[xx] Call to order House Judiciary one we're
delighted to have with us as our Sergeant-at-Arms, Barry Moore, B. H Pal and David Litcome, and we are glad to have Sergeant-at-Arms, We'll always need them and you just never know, after last week. We have our two pages Maddy Dison. Where are you, Maddy? Would you tell us where you live and what grade you're in at school? I live in Davidson County and I'm in 10th grade and Dawson Claire McGurd. Yes. And where are you from? I'm from Lawson County [xx] High School. [xx] to have both daughters. Thank you. The first bill we are going to take up is being sponsored by my friend, senator Randowman, she's going to remember that house has taken up senate bills. Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I will certainly do that Thank you ladies and gentlemen for allowing me to come up before you today, senate bill 78 will allow state correctional officers to carry concealed I can still [xx] when off duty adding them a list of persons that are exempt from general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. They are not to consume alcohol or any unlawful controlled substance and cannot have alcohol or uncontrolled substance in their bodies. These individuals are required to have completed their standards through the department of public safety which consists of 120 hours, including 26 hours of handgun training at which one, they are officers. This bill is supported by the department of public safety and it's badly needed by our states correctional officers. Any questions from the bill sponsor. Representative Martin. Thank you very much Mr. Chair a question either for the bill sponsor, for staff, 26 hours of handgun training, how does that compare to the handgun training required for the other classes of cause that we allow to conceal during off duty. I can speak to my class. I think I came to the General assembly, four, five hours a night for three nights. we are conferring every year and we're not [xx]. Okay, a follow up question. Follow up and for correctional officers, after the initial 26 hours of handgun training, is there any continued certification required year to year of continued qualifying at a range or continue training? They do have to qualify and be certified each year. Thank you. Any further questions? Representative [xx] This promotion is the appropriate time. Any further question? from any member of the committee? If not, representative Adam Mcnelly is recognized for a motion. Make a motion we give senate bill 78 a favorable report. Any further discussions? If not, all those in favor of the motion, to give the bill a favorable report, let it be known by saying I? I. Opposers no? The I's have it, the bill will be on the floor soon. We have two bills left, we're going to hear these bills, are going to be for discussion only, we're not going to vote on them today. We will be voting on them, but they're very complicated if not [xx] and I to find out exactly what the nature of the bills are, and what effect they would have if they were supposed to become law, this time we're going to take up. We send constitution convection calls for Representative Jordan plays real bad Thank you Mr. Chairman over the years a variety of concerns have initiated calls for a constitutional convention under Article four five of the US constitution, abortion balance budget, term limits, flag burning, most recently second amendment protection and calls to overturn citizens united the first way to solve the problem could lead to five more serious trouble. Tampering with the entire structure
of our government by opening up the U. S constitution so that it can easily become a run away convention alliance. The long standing anti-constitutional convention allies has included organizations and individual on the left so it's just the AAF and CIO, the late U. S supreme court of justice Author Goldberg outline that tribe citizens that protect the constitution even the Rhode Island branch of the ACLU testified against us in 2010. On the right, the anti-constitutional convention alliance include the American legion that turns on foreign wars, national rifle association and virtually every other second amendment organization the John Doe society, ego form and daughters of the American revolution among others. Here is the relevant language of article five. The congress on the application of legislature of the two thirds of several states shall call in a convention for proposing amendments which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this constitution when ratified by the legislature of three fours of the several states or by conventions and three force of as the one of the other motive ratification may be proposed by the congress. There's 143 words in article five, only 70 of them talk about an article five constitutional convention. So the plain language of article five limits needed the slope of the convection that it anticipates nor the number or substance of any amendments proposed. Truly the field is wide open, lest the concern is such a constitution convection because what else could a convection called to make amendments to the constitution be called, but a constitutional convention. So could be kind of runaway convention capable of even remaking our current US constitution into a completely different and not necessarily better foundation document. The number of states required to call a title five convention is 34. Since 1970's, 32 states have applied for a constitutional convention specifically to propose a balance budget amendment for example, however of those states, 15 have resented all of their outstanding calls for an article five convention. North Carolina has not yet called of outstanding cost, here is the filing of this resolution, and you can see in summary exactly what it does it states that, all applications the general assembly has made to congress in this day, to call a convention for the members United States Constitution, that is all this resolution does, the correct cause out there are a variety of things, such as there's one from March second, 1867, there's one from March 11th, 1907, there's one from April 20th, 1949, May 12th, 1965 and January 29th, 1979. So you can see there is a lot of house keeping to be done and that what this resolution does, removes those but the underlying idea of a [xx] convention is a problem anyway because if you take a look at the declaration of independence we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit happiness. And to secure these rights the governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governor, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it's the right of people to alter or to abolish it. It is the right of the people, that's called Popular Sovereignty. The right of the people are higher than any other rights, even those of States. So if we call a constitutional convention that is supposedly governed by state rules, state delegates, all these restrictions of states. Once this convention comes into place, it's the convention of the people, which can then do then do whatever it would like, and that's what Madison talked about federal authority that the original Constitution Convention was not a runaway because it follows the people the sovereignty of the people, and that's the situation we would have if we set forth any constitution convention. It could do anything that it wants, and completely uproot our entire form of government. so Mr. Chairman I'd be glad to answer questions, but my Resolution removes all previous calls for a Title five Convention, it's on the books. Are any of your co-sponsors the street [xx]. Is there anyone in the audience who wants to speak in favor of this bill Good morning, Mr. Chairman and honorable members of this. Do you want to state your name please and your address? My name is Jeff Lewis, I live in Barnsbury, North Carolina I'm a natural born citizen of North Carolina. My family has been here for 300 years, and I would venture to say that just in the past three generations of
