http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/memorial-pdfs/1979/Memorial-197901-SD-A.pdfhttp://clerk.house.gov/legislative/memorial-pdfs/1979/Memorial-197901-SD-A.pdfhttp://clerk.house.gov/legislative/memorial-pdfs/1979/Memorial-197901-SD-A.pdfFOAVC - Judicial Reform; Term-Limits; Balanced-Budget; Inititive-Referendum Recall; Repeal of Federal Income Tax; One Purpose-per-Bill;
Subjects Inside: Article V Applications  FAQ, Application Counts By Congress, Articles, AVC Legislative Report, CRS Reports, Convention of States, The Historic Record of COS, COS Laws, COS Articles, John Birch Society, Con-Con, Runaway Convention, Who Called the Convention, Congressional Vote on a "Runaway" Convention, "Obey the Constitution, Only Two More States", Rescissions, The Phony Burger Letter, The Madison Letter, Fotheringham Exchange, JBS Articles, Sibley Lawsuit, General Interest, Article V.org, Robert Natelson, History of Article V, Counting the Applications, The Numeric Count History, Congressional Decision of May 5, 1789, Development of Article V, The Committee of the Whole, The Committee of Detail, August 30, September 10, Committee of Style, September 15, Official  Government Documents, History of FOAVC, Founders, Audio/Visual, Links, Contact Us, Legal Page, 14th Amendment, The Electoral Process, Packets, Definitions, Numeric Counts of Applications, Same Subject Counts of Applications


Go To Page 5: A, B, C

Page 5--The Truth About Convention of States and Compact For America

The "Convention of States" (COS) and its companion organization "Compact for America" (CFA) are two partisan Convention advocacy groups receiving a great deal of national attention. Thanks to largely undisclosed financial backing COS in particular has gained much public attention in certain national conservative circles. However both COS and CFA have avoided divulging information about the true intent of their organizations, and in particular, pertinent details about the amendment process. FOAVC believes the public is entitled to know the agenda and intentions of these two political groups.

It should noted that the Constitution makes no reference to a "Convention of the States" as a means for proposing constitutional amendments; rather it refers to a "convention for proposing amendments." Therefore, the name of the movement "Convention of States" misleads uniformed citizens into thinking that such a convention is the means by which our Constitution is amended. COS is a partisan group with its own political agenda; any interpretation of Article V which COS makes is in the context of advancing that political agenda and does not reflect the intentions of the Federal Convention of 1787 held in Philadelphia May through September, 1787. The primary difference between the "Convention of States" and the "convention for proposing amendments" is whether the American people are allowed to
vote directly  on the selection of delegates to the convention and whether those delegates represent the people or a few select politicians in the state legislature. Thus there is a clear distinction between a "Convention of States" and an Article V Convention. A detailed discussion of the convention's intention that the people have the right to vote on convention delegates can be found elsewhere on our site.

An example of COS misinformation is shown in this screen shot of a Google search on "Convention of States" with a less-than-truthful answer:

Screenshot

As a result of the efforts of COS and CFA many people today mistakenly refer to an Article V Convention as a "Convention of the States." They believe that an Article V Convention (AVC) is controlled not by the people (as intended by the 1787 Convention) through the process of electing AVC delegates, but by existing state legislatures -- more specifically, by a few select legislators within those state legislatures. Under this scenario, potentially biased state legislatures, which are subject to the effects of gerrymandering, voter suppression, lobbying, and longstanding corrupt practices and money interest, would have the right to propose amendments through control of an Article V Convention with the people unable to prevent this from happening!

With an eye toward clarifying the convention amendment process, FOAVC has researched the premise of state legislatures proposing amendments. A close examination of the historical records from the 1787 Convention (taken from the Library of Congress), shows the framers deliberately removed the authority of state legislatures to propose amendments. Instead, the right to propose amendments was assigned to the people directly through delegates elected to a convention held specifically for that purpose
(See Page 11 D). Even opponents to the ratification of the Constitution itself stated emphatically that Article V did not allow for "states, as states" to propose amendments. Given that proponents and opponents to the Constitution were present as delegates during the 1787 Convention and thus witnessed the development of the meaning and intent of Article V the fact they stated state legislatures were not allowed to propose amendments must be viewed as conclusive.

