about the possibility of an amendments convention under Article V. Nevertheless, the lack of precedent, extensive unknowns, and considerable risks of an Article V amendments convention should bring sober pause to advocates of legitimate constitutional reform contemplating this avenue.

While a valid method created and available under the Constitution, “a Convention for proposing Amendments” has never been viewed as just another tool for reform but has become ever more so an ultimate option to be deployed only in extremis for the sake of maintaining the Constitution. Hence, the only time Madison pointed to an amendments convention was during the Nullification Crisis of 1832 as a last-ditch effort to prevent the wholly unacceptable and unconstitutional alternative of nullification and secession that then threatened the continued existence of the United States. Likewise, when Abraham Lincoln looked to constitutional reforms to resolve disputed questions in the midst of the Civil War, he noted that “under existing circumstances” the convention mode “seems preferable” precisely because it “allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose.” Yet when the immediate crisis was over, Lincoln strongly advocated what became the Thirteenth Amendment by congressional proposal and did not pursue an amending convention, despite the amendment’s initial failure in the House of Representatives. It should be noted that in both cases an amendments convention was understood to be free to propose whatever amendments thought necessary to address the problems at issue.

Much greater certainty – not to mention extensive historical experience and proven political viability – exists as to the power of Congress to propose amendments. Since 1789, well over 5,000 bills proposing to amend the Constitution have been introduced in Congress; thirty-three amendments have been sent to the states for ratification. Of those sent to the states, two have been defeated, four are still pending, and twenty-seven have been ratified. Because of the national distribution of representation in Congress, most amendment proposals are defeated by a lack of general support and those amendments that are proposed to the states by Congress are generally likely to be ratified.

In a challenge to the Eleventh Amendment, the Supreme Court waved aside the suggestion that amendments proposed by Congress must be submitted to the President according to the Presentment Clause (Article I, Section 7, Clause 2). Hollingsworth v. Virginia (1798). In the National Prohibition Cases (1920), the Court held that the “two-thirds of both Houses” requirement applies to a present quorum, not the total membership of each body. One year later, in Dillon v. Gloss (1921), the Court allowed Congress, when proposing an amendment, to set a reasonable time limit for ratification by the states.

Since 1924, no amendment has been proposed without a ratification time limit, although the Twenty-seventh Amendment, proposed by Madison in the First Congress more than two hundred years ago, was finally ratified in 1992. Regardless of how an amendment is proposed, Article V gives Congress authority to direct the mode of ratification. United States v. Sprague (1931). Of the ratified amendments, all but the Twenty-first Amendment, which was ratified by state conventions, have been ratified by state legislatures. In Hawke v. Smith (1920), the Court struck down an attempt by Ohio to make that state’s ratification of constitutional amendments subject to a vote of the people, holding that where Article V gives authority to state legislatures, these bodies are exercising a federal function.

Although some scholars have asserted that certain kinds of constitutional amendments might be “unconstitutional,” actual substantive challenges to amendments have so far been unsuccessful. National Prohibition Cases (1920); Leser v. Garnett (1922). The Supreme Court’s consideration of procedural challenges thus far does not extend beyond the 1939 decision of Coleman v. Miller, dealing with Kansas’s ratification of a child labor amendment. The Court split on whether state ratification disputes are nonjusticiable political questions, but then held that Congress, “in controlling the promulgation of the adoption of constitutional amendment[s],” should have final authority over ratification controversies.

In the end, the Framers believed that the amendment process would protect the Constitution from undue change at the same time that it would strengthen the authority of the Constitution with the people by allowing its deliberate reform while elevating it above immediate political passions. “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government,” George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address of 1796. “But the Constitution which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”

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Click HERE to read the first chapter of Mark Levin’s newest book THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS onlline.

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………………Click on the image above to purchase Mark’s book.

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Click HERE to visit CONVENTIONOFSTATES.COM.

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