my family that we served this country and this State over 300 years of combined service in active duty, and civil service and the vast majority of that were combat veterans, myself included. It is my express opinion that North Carolina has all the constitutional authority they need to reign in an out of control government not just in Washington DC but in North Carolina. The applications, whether it's the extent or these current ones who are calling convention of states or calling for an open convention even though they call it limited they're playing with loose with words, North Carolina favorite son Governor Evans, is sitting in statutory in Washington DC, the old house returned it. There was a statue out right in front of the capital of the governors office, and he said October 21, 1876, when you find you have scandals and scaliywards[sp?] and all those you need to turn them out, and you need to need to keep toring them out, until you send an honorable man to Washington that whole truth for this esteemed institution as well The word limit does not mean reduce. So again the word limit legally does not mean reduce, it simply means placing annotations on. The convention of space project application is for an open convention, look it up in Black's Law Dictionary what the word limit means, and look at the center clause about how in jurisdiction of the federal government, that's the entire purpose of the constitution, was to establish the jurisdiction and power of the government and place constrains on it, and you may think this is the domain that I was listening to talk of the town yesterday morning and Henry Higgins talking about the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Whilst minister, I don't think it is Germane. It's Germane in that article 1, section 13 in the North Carolina constitution provides us all the protection of rights of conscious we need. And you could say the same thing about the rest of the Bill of Rights and the constitution constitution whether its a federal or the state is not the problem it's us because words mean something, go read our state motto, esse quam videri, to be rather than to seem. Please be statesmen. God Bless North Carolina. Thank you the city member of the committee wish to answer any question for the bill [xx] representative [xx] yeah I have a question obviously this bill and also we have house bill 321 today for commission of state, Howard your bill affect this bill Rep. Jame's not talking about that. I think that mine says remove all previous calls so we cleared the slate up to date, so we clear this light up up to the point it becomes effective, so if any other call happens after that my resolution will not affect anything after my resolution. Any other questions for the bill sponsors. Yes sir. I'm not in the committee can I ask a question or, want to get Mr. Sandburg to ask for you. while on this [xx] can I ask another question? Sure. you listed, Representative Jordan you listed several existing calls out there from five of them going from 1867 to 1979, could you get this committee, or get me exactly what those calls were for, or what they dealt with if we're going to resend then I'd like to know what we're re-sending. So they all call for article five convention, and if you look in my house resolution 935 from the 2011 session, which you can find on the general assembly website, it list those specifically. In consultations with with other sponsors and with the staff of the general assembly I decided to make the later resolutions in last year and this year more broad just removing all previous calls Follow-up. Follow-up. So there were specific for issues, they were just poor commissions. Some of them have specific issues Okay, thank you yes this question here doing
that Mr. Chairman. Representative Jordan are you against all uses of article five and under in what conditions might you support this? And it will start there. Why is it in the constitution? I guess is article I'm sorry, do I oppose all the use of article five? Yes. No I did not because the The first way to amend the constitution is also in Article 5 has been used 27 times and has worked perfectly fine. The amendment process to congress and the ratification by the states Mr's Amber could you have any he said this for years so the second part of that question was under what conditions would he support this. I think you may be getting at the fact that there are two ways to amend the constitution article five, the first one is the one that we've always used, and the other one has never been used. Okay. So my position will be to use the one that has always worked, simply get our congressional representative to put an amendment through congress and have it ratified by the state like we've done for 27 times. Follow up? My wife is [xx] Why do you trust congress on this and not the state? There is no trusting, we elect congress, we get representatives to put these things through, and that's how it has worked so far, our choice [xx] amendment actually was one of the original 10 proposed founders took a couple of 100 years but it eventually did get through. Thank you Mr. Chairman for indulging us, thank you Represent Martin It's just a comment, I'm pretty sure I can see representative Jones listening [xx] he's a good [xx] of. Not that good, not very good. Any further questions? If not, thank you very much. Thank you. Presenting the bill he didn't ask if there was anybody in the audience that might like to speak against him, he only asked [xx] I think he did, I think he did. Any one wants to speak against him? certainly did. Mr. [xx] the chancellor of [xx] college wait this constitutional law. You've been practicing law for 39 years, I'm here on behalf of COS action, which is the conventional of state national project. I'll address the before you right now you going to have a chance but I want to answer one of the question's at least about five resolution the five most recently. I don't have the information about the one's from the 1860s, I'm not sure that thy're still valid. But the two from the 1908-1910 error to adopt direction of senators those two, are already moved, and don't need to be reascended because the 17th Amendment has been adopted, the next one in 1849 was to adopt a war federal government. Only two states proposed that form in North Carolina during a different error of this world, and I will urge you to resend that one specifically. The next one was to deal with the William an board issues in the 1960s the one in the 1970s is for a balanced budget amendment so if you want to resend your application for valence budget, and the application, which we're about 23/24 states right now for that, then you need to know what your doing, you'll be sending a valid existing application, for a balance budget amendment, my suggestion rather than doing this broadly will be to name them individually. And I would urge you to repeal the one on the world government and probably the one on the enforcement issue as well, but I would say the [xx] budget is a good idea, and probably should stick with that, but to answer the underlying argument here that the convention cannot be limited. James Madison himself, the first time Virginia applied for the convection in the year 1789, they had a question of whether not they should, what they should do with it. It was the first one they ever got, what do they do with it? Do they send it to committee? The management setup on the floor said no we don't send it to committee because until we get 34 on the same topic, there's nothing to be done. So we just noted it, they filed it because until 34 on the same topic come in with nothing to be done. In other words we've had 400 applications all to all 50 states, variety of topics to whoever had two thirds on a subject matter. A subject matter limitation is the sine qua non, but
