How Tennessee Could Be About To Start A Constitutional Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

The State Senate of Tennessee has laid the legislative groundwork for something that hasn't been done in the United States of America since the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.  With a vote of 27-3, the Tennessee Senate has voted to call a "convention of the states" in order to draft and pass an amendment to the Constitution that would require balanced budgets to be passed every year. 

For those who are little fuzzy on their high school U.S. history knowledge, the Tennessean explains that the U.S. Constitution can be amended in two ways.  The first would require a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of Congress, an unlikely outcome in today's hyper-partisan political arena.  The second, on the other hand, requires that two-thirds of the states (34 in total) pass a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention

There are two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution. The first and more traditional method is through a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Then the amendment is sent to the state legislatures, where it needs ratification by three-fourths or 38 states in order to become law. Nearly all 27 amendments have followed this path.


But the Constitution also provides a second, more populist path to amending the document. If two-thirds or 34 states pass a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention, delegates from all 50 states will meet to draft an amendment. This is what the Tennessee lawmakers are calling for in their resolution.

Of course, calls for a convention to pass a balanced budget amendment started in the 1970s and have failed each time.  That said, with Republicans now controlling 32 state legislatures, this latest effort initiated by Tennessee seems to have the best chance of succeeding so far. 

And while there have been close calls for Constitutional Conventions before, each time Congress has acted preemptively to stave off the need for a convention. In 1911, for example, 28 states of the required 32 passed a resolution calling for direct election of Senators before Congress intervened and drafted the Seventeenth Amendment instead.



But, as the Tennessean notes, the problem with amending the Constitution through a convention is that once the convention is convened anything can happen.  For example, the last time the states gathered for a convention in 1787 they ended up tossing out the Articles of Confederation and forming an entirely new government based on the current Constitution.

The last time the states gathered to amend a governing document on the scale the resolution calls for, the delegates threw out America’s first basis of government and replaced it with the Constitutional system used today.


“They were supposed to meet to make amendments to the Articles of Confederation but ended up with a whole new form of government," said Nathan Griffith, an associate professor of political science at Belmont University. "Not just a new constitution, but a whole new form of government."

If enough states pass a similar resolution, then a planning convention could meet as early as this upcoming July, and by November the first Article V Convention in history could be called by Congress.

Meanwhile, as we noted earlier today, President Trump offered his own warning on America's national debt this morning saying that "[spending] was out of control," as officials gathered to discuss the budget, adding that there is "enormous work to do on the national debt."

There is a "moral duty" to taxpayers, President Trump says at White House budget lunch, "we must do a lot more with less."


"Our budget is absolutely out of control" he added, and in the future "will reflect our priorities."


The hiring freeze for non-essential workers will remain.


"We have enormous work to do on the national debt"


There will be "no more wasted money, we will spend in a careful way."


Of course, we're not really sure what all the fuss is about...only $10 trillion has been added to the national debt over the past 8 years, which, when you think about it, is a very manageable $31,000 per man, woman and child.



And balancing the budget 5 years out of 50 is pretty good, right?

Budget Deficit

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
City_Of_Champyinz's picture

old news...Article V activity is just about reaching a crescendo.   Take back your republic, now or never.

yrad's picture

You can go to Hell, I'm going to Texas.

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Something tells me ypu are already in Texas.

Sanity Bear's picture

between the two of you, I bet you'll have a higher A/C bill in Texas

83_vf_1100_c's picture

I am already here and we have our own share of problems. August in TX is arguably hotter than hell. It is the humidity, Hades is hot but it is a dry heat.

coast1's picture

hey...if you get this.. I have a video song for you...I like chris rea, and its a song about going to texas  enjoy......

lil dirtball's picture

... continual crisis ...

"You live in a theme park." - Joe Walsh

fortune114's picture

Terrible headline... how would using the Consitution as written lead to a Constitutional crises?  And the Convention will only have the power to PROPOSE formal amendmentments, which still must be voted on later by the respective State legislatures.  Or not.  The Article V Convention has nothing to do with the dissolution of the Articles of Confederation.  There is no "last time it happened" because one has never been called.  We sorely need one now.  Just to give you an example, there was a simulated Convention this past Fall involving legislators from all 50 States.  One of the amendments proposed was the ability of the States by 2/3 vote to nullify a Federal rule, law, or regulation.  In other words, piss off, Congress, if you've passed some piece of garbage (Obamacare), and piss off, EPA, if you say carbon dioxide is a pollutant, and piss off Federal judge, if you try and legislate from the bench.  Another propsed amendement was the repeal of the 16th Amendment.  Yeah, that's the one that gave Fed Gov the power to tax a person's income directly.  

