Stopping Convention of States Made Strange Bedfellows. Sweeney & NJ Democrats Were Right. NJ Republicans Dead Wrong.

Click here for link to JBS (John Birch Society) Page on Article V Convention of States (Convention To Propose Amendments To US Constitution).  More links at bottom of this post.

There was a very unusual and vitally important vote in the lame duck session of the NJ Legislature last month.  The State Senate voted 24 to 10 on final reading to rescind all previous NJ resolutions calling for a National Constitutional Convention.  The Assembly voted 44 to 21.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two methods to amend or change our Constitution.  One is for 2/3 of both houses of Congress to propose amendments.  The proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths (3/4) of the States.  During the past 234 years, this method has been used to amend the U.S. Constitution 27 times.  The most recent 27th Amendment was ratified by the 3/4 of the States in 1992.

Article V also provides a second method.  It allows two thirds of the States (34) to petition Congress for a “Convention for Proposing Amendments” to the Constitution.  That Convention could adopt proposals to change any part of the Constitution.  The proposed changes would be effective when ratified by three fourths (3/4) of the states, or 38 States.

America has not had a “Convention for Proposing Amendments” to our Constitution since George Washington presided over the original “Constitutional Convention” held in Philadelphia in 1787.  That Convention was actually called for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation which created the United States in 1777.  Instead of proposing amendments, that Convention proposed a whole new Constitution!

In 1788, there was a movement to hold such a second Constitutional Convention to amend that original Constitution before it was fully ratified.  James Madison, the recording secretary and a delegate of that he first Convention and future President vigorously opposed it.  Madison wrote in a letter to George Turberville:

“If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans on both sides; it wd. probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumeable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned”.

Holding a general “Convention for Proposing Amendments” pursuant to Article V would be even more dangerous today.  Based on recent elections, especially for little known offices like School Boards, Prosecutors and District Attorneys, it is likely that most delegates to such a Convention would be leftist Democrats bankrolled by “woke” billionaires like George Soros, the Chinese Communist Party, or even terrorist groups.  Such a “woke” Convention would almost certainly repeal or modify the First and Second Amendments to limit free speech, end private gun ownership, and eliminate the Electoral College.

It is also possible and likely that a “woke” Constitutional Convention would propose amendments to Article V itself that would make it much easier to amend or completely repeal the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights!

Since 2013, several prominent conservatives supported the idea of a second “Article V Convention” to amend our Constitution. One of them is Mark Levin.  They say such a Convention was needed to give us a “Balanced Budget Amendment” and “Term Limits” for Congress.  However, it is fantasy to think conservatives supporting those Amendments would be a majority of the delegates to such a Convention.  There is even less of a chance that such conservatives could win majority votes for such measures in three fourths of the states.  We can’t even elect a majority of a school board!

During the past eight years, 15 state legislatures submitted applications to Congress calling for a “Convention for Proposing Amendments” pursuant to Article V.  That is well short of the 34 that are needed.

However, during the past 160 years, dozens of other states submitted dozens of other applications for a Constitutional Convention for one special cause or another.  Most of those applications are long forgotten.  However, they may still be valid because none were formally rescinded.   New Jersey was one of those states.  Between 1861 and 2015, New Jersey submitted at least nine applications calling for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If a lawsuit is brought, it is possible that a “woke” court might rule that there are valid applications from more than 34 states, and that elections must be held for delegates to a “Convention for Proposing Amendments”.

To avoid that possibility, Senate President Steve Sweeney, a lame duck Democrat who was defeated last November, introduced a bill to rescind all previous applications made by New Jersey for a “Convention for Proposing Amendments”.

For reasons we cannot explain, most Republicans in the Legislature opposed this common sense measure.  Republican State Senators Polistina, Testa, Kean, Singer, and Oroho voted “no”.  Other Republican State Senators also voted “no” or abstained.  Republican Assembly members Auth, McCllellan, Rumpf and Simonsen also voted “no”.  Most other Assembly members also voted “no” or abstained. vigorously opposed any “Convention of States” for years. We applaud Senate President Sweeney for taking this important action.