you can't go forward without 34 states agreeing on a subject matter, and the states have to stick with the subject matter, it's in the nature of sovereign government's unified when you start the agenda in advance you have to stick to it. They're are over 30 convection's held in the history of the American republic, two thirds before the constitution, or followed after the constitution. Never have we ever got away with either of the two rules, you can't change the rules a little strangely, you can't on the subject matter, and it's always been one state one vote. The idea that somebody could change the agenda is simply not acceptable legally, historically, factually. You don't get these kinds of things from Black's Law Dictionary, you get them from Federalists papers and the records of United States Congress. They are all on our side that is not capable of runaway convection, thank you. Thank you very much. Representative Jackson? May I ask a question? You may. I mean obviously he's an expert is it well settled law that the Supreme Court would have authority to stop such a runaway convection? State your name. My name is [xx] Forest, yes the precise question is is this a political question or is this Justicible question? It is a Justicible question, the Supreme Court in the ERA allegations that I did under Article 5 where the child comes I'm just going to change the rules on the equal rights amendments, we litigate that the federal district court, and in the supreme court you have a problem of jurisdiction on it. They ultimately dismissed it [xx] because we got past the second deadline, but there's a whole host of supreme court decisions article 5 can be, if properly presented a question that [xx], but can be decided by the courts. And so yes is clear that a properly framed question is just indistinguishable it came in review by this [xx] sets. Any other questions? if not, thank you very much, and we'll now take up the next bill which is entitled respect convectional states represenatatie John, Radel and Clamons Jonson you're recognized to explain the bill if you don't [xx] Thank you Mr. Chairman I'm representative Bob James, my other primary sponsors are here, representative Chris Millis, representative Dennis Redel, representative Gerry Pennington, and we are here to speak about house bill 321, which is about convention of states. I would just start by saying that there're probably a lot we could agree, there are a lot of issues that divide Americans. One issue that doesn't divide Americans a great deal seems to be the fact that the federal government has grown somewhat out of control. There is a a great concern I think if you look at polls, generally at least two-thirds of Americans will agree [xx] any substitute representative Nahashon[sp?] moves that we take that to promote proposed committee substitute all in favor say aye Aye thank you sir and the reason that the proposed committee substitute is that their was a typhoon on the sunset date which was supposed to be year 2024 and not this year, so that's the only change for the PCS. So as I was saying I think there's a wide agreement among Americans that we need to place some degree of restraint on the federal government but it's not going to place on itself and quite frankly I think that's the reason for article five in the United States constitution. There were founders that did not want to ratify the constitution unless there was a way that the States which created the Federal Government, which sometimes we have to be reminded. The Federal Government did not create the State the State the Federal Government and the United States constitution explicitly gives powers to the Federal Government but the 10th amendment reserves the rest for the states. And we believe that in order actually for 38 states to agree on anything, it's going to have to be something that is broadly supported. It's not going to be some kind of something else. The convention of the states, we've been talking about it in the last presentation, it's very clear in article five that there are two ways to amend the constitution of the United States. Now we heard earlier from someone that said, well we like the idea of Congress doing it but for some reason we don't like the idea of the states being able to do this.
Now the founders found that unacceptable that only the Congress, only the federal government would be put in charge of limiting itself. I think they clearly foresaw that this federal government that they created could become too powerful, too broad in scope, too broad in cost. And ladies and gentlemen, I think another thing that is people will largely agree on is that the United States is going down an unsustainable road as far as it's fiscal policy as far as it broadened powers. How do our opponents propose that something is to be done about this? Mr. Ferris here, for instance, is a widely recognized expert, and he is the head of convention of state project. He has engaged in numerous debates with opponents of this, so what does it come down to? What is their answer? we hear things like nullifications, apparently there's going to be nullifications of tens of thousands of Bills. We hear things that quite frankly frankly I find a lot more scary than that, when people start talking about things like recession or armed conflict. What do people do? The framers of the Constitution of the state wanted for there to be a peaceable solution whenever they needed to keep their federal government under control to be able to do that without there being some kind of a revolution or some kind of an armed conflict or cessation, how else would that be done? Are we going to this depend on the congress of the United States to decide, well, it's time to limit our sales. We'll have that worked out for us. We've got $18 trillion of our national debt, we've got another $150 trillion of unfunded mandated down the line, and how are we supposed to pay for that, when we are looking at an average of basically a million dollars per family in the United States? North Carolina's here, the national data is $500 billion? Compare that to our $20 billion budget. So I ask our opponents, what is you solution? What we are proposing is what constitutional pamphleteer said. I think those folks would turn over in their graves, to know, that we are in the state that we are in, in the United States, and we don't have the leaders on the state level that are ready to stand up and say what about article five of the convention? I ask the question again, why is it there? Why is it they in the constitution, if we're going to take the argument that we heard earlier, that we're comfortable with the congress doing this, but we're not comfortable with the state doing it? I can't extent that argument, that we should somehow trust the congress would do the right thing but the, states will not. That there will be somehow some run away thing, that we're going to re-write the constitution of the United States if we only let the, if the states have the opportunity to do the same thing congress has the opportunity to do right now and that is propose amendments to the constitution. Now just to summerize how this works we would have to have two thirds of the states which would be 2/3 states to submit applications for a convention and as was said earlier they have to be identical in what they are calling for. If that were to happen, you need then 26 states to agree on proposing a specific amendment, you'd have to a majority of the States to say, we are going to propose this amendment back to the States, and in 38 States were three faults would have to ratify that amendments. So again, to get 38 States to agree on something it's going to be something with a broad broad range of support. So I could go on and on. I'm not going to, I want to leave time for questions, comments I hope that Mr. Farris will have an opportunity to speak again, and I'm sure we have other people, that will like to speak as well, but I hope that you'll consider that this is very important. There are other states that are in the same position that we're in right now, and I think the majority of states have introduced this, some states have already passed it, and I would like to see North Carolina be one of the leaders to say that we're going to stand up and try to do something to limit the power and the scope in the cost of the federal government, before we have gone beyond the point of no return. I don't want to go over a cliff folks, I've got children, one day I have to have grandchildren, and I think we have the obligation and the duty to uphold our constitutional pledge to secure the blessings of liberty to ourself and our prosperity, and if we're going to do that, we're going to have to get our federal government under control, our federal spending under control our federal debt under control, and I believe the only way that we'll