The promotion of the idea that state legislatures have power to propose amendments and control the convention is one of the many examples of misinformation propagated by COS and CFA and belies their intent to shift control over the amendment process from the people to the politician. Irrefutable proof of this is demonstrated by examination of the latest "Convention of States" law enacted by the state of Arizona which, while using the term "Article V Convention" is not an "Article V Convention" because the "convention" does not represent the people. Instead the Arizona resolution clearly states the "commissioners" (appointed by the state legislature) represent only the state legislature, not the people (Page 3, line 11).

The courts have ruled that conventions held as part of the process to amend the federal Constitution must be "deliberative assemblages representative of the people, which it was assumed would voice the will of the people." (See: Page 17 G). Again, there is no such thing as a "Convention of States" in the Constitution; the only convention mechanism cited in the Constitution for proposing amendments is a "convention for proposing amendments", more commonly called an Article V Convention (AVC) or an "amendments convention"; and, it is a "deliberative assemblage representative of the people", not the state legislature or any subgroup thereof. Indeed, the Court is so emphatic in its rulings that it is the people not the state legislatures which amend the Constitution that when describing whether or not a state has an amendatory power, it does not refer to the "state legislatures" but instead to "the people of the state." (See: Page 17 J).

COS and CFA supporters seem to care nothing about facts that obstruct their view of the Constitution. If they want their view of amendment conventions to be adopted as national public policy, it is appropriate that the people, before consenting to such policy, be informed of all the facts pertaining to that policy. The consequences of an amendments convention controlled by a select group of legislators rather than by freely-elected convention delegates are far reaching; it becomes a choice between the majority of people controlling their destiny, or a small group of politicians controlling that destiny.

That is why FOAVC believes the public should have all the facts about the organizations that propose allowing state legislature-led conventions to reform our government. Armed with factual information, the public can make an informed judgment about COS and CFA intentions. Information about these groups is proved below by FOAVC, and is based on public record and references that are cited as required.



The Convention of States Project (COS)

1. Misinformation on and misrepresentation of the constitutional amendment process

The COS website states:

"Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and business is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the US Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution.

Citizens for Self-Governance has launched the Convention of States Project to call an Article V Convention to propose only amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress."

In simplest terms, COS advocates the "traditional" method of causing an Article V Convention call, that is, gathering a sufficient number of applications to cause a convention call by Congress. Despite the COS website statement, state legislatures do not "call" the convention; that is a specific constitutional duty assigned Congress. COS insists that the term "convention of states" must be included within the application. In other words, COS has renamed the convention process referred to in Article V (a "convention for proposing amendments") as a "convention of states." This is not an accidental use of similar terms; it is political labeling. COS believes a convention is
strictly controlled  by the state legislatures (or small group of legislators within the legislatures) rather than directly by the people who elect delegates specifically for the purpose. Thus, according to COS, the American people have no part in the convention process as intended by the framers.

Under the terms of Article V a minimum of 34 states (two-thirds) must apply for an Article V Convention before it is called by Congress. COS is attempting to gather 34 identical applications from the state legislatures supporting a "convention of the states" based on the assumption that if this is accomplished Congress will then be obligated to call a "convention of the states" controlled by the state legislatures as intended by COS rather than a "convention for proposing amendments" controlled by the people as intended by the framers.

Furthermore, COS believes that any application for an Article V Convention that has either been submitted outside the COS Project, or that does not specifically refer to a "convention of the states," is invalid. Advocates of COS are going as far as to attack other convention groups, urging that those efforts be ignored by state legislatures. According to the COS document "Convention of States Article V Application vs. BBA Application," all "COS applications are identical." Identical application language avoids what COS believes is a roadblock to Congress counting applications by states due to differences in language and subject matter. But, in fact, the language used by the ten states that have applied to date using the COS format is not identical. Indeed, other than using the term "convention of states" in the opening paragraph, few of these ten applications share common language. As discussed elsewhere in this site, the only reason Congress has never called a convention is because Congress has never bothered to count the applications!

