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A New Theory Supporting The Use of the Tenth Amendment to Control the Article V Process—and Why the Theory Doesn’t Work

March 6, 2016 Rob Natelson 0

The state legislative power to issue binding applications for an amendments convention derives either directly from the Constitution (Article V) or from authority retained (“reserved”) by the states under the Tenth Amendment. Which is it?
A lot hinges on the question. One thing that does is the legal validity of the “Compact for America” approach. The […]

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What is an Amendments Convention “Application?” What is a “Call?”

February 25, 2016 Rob Natelson 0

Article V of the Constitution states that “The Congress . . . on Applications of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.”
As I pointed out in my book, The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant, 18th century writers were imbued heavily with Latin language […]

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When They Start Throwing Black’s Law Dictionary at You—Duck!

February 17, 2016 Rob Natelson 0

If you are involved in politics, sooner or later someone will “prove” his point by quoting to you a line from Black’s Law Dictionary, Corpus Juris Secundum, or a similar source. He may tell you that these are “definitive” legal sources, not to be doubted.
Whatever he’s selling, don’t buy it. These sources are not definitive, […]

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How A Famous English Convention Clarifies the Role of a Convention of States

September 27, 2015 Rob Natelson 0

Note: This article first appeared on the American Thinker website.
In the Anglo-American constitutional tradition, a “convention” can mean a contract, but the word is more often applied to an assembly, other than a legislature, convened to address ad hoc political problems. The “Convention for proposing Amendments” authorized by Article V of the Constitution is designed […]