be able to do this and do it peacefully, is to do it the way the constitution founders said in further article five of the constitution of the United States and I'm asking for your support. Identify yourself. Dennis Redel, It's my privilege to represent District 64 here in the state house. Just like to make a few comments about the bill before you. Friends, what representative Johnson said and others This is a constitutional remedy for the problem that we currently face. I would feel as if I was guilty of legislative malpractice if I did not utilise every tool at my disposal to curb the excesses of Washington DC. Many of the issues that we have to deal with here in North Carolina are in origination problems with a lack of federalism, an Overreaching federal government and over spending federal government. You know the term Convention of states Sounds a little strange to our ears, here in 2015. But the way I look at this and maybe this might help some of you, I look at this like an intervention of the States. Just if you have a drug adult family member, whose behavior is out of control to and there is apparently no hope on the horizon of them curbing their behavior. Out of love for that factor family member, you would reach out to them, and try to get them some kind of help to curb the excesses that is destroying their lives. Well, the article five convention of the states is a call for us to intervene with a beloved family member, our national government, that is increasingly engaging in destructive behavior, that is increasingly engaging in irresponsible fiscal behavior that tends to threaten all the 50 states of the union, so that's one reason that I am very enthusiastic about this call, I hope you'll take into very careful considerations and what we're asking of you, we'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. If this article five was not put in the constitution for such a time as this it was for such a time as a generation ago because the clock has been ticking for too long. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Anyone else. I want to speak I'm State Representative Gary Pendleton of Wake and about 44 years ago, I was reading a constitution and saw article five and it intrigued me, and I thought that might be a good thing at some time, and now that some of these folks, and I'm one of them, have introduced this, I do not see how our republic can stand without doing this. I'm satisfied about it, not getting out of control, that bothered me, and I think that's fine as is too many safe guards, but by the time our country is destroyed, maybe I'll be dead, maybe I wont, but I'm I'm worried about my grandchildren, my great grandchildren, and that sort of thing. Thank you. Anyone else? Anyone in the audience who wishes to speak in favor of the Bill? Go ahead, go first. Ladies first. OK. Mr. Chairman, let's give for the record, my name is Michael Farris. I am the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College. I am here for the Commissioner States Project. I have a friend who asked the question recently, what would the federal government look like if no president in the American history had ever vetoed a Bill? The answer is congress be full of itself, who would think it could do anything. Then he said, what would the government look like if the senate took the position that we like the House of Lords, in England. In that house, do pretty much anything it wanted. Well, the house representatives be full of itself, would do whatever it wanted, and then he said, what would the federal government be like if the states never used their Article five authority and responsibility to this willingly abuse the power by the Federal Government by calling a coup convection to put some constitutional restrictions on them. The answer is we get exactly what we got today. The idea that we're going to solve this in any other way including the way of electing more good people to congress which I've done my fair share of, and I've helped raise many really good congressmen from North Carolina. For example, you've got some great representatives from this state, and yet no amount of elected good people is going to change Washington DC structurally the way it need to be changes. So [xx] has joined our project, he is a former senior adviser, he is travelling in the country as I am. Originally states choose to adopt convention the state application because he says Washington DC is utterly broken, will never fix
itself no matter who you send here, and it will across our liberty permanently. I do know one we should know and I'll pass this around, this is a document coverage Jefferson statement from leading by way in constitutional lawyers, including C. Boyden Gray former White House Counsel a number of others including Charles Cooper. Charles Cooper is former number 21, the Legal Justice Department, is also the outside counsel for the NRA. I'm on the Education Committee of the NRA. The government board of that committee is the surprise to him that the NRA opposes Article Five convection, it's not true, it's simply not true. It's also not true that the John Birch Society historically opposed this. The founder of John Birch Society, Robert Welch, and the second president Leonard Donald is a Democrat Congressman from Georgia both favored in Article five convection to pass an amendment to appeal the 16th amendment which I kind of liked that idea, and so the John Birch Society is changed its position, it's founders position was that this is a necessary and safe thing to do. There is no other towards [xx] and this is exactly like the uniform law commission that North Carolina has been a part of and all states have been a part of for 125 years approximately you come to gather, you study your problem, you've opposed all of that, you send it back to the states group for final adoption. That's what will happen in [xx] from law commission. That's what is been safe there. We've got to hear from commercial codes that way. We've got a lot of other good uniform bills. It's once state, one on board. It's exactly the same process the states have been using safely for good processes for a long time and that's the kind of thing we need to do. We go to our prevention, we study the issues of reigning in the federal government's jurisdiction, limiting their power, basically fix the congress clause and general welfare clause, that's the real issues, and imposing a 30 judicial two minute with third official impose this copystrates[sp] we're having said, otherwise this government is going to crush as all. I urge you to do so. Three states have already completed the process, five bodies, excuse me six bodies have passed the house of the state or the