COS never discusses the fact the Supreme Court has already ruled the "character" (subject matter) of a proposed amendment has no bearing on the amendment process or in the same ruling expressly stated state legislatures do not control the amendment process (See: Page 17 J).

It appears the use of the term "convention of states" is sufficient for COS to claim a state's application as one of their own. Neither COS nor its associated Compact for America (CFA) have ever publicly acknowledged that Congress is currently counting the state applications without regard to subject matter or language in compliance with several Supreme Court rulings and a prior determination by Congress. As of January, 2017, Congress has reached a total count of 35 applying states, with hundreds of applications yet to count from a total of 49 states. This fact that 35 states have been counted, in combination with the tabulation by the United States Senate in 1930 that comprised the required number of applications, means that a "convention for proposing amendments" is mandated.

It is likely that long before COS or CFA reaches 34 applications using "their" standard form, Congress will have called several conventions, none of which will be named a "convention of the states" but rather a "convention for proposing amendments" or an Article V Convention.

The history of Article V amendment proposals is littered with various groups' amendment proposals being defeated by their political opponents as soon as the specific language of the proposed amendment is released to the public. To avoid this political pitfall, COS had, until late September 2016, avoided any specific amendment proposals. Instead COS spoke in generalities of amendment subject implying that later -- after it gets its 34 applications -- COS would produce specific amendment language. COS had stated such language would be written by convention delegates as "instructed" by the aforementioned select group of state legislators (each with their own political agenda).

2. The COS agenda and its "simulated" convention of states

COS identified four general subjects (and only those subjects) it wants the COS convention to address:


(1) The Spending and Debt Crisis
(2) The Regulatory Crisis
(3) Congressional Attacks on State Sovereignty
(4) Federal Takeover of the Decision-Making Process


The policy of avoiding published specific amendment language changed when COS sponsored a "simulated" convention held in Williamsburg, Virginia in September, 2016. At this convention several proposed amendments were advanced which COS immediately claimed as its own, including:
"Simulated convention or "real" convention?

While COS referred to the convention as "simulated," FOAVC disagrees with the designation. In all aspects the "simulated" convention complied with the various state laws regulating a COS convention that have been passed using similar COS-generated language, albeit language with questionable constitutionally. (For example, the language threatens felony prosecution of Convention delegates who do not heed "instructions" from state legislators, a clear violation of the First Amendment as well as the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution which, under the terms of the 14th Amendment, equally applies to members of Congress and convention delegates as it deprives the delegates of their independence as delegates.) As stated by the Court in United States v Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 507 (1972), "The immunities of the Speech or Debate Clause were not written into the Constitution simply for the personal or private benefit of Members of Congress, but to protect the integrity of the legislative process by insuring the independence of individual legislators."

The evidence that the simulation was in fact a real convention includes these facts:
As of January 2017, state laws are the only laws existing that regulate a convention in this nation. Under the terms of the full faith and credit provision of the Constitution (Article IV), laws of each state have effect in all states. None of these state laws allows for a "simulated" convention. Since the Virginia convention acted in full compliance with state laws in force, FOAVC believes the convention was "real" not simulated."

This implies that the amendments proposed as a result of the convention are "real" as well, leading to the next step of the amendment process --ratification-- which means forwarding them to Congress for publication and determination by Congress of the mode of ratification which shall be used by the states (legislature or elected state conventions) for possible ratification of the proposed amendments. The Constitution does not permit Congress to ignore, modify or otherwise veto any amendment proposed in convention. Thus in any vote or debate on the  issue in Congress is confined to determine which mode of ratification to employ for the purposes of ratification and not to decide whether to forward the proposals for possible ratification.

