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Levin

Mark Levin Endorses The Convention of States Project

Topical Reference

Topic Clip
Mark Levin's endorsement of the Convention of States Project Clip 13
Why State Legislators are critical to the process of saving the Republic? Clip 3, Clip 8, Clip 9, Clip 12, Clip 14, Clip 23
The Problem Clip 2, Clip 3, Clip 12, Clip 14, Clip 20, Clip 21
Runaway Convention? Clip 22, Clip 23
Why amend the Constitution? Clip 3, Clip 4, Clip 5
Why Convention of States? Clip 10, Clip 11, Clip 14
Federal Government overreach Clip 6, Clip 7
Why Article V? Clip 15
Balanced Budget Amendment? Clip 17, Clip 18
John Birch Society Clip 22

 

Mark Levine Speech, ALEC Meeting, December 4, 2014 - 34 Minutes

Download Audio MP3 of Mark Levin's Speech


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Excerpt 1 Transcript:  It is an enormous honor to be here, or I wouldn’t be in Washington, I will tell you that.  I avoid it like the plague.  This is a wonderful organization…ALEC, which is why it’s under attack.  Anything that’s worthwhile now in this country is under attack.  You as individual representatives you’re under attack too.  Too bad…so be it. 

It’s an honor to follow Mark Meckler, who is the inspiration behind this movement.  And this movement is nothing less than to restore the republic. We can beat our chests about election victories all we want.  We can go on and on and complain about federal mandates and the EPA and all the rest now what hell are we going to do about it? 

The democrats in congress and the president, they don’t believe in America’s founding principles.  That’s what fundamental transformation means.  If you believe in America’s founding principles what are you trying to fundamentally transform?  And unfortunately the republican’s congress doesn’t believe in defending them.  The president dismissed last month’s election because he lost it. And now he claims to represent the people who didn’t vote. Republicans are more fearful of a temporary government shutdown, where 17% of the government is closed and Americans are utterly unaffected by it. 


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Excerpt 2 Transcript:  When the evisceration of the Constitution, the separation of powers, Article I, their own power, power of the purse, and decisions about naturalization. Laws are rewritten and unenforced by a President. Congress confers legislative powers on departments and agencies and bureaucrats of their creation, which in turn seize further power to legislate in ways that usurp you, the states, your people. The courts have claimed the final say on any issues on which the courts want to have the fin al say, including virtually every so-called social issue that may arise and any other issue it decides to take on.

Wide-ranging decisions affecting virtually every aspect of life are being made by fewer and fewer masterminds in Washington DC in an increasingly centralized federal government using a growing army of bureaucrats a fourth branch of government if you will to institute and enforce them. More and more of what the federal government does is insulated from elections. Elections are won that advanced the left’s agenda…then they’re celebrated. If they lose the elections, the elections are denounced as temporary inconveniences and then they turn to the unelected federal institutions to advance their agenda.

In other words a trajectory toward utopian statism, concentrated power, centralized government is never really checked, or actually reversed. And the reason is, and the sad truth is that we live largely under a post-constitutional government. This is no longer a federal republic or a constitutional republic or representative republic. The federal constitutional the representative character of the national government have been and are being dismantled. We are mutating into something else.


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Excerpt 3 Transcript: So those who say I love our Constitution and I don't want to change it and I believe they are the true guardians of the Republic they’re deluding themselves. In Washington today we have an ongoing constitutional convention where one branch or another or the federal bureaucracy act far outside the limits imposed on them by the Constitution. And rather than the branches checking and balancing each other they usually reinforce each other. And as lawless precedent is built upon lawless precedent what remains of the constitution’s firewalls are breached. And my question to you is “where does this end?”

Well I'll tell you where it ends… with you. We are not without recourse. But the recourse is not in Washington DC, it's not in federal elections. Why the hell would the very people who’ve done this to us reverse course? They like what they're doing and they're gonna keep doing it unless somebody speaks out and acts against them.

And that’s you! There's nobody else...


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Excerpt 4 Transcript: I said in the Liberty Amendments that I know there are those who insist that electing the right president and Congress, and appointing the right justices is not only more practicable but preferable to amending the Constitution. And they will cling to a particular election or judicial decision as evidence of vibrant Republicanism, deluded by short respites and interludes to escape the intellectual and practical reality of this societal transformation.

