Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be It Resolved To Break The Law

Article 17 Section 1 above clearly grants "Constituent Power" -- the power to propose amendments to, or revisions of the Constitution -- to two different entities: (1) The Congress; and (2) A Constitutional Convention.

Unlike the Congress, which is amply  defined in the Constitution and is a continuing institution,  a ConCon would have to organize itself, elect its officers, adopt its rules of procedure, etc.  

Now read the disposing portion of HR 1109--

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS BE CONVENED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO, OR REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION UPON A VOTE OF THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL ITS MEMBERS THAT UPON ITS BEING CONVENED SHALL ADOPT ITS RULES OF PROCEDURES THAT SHALL GOVERN ITS PROCEEDINGS.”

Clearly, this mere House Resolution is calling upon  the Members of Congress to CONVENE into what is in effect an UNELECTED CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.

A Constitutional Convention (ConCon), "upon its being convened," would indeed "adopt its rules of procedures that shall govern its proceedings." 

But the 1987 Constitution clearly did not intend for the Members of the Congress to usurp the clear and separate mode of a Constitutional Convention by convening themselves into a separate entity that they are now calling a Constituent Assembly.  The delegates to a ConCon are elected by the people specifically to amend or revise the charter.  Perhaps that is why a three fourths majority rule condition is provided by the Constitution when Congress exercises constituent power.

HR 1109 is superfluous because the Congress already IS a ConAss in the sense that the Congress can already propose any amendment or revision.  

HR 1109 resolves to convene an entirely different and separate entity, called the Constituent Assembly, distinct from the Congress, which will even "adopt is [own] rules of procedure that shall govern its proceedings".  Then certain Members of Congress intend to install themselves in the role ConCon delegates without the benefit of election to that role.

Some people are saying that if and when Nograles and company convene the ConAss, that will ignite  a "justiciable controversy" that will force the Supreme Court to decide the matter.

I don't think it should ignite a justiciable controversy at all. Rather it should ignite arrest and charges of Graft and Corruption, in flagrante delicto, against all participants in such an illegal action to convene what is in effect an unelected Constitutional Conventon.

Citizens ought to be alarmed, or better yet they ought to be up in arms  when immoderate provocateurs like Luis Villafuerte and Prospero Nograles shamelessly proclaim their design and intent to "ignite a justiciable controversy" around Constitutional provisions. Is fomenting a Constitutional Crisis for the sake of Constitutional Clarity a form of statesmanship or is it plain mischief-making by Evil Clowns in the disguise of Solons? 

2 comments:

baycas2 said...

More on the Stupidity of HR 1109

rc said...

"Is fomenting a Constitutional Crisis for the sake of Constitutional Clarity a form of statesmanship or is it plain mischief-making by Evil Clowns in the disguise of Solons? "

I think the answer to that question is quite clear at this point.