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Home > Alerts & Updates > 2016 Bill Tracking Page > HJR 8: Convention to Finish Destroying the U.S. Constitution

house sponsor,
Ken Ivory, who boasts a
lifetime corruption rating of -35% (that's MINUS)

senate sponsor,
Curtis Bramble, who boasts a lifetime corruption rating of
-135% (that's MINUS)
HJR 8: Convention to Finish Destroying the U.S. Constitution

by statutator Ken Ivory, house district 47, "Republican".

Summary: HJR 8 calls for a convention of the states, with delegates likely apportioned and chosen by the corrupt federal congress.  These delegates could rewrite or abolish the U.S. constitution and its "Bill of Rights" to include the right to keep and bear arms.

Convention decisions could be ratified by whoever and however the delegates choose; entirely bypassing the state legislatures if they desire.

Position: UT Gun Rights opposes this bill.

Status:  DEAD. Passed house bully Greg Hughes' hand-picked revenue and taxation committee (6 yeas, 3 nays, 4 absent/not voting), passed the house (41 yeas, 33 nays, 1 absent/not voting), and was tabled in the senate business and labor committee (4 yeas, 1 nay, 2 absent/not voting) See its bill status page.  To contact your statutators, click here.

"REFRESH" this page ("F-5" on most browsers) to see latest version.  Last updated: 3/11/16 at 5:15 PM.

Jump Down to Topics:

1. Once Convened, Anything Goes... Including Your Rights

2. Congress Organizes & Controls the Convention

3. How Many Delegates Would Utah Get in a Convention?

4. Can't States Control their Delegates to a Convention?

5. Don't Three-Fourths of the States Need to Approve the Results?

6. Wouldn't States Revolt if the 2nd Amendment Were Weakened?

7. Gun Control Advocates Back Convention Calls

8. Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

Click picture to enlarge.
Once Convened, Anything Goes... Including Your Rights

HJR 8 calls for a constitutional convention of the states under the auspices of "imposing fiscal restraints" on the federal congress.

Sounds great, doesn't it?  Wouldn't you like to see the federal regime be forced to balance the federal budget?

Once convened, however, constitutional conventions have power to do more than propose amendments for state legislatures to ratify.  These bodies can scrap the current U.S. constitution and institute an entirely new one, enact draconian gun controls, grant the central regime more tyrannical authority, and otherwise subvert your natural rights.

Article 5 of the U.S. constitution outlines a few details regarding constitutional conventions and their power to make amendments.  Article 5 does not, and cannot, restrict delegates to merely proposing amendments to the U.S. constitution, however.

In the convention of 1787 that created the current U.S. constitution, delegates met pursuant to Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation, to merely amend that form of government.  As a recent alternative news article explains:

"Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia 'for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation'.

"The Continental Congress authorized each of the then 13 States to appoint Delegates to the convention. Twelve of the States made laws respecting the appointment of Delegates and issuing instructions to Delegates. Ten States instructed their Delegates to propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation; and only two (North Carolina and New Hampshire) gave instructions which arguably permitted their Delegates to do more than propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation.

"But the Delegates ignored the federal and State limitations and wrote a new Constitution. Because of this inherent authority of Delegates, it is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.

"The Delegates also instituted an easier mode of ratification. Whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of all of the then 13 States before an amendment could be ratified; Article VII of the new Constitution provided that only 9 States were required for ratification of the new Constitution.
Source: "Delegates to an Article V Convention Can't be Controlled by State Laws", by Publius Huldah, NewsWithViews.com, January 24, 2015.

In other words, once a constitutional convention is convened, everything is up for renegotiation, and there is no sure way to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

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Delegates selected by congress will represent the same elitists who OWN congress.
Congress Organizes & Controls the Convention

Proponents of HJR 8 argue that states are in complete control over the organization and agenda of a constitutional convention.  However, Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution states that,

"Congress… shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…"

As the federal congress is tasked to "call" the convention, it can also oversee the selection criteria for delegates from the various states.  In fact, a bare majority of the federal congress could set those criteria.

What calibre of individuals are they likely to select?  Will they be wise and tried statesmen who represent the people's interests?  Or will they will cater to the same corrupt elites they serve currently?

