Many prestigious constitutional authorities say it is impossible for Congress or anyone else to restrict what a Con Con does. The late Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote, "There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a constitutional convention. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don't like its agenda."
Powerful and politically active pressure groups, from both the right and the left, are working for other significant constitutional changes, including changes in the First Amendment's treatment of religion, term limitation and modifying our separation of powers (which they call "gridlock") in order to move us toward a parliamentary form of government.
It is not credible that politically active groups would pass up the chance to force a Con Con to vote for their special interest. It's not believable that the powerful forces working to take away our right to own guns would overlook a golden opportunity to rescind the Second Amendment.
The confusion, uncertainty and court cases involved in a Con Con would make us look foolish in the eyes of the world. A constitutional convention could not be the formula to restore respect for our government when a Con Con would start off making the world wonder if our American system of government will survive.
There is no public support across America for a constitutional convention. A flurry of pro-Con Con activity during the Jimmy Carter administration died out. No state has passed a Con Con resolution in the last 25 years. During the 1980s, five states voted down a call for a Con Con, and three states repealed their earlier Con Con resolutions.
The miracle of our great United States Constitution is that it has lasted for 220 years, accommodating our great geographic and economic expansion and political problems, while preserving individual liberties. We are now witnessing, following November's election, how Americans are peacefully accepting a transfer of power from one party to the other.
I don't see any James Madisons, George Washingtons, Ben Franklins or Alexander Hamiltons around today who could do as good a job as was done in 1787, and I'm very concerned about the politicians who think they can improve on our Founding Fathers. Ohio state legislators will make themselves a national laughingstock if they persist in the foolish pursuit of a new constitutional convention.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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