On October 9, 2016 in order to determine the constitutionality of the COS amendment proposals -- and because the COS convention failed to forward their proposed amendments to Congress to begin the ratification process -- Bill Walker, FOAVC co-founder sent the proposed amendments to Congress requesting Congress begin the official process of ratification of the proposed amendments. Walker stated, "Despite my numerous attempts [to communicate with] COS officials regarding this issue I have yet to receive one legal argument from anyone in COS proving the COS convention was anything but an actual convention authorized under appropriate state laws to propose actual amendments to the Constitution."


3. Disinformation about counting state applications

COS believes only "its" amendment proposals have validity and that in order for Congress to call a convention the applications must be on the same amendment subject which, in the case of COS, is the four point political agenda discussed above. However COS has claimed applications as their own whenever the phrase "convention of states" is contained in the application even if they do not contain the four point political agenda. COS-promoted state laws refer to a convention "called by the states" and make no mention of Congress calling the convention, even though the Constitution requires Congress, rather than the states, call the convention (See: Page 17 K). No such state authority is textually expressed in Article V. By bypassing the required step of Congress calling the convention, COS has publicly ignored all previously-submitted state applications.

This strategy has political drawbacks. It takes time (on average 30 years) to gather 34 required applications for a particular amendment subject. By that time the issue may have been resolved by other means; or, the attention of the nation that is needed to gather the necessary applications is focused elsewhere. Ultimately, these factors result in difficulty gathering applications on a single subject.

The true motive of the COS simulated convention: previously-submitted state applications only selectively addressed.

FOAVC believes it is politically foolish for groups not to take advantage of already submitted applications which favor their own cause.
Constitutionally, all applications "count" which is why a convention call is based on the number of applying states and not on any subject contained within the application (See Page 11 C). Of course, when a large number of states favor a particular amendment subject, there is a distinct political advantage when the convention is called, since any amendment proposal requires a two-thirds favorable vote by the state delegations. Thus, when a convention advocacy group such as COS does not take previously-submitted applications into account, its political motives must be questioned.

Consider the COS convention's six proposed amendments listed above and then the fact COS has rejected the following applications as "invalid":
However, no state has ever submitted an application related to the federal use of the commerce clause. This amendment, proposed in the COS "simulation" is a true maverick and show how easy it is to slip in subjects that are on the agenda of legislators who do not speak for the people. This maverick proposal shows why the framers wisely called for a directly elected Article V Convention because passage of maverick amendment proposals is much less likely in an elected convention. This is because:
A list of convention applications previously submitted by the states grouped according to subject is available at this link.

4. Examples of why state legislators are not allowed to propose amendments


COS believes states have the right to criminally prosecute convention delegates who fail to follow "instructions" from the state legislature. As noted above, at the "simulated" convention held by COS in September 2016, one of the proposals was for a limitation on federal use of the commerce clause on international, intrastate and interstate trade. Such a proposition has never been advanced by COS nor any state legislature in any application submitted to Congress, while the rest of the simulation-proposed amendments already have applications on file with Congress. Thus one might assume that the COS simulated convention delegates "acted under the instructions" of the state legislatures in proposing the rest of the amendments which is allowable under COS rules. (The fact the 1787 Convention expressly rejected state legislatures proposing amendments which would include authority to "instruct" delegates to make such proposals is extensively discussed elsewhere in this site). 

The simulation-proposed commerce clause amendment is not mentioned in any COS material or legislation; it was entirely simulation-created, and not based on instructions from any state legislature. FOAVC believes under the terms of the already-enacted state laws in regard to convention conduct in a COS convention (and because of the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution, recognized in all states), the commerce clause amendment is illegal as it was not made according to state legislative instructions -- in other words, the COS process violated its own [unconstitutional] rules.