By controlling who attends, the U.S. congress thereby controls the agenda.  Imagine the myriad of ways their chosen elitist delegates could have a field day with, say, the Second Amendment?

HJR 8 proponents fail to see the irony that if a majority of federal congressional occupants are sound enough to choose convention delegates, they would have already forced the federal government to adopt a balanced budget.

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"Sure, we'll give Utah an equal voice!"
How Many Delegates Would Utah Get in a Convention?

Proponents of HJR 8 pretend as though Utah's voice in a constitutional convention would be significant.  Because a constitutional convention is a product of the states, wouldn't the state of Utah receive an equal number of convention delegates and votes as, say, the state of California?

Highly unlikely.  The federal congress, which in practice holds no regard for state sovereignty, would almost certainly apportion delegates based more upon population.  It could, for instance, adopt a system along the lines of the current electoral college, where Utah's voice is almost an afterthought.

In other words, the voice and vote of smaller states like Utah would almost certainly be insignificant.  Larger states like California and New York would dominate the agenda and bully less-populated states.

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"Have we got a quick fix deal for you conservatives!"
Can't States Control their Delegates to a Convention?

Proponents of HJR 8 repeatedly claim that they can merely withdraw Utah from a constitutional convention if it begins to veer off track.

However, once the federal congress calls a convention, it can organize it and select its membership with, or without, the Utah statutarium's (i.e. legislature's) continued approval and/or participation.  The federal congress could even select citizens of Utah to represent Utah against the express will of the statutarium.

And if Utah statutators enacted any statutes prohibiting Utahans from participating as delegates to the convention, the federal congress could simply grant them federal immunity.

Even if states who objected to the emergence of a radical agenda were able to somehow control the actions of their congressionally-approved delegates, walking out of the convention would not necessarily stop the convention from proceeding.  The remaining delegates could simply conduct binding business without them.

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Don't Three-Fourths of the States Need to Approve the Results?

Proponents of HJR 8 also claim that any actions of a constitutional convention must be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.   But this ratification only applies to amendments made to the CURRENT U.S. constitution.  It does not necessarily apply to the action of REPLACING the U.S. constitution.

In addition to abolishing the current U.S. constitution, a constitutional convention can establish different ratification requirements or no requirements at all.  Perhaps a majority of the federal congress could comprise the ratification process?  Or the supreme court?  Or a presidential delegation?  Or the United Nations?  The imagination of the delegates provides the only limit to how absurdly unrepresentative it can be.

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Would states revolt against the federal overreach? Just ask outfits like the Weber-Morgan Strike Force, which are addicted to perverse federal incentives.
Wouldn't States Revolt if the 2nd Amendment Were Weakened?

Some proponents of HJR 8 assert that states are becoming increasingly pro-gun, and that they would violently revolt against any constitutional convention effort to enact further gun controls.  As evidence, they cite recent state statutes that appear to openly defy federal code already.

These state statutory examples of resistance are underwhelming for the following reasons:

1) Violating state officers almost never face substantive punishment.  State officers who cooperate with federal agents to prosecute citizens under unjust federal statutes are protected by a comprehensive patchwork of government immunity statutes.

2) "Multi-jurisdictional" injustices continue unabated.  States almost universally fail to prohibit state officers from participation in federally-led "multi-jurisdictional task forces".  Under these task forces, state officers may call in federal agents to do their dirty work; to include performing unjust arrests and seizures.

3) States fail to protect individuals prosecuted by federal agents for allegedly violating federal gun control statutes.  How many times have you heard of states funding the costs for individuals arrested and prosecuted by federal thugs?

4) States continue to accept perverse federal incentives tied to gun control-related abuses.  Utah's property confiscation without due process (i.e. "asset forfeiture") statutes provide a testament as to how willing state governments are to subvert rights in exchange for money.

5) States take almost no action to arrest, remove, or otherwise stop federal agents who defy state statute.  If federal agents can roam around molesting gun owners and violating state statute, what good are those state statutes?

In other words, these so-called state statutory resistances to federal code aren't being substantively reinforced by action, and are therefore worthless with regard to current federal tyranny.  States have become obsequious serfs to whatever federal gun control is enacted.  It is therefore more likely that this trend would continue if a constitutional convention enacted additional gun controls.

