LB195 “Faithful Delegate to Federal Article V Convention Act”: A Dangerous, Deceptive Bill

Once again Sen. Halloran has introduced a “Faithful Delegate” bill. At an earlier session when he introduced a similar bill, Halloran stated it was introduced to calm people’s fears of a “runaway” convention. (LB451 1/24/2018 hearing transcript). It did not pass because people realized it was a smoke screen intended to lull them into a false sense of security. This year his “Faithful Delegate” bill is LB195. “Faithful Delegate to Federal Article V Convention Act

LB195 attempts to dictate 1) the selection process of delegates to a Federal Article V constitutional convention, 2) to limit what Nebraska’s delegates can discuss, how they can vote and more. At Halloran’s January 16, 2019 press conference if a delegate didn’t do what they were told, the punishment would be the “humiliation” of being made to leave the convention and return to Nebraska.

Delegate bills are a strategy designed to give legislators a false sense of security and control over a process that will be completely out of their control. In other states the process of passing Delegate Bills is a strategy to get resolutions such as LR14 (call for Article V convention) passed. Once legislators have passed the ‘perceived’ protections of a delegate bill, the Article V Convention bills will be an ‘easier pill to swallow’. It’s the old “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” analogy.

Here is proof that LB195 is Deceptive and Dangerous:

  • Note the language of LB195 – “Federal Article V Convention Act”. Finally, an admission that a Federal Constitutional Convention and the Article V Constitutional Convention of States are one and the same.       Delegates to a federal level convention – dealing with the federal Constitution – will not be answerable to the State. Federal trumps State.
  • Delegates to a Convention will set the rules of the Convention. On May 29, 1787 at the federal "amendments" convention where our present Constitution was drafted, Delegates voted to make their proceedings secret. If there is another convention, delegates could vote in secret again.
  • Delegates to an Article V federal convention are the Sovereign Representatives of the People; they have sovereign immunity for whatever they do. They can not be prosecuted for ignoring instructions from Congress or their States.[1] They have absolute power to propose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification: Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) says:

“…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

This has already been done! On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”[2]. But at the “amendments” convention of 1787, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution [the one we now have] which created a new government!

  • The Articles of Confederation (p 8-9) required that any amendments be approved by all 13 States and the Continental Congress. However, the new constitution drafted at the 1787 Convention provided ratification by only nine of the 13 States.

For the past 6+ years, convention proponents have been telling us there are no risks with a Federal Article V constitutional convention – and now this attempt at control? What else are they not telling us?

 

[1]The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress”, Thomas H. Neale, Congressional Research Service, March 29, 2016

[2] field%[email protected]%28fr0032%29%29%230030003&linkText=1">U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875, page 13