The COS convention therefore violated its own political position and state laws which it lobbied to be enacted: amendment proposals are limited to only those that were pre-approved by the state legislatures at a "convention of states" convention. Further, despite the fact state laws mandate punishment of such action as a criminal offense, and despite the fact that FOAVC notified all three attorney general of the offending states, no action whatsoever has been taken by any state attorney general to prosecute the 'offenders.' At the least this raises the question whether the attorney generals of the various states believe the state law is valid, legal or constitutional as they have declined to enforce its provisions.


Another example of COS political hypocrisy is the fact the Alaska's COS application and associated state law expressly limit delegates from the state of Alaska to supporting only the "Countermand" or nullification amendment. At the September 2016 "simulated" convention, Alaska delegates ignored both the COS application and state law, and voted in favor of all the proposed amendments; the "Countermand" Amendment was not even among them.

Moreover COS has failed to acknowledge an already submitted application by a state using the term "convention of states" in the text of the application and which politically reflects the COS agenda in the text of application in its "count" of COS applications. The application, submitted by the state of South Carolina, may be read here and here. Finally, in more recent examples, a "convention of states" application by the state of Wyoming has never been recognized by COS as a "valid" "convention of states" application. The same applies for a Michigan "convention of states" application, again not recognized by COS as a "valid" "convention of states" application as well as a North Dakota application. Meanwhile, COS has claimed a Texas application which doesn't have the phrase "convention of states" in it, as a "convention of states" application. The only conclusion possible is Convention of States Project politically cherry picks which state applications are "convention of states" applications and which state applications are not "convention of states" applications for political, rather than constitutional, reasons.

5. The correct way to count applications

FOAVC notes, as determined by court ruling and congressional decision, the correct method for counting applications to determine when a convention is called is by numeric count. However, once called, the subject matter of the applications submitted by the states automatically becomes the agenda of the convention. Politically, a subject which has massive support from the states stands a much better chance of passage in a convention than a proposal which has little support. Thus the subject matter of the applications will matter when it is most needed: when the convention considers whether to propose an amendment on that subject.



The Compact for America (CFA)

Unlike COS, CFA ignores the "traditional" method for an Article V Convention and is not seeking applications for a convention call in the traditional sense. Instead, CFA proposes that states use the "Compact Clause" contained in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution to amend the Constitution by the creation of amendatory compact in which all issues of the amendment process are decided beforehand. As this is all performed at the state legislative level by the passage of appropriate legislation or resolution, the people are automatically excluded from any participation in the process. Thus, while the CFA process does produce applications to Congress for a traditional convention call, this is secondary to the creation of a 38-state amendment compact.

This untested constitutional theory has never been reviewed by any court. The Compact Clause has, up to now, been used by the states to address interstate problems generally commercial in nature such as electrical power distribution across state lines or flooding by a river having several state boarders along its banks. There is absolutely no historic record the Founders ever intended the Compact Clause be used as CFA advocates to amend the Constitution. Based on the 230 years record of Supreme Court rulings (See Page 17) which repeatedly state the Constitution can only be amended under the process expressed in Article V, it virtually certain the courts will find the CFA proposal unconstitutional on numerous grounds.

Unlike COS, CFA supports only one amendment proposal: the balanced budget amendment. CFA proposes the multi step process of Article V (proposal, ratification and enrollment) be "condensed" into a "single enactment joined by 38 states." CFA proposes the vote on a proposed amendment be passed "ONCE" "with simple majorities" entailing "all of the stages of the amendment process." In this way CFA wants to bypass the supermajorities required by Article V for both the proposal and ratification process. However, CFA does acknowledge one requirement of Article V: that the compact only takes affect when 38 states (the number of states presently required for ratification as mandated by Article V) have joined the compact.  

According to their website the CFA compact includes the following:
In sum, CFA proposes a state amendment compact in which 38 states agree in advance to an amendment proposal and its ratification. This is accomplished by a single majority vote in each state legislature and a single majority vote in Congress. The compact ignores the supermajorities called for in Article V. All matters which otherwise might be debated or voted on during a convention are pre-determined. Thus the convention becomes nothing more than a meaningless formality under the CFA Compact plan with no participation of the American people whatsoever.

