FOAVC - 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 State, Compact for America, COS, CFA--Which States are Which?, The Historic Record of COS, COS, CFA Laws, COS Articles, CRS Reports on COS/CFA, COS, CFA Financial Records, CFA Financials, COS Financials, COS/CFA Financial Conclusions, John Birch Society, Con-Con, Runaway Convention, Who Called the Convention, Congressional Vote on a "Runaway" Convention, "Obey the Constitution, Only Two More States", Illegal Rescissions, The Phony Burger Letter, The Madison Letter, Fotheringham Exchange, JBS Articles, Sibley Lawsuit, General Interest, Article, 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, (Applications grouped by numeric count as required by the Constitution),  Same Subject (Applications grouped by amendment subject, not required by the Constitution for a convention call).

Page 7--The Sibley and Walker Lawsuits

As described in the April 12, 2015 article below Montgomery Sibley became the second person in United States history to file a federal lawsuit against Congress in regards to its failure to obey the Constitution and call an Article V Convention as required by the Constitution. The first person to do so was Bill Walker, co-founder of FOAVC who filed two separate lawsuits in 2000 and again in 2004. The latter suit, Walker v Members of Congress, was appealed to the Supreme Court. Details of these suits may be found here. Other articles describing all details of the Sibley lawsuit are printed in publication order. Further information regarding the lawsuit can be found the front page of our site.

Sibley Files Federal AVC Lawsuit Against Congress
April 12, 2015

Montgomery Blair Sibley, an attorney based in Maryland, became the second person in United States history to file a federal lawsuit against members of Congress for failure to call an Article V Convention as required by Article V of the United States Constitution with the filing of a federal complaint in Washington, DC. The first person to file this type of lawsuit was the author of this article who filed two cases, Walker v United States in 2000 and Walker v Members of Congress is 2004. The latter suit was appealed to the Supreme Court. 

As announced in his blog Sibley filed his suit on April 9, 2015 in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Division. The defendants in the case are Majority leader Mitch McConnell of the United States Senate and John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and a writ of mandamus by the court requiring Congress to call an Article V Convention. It requests an advisory jury trial rather than a decision by the court itself. According to Mr. Sibley, the Superior Court was chosen as the court of choice because “it is an Article I federal court where ‘standing” is not a legal bar to the claim.”

In the past the federal government has asserted standing, or lack of the right to sue, as the basis to deny any lawsuit filed requiring Congress to obey the Constitution and call an Article V Convention. However, the latest Supreme Court ruling made in 1939, Coleman v Miller (the basis of the court rulings made in the two Walker lawsuits) states that any court ruling regarding the amendatory process in the Constitution is an “advisory” opinion. Advisory opinions do not require standing on the part of the plaintiff bringing the suit. Moreover the decision clearly states that while Congress has “exclusive” control over the amendment process, nevertheless, it is required to obey the Constitution. Article V gives no option to Congress on calling a convention if the states apply meaning Congress is peremptorily required to call the convention. It has been referred to by the Founders as “peremptory.”

In his complaint Mr. Montgomery lists 35 states which have submitted applications for a convention call. The Constitution mandates a convention call if two thirds of the state legislatures submit applications meaning 34 states must submit applications. Article V only requires applications by the states for a convention call to occur. It does not require submission of the same application from all states nor does it require the applications be for the same amendment subject. In all, 49 states have submitted a total of 766 applications for a convention call. To date, all applications have been ignored by Congress which, until recently, had not even bothered to tabulate the applications for purposes of counting, a necessary step to occur before a call can be issued.

According to court rules, the government has 60 days in which to respond to the complaint. FOAVC will publish updates to this story as they occur.

Congress Signals Intent to Disobey Constitution

In what can only be described as  Walker v Members of Congress 3.0, Déjà-vu all over again, members of Congress have once again signaled their intent to disobey the Constitution in regards to calling an Article V Convention. More...

Government Defies Constitution

As expected, attorneys for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner filed court pages in United States District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to dismiss the recently filed Sibley v McConnell federal lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed pro se by Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley seeks a writ of mandamus from the court causing Congress to call an Article V Convention. More...