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"I love George Soros!"
Gun Control Advocates Back Convention Calls

Some gun control elitists have funded and conveniently outlined their agenda for a constitutional convention.  Consider the infamous George Sorros, who has been funding constitutional convention efforts throughout the states.  According to keywiki.org:

"George Soros is bankrolling and heavily supporting the Constitution 2020 movement. He staunchly believes that the Constitution is a living, breathing, evolving document.  He believes in a new and improved Bill of Rights.  His Open Society Institute and the Center for American Progress sponsored the Constitution 2020 conference in April of 2005." [bold added]

According to the Washington Examiner, the Open Society Institute,

"...gave $600,000 to the Tides Foundation in 2002, 'To support the donor advised fund for the Funders' Collaborative for Gun Violence Prevention.'"
Source: "Taxpayer-funded gun control gets huge foundation boost," by Ron Arnold, May 31, 2012.

Enjoy being gored by the Ivory Elephant? 
Consider some of the other political causes the Open Society Institute funds by clicking here.  Recently renamed the Open Society Foundation, and listing George Soros as its founder and chairman, it favors such things as increasing state and federal firearms bans.

To examine some of the gun control ideas offered by the Sorros-funded Center for America's Progress, click here.

House sponsor and primary advocate of HJR 8, statutator Ken Ivory, is also no friend to the right to keep and bear arms.  Ivory boasts a lifetime corruption rating of -25% (that's MINUS).  

As UT Gun Rights' 2013 article, "Gored by the Ivory Elephant", exposes, Ivory is a false friend who pretends to oppose your enemies, and will sometimes put on a good show to maintain favor with you.

In moments of political crisis and at other times, however, Ivory will serve his true masters and act in direct contradiction to his public speeches and statements. Such betrayal can seem baffling, because many people can’t imagine anyone being so manipulative and deceitful.

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These playground bullies steal more than your lunch money.
Appropriate Action: Contact the Two Bullies Who Dominate Your Statutators

As the 2016 Utah Government Corruption Report amply demonstrates, two playground bullies abuse and dominate the house and senate and work together to destroy your rights: house speaker Greg Hughes and senate president Wayne Niederhauser.

Contrary to what you learned in civics class, these two men bully the entire statutarium (i.e. "legislature") and run roughshod over your elected officials.  They set the agenda and your statutators obediently follow it.

How can two people exercise such control? As one example, the house speaker and senate president alone appoint and remove EVERY member of EVERY committee. Hughes and Niederhauser are empowered to do this without any review or confirmation process.
Sources: "The general duties of the Speaker are to:... appoint the members of committees…" (House Rules 1-3-102. Duties of the speaker) and "The general duties of the president are to:… appoint the members of committees…" (SR1-3-102. Duties of the president)

Consider the vast implications of this incredible power. No bill may be voted on in the house or senate without going through a committee. As a result, bills live or die almost entirely upon the calculated orders of these two bullies.

Previous House Bully Becky Lockhart candidly admitted her power to the press:

"I empower [house] committee chairs..." [bold added]
Source: "Bill banning enforcement of federal gun laws 'stuck in limbo'," by Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News, Feb. 22, 2013.

Lockhart's successor, Greg Hughes, likewise empowers the chairs of each house committee because he appoints and fires them at his will alone, as does Niederhauser for every senate committee.

Hughes' and Niederhauser's powers are so extreme, no specific provision exists in the house or senate rules to fire these bullies before their two-year terms are over.  Akin to an elected despotism, these bullies lord over each body, trade political favors, and sell your rights; all while pretending that decisions are made by the will of the majority.

The political buck stops with Hughes and Niederhauser for failing to advance positive gun owner bills, and for every gun control bill enacted. Until more statutators are motivated to oppose their power, your rights will continue to be undermined.

Because your house and senate statutators merely serve their will and agenda, contacting them is often just a courtesy call.  These two bullies hold the power over Utah's statutarium ("legislature"):

For House Bully Greg Hughes' contact information (and the rest of the house statutators), click here.  For Senate Bully Wayne Niederhauser's contact information (and the rest of the senate statutators), click here.

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