Amending the US Constitution from the State level.

St. George Tucker was a lawyer, teacher, poet, essayist, inventor, and judge. One of the most influential jurists and legal scholars in the early years of the United States, he sat on three courts in Virginia: the General Court (1789–1804), the Court of Appeals (1804–1811), and the U.S. District Court for the District of Virginia (and later the Eastern District of Virginia) (1813–1825). He also served as rector (1789–1790) and professor of law (1790–1804) at the College of William and Mary. His five-volume edition of Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in 1803, was the first major treatise on American law. Born in Bermuda, Tucker studied law as an apprentice to George Wythe in Williamsburg, gaining admission to the bar in 1774. During the American Revolution (1775–1783) he smuggled needed supplies into Virginia and fought under Nathanael Greene at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (1781) and under George Washington at the siege of Yorktown (1781). After the war he practiced in the county courts before being elevated to a judgeship. At William and Mary, he advocated the study of law as an academic discipline, and in 1796 he published A Dissertation on Slavery, his plan to gradually abolish slavery in Virginia. The General Assembly ignored it. Tucker married twice and had five surviving children, including the jurist and congressman Henry St. George Tucker and the writer and states’ rights advocate Nathaniel Beverley Tucker. He was also good friends with James Madison (Father of the Constitution), and many of his works were used in the drafting of the US Constitution in 1787. In fact every major law school from coast to coast used his law books for most of the nineteenth century.

The reason as to why I am offering up this little bit of historical information is because, he stated that another method for amending the US Constitution was to ratify constitutional amendments from the individual State conventions, and then submit those amendments up to the Congress to vote on them. Unlike most people today thinking that every must start from the Congress and filter down to the State levels. This way of thinking is a complete distortion on our history and our Law as a Nation! He taught this on page 132 of his book titled Views of the Constitution of the United States, concerning the rights of the States.

“And to propose amendments to the federal constitution”

Was he promoting that the States call for a one ambiguous Constitutional convention? Absolutely not! Even though that is yet another method for amending the US Constitution. He was referring to the same method that was used when ratifying all ten of the Bill of Rights during the span of 1787 through 1789.

If we fast forward to modern days. The National Archives works with the Congress for any constitutional amendment that is to be sent out to the States. They only have on record of the two procedures when it comes to amending the Constitution, not three like the founders envisioned. Like what was done during the process in 1787-1789. In fact they are the ones that prepares all of the information when new amendments are passed by the Congress or when a Constitutional Convention is to be called.

In Utah and I only can presume other States has the similar code on the books for State ratifying conventions. It is codified for when the Congress proposes new constitutional amendments, and not when the State wants to amend the constitution. Why? Aren’t we a Republic of 50 soverign States that created the federal government? Aren’t we a partner in upholding and defending the Constitution? This legislation below actually changes the State of Utah’s process for ratifying new constitutional amendments through a State Ratifying convention. I am also attaching this author’s idea for the 28th amendment. The complete repeal of the 17th amendment. Finally restoring States rights the way that the Founders had envisioned.


Ratification methods of Amending the US Constitution

Procedures when the State of Utah and or the Congress of the United States:

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and directs that the amendment be ratified by conventions in each state.

If Congress prescribes the manner in which the conventions shall be constituted and  does not accept those states that have established procedures for constituting ratification conventions:

(a)        this chapter is inoperative;

(b)       the convention shall be constituted and shall operate as the congressional resolution or Act of Congress directs; and

(c)        all state officers who are authorized or directed to take any action to constitute a ratification convention in Utah shall do so.

The governor, shall:

(a)        issue a proclamation establishing the date of an election to elect 58 delegates to Utah’s ratification convention from the state at large; two delegates from each county.

(b)       ensure that the election is held at least as soon as the next regular general election occurring more than three months after the amendment has been proposed by Congress; and

(c)        either call a special election or schedule the election to be held at the same time as a regular or municipal general election.

(2)        Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the election shall be conducted according to the procedures for a regular general election contained in this title.

Delegates — Candidacy — Qualifications — Nominating procedures.

(1)        Candidates for the office of delegate to the ratification convention shall be citizens, residents of Utah, and at least 21 years old.

(2)        Persons wishing to be delegates to the ratification convention shall:

(a)        circulate a nominating petition meeting the requirements of this section; and

(b)       obtain the signature of at least 100 registered voters.

(3)        (a)        A single nominating petition may nominate any number of candidates up to 58, the total number of delegates to be elected.

(b)       Nominating petitions may not contain anything identifying a candidate’s party or political affiliation.

(c)        Each nominating petition shall contain a written statement signed by each nominee, indicating either that the candidate will:

(i)         vote for ratification of the proposed amendment; or

(ii)        vote against ratification of the proposed amendment.

(d)       A nominating petition containing the names of more than one nominee may not contain the name of any nominee whose stated position in the nominating petition is inconsistent with that of any other nominee listed in the petition.

(4)        (a)        Candidates shall file their nominating petitions with the lieutenant governor at least 40 days before the proclaimed date of the election.

(b)       Within 10 days after the last day for filing the petitions, the lieutenant governor shall:

(i)         declare nominated the 58 nominees in favor of ratification and the 58 nominees against ratification whose nominating petitions have been signed by the largest number of registered voters;

(ii)        decide any ties by lot drawn by the lieutenant governor; and

(iii)       certify the nominated candidates of each group to the county clerk of each county within the state.