I'm all for electing candidates and confirming justices who are faithful to the Constitution, but let us acknowledge the infrequency of these occurrences and greater rarity of fidelity by these officials once ensconced in high office to constitutional boundaries. In fact, even at the most virtuous and resourceful among them, do not, they do not, and cannot possess the aptitude and muscle to penetrate the daunting entrenchment and institutional apparatuses of the federal government.

Furthermore the increasingly and significantly cloistered operations of the federal branches, the willful concealment of deliberations, the delegation of power to elusive and unaccountable bureaucracies, and the centralization and concentration of authority are all intended to evade the constitution, confound the citizen, and suppress self-government. This is a systemic problem that is bigger that any single federal election or administration.


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Excerpt 5 Transcript: Meanwhile, the federal operating debt just passed 18 trillion dollars and nobody gives a damn. Federal unfunded liabilities far exceed 100 trillion dollars. The federal bureaucracy issues thousands of regulations each year, just issued 3445 which will affect every one of your states, and you’ll be holding sub-committee hearings and committee hearings and you’re going to be all wound up about what some jerk in the EPA decided to do to you. And they cost in excess of 1 trillion dollars a year!

The GAO, the CDO, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid trustees and actuaries all tell us over and over again, that what they’re doing is unsustainable…meaning it will collapse our economic system and society. A total catastrophe. And nothing, nothing is being done about it.


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Excerpt 6 Transcript: Today the federal government is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, healthcare provider, and pension guarantor. Does that sound like limited government to you?


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Excerpt 7 Transcript: The issue is no longer what matters the federal government is involved in but what matters it’s not involved in.

And you state officials have absolutely no say and no power once the federal government claims the power to act (period). In fact, you are mostly irrelevant once the federal government decides to act. And so are we the people. Like much of the rest of the Constitution, the 10th Amendment is mostly ignored, and federalism is essentially dead. But there is recourse.


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Excerpt 8 Transcript: Do you realize that acting together the state legislatures have more power than the entire federal government? Do you realize that if less than 70 of you, there are hundreds of you here, that if less than 70 of you, serving as delegates, two from just 2/3rds of the state legislatures, had a meeting in a room like this, sent here by your state legislators to address specific issues of great gravity to the nation, do you realize what that would do to this country in a positive and significant way? They wouldn’t be focusing on congress, or the 10:00 latest judicial fiat, or the President with his pen and his phone, or the EPA.

Seventy of you, less than 70 of you in one room, sent here by your state legislatures, not to destroy the constitution but to save it, would have more power than everything that surrounds this building today.


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Excerpt 9 Transcript:And like the framers, you don’t seek power to advance your own agenda and for self-aggrandizement, you seek power to control power. George Washington could have been a dictator. He chose not to be. This country could have been very very different.

You’re of that ilk; you’re of that mindset. That’s why you’re here, at ALEC, today.

Do you realize that you are empowered by specific constitutional grant of authority…you, you, you under Article 5, to save your nation from an out-of-control national government?

Do you realize there can never be a runaway convention, never, ever? It’s impossible! Since ¾’s of the states must ratify whatever’s proposed by the delegates sent by 2/3rds of the states to a convention.

Do you know what a convention is? It’s a meeting. That’s what it is. And all you do is you propose specific amendments, and the states consider them or reject them. Congress does this, it’s done it before. Now you do it, it’s your turn, that’s why it’s in there.


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Excerpt 10 Transcript: The Convention of the States process is quintessential federalism. It’s the purest form of representative government we have in this nation. And it bypasses the federal branches of the national government and that was exactly the purpose. So I want you to understand that you as individuals, each of you have a duty under the federal Constitution you have duty under the federal Constitution of the United States of this republic, you have a duty to save it. You have a capacity as state representatives and state senators, you alone, not your governors, not congressmen, not senators, not the president, not the court, but you have it within yourselves, and it ought to be your number one priority when you leave here to help restore this republic and give us our constitution back.


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Excerpt 11 Transcript: This grant of power was drafted not by Mark Meckler, not by Mike Farris, not by two great professors, Barnett and Natelson, but by the same Framers of the Constitution that drafted the rest of it. It’s drafted in Philadelphia and approved by the delegates. Article 5 is part of the Constitution that was endorsed in the Federalist papers. It was ratified by every single state convention. And in modern times it has been championed by such notable public figures as Dwight Eisenhower, Everett Dirksen, Milton Friedman and numerous others.