senate of the state, have passed at this session. We've been at it two years. This is moving quickly. We urge North Carolina to be one of the first to do so, thank you very much. anyone else wish to speak in favor of the Bill? Yes Sir. If you don't mind let set comments to three minutes. My name is Gary Kennedy from Youngsville, and I'm a recent transplant to North Carolina, so I am not a native North Carolinian and I appreciate what you guys have done for the State. I am however a Native American, and I spent 26 years in the military driving submarines. I've been to the Vietnam twice, I was in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I have 21 grand kids. I'm a stakeholder in this thing, and as I approach my retirement, unfortunately I've been retired longer than I was in the service, so I am. I also have 77 years invested in this country, and as I approach my retirement, I've been fighting a mortal enemy, the Soviet Union. We were 30 minutes away from nuclear annihilation for an entire two generations. I am more afraid for my country now than I ever was then. if we're going to do it, and I'm afraid because I found that the enemy is within, we have not been vigilant. Barack Obama has said one thing that we agree with, he was asked what's the duty of a citizen? And that's to pay attention, and we haven't been paying attention. We have a runaway convention to run hold my faith that we'll all re-convention too, and there is nothing without risk. So internal vigilance is the price of the liberty. We're going to have to watch the convention, we're going to have to watch everything have a runaway convention now. This calls the congress and the executive branch and the judiciary branch. That's a standing runaway convention they are changing the constitution on a daily basis. We have a fourth estate which is the bureaucracy, not elected not accountable, not responsible and the problem is that when you give people that kind of power and that kind of money they will be corrupt, and I'm above that, I don't think anybody is above that and we have become corrupt and we need to stop it, and one of the most important part of this is to get rid of career politicians. I think we need to be vigil. The people in this room are all good people. I think most of the people in Washington are all good people they just have lost sight of the fact that you can't use taxpayer dollars to buy votes. And we'll watch you guys. We're vigilant. We don't let you guys get away with anything that we see and we shouldn't let them get away with it.
And we've got to reign it in somehow. And I have been studying this. I've promised on the phone yesterday with Mr. Perris I've been talking about this, I've spoken to several people who violently brutantlly opposed to this. I've watched a woman called [xx], I've listened to her, I researched it and I can see no other principle solution to the problem we face I know what [xx] can do I've seen what he can do and I don't want to see armed rebellion. I can't imagine we can correct hundreds of thousands of regulation with nullification. We haven't done it so far what makes us think we're suddenly going to to change and course and do that, I see this is the only possible solution to collapse of the country that I defendend for a long time Thank you very much, anywhere else [xx] My name is Mike Faulkenberry. I'm the North Carolina State Director for the Conventions of States Projects. Obviously I support the effort to have North Carolina call when other states calling for convention. I will be brief because what's already been so eloquently stated, no point in me restating it, but I will just say two points. First, the fear, the concern that the constitution will be rewritten, frankly it's invalid because the constitution is being rewritten and has been rewritten, not officially, not formally, not by amendment process but by chipping away at Supreme Court decisions, overreach of the federal government. In essence we don't have the constitution that we used to have we have the ones that interpret it or misinterpret it. Our objective is to essentially restore our constitution back to the original intent of the founders. We believe they had it right and we have messed it up over time, allowed it to be messed up and we need to fix that and this is the only way, that we have that, that can be done, it's not one of two three ways, it's the only way. And the second thing I would ask for now or point out. Who do you listen to? I'm not a lawyer. I'm a retired police captain from Charlotte. I'm not a politician, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a person that has all my life been involved with this type of stuff, but I'm an American, I'm a mandated of North Carolina and I'm very proud of that, fact. But who do you listen to? When you don't know we think ourselves, we can go back and read, you can study, but who do you listen to? And if you look at the people on that Jefferson statement, I hope you won't ignore that. hope you read the bio graph upon information about the people who signed onto that statement, they are serious people, who is devoted to issues very closely related to this and they are in complete agreement that its the right way, it's the only way and it's the safe way. And I urge the committee to pass this forward and thank you, anyone e want to speak against the bill hello my name is the chair of No Convention States North Carolina. This is newly formed, non-partisan, ad-hoc committee made up of individuals of North Carolina dedicated to [xx] the U. S constitution by opposing and North Carolina convection of state it's purpose is to enable the people to communicate directly with their legislators on this critical issue. US constitution places the article five convention issue between the state legislators and the people. There's no part of the executive branch to claim this process and this issue is certainly not between the state legislators and out-of-state special interest organizations just about every 20 years with a new ploy to convene a risky convention and then they pass it off as a grassroots movement. No seal FMC is a poster convention of states because we believe it is a flawed, impractical process not found in the US constitution and although Convention of States claims it's purpose is to limit the overreach of the federal government, the majority of the proposed to extend federal power, either extend federal power and so powers same wordy policy instead of simple principles and from that in law and constitutional principles that have
crept into the federal government already. Finally article 5 is silent on many procedures the convention of states assures us will work. If I had time, I would tell you what the true purpose of article five but you can always ask me. They have not been able to [xx] Convention of States project has not been able to state solidly and we've asked them over and over again at town hall meetings. They've not been able to state [xx] that once the convention convenes they can be controlled. They welcome all ideologies to the table expecting a good result. This is a huge risk given especially the lack of understanding the people in modern day America have of their constitution and even yes, elected officials. Once the convention convenes all previously suggestive procedures can be thrown out. This is a government making assembly not a legislative assembly with everyday laws. And the delegates represent the sovereign people have the authority to create a new government. In wrapping this up, in 1991 when a similar attempt to call for a convention was by respected law professor Christopher Brown of University of Maryland stated that a convention would, quote, create a major distraction to ordinary concerns, imposing and disabling effect on this country domestic and foreign policies. All the world looks on while