20A-15-104.  Ballot — Form — Manner of marking and voting.

(1)        The requirements of this section govern the form of the ballot and the specific procedures for electing delegates to the ratification convention.

(2)        Each county clerk shall ensure that the ballot to select delegates to the ratification convention:

(a)        is separate from and printed on different color stock than any other ballot to be used at the same election;

(b)       contains the following information in this order:

(i)         the text of the proposed amendment;

(ii)        instructions to the voter;

(iii)       three perpendicular columns of equal width;

(iv)       at the head of the first perpendicular column, in plain type, the words “For Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States”;

(v)        at the head of the second perpendicular column, in plain type, the words “Against Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States”;

(vi)       no heading or names at the head of the third perpendicular column;

(vii)      in the column headed “For Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States,” the names of the nominees nominated as in favor of ratification;

(viii)     in the column headed “Against Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States,” the names of the nominees nominated as against ratification; and

(ix)       in the column without heading, spaces permitting the voter to write in other names; and

(c)        is arranged so that the voter may, by making a single mark, vote for the entire group of nominees whose names are contained in any column.

(3)        Each county clerk shall ensure that the ballot to select delegates to the ratification convention is in substantially the following form: each county shall only vote for the two that is being nominated for their county.

“OFFICIAL BALLOT for delegates to convention to ratify or reject proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Congress, and or the State of Utah has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that provides: (insert here the text of the proposed amendment).

The Congress, and or the State of Utah has also directed that the proposed amendment be ratified by conventions in the states.

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS

Only can vote for the two candidates that would represent their county.

To vote for all candidates in favor of ratification, or for all candidates against ratification, make a cross-mark in the CIRCLE at the head of the list of candidates for whom you wish to vote. If you do this, make no other mark.

To vote for an individual candidate, make a cross-mark in the SQUARE immediately adjacent to the name.

To vote for a person other than candidates listed on the ballot, write in the person’s name in blank column.

For ratification of proposed change in Constitution of the United States.

(Name of Candidate) ____________________________________________

Against ratification of proposed change in Constitution of the United States.

(Name of Candidate) ____________________________________________”

(4)        If the election of delegates to the ratification convention is held at the same time as the regular general election, the county clerk shall:

(a)        give the same ballot number to a regular general election ballot and a ballot to elect delegates to a ratification convention;

(b)       direct the election judges to:

(i)         hand to each voter the general election ballot and the ratification convention ballot with identical ballot numbers;

(ii)        instruct the voter to mark each ballot and deposit each ballot in the ballot box; and

(iii)       mark any ballot “void” that the voter declines to use and return it to the county clerk.

(5)        Each voter shall indicate his choice by making one or more cross-marks in the appropriate spaces provided on the ballot.

Poll watchers.

(1)        If one or more of the candidates listed upon the official ballot under the heading “For Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States” recommends persons to act as poll watchers, the county legislative body shall designate those persons to act as poll watchers for that group at each polling place within the county.

(2)        If one or more of the candidates listed upon the official ballot under the heading “Against Ratification of Proposed Change in Constitution of the United States” recommends persons to act as poll watchers, the county legislative body shall designate those persons to act as poll watchers for that group at each polling place within the county.

Convening — Vacancies — Election of officers — Journal of proceedings.

(1)        The delegates to the convention shall convene at the state capitol at noon on the 28th day after their election to pass upon the question of whether or not the proposed amendment shall be ratified.

(2)        (a)        If, at the time the convention convenes, there is a vacancy in the convention, the delegates from the group from which the delegate creating the vacancy was elected shall, by majority vote, appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

(b)       If the convention contains no other delegates from the group from which the delegate creating the vacancy was elected, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

(3)        The convention may:

(a)        elect a president, secretary, and other officers; and

(b)       adopt its own rules, for ratification purposes only.

(4)        The convention shall:

(a)        keep a journal of its proceedings;

(b)       record in the journal the vote of each delegate on the question of ratification of the proposed amendment; and

(c)        file the journal with the lieutenant governor after the convention adjourns.

(5)        (a)        Delegates to the ratification convention shall:

(i)         serve without pay;

(ii)        receive a per diem of $25 per day while the convention is in session; and

(iii)       receive mileage at the rate of 3 dollars per mile for the distance necessarily traveled in going to and returning from the place of meeting by the most usual route.

(b)       The lieutenant governor shall pay the per diem and mileage, together with the necessary expenses of the convention for printing and stenographic services, from the state treasury.

(1)        If the convention agrees, by vote of a majority of the total number of delegates, to ratify the proposed amendment, the president and secretary of the convention shall:

(a)        prepare and sign a certificate to that effect; and

(b)       transmit it to the lieutenant governor.

(2)        Upon receipt of a ratification certificate, the lieutenant governor shall transmit the certificate under the great seal of the state to the Secretary of State of the United States.

(3)         If the State proposes and ratifies the Constitutional amendment. Instead of the Lieutenant Governor transmitting the certificate under the great seal of the state to the Secretary of State of the United States. He shall submit that certificate under the great seal of the state to the rest of the fifty states of the United States for them to ratify the same changes. Only after when 3/4rs of the states have fully ratified the proposed changes, the proposed changes shall be submitted to the  National Archives under the great seal of the state for the Congress to vote on the proposed ratification changes.

 

 

28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

“The Repeal of the 17th Amendment”

 

  1. The 17th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
  2. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state,chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

  1. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
  2. The article shall be in operative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of submission hereof to the States by the Congress.