Black Warrior Waterdog's picture

Tip: Neither the R's nor the D's want a balanced budget.

Sir Publius's picture

Article V was put into the Constitution by a UNAMIMOUS decision, and for very good reason. To utilize it is not to go against the Constitution or replace it in any way, but is to USE the Constitution. Its a real shame that this movement is getting attacked by both sides...predictably by people who hate state rights and the Constitution, but also by people who fear the Constitution will be tossed away if we use it. To the latter group I would simply ask...and BTW....I'm NOT adocating we toss the Constitution aside or that this process could or would...but I would ask them....what are you really so afraid of? Don't you see that this county has ALREADY cast the Constitution ALREADY ignoring it? What then is there to lose by bringing attention to states rights and to the Constitution via this process? Seriously. Judges are taking over, bureaucracy is taking over, the executive is taking over....Article V is there for a reason. Its our parachute lever. All we need to do is pull it. I think it may however take some EVENT for people to actually use it. I hope that event happens before its too late. Because the framework for ignroing twisting and destroying the Constitution is ALREADY in place. Its not something we should fear might IS happening. And unless we act, our country as founded is going to be lost. 

Lost in translation's picture

I'm sure that replacing the Constitution with what the ruling class wants should work out well.


Starvation 2017's picture

Even if that were to happen it wouldn't last.

Tensions are high, I'd venture to say people are just waiting for a spark to set things off and that certainly meets the criteria. I believe the US is prime for balkanization, and you know what? I think that's a good thing in a lot of ways. There are certainly drawbacks but maybe people could finally move to their respective liberal and conservative utopias and leave each other the fuck alone.

Jack Napier's picture

> I believe the US is prime for balkanization

But I'm surrounded by liberal hipsters, Rx addicted mushheads, alcoholics, people who protest because they are too stupid to understand the political process, and an entitled generation that doesn't know the value of honest work or that integrity is the key to lasting success. We're all still going to be breathing in jet trails and drinking fluoride regardless. The rat race is getting a lot easier if you know how to keep pollutants out of your body, because most people don't pay enough mind to adjust their habits to accomodate their environment. It doesn't matter where we draw the borders or who wears which monkey suit or what laws are passed. You are either a step ahead or a victim of circumstances, like it's always been. The only difference is that natural selection is overdue.

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Jack Napier Feb 23, 2017 1:23 AM

I'm a victim of being a step ahead.

Jack Napier's picture

If you don't let people know you are a step ahead, they'll stop trying so hard to follow you. Then you're at least 2 steps ahead. (:

jabu's picture

Natural selection has become entirely unnatural. 

unsafe-space-time's picture

Natural selection only keeps deformed genes out of the gene pool. Genetic editing can get rid of all sub-optimal mutations. Average person has thousands of them.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Several years ago, I put the mobile application called "OPEN THE BOOKS" on my phone. This application tracks government spending or should I say waste.

I am sorry to make this point, but the NUMBERS ARE STAGGERING AND BEYOND BELIEF.

I am convinced that anyone in government making more that $100k per year needs to take a 20% cut. In addition, PROGRAM FUNDING should be reviewed LINE by LINE. Entire governmental agencies need to be eliminated.

We are probably headed toward some sort of crisis because we are spending WAY BEYOND OUR MEANS TO REPAY.


GOD FORBID the market decides to force rates up a couple of percentage points because it will be financial armageddon with the size of the debts.

darkstar7646's picture

I'm not sure we would get a replacement, but we would definitely get some changes that would render the Constitution irrelevant to a good portion of America...

The Fourteenth Amendment and the Establishment Clause would probably be repealed within a day or two.  Whether it would eventually get the requisite number of legislatures to pass it to ratify is another question.

The bottom line is:  For Trump's base to succeed in taking back this country, they must subjugate/kill about half the US population -- that's not going to happen in the current Constitution.

The Fourteenth would have to go immediately, and then all others would have to be reframed (as one author once did in "God's United States" where the Constitution specifically forbade rights to abortionists, gays, etc. and what have you).

jabu's picture

What on Earth are you smoking?

Raymond K Hessel's picture

We need to acknowledge how the 13th Amendment was repealed by the 16th Amendment and so repeal the 16th A so as to reinforce the 13th

Cloud9.5's picture

Psychologists call it projection.  The left wants to kill the deplorables which is roughly half the country.

Wannabe_Oracle's picture

haha - you're funny -- back on your meds, immediately. ./

I Feel a little Qeasy's picture

Love the bit about getting rid of half of you. Get on with it ASAP. For the children.

