A Final Vindication of the Principle of State Sovereignty in Article V
August 22, 2016
Retired Law Professor Robert Natelson recently "corrected" his report attacking the Compact approach to Article V by removing some of his especially inflammatory rhetoric and various embarrassingly inaccurate case references after they were exposed here.
Unfortunately, Natelson has not backed down from his attack on the Compact approach. He stands firmly on the almost self-refuting premise that the principle of state sovereignty does not apply to the state-initiated amendment process under Article V.
“This thorough refutation of Natelson’s attack on the CFA project exposes Natelson’s arguments as lacking foundation in legal precedent, in constitutional text, and in Founding-era constitutional materials. I am proud to be part of the most promising effort to deal with America’s most pressing government problem: the burgeoning federal debt. With four states already on board, the Compact for America amendment project is on its way to merited success.”
After closely examining Natelson's contentions, here is what Dr. Eastman concluded:
“Nothing in the text, drafting history, or theory underlying the option for state-proposed constitutional amendments suggests that the Compact approach to Article V is anything but perfectly constitutional. I regret to say that Professor Natelson’s own opinion to the contrary is based on a misreading of relatively sparse case law that is not even directly on point. But the fact of the matter is that every aspect of the constitutional amendments process mandated by the Constitution is given full effect by the Compact, and there is no court decision holding that anything in the Constitution prohibits the States from exercising its express powers in this fashion.”
Neither Judge DeMoss nor the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro were shaken in their support for the Compact approach to Article V. To the contrary, after examining Natelson's contentions and the strength of the case for the Compact approach, Judge DeMoss declared:
“I am now even more confident in the ability of the states to use the Compact approach to making the Article V process safe and certain so that necessary structural constitutional reforms can be achieved on a timely basis.”
Shapiro has underscored:
“While it’s unfortunate that Prof. Natelson has chosen to attack, with little basis, the compact approach to constitutional amendment, I remain convinced that it is the safest, fastest, and most legally secure method of achieving a Balanced Budget Amendment (or any other Article V goal).”
Mississippi Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden concludes:
"Of all the Article V approaches, many of which have merit, the Compact model stands alone as the safest, surest and quickest constitutional remedy to recover America’s future. The States can, and must, lead the way.”
Taken together, an unmatched team of experts has reviewed and totally rejects Natelson's continuing attack on the Compact approach to Article V.