FOAVC Concerns Regarding COS/CFA

FOAVC has several concerns regarding the COS/CFA proposals which it believes should be examined by the American people prior to their supporting either COS or CFA.

1. Under the COS/CFA proposals the people have no participation in the selection of convention delegates and are thus disenfranchised.

FOAVC believes under no circumstances should the people's right to vote be removed nor should the people be denied access to the regulation of their Constitution by means of the amendment process. Under the COS/CFA proposals, quoting George Mason, delegate to the 1787 Convention, "...the whole people of American can't make, or even propose alterations to it [the Constitution]; a doctrines utterly subversive of the fundamental principles of the rights and liberties of the people."
2. Under the COS/CFA proposals the amendment agenda of a convention is pre-determined by a select group of state legislators who may be open to outside influence.

Besides the obvious dangers of outside influences gaining control of the Constitution instead of the people controlling it, FOAVC believes all amendment proposals should be subject to vigorous and open public debate before, during and after a convention during the ratification process. The COS/CFA proposals deprive the people of their First Amendment right of open public debate on public issues, not to mention denying them the right to petition convention delegates for redress of issues they believe the convention should address.
3. Under the COS/CFA proposals delegates to a convention can face felony arrest if they fail to follow "instructions" issued them by a select group of state legislators.

FOAVC believes no convention delegate should be required to obey any instructions from anyone except those of the electorate who puts that citizen in office. By election, the American people place their trust in that individual to perform the duties as instructed by the electorate. No elected official should ever be required to function under threat of arrest or other similar coercion.

FOAVC believes under the doctrine of equal protection under the law enunciated in the 14th Amendment, the protections of the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1) which extend to members of Congress equally apply to convention delegates as these two groups are the only citizens empowered to propose amendments to the Constitution and thus form a legal class. The principle of equal protection demands that if one portion of a legal class is legally protected, that protection must extend to all members of that legal class.

FOAVC also notes that those legislators who have enacted such criminal penalty have not applied the same to themselves even though they, as state legislators, are part of the amendatory process. In sum, what's good for the goose should be good for the gander.
4. State laws passed in several states putting the COS/CFA proposals into legal effect disenfranchise all state voters from voting for convention delegates; the same laws could be expanded to include disenfranchisement of voting for all members of Congress and all state legislators.


FOAVC believes language in the Constitution creates the possibility of this occurring should an opportunistic politician wish to take advantage of the peculiar language of the Constitution.

First, all voting discrimination laws, federal and state, are based on the particular concept of denying the right to vote to a particular group on the basis of race, sex, age, ethnicity, nationality or similar classification. There is nothing in any anti-discrimination law against discriminating against everyone in a state, for example and denying all the citizens their right to vote. The basic principle is that as all are treated equally, none can be discriminated against. Therefore there is no discrimination.

Where the Constitution addresses discrimination such as in the 15th or 19th amendments the language only provides that the right to vote "shall not be denied or abridged on account of [race or sex]. Thus if the right to vote is deprived for reasons other than those of sex or race, the Constitution is silent on that form of discrimination, particularly where it involves all citizens rather than a specific group within the citizenry.

Second, as discussed elsewhere on this site members of Congress and convention delegates form a legal class which under the Constitution must be treated equally. This class is part of a larger class of citizens which includes all citizens (members of all state legislatures) and whomever may serve as a delegate to a state ratification convention. Thus, if one part of this group is treated in a particular manner, then all must be treated equally. Thus, if convention delegates may be chosen by means of discrimination against citizens depriving them of their right to vote, under the terms of the Constitution it is conceivable all members of that legal class--members of Congress, state legislators and convention delegates can be selected by means other than election.

Third, the language of the Constitution is peculiar regarding the qualification of an elector to chose a member of Congress. Both Article I which describes the elector qualification for the House and the 17th Amendment which describes elector qualification for the Senate have the identical language: "The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures." Thus, if the members of the most numerous house in a state legislature are not elected (as they are part of the amendatory process and not subject to election) then under the Constitution, citizens are excluded from voting for members of Congress.