the constitution will is all that stands between us and tyranny. And wrapping this up these are just a few of our concerns, so before you vote we ask for fair and equal time special interest groups get in special caucus meetings to meet with you and share our deepest concerns in your offices. We get two, three minutes to stand up here a lot of this staffs get a lot of extra based time, so we oppose HB321, conventional state and I don't and we offer full support, representative John's revolution to resend all constitutional conventions, we think that they are all risky, get them off the book, regardless of their history. Thank you very much. Anyone else? Will you please hold remarks to three minutes? Yes, sir. My name is Jeff Lewis. I previously why I was here personally. I'm also the National Director and Co-founder of the Patriot Coalition. Miss Coleman and I, met with several of the people here including Mr. Millis, Representative Chris Millis, we had a very, I thought, very productive conversation nullification is the in word to me. It's the new in word, and this was something to me Representative Millis agreed on that the remedy is not nullification, and what I referred to in the history is if you read the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions you read Madison's report of 1800, look into all 85 essays of the Federalist Papers you will not find nullified within variation of that word the one time it is past tense. You will find the word Interposition 25 times you will find the word interposition 25 times. 25-1, the rightful remedy is to interpose for you to get in between We the people, and invoke federal government Thank you. In private, in the meetings that we had with some of the members of this committee when we were here a month ago, you're getting beat and it doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on, you're getting beat up by own constituents. Someone calling and saying, If you do this I'm done with you if you don't do this I'm done with you. I know you're all in a pickle. There are real solutions, but I can't give them to you in a sound byte. I will prove my lawyers and our constitutional scholars here anytime to do a briefing and spend as much time as you need to wrap your mind around the facts to find real solutions, honest solutions, that don't jeopardize the protection of my God-given rights, and if we can't sour the milk to the people who took an oath to protect my God-given rights, and I don't make threats gentlemen, I make promises. I I promise you I will make it my mission in life, that everyone of you that votes for me in the final stage without first considering the rest of your options that you've already sworn in to the U. S constitution in the state constitution which you are primaried in the next election. I'm here to work with Mrs. Tough Love.
I love the States and I have utmost respect for all of you, The trust is and I'm not getting it, thank you. Thank you very much. Anybody else want to speak against the bill? No. State your name My name is Jade Dolensy, I have a great deal of respect for people who've put this bill forward including Dr. Ferras, that I really do is at school with who taught me this line of reason I'd like to bring to your attention, maybe have you consider an alternative, first of the who agrees that we have a fault need that Washington is out of control, we got to do something. So the question is what and why we've not had response, everything we've tried in the past. I would say we did, and the founding fathers did have a great idea on how to solve a problem of a runaway Washington, but unfortunately, Roger Wilson passed a bill that took away the accountability of the senate, so back in the day, when a federal judge went rouge and decided that, that law you passed, no, it doesn't count I'm prodded out, so some lawyer wearing a robe gets to no file law for the entire nation back in the day a senator could impeach that judge right there. We don't have that anymore because I've seen it, they are more beholding to DC than they are to NC and so we have to wind up hiring a lobbyist to go up there to present North Carolina's case. So what I would propose instead of using a machete, which is what you are advocating here, lets use a scalpel, lets take the 17th, lets propose to appeal the 17th amendment and I'm sure as a party you could make this happen with a good number of people in Washington right away and no one gets elected without agreeing or at least no one gets an endorsement from the US Senate without agreeing to support repealing the 17th. What I would do is as soon as a senator, that doesn't sit well, okay as soon as someone, a judge for example goes rouge, the state contacts our senator who is more like an ambassador or [xx] until they brought us the 17th amendment, but if you repeal, what happens is the state, contacts the senator, the State as the governor, the legislature, they contacted the Senator and said, "Teach this guy now or come home. " She started with calling the ambassador, that is the power that the State had, that was taken away with the 17th amendment. I would beg you, to try that first, it is not the only, the Concord is it's the only used to great [xx] here. We all agree it's a problem, we all agree it is a solution, but a constitute for convention, is taking a machete to a problem, on a scalpel would probably do, a much better job. I yield my time. Any one else want to speak against the amendment? If not I'll now recognize the sponsor of the bill, to representation up before we take questions. My name is Representative Chris Millis, I'm from 16th House District, Western Onslow in Pender County, and I will not be geared to tell you what is already been said here by the sponsors and those who have supported the bill and even some of those who have opposed the bill, I want to thank this committee and the chairman for the opportunity to actually have this lovely debate and I appreciate the passion on size, there's no doubt they we're here with the purpose of actually representing our citizens by way of the state and also to exercise the authority that we've been given as state legislatures over the aspects of Washington, and I want to actually put forward a few points that have really perplexed me at individual that have said that we don't want to use this constitution as prescripted. We don't want to use something that is written in our federal constitution because it hasn't been used before, we've heard the phrases a first time for everything, I think it's a little ingenious than I actually exercised authority that we've been given by our framers for this very purpose. It was known that there would become a time that our federal government will either be unwilling or unable to actually constrain itself, that's the whole reason why our framers gave up this constitution prescription that is written in there, so It's hard for me to grasp individuals or see who actually articulate and to preserve the constitution, but they're actually arguing against the very words in the constitution that they aim to preserve, not only that in the aspects of safety anything that is proposed will have to be ratified by 38 states. If anyone of you guys are fearful for whatever may happen, and you think that 38 states will ratify things will be outlandish to our actual state, and America as a whole, the country may have already been lost. Ladies and gentlemen I'm very grateful for all the passion on both
