By Daniel New
In 1787, our Founding Fathers held a Constitutional Convention in which they designed a Constitution and presented it to the states for adoption.
Several states made it clear that they would not even debate the question without restrictions placed upon the proposed federal government. A total of 39 proposed amendments were debated. Some were rejected, others combined and massaged until the list was reduced to a proposed Bill of Rights containing twelve articles of amendment. By 1790, the last ten of those amendments were ratified by the states as the entire Constitution also became the Law of the Land. The original Articles 1 and 2 did not receive a sufficient number of ratification votes at that time.
Today, there are various groups calling for a second convention, following the stipulated Article V process in the Constitution. But no such proponent has considered this:
- The original Constitutional Convention sent twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution to the states, to ratify;
- Articles approved by Congress and sent to the states constitute unfinished business under Article V until they have been either ratified or voted down;
- Therefore, the Article V process of the first Constitutional Convention is still open before the 39 states that have not voted on Article 1 of the original Bill of Rights.
Here is the story. In 1982, a University of Texas student began obtaining 29 more state legislatures’ ratification votes for the original second article in the Bill of Rights. As soon as the State of Maine took its ratification vote, Gregory Watson successfully re-kindled the Article V process, 192 years after the first nine state legislatures voted to ratify it. It matters not that the original delegates to the State ratifying conventions were all long deceased; the Article V duty of the states remains.
Maine ratified in 1983 and by 1992, due to the perseverance of one young man in Texas, the original Second Amendment was ratified overwhelmingly and became the 27th Amendment to the Constitution — 203 years after the first state voted to ratify it.
That now leaves only the original first article of amendment in the Bill of Rights, which requires that U.S. House districts cannot have more than 50,000 people. This was the original First Amendment, and the only subject that George Washington spoke about in the entire four-month-long convention of 1787, because the founders knew that small districts would curtail corruption that flows from large districts (too much power).
So, the Article V amendment process from the original Constitutional Convention of our Founding Fathers still has one article requiring action by the states: the original First Amendment. You and I have the opportunity to become co-laborers with the Founding Fathers of 1787, to complete the task they began! Nothing in the history of this republic is more cool than that!
Have you ever had someone hand you a copy of the Declaration of Independence and urge you to sign it? That’s cool, but it’s purely symbolic. This is real. You and I have the privilege to sign on to and participate in finishing the work begun at the Constitutional Convention of 1787!
I ask you, fellow American: how exciting is that?
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