We’re not some cult over here, we’re the majority. We’re not some extreme group, hard right group over here, we’re constitutionalists. We’re not some wackos over here…we embrace the American Heritage. We are the ones trying to lead an effort to save what's left of this country.


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Excerpt 12 Transcript: Let me end with this, most of the 11 draft amendments that I propose in my book are a reflection of the framers intent. That was their desire and attempt; to prevent the concentration and centralization of ubiquitous power and an omnipresent national government. Which is exactly what we have today. The entire structure the Constitution is intended to prevent this occurrence. So if you ask me what makes you think the federal government will follow amendments to the Constitution if it won’t follow the Constitution today, then you don't understand this process.

In my case the answer is by giving the state legislatures the ultimate say on major federal laws, on major federal regulations, on major supreme court decisions, should 3/5ths of the state legislatures act to override them within a two year period, it doesn't much matter if Washington does or doesn't, it matters that you do. The goal is to limit the entrenchment of Washington's ruling class with strict term limits for members of Congress and Supreme Court justices. Furthermore strict spending, taxing, barring restraints would also be imposed on Congress. I don’t have time to get into each of these, you can read them yourselves.

But I know there are other groups out there pushing one amendment for balanced budget, or we’ve got this idea to prevent a runaway convention, I have a suggestion, how many of you are Constitutional Originalists out there? How many of you believe in the intent of the Constitution as the framers intended, I assume most of you…correct? So why do we need to rewrite what they said? They told us what to do, they told you what to do. Why are we solely focused on the balanced-budget amendment when the Supreme Court is a runaway court.

Why are we solely focused on a balanced-budget amendment when we have other issues that are problematic like the entrenched ruling class in the bureaucracy? If you're gonna go through the process don't be myopic in my humble opinion…don't get caught up in one matter. This is a structural, systemic issue.

We’re trying to restore the republic and save what’s left of the constitution. Yes, I’m all in favor of these budget issues. But why that, and that alone? “Well, because Mark that’s how we can coalesce a group.” No…I say we can coalesce a group around saving the republic, that’s what you do.


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Excerpt 13 Transcript: And I have whole-heartedly endorsed the Convention of State Project. I serve on its Legal Board of Reference because they propose a solution as big as the problem. And they are promoting state applications for a convention for the purpose of limiting the scope, power and jurisdiction of the federal government. And that’s what needs to be done. And I encourage you to attend the convention states panel immediately after this breakfast.

You’re going to hear from some very brilliant people. And they don’t pay me by the way. I do this because I believe in it and that’s why we’re all here. And they have an excellent brochure that you can take with you. There's all kinds of people who are here, and when you leave who will be available to assist you.


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Excerpt 14 Transcript: But we need as many leaders as we can get to get this done or we’re just gonna keep whining about what Washington is doing, and they're not gonna stop it's getting worse.

Now I want to remember one last thing, I want to reiterate it. I didn't invent this language in the Constitution. I didn't invent this movement, the Framers did. And I want to remind you of what Article 5 says,

“The Congress wherever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary shall propose amendments to the constitution or, or on the application of the legislatures of 2/3rds of the federal states, that’s you, shall call a convention”…

What? To change the constitution fundamentally? No.

“…for proposing amendments which in either case shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this constitution when ratified by the legislatures of 3/4ths of the several states, or by convention in 3/4ths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

You have nothing to fear but inaction. This on-going Constitutional Convention in Washington DC, they have no intention of stopping. Bluntly, neither party, none of the branches, the fourth branch, they are utterly and completely out-of-control.

But we need as many leaders as we can get to get this done or we’re just gonna keep whining about what Washington is doing, and they're not gonna stop it's getting worse.

Now I want to remember one last thing, I want to reiterate it. I didn't invent this language in the Constitution. I didn't invent this movement, the Framers did. And I want to remind you of what Article 5 says,

“The Congress wherever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary shall propose amendments to the constitution or, or on the application of the legislatures of 2/3rds of the federal states, that’s you, shall call a convention”…

What? To change the constitution fundamentally? No.

“…for proposing amendments which in either case shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this constitution when ratified by the legislatures of 3/4ths of the several states, or by convention in 3/4ths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.”

You have nothing to fear but inaction. This on-going Constitutional Convention in Washington DC, they have no intention of stopping. Bluntly, neither party, none of the branches, the fourth branch, they are utterly and completely out-of-control.