sides, as the committee members and those who were listening, that let's be careful about digging ourselves of trenches that we stay within without considering logic and reason, and I ask that you all will make the right decision and why there is a lot of passion on both sides of these states, the fear is unwarranted, and we have responsibility of state legislatures to actually stand up and power is not separated and divided as our founders actually established unless it's checked. This constitution prescriptive is actually a check in order to keep power separated and divided. Thank you Mr. Chair for this opportunity, and I look forward to the questions answers. Now is the time for the members of the committee to ask any questions Yes sir, representative Parester. Thank you Mr. Chair, and this is to the bill sponsor, I have a couple of quick questions, and the first one is, so I understand that 2/3 of the states have to call for a convention, do those 2/3 states have to call for the exact same purpose? or does that even matter? Yes I think, I'm Mr. Parester mentioned earlier that there were probably in the history of our republic some four hundred calls for our convention, but they do have to be identical basically in what they're asking for, so we've had, in other words calls for an article five convention for a balanced budget or for a world government, or some of these that have been out there for quite some time, so you have to get 2/3 of the states that for the same purpose are asking for the article five. If you're looking at the bill there're three perfectly stipulated the bill imposed. This way we'll strengthen the Federal Governments' problem. So two-thirds sake because that's one which have to be identical in order for the convection to take place. We're trying to put forward, in other words our bill here is identical to the one that has passed in the other three states. I think from a practical stance, it would be nice if the language was exactly identical. and then I have one last question. So let's say that a convention actually does take place, how is the convention governed? Who decides who's going to chair the convention? Will there be a share? How many delegates will be sent from each state? how is all that. Each state would decide. It would be one state one vote, anytime there's ever been a convention of the states it is always one state, one vote. North Carolina might decide to send any number of delegates but it would only have one vote and who in North Carolina would decided it? The State Legislator. It's expired Mr. Chairman, just a few comments if I might. I believe it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who said the greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself, and I'm hearing a lot of that from folks on both sides. I think we have some concerns about the unknown, about what's facing this nation. We have a lot of talk about runaway conventions. Well how about a run away federal government? That's what we're afraid of, that's our biggest fear is a runaway federal government. I had an opportunity this morning to take a peek at the 2000 CDO publication of the budget and economic. It was a view of between 2015 and 2025 of where we're headed financially, and folks it is armageddon if we don't do anything. That's where we are headed. We are, in my view, in denial about what's going on, we, this is just something that perhaps we can put off to another day, well [xx] the time is now and whether we choose to go this path or we choose to go another path. The fact of the matter is we have to do something. This thing, this situation, this Washington is not going to fix itself it has got to be fixed soon. We've got this isn't just [xx] what's happened in the last six years with President Obama this has been going for 14 years, this reckless spending through President Bush and through President Obama and so it's no one party's fault but we, my generation unlike the greatest generation, I'm a baby boomer, I think many of us have been indulged
and we have, basically nobody has ever told us no. So we're all spoilt, we don't have to deal with reality because we never had to deal with reality I'm not saying in different situations within your life you had to deal with reality but overall we've been indulged, as the greatest generation stepped up to the plate to save the United States of America it is going to be up to the baby boomers to save America again. It's time for us to not think about ourselves our own political careers but anything else, but to make the decisions that needs to be made, to fix a situation that is in desperate need of fixing. So I just wanted to share those comments for the committee and I thank you Mr. [xx]. Thank you representative Neal is next. Thank you, this is for the bill sponsor representative wants answer it and thank you for presenting your bill, you did a good job of explaining and everything. and I understand from a question that it might the best to ask earlier about representative Jackson, once this convincing gets together and it is concluded it's business and this constitution changes are incorporated, I understand that possibly there are review-able body to bring in court. How did the executive branch of United States come in this or does it? The executive branch does it even in our state this is not subject to a gubernatorial veto or anything these is the legislators of the states that are given the constitutional authority to call for a convection of states, actually the only part that congress plays in this is that the constitution mandates that the two thirds of the states for a convention of the state the congress has to set a convention after that congress has nothing to do with it, this is simply the states that are coming together and I would just add to that all of us took an oath that we would protect and defend the constitution of the United States and that includes article five. It disturbs me when I hear people saying that we don't like article five or we don't think article five, we like part of article five but we don't like part of article five. But we did take a note and it was to preserve protect and defend the constitution of the United States. I would simply say that we should look at all article five and do our duty as the State legislators but as far as the executive branch they really don't play a part. Representative Jackson. Thank you, thank you. [xx] I'm sorry just follow up comment and I will be brief I just want to say I agree with what Mr. Delux[sp?] said about the scalpel but I disagree with him in the fact that Federal judges don't. Do we have anything to do with spending we make it solve part of a problem with the judges and some of the rulings that they've made. I fail to see how a scalpel is going to help an 18 trillion budget, I think it needs more of a machete in that area, and as far as the lighty that said that she didn't think she was getting an equal time, I get my emails from both sides all the time and I read them. I never turned anybody down, that wants to talk to me and I've never been approached by those people, [xx] so I just want to make it seem like they're not getting fair treatment, it's not about me, they're welcome to come out and talk to me any time. Representative Josh. Thank you Mr. Chairman, first I want to echo what all the speakers have indicated today in the concern with the federal government being out of control but I want to make sure everybody, understands when a federal government is out of control, and I will give Representative Harvester's deal a shame with poor. It's because of ridestrophe[sp?] and the way we do it. We drove this cart where those congressional representatives don't worry about losing, if we sat down and draw through 13 competitive seats for congress and every other state did that, then we wouldn't need to do a constitutional convention, so it's our fault, because we draw the district, it was our fault when the democrats that drew the districts? it's our faults when republicans draw the districts, because what they do is they create state seat each party. I'll go back to my conversation with Dr. Paris I don't believe it is settled well about the supreme court being able to control constitutional convention.
