Letter: Constitution makes term limits difficult to legislate

To the editor:

In response to a letter written by Mr. Texan Plough, (May 27, “Setting term limits for Congress perfect way to drain swamp,” A4), one must understand the history of how an Article V language was inserted into our U.S. Constitution.

Our founders wanted changes to our Constitution to be very difficult, to discourage unwise or not well thought-out changes to it.

Congress could offer amendments in its normal course of business. Through an Article V Convention process, states could also offer amendments, both with stringent hurdles and requirements to overcome.

Up until 1787, an Article V Convention was not allowed under the Articles of the Confederation. In fact, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was the first Article V, and we have never seen another in the 230 years since the U.S. Constitution was created.

In September 1789, Congress sent the states 12 amendments to be ratified. Only 10 amendments were ratified by the states, which became the Bill of Rights effective on December 15, 1791.

Since then, only 17 new amendments to our U.S Constitution have been ratified. That’s a problem for another day.

What makes an Article V Convention different than Congress carrying out their constitutional duty and producing an amendment like term limits? Simple. The state requests it, but who is the “state?”

Is it the governor, or the state General Assembly or all of the people who live in the state? If you answered, “All of the people within the state,” you are correct; it’s called We The People for a reason.

As such, the Indiana General Assembly or any other state legislature cannot restrict the delegates’ vote or votes at an Article V Convention.

In June 2013, Indiana State Sen. David Long hosted an Article V Convention conference here in Indiana, which I attended. Out of that two-day meeting, the attendees could only agree on one thing: the Article V Constitutional Convention (or Con Con) had a negative connotation attached to it. So it was decided that the Article V would be known as a “Convention of States or COS.”

In 2014, the State General Assembly, pushed by Sen. Long, passed Senate Enrollment Acts Nos. 224 and 225, restricting delegates’ authority at any Article V Convention or Convention of States.

With any Article V Convention or Convention of States, the Democrats will also have delegates attending. This fact alone places our entire current U.S. Constitution in jeopardy.

Why, as stated earlier in 1787, our country was governed under the Articles of the Confederation that did not allow an Article V type Convention. The 1787 Constitutional Convention turned into a runaway convention, ignoring the Articles of the Confederation.

Still think it’s a good idea? Many like me think it’s a terrible idea.

For the record, I don’t like career politicians either, but our founders gave us a way to change that. Educate yourselves on the candidates, and get out and vote! Don’t keep re-electing the same people over and over again for 20 or 30 years, expecting different results. That’s insane!

George Langston