Flurry of Motions, Responses Marks latest Events in Sibley lawsuit

As the time draws nearer for a ruling from a federal judge as to whether the Montgomery Sibley lawsuit, Sibley v McConnell will be dismissed in District Court in contradiction to federal law or remanded back to federal Superior Court as required by federal law where the issue of the refusal of Congress to call an Article V Convention faces a decision based on the merits of the case, this week saw a flurry of legal motions and responses from both sides. More...

Court Signals Bias in Sibley Lawsuit

In what can only be described as opposing obvious court bias, attorney Montgomery Sibley this week filed a motion in federal district court in the Article V Convention case Sibley v McConnell requesting the court withdraw deadlines for filing responses to government filings. More...

Filings Fly in Sibley Suit as Court Deadline Nears

With a court deadline set for the end of the pre-holiday week for the Sibley v McConnell lawsuit a blizzard of filings continued leading up to the deadline for the Article V Convention lawsuit. The suit, the third in United States history, was originally filed April 8, 2015 in Superior Court for the District of Columbia by Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley. More...

Sibley Files Final Response, Case Now in Hands of Judge

With the filing of a response early last week by plaintiff Montgomery Sibley, the first round of charges and counter charges in the case Sibley v McConnell came to an end for the plaintiff. The government filed their final responses on Friday July 10. The matter now rests with District Court Judge James E. Boasberg. More...

Sibley Wins First Round in AVC Lawsuit

Despite a 14 page opinion of judicial diatribe which could have been written with a single word--"remanded," Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley won the first round in his Article V Convention lawsuit against defendants Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Speaker of the House John Boehner this week. More...

Sibley Files First Papers in Superior Court; Government Seeks Censorship

Wasting no time following his remand victory in federal district court Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley filed his first motion, a motion for a pre-trial conference of what promises to be a massive volume of legal paperwork from both he and government attorneys representing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and formerly, Speaker of the House John Boehner in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Division. More...

Plethora of AVC Activity Marks First Week in November

"Busy" best describes Article V Convention activities in the first week of November. The week featured filings in two court cases, a report on the current status of Article V advocacy groups and a request by a member of Congress for inspection of Article V Convention state applications currently in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). More...

Sibley's Olive Branch Letter Spurned

A November 19, 2016 hand delivered letter from Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, defendants in the Sibley v McConnell/Ryan lawsuit, offering to negotiate the issue of Congress calling an Article V Convention was apparently rejected by the defendants. More...

Sibley Rebuts Gov't Motion to Dismiss; Smith Files Reconsideration

In a strongly worded 19 page response Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley rebutted the government's motion of dismissal it submitted to DC Superior Court in the Sibley versus McConnell/Ryan lawsuit. More...

Court Dismisses Sibley, Appeal Underway

With a one sentence dismissal on January 11, 2016, DC Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross kicked the federal lawsuit by Maryland attorney Montgomery Sibley into the appeal process. More...

Appeal Underway in Sibley Lawsuit; FOAVC Presents New Feature
By Bill Walker

Speaking from personal experience I can tell you nothing moves slower than the appeals process in federal court. When I filed my second federal lawsuit, Walker v Members of Congress for example, it took 18 months from the date of submission to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals until the Court rendered its one page opinion. More...

Sibley Appeal Slows Awaiting Government Response

Events have slowed this past month in the Montgomery Sibley lawsuit against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Despite the fact public record shows Congress is required to call TEN Conventions and the Constitution mandates Congress must call if the states apply in sufficient number, Congress has not called a single convention. More...

Government Responds to Sibley

The government this week submitted its appeal brief to Montgomery Sibley in his suit Sibley v McConnell. Frankly, the government said nothing new using the same arguments it had presented at trial. More...

Sibley Lawsuit To Force AVC Call Loses Appeal

On December 15, 2016 an appeal by Montgomery Sibley in his suit Sibley v Ryan/McConnell to the District Court of Appeals was denied by the appeals court on the basis of lack of standing. Despite the fact 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 thus 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.

Based on its continued opposition now in several lawsuits it is clear the government has no intention of obeying Article V and calling a convention as required. In each instance  the lawsuit 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.

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

Sibley has submitted a petition for an "en banc" hearing by the entire DC Appeals Court to consider his lawsuit. Further appeal may follow. A decision by the court whether grant an "en banc" hearing is expected in mid-spring.

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

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The petition for "en banc" can be read here:



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. More....

Page Last Updated: 23 JULY 2017