Chief justice Warren Burger wrote in 1988, there's no way to effectively limit or muscle the action of the constitution convention, convention can make its own rules and set it's own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention will obey. After the convention is convened, it will be to late to stop it if we don't like the agenda it said and I will tell the members of the committee to look back at the original constitution convection back in 1787, it went way beyond the mandate that it was set up to do. It changed the ratification process [xx] people say 38 states could be dated to [xx] well that's not what they did then, they reduced it from three-fourth to two-third, s to get the changes they wanted, what's going to prevent us from making some changes in it to a simple majority to get what they want, and again each state only gets one vote, so it could be the 26th least populated state that could represent as little as 15% of the US population that would make these changes, so I just agree if you [xx] today knowing nothing else, knowing that it's not a settled area of wealth and I hope we'll educate ourselves before we take a vote on it in the several weeks Representative Robinson. Question for bill sponsor, Representative Jones, is there any time constraints established by these conventions? Yes we're sun setting out, we recognized that we did not look for hours call for an article five conviction to be up there in perpetuity, like some of these others that were talked about in the previous calls, so we actually put a sunset on on our provision that goes out about nine years. It would sunset in 2024 because we recognize that there could be some dramatic changes in our nation in the next few years. So we wanted to give enough time that the states could actually make the applications that a convention could be held, but we didn't want to leave it out there for perpetuity so I appreciate that question because I wanted to stress that. In addition to that, is there any time constraints once a convention is called for them to do their work or accomplish their work? I might differ to Mr. Ferris. He probably could answer that question better than I could. Mr. Ferris. Mr. Chairman, my name is Mike Ferris. The condition itself can establish the deadline. The realistic limitation is this. I think about a half or more of the delegates will be state legislators, and they're not going to stay forever. They're going to have their legislative business to get back to, but officially no. They could stay there for four months, six months convention itself would set the deadline I think it would be 46 months myself. I have a question for Mr. [xx]. Yes You talk about the interpretation of the constitution I think you said their was a constitution and the constitution was interpreted to be different is that right, would you tell me more about it? Yes I believe that their's two constitutions in a function sense in the country the constitution as read and the constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court for example the General Welfair Clause, Madison Believe that the General Welfair Clause was not a grant but [xx] spending authority Hamilton believed that it was, that it was limited by the principle that if the state can spend on it the Federal Government can't. The Federal Government ignores both of the former's use on it and says [xx] means the Federal Government rather can spend money on any thing it wants to. Let me ask you in addition to that, if there're two Constitution so one now you got the courts to interpret how would you limit the powers of the Federal Courts and Supreme court. Well, their is a variety of suggestions on how to do that, but the convention it'self would be the means of determining it. I think the consideration of ultimate methods of applying the judges would be one of the best ways to limit I think the state for example should be allowed to uplift the federal district charges, I think that the legislature should be allowed to quit the federal district charges but there's a variety of the Supreme Courts could be accredited by the states as well as an example or you could have them put in front rather than being confirmed by the set have to be confirmed by 2/3 of the state, there're ways that you can consider that the European Court of Human Right has one judge per country on the High Court, and they take turns in rotation of nine there
isn't really any reason that we couldn't have the states directly appoint one Justice to serve in a rotational term as well. So those were ideas and details that to be explored at the convention and would come back to you and say, is this a good check on the cause or is it not a good check cause. You want to present judicial independence you don't want something that messes with that, you want to make sure that the supreme court serve as authority times, there is no realistic check on our power other than our own straight and it is not safe for any [xx] government to be the judge of it [xx] power, so sample has to be done a propose a modest solution in that area I think we'll come out [xx] come out, but the court would say [xx] test our power a little bit here, we will though check ourselves a little better in the future. I think you'll see a much more history supreme court. Here's there's a very modest change on the Judiciary, so let's say a 20 year term on the honors of the supreme court. Even that, I think we would see a real change in the supreme court. Thank you very much. Closing and we will adjourn, last statement. As closing, representative Robinson actually brought up some good points, I just want to address a few things. Understand what we're here discussing today is an actual call by our state to be one of the actual two thirds to actually propose the amendments to the constitution of the United States. So that's what we're discussing right now but the questions asked by representative Robertson, I just wanted to address, is that, we all as the same legislature that if we actually get to a call where a convention to propose amendments will actually occur so we could have all this discussion that we're having then we actually will pass legislation delegating how our delegates are selected as well as the purview of our delegates, so we as this body will make the decision of how long our delegates will serve, the time that they'll serve, when they come back, it is up to us to actually put the framework of protection around if a convention is called, so I just want to make you understand that if we get to that point their's additional legislation this body will need to pass and it's actually up to us Representative Robinson to actually do that. It will be short I really do want to thank truly people on both sides of this issue that care, and I really mean that I think what we've heard today is that we've got people here that are God fearing, country loving Americans that believe that see a lot of the same problems, we my disagree to some degree or we may disagree exactly how we need to address thosebut I want to appreciate this express of appreciation of people that they care, they come out, they want to have this conversation and God help us I hope that we can come to a solution that we can as I said earlier secure the blessing through liberty to ourselves and our prosperity thank you Mr. Chairman I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you sir.