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Excerpt 15 Transcript: September 15th, two days before the end of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, George Mason, the author of the Virginia declaration of rights, written four to five weeks before the Declaration of Independence, the words from the Virginia Declaration of Rights borrowed from Thomas Jefferson and the others on the drafting committee to write the Declaration of Independence…

George Mason gets up at the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia, he's troubled. He's troubled that only Congress can propose amendments to this Constitution, and he sees this as a huge defect. And according to James Madison in his notes he puts it this way,

“Col. Mason thought the plan of amending the Constitution exceptional and dangerous as the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend in the first immediately, and in the second ultimately on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people if the government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.”

And he was right. Why do we ignore George Mason today? Why do we ignore the Framers of the Constitution in this context? Why do we keep looking for Congress for solutions? Why do state delegates and state senators always want to be federal congressman and federal senators when in fact you have the power ultimately if you'll get together with like-minded members of other legislatures. If you’ll throw out the establishment Republicans and others who are stopping you from doing what you need to do.

You have an enormous battle in the state capitals. You are the last line of defense of liberty. You’re it. There’s nowhere else to go.


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Excerpt 16 Transcript: (Question) Mr. Levin, yes that's Mark, thank you for what you do your true patriot. My question is with an 18 trillion dollar debt without the Constitutional Convention, what do you see as a timeline for the economy totally collapsing?

(Mark) All right..Let me.. Two things. The people who support centralized government call this process a “constitutional convention.” I just want to be clear. It is a Convention of the States. It’s important because all the fear-mongers and scaremongers out there… “Ooh a con-con.” The only ConCons are them, so… it's Convention of the States.

Number two, I don't know, but I'll tell you this, I don’t even know how we’re going to dig out of it, even if we start to dig out of it today. There's so many entrenched interests and so forth but I suspect it has to be a gradual process if we still have time. And one of the amendments I propose in my book, does as I say in the book, borrows from Milton Friedman, among others, and begins the process of limiting the spending of the federal government to a percentage of the gross domestic product. And so if the economy shrinks the federal government shrinks. But over time you want to reduce the percentage the federal government can spend. Right now it’s 24% or 25% to about 17.5% to 18%, if possible. That will go a long way in gradually controlling how much the federal government spends.


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Excerpt 17 Transcript: But I’m not pushing my proposed amendments; I’m just showing you what’s possible. But my amendments sort of fit hand and glove. This is why I’m concerned when people just say, well, let’s just do this….really? Well how are you going to control the federal bureaucracy? Well, let’s just do the balanced budget amendment. But that’s just 1.3 trillion dollars.

How are you going to control congress? You know Congress sits as a super legislature over you. Congress was never intended to sit as a super legislature over the state legislature, second-guessing them on everything. This was Congress’ power over here, and this is your power over here. They don’t have plenary power.

Nobody even asked them, “Under what authority are you passing this law?” They don’t care. “Well, that’s a state prerogative…” they don’t care.

So, to say we’re just going to deal with a balanced budget, I think is way too narrow, and people need to focus on all of it. My argument is we need to get back to what the Framers intended. Who makes these decisions?

Who’s going to make these decisions? And the structure of the government means everything.


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Excerpt 18 Transcript: I’ll give you another example: What if you pass a so called balanced budget amendment and the President says, I’m not going to honor it, like immigration, well screw you. Well what are you going to do about it?

Well, don’t use the “I” word. Don’t use the power of the purse. Don’t do this, don’t do that…so what’s the point?

I’m saying you make these decisions. And you don’t get to make all these decisions, it’s just that if 3/5ths of you under my proposal, the legislatures decide.

You know what, this is so out-of-control, we need to take charge of this issue. These guys in Washington, I mean, I’m rambling a little, but let me ask you this?


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Excerpt 19 Transcript:You’re Senator, your United States Senator…does your United States Senator consult you often, or does he consult the people in Washington more often? Right?

It's not like he has a list… “Let's see…do I consult the Senate majority leader in Florida, or do I talk to the chairman of the National Council of La Raza?” He’ll take that National Council of La Raza first, and maybe get to the state Senator with the 30 second phone call and “stop bothering me.”

This is a huge problem. So, you have no voice in Congress. You have no institutional voice in Congress since the 17th amendment. You have no institutional voice in the courts. You have no institutional voice in the bureaucracy and you don’t have one in the Presidency. Who represents the states? Nobody.