However, we did not speak out publicly before the vote.  We were afraid that Democrats Legislators who supported Sweeney’s action might change their minds if they found out that conservatives like us also supported this.  We only shared our views privately with Republican legislators.

However, the measure did pass, and we are now free to express our views and explain what happened.

For more information, please click this link for post prepared by Steve Jones, one of our members:
Steve strongly recommends watching the video by Publius Huldah (Joanne Martin, JD) featured on his site.

Below is a message issued by the John Birch Society last month shortly before the vote.

URGENT: Rescission resolution SCR 161/ACR 222 is expected to receive an Assembly vote on Monday, December 20. This is the last vote necessary to enact the resolution and successfully rescind all of New Jersey’s Article V convention applications. Tell your state assemblymen to support these resolutions!

If passed by the New Jersey Legislature, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 161 (SCR 161) and Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 222 (ACR 222) would rescind “All applications previously transmitted by the New Jersey Legislature to the Congress of the United States calling for a convention for the purpose of proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution.”

On December 2, the Senate passed SCR 161. It now goes to the General Assembly for its consideration.

According to the resolution, “Research indicates that New Jersey has submitted at least eight [Con-Con] petitions” to Congress. It notes that “some risk” exists “that past petitions could become part of the basis for calling a convention which addresses issues never contemplated by the legislators voting for such petitions.”

SCR 161/ACR 222 is correct, and this concern is not hypothetical. Already, advocates for a deceptive Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) Con-Con are pushing to use unrelated state applications as the basis for a BBA convention. This includes an 1861 New Jersey application related to preventing the Civil War.

Furthermore, several of New Jersey’s applications are subversive and could destroy our country as we know it. For example, one application calls for a world federal government (this application appears to have been rescinded), while another calls for directly limiting the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

Urge your assemblyman and senator to pass either SCR 161 or ACR 222 in order to rescind all of New Jersey’s previously transmitted applications to Congress to call for an Article V convention. Instead, encourage them to consider nullification as a safe and constitutional means to limit government instead.

Below are links to numerous articles of the dangers of an Article V “Convention To Propose Amendments” To U.S. Constitution

Con-Con Backers Deploy False Attacks Against John Birch Society

Socialists and Soros Fight for Article V Convention

Rep. Moon Exposes Fraud by Con-Con Peddlers

Will Some Conservatives Hand the Left a New Constitution?

Wolf-PAC Raising Money to Unseat Anti-Con-Con Legislators

The Left Wants a Con-Con Too

Communist Sympathizer Mag “The Nation” Backs Convention of States

Justice Scalia’s Warning of a Constitutional Convention

Misrepresenting The John Birch Society

Working Together to Rewrite the Constitution

Who’s Behind a Constitutional Convention is a tax-exempt, non-political education organization of roughly 200 citizens who mostly live near Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We formed this group in 2003. We volunteer our time and money to maintain this website. We do our best to post accurate information. However, we admit we make mistakes from time to time.  If you see any mistakes or inaccurate, misleading, outdated, or incomplete information in this or any of our posts, please let us know. We will do our best to correct the problem as soon as possible. Please email us at or telephone (609) 927-7333.

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Seth Grossman, Executive Director

(609) 927-7333

  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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1 thought on “Stopping Convention of States Made Strange Bedfellows. Sweeney & NJ Democrats Were Right. NJ Republicans Dead Wrong.”

  1. Robert Protesto

    This is a great point, right hear: “However, it is fantasy to think conservatives supporting those Amendments would be a majority of the delegates to such a Convention.” My question to those conservatives who are leading the charge for Convention of States is: “How or why are you so confident that conservatives will win the majority?” However, I do understand that they/we are watching our civil liberties dissolve with every increasingly unfair election. For instance, here in NJ, we have almost no right to bear arms. Even if I shoot someone breaking into my home, I may be the one going to jail. Also, the family protective services are getting better throughout the country at legally seizing our children for no good reason at all, like a child being slightly underweight or missing a doctor’s visit. It will be difficult to convince these victims, their friends, families and neighbors to patiently wait for the next election cycle to fix these things. I agree with the sentiments of James Madison in 1788, but to assume that he would speak those same words if he were alive in today’s America with her increasingly expanding and invasive government is presumptuous.

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