Archive_file's picture

The Spice must flow...

user2011's picture

I am for California declare independence from the rest of the 49 states.

RightLineBacker's picture


Any way that gets rid of those turds would be good for the remaining USA.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

If that happened the Dems would lose the popular vote every day

Akzed's picture

Just imagine what kind of Constitution and Bill of Rights the sovereign nation of California would come up with...

Dormouse's picture

They can't keep the military bases or the hardware, that belongs to all tax paying Americans. They can conscript an army of snowflakes that become apoplectic at the meer mention of the word GUN. Then we invade, the day after California Independence Day. It will either be a bloodbath or a French-surrender. I vote for the former but suspect the later.

darkstar7646's picture

I figure at least the part of that regarding an immediate invasion would be what goes down, yes.

You already consider California an enemy of the rest of the States to begin with, even though we prop your asses up.

jabu's picture

Make that, you used to.  Now you do nothing but suck.  California used to be a lot of things.  Now it's regulated into nothingness.  Here's your power...meow, pht pht.

Marge N Call's picture

I don't think most californians have ever looked at the map of land in CA that belongs to the Feds:



Akzed's picture

Which the feds should not own save for postal roads and forts.

jabu's picture

Your lips to Gods ears.  I would love to consider them all as illegal aliens.  Californians have fucked up my state.  They spread dysfunction like it's the Clap.

capitallosses's picture

I'm still stuck here but hope to get out before its too late. I'm hoping Moonbeam decides to secede and move Kalifornia to those new 7 planets just discovered. There's way too much alien life here already, but he may find utopia. I understand that, with current technology, it will take 44 million years to arrive there, not too soon to hear from Moonbeam again.

Marge N Call's picture

Look at a map of CA with an overlay of BLM controlled land. Not sure how they can square that circle, and since the US has a bigger army than CA, my guess would be the US would get it.

Ignatius's picture

Catherine Austin Fitts has argued that this type of move -- Constitutional convention -- might put us in a legal bind that will allow Mr. Global off the hook for its crimes.  Worth considering advantages/disadvantages carefully.

Dormouse's picture

If the crazy, cornered shithouse rats had an escape route other than down the sewer hole it could buy time or reduce bloodshed. But this is a battle that will be fought by us or our children down the road.

MEFOBILLS's picture

The worst ammendments are those that passed under Woodrow Wilson.   All of them (16'th, 17'th, Federal Reserve Act) could be challenged, as they passed under clouds of suspicion.  They weren't fully ratified and hence are illegal.  The 16'th is not constitutional (non apportioned taxes are not allowed - so says the Supreme court.)

Don't need a state con-con, start with the worst ones and challenge them, then repeal.  The progressive era ammendments (Wilson) are the ones responsible for centralizing power in Washington, and destroying U.S. Federalism.

A con-con will open up for all kinds of nefarious activities by globalist jackals.  They will try to pull a fast one, as most people are not mentally equiped to deal with the money masters con games.

In a debt money system, the governments deficit, is the people's savings.  See Wynne Godleys sector equations if you doubt this.

 To go with a balanced budget, will require a change to a sovereign money system.  That, or new money will need to come from somewhere, say gold or silver that is dug out of the ground.  

A scientific money supply needs to grow and shrink in alignment with goods and services production.  All economies have a s shaped curve, somewhat in accordance with the growing seasons.  

So, those who are pushing for a balanced budget, are conflating household economics with government - two very different things.  In other words, they are exposing themselves as ignorant on how debt money system works.

jabu's picture

Debt.  Biggest con of all.

Jack Napier's picture

Gold and silver are the ultimate extinguishers of debt. They don't need to come out of the ground. The price of precious metals just needs to be re-valued accordingly to absorb the debt.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) MEFOBILLS Feb 23, 2017 2:53 AM

Federal reserve act is not an amendment, and it should be. It can't be legal if its not, but then a bunch of those amendments including the 11th 12 and 17th were not legally ratified.

MalteseFalcon's picture

We need to bring back the original 13th amendment, which was simply vaporized.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

By the 16th A. Once everyone was subject to the income tax or any direct tax, the 13th A was effectively repealed

Trucker Glock's picture

"The 16'th is not constitutional (non apportioned taxes are not allowed - so says the Supreme court.)"

How can the 16th be unconstitutional when it IS the Constitution? 

FalseHypnoticSuggestion's picture

Woodrow Wilson = Would (cause) row to will (to) son.  (row: a noisy disturbance or quarrel, ie WWI, etc.) Woodrow Wilson was right about one thing. His fear of ruining his country with this FED act? Realized.