Con-Con More Dangerous Than Congress

Con Con More Dangerous Than Congress

The advocates of a Constitutional Convention assert that a Convention couldn't do any more mischief than our mischievous Congress. This is false for many reasons.  
  1. Delegates to a Constitutional Convention do not have to swear to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, and would therefore be free (like the 1787 Convention Delegates) to throw out our existing Constitution and start from scratch with a completely new document. Congress, on the other hand, is bound by Article VI of our present Constitution, which requires every Member to take an oath to support our present Constitution.
  2. Congress must muster a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate in order to propose any constitutional change. No one knows whether or not a Con Con would have a two-thirds (or simple majority) rule, and we can't know until the Convention is actually convened and adopts its own rules of procedure.
  3. Any action by Congress must pass two Houses. Since a Constitutional Convention would not have two Houses, the big-population states would control the Convention and the small-population states would be irrelevant.
  4. Delegates to a Constitutional Convention will never run for re-election, so they would be as free from accountability to the voters as the life-tenured federal judges.
  5. We know for sure that any constitutional change voted out by Congress will not become part of the U.S. Constitution unless it is ratified by 38 of the 50 states. No one knows for sure whether or not this requirement would be true for actions taken by a Constitutional Convention. If a Con Con can change other portions of the Constitution, what is to prevent it from reducing the Article V requirement that ratification requires three-fourths of the states (just as the 1787 Convention reduced the ratification requirement from 100% to 75%)?

  1. Instead of the proposals being ratified by state legislatures, the Convention could direct that the proposals be ratified by state conventions presenting some of the same lack of accountability as the federal convention.