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Sibley Lawsuit Loses Final Appeals

A denial of a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, has ended the case of Sibley v Ryan/McConnell. The writ was filed by Montgomery Sibley after an appeal in the District Court of Appeals was denied on December 15, 2016. No further legal actions are contemplated in the case.

Sibley filed his suit in what is termed an "Article I" court, that is a federal court created under authority of Article I of the Constitution, instead of an "Article III" court. The difference constitutionally between the two courts has been that an Article I court does not require standing while an Article III court does.


An Article I court, in this case the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, is equivalent to a county superior court in a state and generally deals with similar judicial matters. However, under the law creating the court, any matter may be submitted to the court for its consideration. Sibley filed his suit to order the court to compel Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call an Article V Convention. The record of applications is clear: the states have applied in sufficient number to cause 11 convention calls. Congress has counted 35 states in its recent counting of applications.

The Court of Appeals ruling did not address the issue of a required convention call but instead focused entirely on the question of standing which the court said also applied in an Article I court. As Sibley had already admitted he lacked standing the Appeals Court denied his appeal. In each instance lawsuits seeking to have Congress obey the Constitution  has been thwarted by the courts on the same basis: lack of standing which the government thus far as successfully used in each case. No federal court has thus far even bothered to consider the merits of the case which simply are: Congress is mandated to call a convention which they have not.

Given the position of Congress in its legal battles over calling an Article V Convention that of outright opposition, there is no reason to believe Congress will be disposed to call a convention under any circumstances or even respect a convention called by the states.

The court's ruling may be read below by clicking the image to enlarge:

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Page Last Updated: 5 MAY 2017