FOAVC grants this may appear to be a far out political theory. But then, who would ever believe ten state legislatures would ever vote to disenfranchise their citizens from having any say in their Constitution?
5. State laws putting COS/CFA proposals into legal effect permitting felony arrest of a convention delegate conducting convention business outside the state boundaries, raise serious questions of extraordinary state sovereignty.

As a convention may not be held in the state in which the state criminal law in question has affect, FOAVC believes in order for the state law to have affect it must extend into all other states; that is the effect of the law must cross state boundaries. In this way the state law assumes the authority of a federal law while remaining, in fact, a state law. Thus, if the state of Indiana gives instructions to its delegate in the state of Texas and that delegate disobeys those instructions, under Indiana law that delegate can be criminally prosecuted for an act committed in the state of Texas. This example is based on fact rather than fiction. The CFA compact specifically mandates the convention be held in Dallas, Texas while Indiana law specifically mandates criminal prosecution for any Indiana convention delegate failing to obey "instructions" at the convention in Texas.

This extraordinary extension of state sovereign power past its own boarders, FOAVC believes, raises gave concerns about state sovereignty. Whether such sovereign power stops at the state boarder or can be extended by the sole action of a state to include all 50 states in the Union is a serious issue. The issue is: can a person who commits a legal act in the state of Oregon be tried for violation of a Georgia law which criminally prosecutes for that act, when the act was legally committed in the state of Oregon? The COS/CFA proposals believe the answer to this question is yes. FOAVC believes the people should carefully consider the consequences of such state laws if they become general public policy. 

6. State laws which enact COS/CFA proposals into law raise another question. As COS/CFA believes it is legal for a state to "instruct" delegates as to their performance at a convention (under threat of criminal prosecution), can a single state, which is chosen to hold a convention within its boarders, enact legislation which controls all convention delegates?

There is no question of extra ordinary state sovereignty here. Such law would be confined within state boarders. The current well established principle of state law stopping at the boarder precludes interstate control of a convention but does not preclude intrastate control. If, as COS/CFA believe, the principle of criminal sanction against one set of delegates is constitutional, then FOAVC believes it is also possible for a single state slated to hold the convention within its boarders can enact COS/CFA legislation regulating not only its own delegates but all convention delegates as well. After all there is no question that all persons within the boundaries of a state are subject to the state laws of that state while in that state. None of the states which have enacted COS/CFA legislation have a prohibition against any state enacting such legislation, should the convention convene within the boarders of another state.

In conclusion there is nothing in the COS/CFA laws prohibiting this political scenario. By an alteration of  single word in COS/CFA law, (instead of saying their state delegation, say instead all state delegations) a single state could seize control of the convention; such law could be enacted after the convention convenes; and delegates may be under threat of criminal prosecution for failure to follow the instructions of a single state legislature (or small group of legislators within that legislature). The very presence of state police at the convention could provide enforcement of that law and prevent exit by the delegates until the "instructions" sought by a small group of individuals or a single individual was enacted. This has happened before in other nations.

Ironically, any issue of ratification is nullified by the COS/CFA theory of extraordinary state sovereignty, whereby a state law extends into all 50 states. The single convention-hosting state in question could simply extend its decision on a ratification vote
to all 50 states for whatever amendments it caused to be proposed in the convention it controlled, based on the extraordinary interstate powers advocated by COS/CFA in regards to its felony criminal laws. In short the state could pass a law making it a crime for anyone not to obey its law regarding its ratification instructions.

Preposterous? Certainly. But ten state legislatures all represented at the COS "simulated" convention have already enacted into law the first step in such a scenario and appear to have no issue with any question of constitutionality or consequences about the laws they have enacted. These laws and other information is discussed in further detail in ensuing pages. FOAVC believes the people should carefully consider all possibilities when judging this new form of public policy.

Continued to Page Five A

Page Last Updated: 19 JUNE 2017