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Excerpt 20 Transcript: The whole system has been changed. That needs to be fixed. We need to listen to what the Framers of the Constitution said, and we need to be motivated by them. There’s a lot of static out there with the media, with Republican officials, with talking heads on TV. I don’t know about you, but you get so sick of hearing these people. They don’t even know what they’re talking about. They’re in there, they do their talking points, they leave the studio…

You’re dealing with real stuff. You’re dealing with farmers and ranchers, small businessmen and women...


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Excerpt 21 Transcript: …problems on the border. A court (boom) makes a decision and you’re out of business. They take over the whole issue for you. Or Congress passes a law in Arizona and the Supreme Court decides Arizona has no say on immigration within the borders of Arizona. What are you talking about?

That’s not what the Framers said, that’s not what the Constitution says…well, that’s what five Justices said. Actually, it wasn’t even five Justices; Kagan recused herself. So what power does Arizona have? Zero. None. So take your power back! That’s not a balanced budget issue. When they met in in Philadelphia they didn't just sit there and say, “Hey, let's talk about balanced budget.” They said, “Let's talk about liberty. What kind of government do we want to live under.” And that's what this Convention of the States is all about.


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Excerpt 22 Transcript: (Questioner) Can you talk a little bit about the John Birch society and these folks are detractors and how we have to stand up to these folks. Thank you.

(Mark) The John Birch Society, what are they… 14 members? Keep traveling around to the same state capital. You mean really you’re worried about the John Birch society? If you’re worried about the John Birch society, let me suggest you shouldn’t be here. That's just a thought.

Do I worry about the John Birch society? No. Or any other society for that matter. I would like somebody to stand up and give me an example of how it is even conceivable for there to be a runaway convention of the states were an amendment is adopted by three fourths of the legislatures? That somehow all of you are bamboozled, you're so stupid you can't figure out what to vote for, what to vote against..only Congress can propose amendments you see, because these are smart, noble, virtuous people and they would never run away with anything…but you lowly state delegates and state senators you’re just too stupid to figure this stuff out. 30:00 So, you'll go to this convention…you’ll destroy the Constitution. You’ll propose it to your fellow state delegates in 3/4ths of the states, and they’re going to say…brilliant! And they’re going to vote for it too.

Now how many people believe that’s going to happen? So ignore these idiots going on and on and on about fear-mongering and so forth and so on.


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Excerpt 23 Transcript: Now let me give you another scenario, we have a President of the United States who said, “Hey, Congress won’t act so I will”…excuse me? “Congress won’t act…I will.” Well what’s that? Sounds like a runaway convention to me.

And congress says, "Oh my God what are we going to do? What are we going to do; we can’t shut down the government.” It’s only been done 18 times since 1976! Eight times under Ronald Reagan!

“But what are we going to do? Our pollsters tell us it’s a disaster. We’ll lose an election like the last election where we got creamed. So what are we going to do?”

Well you didn’t get creamed in the last election.

“Well, that’s ‘cause Karl Rove saved us.”

Okay. You’re the only ones that have the guts to step up. Are you going to continue playing along with these people who are leading us into a brick wall? Do we believe in what the framers said under Article I? Under Article II? Under Article III? Under Article IV? And what about that Article V?

You know people talk about the Bill of Rights. I’m all for the Bill of Rights, but the Bill of Rights weren’t even in the original Constitution. Article V was. That’s not superfluous, that’s not to be read out of the Constitution.

All the branches of the Federal Government will ignore that part of the Constitution; both political parties will ignore that part of the Constitution. We have one political party that is fundamentally transforming America, and we have another political party that is watching them fundamentally transforming America.

So it’s really up to you. You’re the true conservatives. You’re the true constitutionalists. It’s up to you, to do something about this, because you haven’t been poisoned by this city.

I can’t even conceive of a scenario in which there would be a runaway convention that would have any impact whatsoever. Moreover, you have patriots who are meeting now in advance to ensure such a ridiculous scenario never happens. Talking about processes and procedures, how many delegates will be sent by the state legislatures, how the state legislatures could recall a delegate who goes off left or right or whatever, maybe a member the John Birch society and they didn’t know about it at some point and they can recall that person or what have you. What's being discussed is something you should participate in.

When I read that this assembly of the states is getting together, and there's 110 members…110? Where the hell is everybody? Where is everybody? There should be 2000. There should be 3000. They should be quaking in their boots on Capitol Hill.

“What the hell’s going on at Mt Vernon? There are two or three thousand state representatives and state legislators meeting right now to figure out what to do to us?” That alone would shake up this city.