Mark Levin Sean Hannity Interview Transcription – Liberty Amendments: Re-Establish Constitution and Liberty Flowing From It

Mark Levin’s new book Liberty Amendments has been released and with it a renewed feeling that with a lot of hard and deeply dedicated work, We The People might prevail over a Government Gone Wild. Levin interviewed with Sean Hannity and went over the Constitutional basis for states to propose amendments and/or amend the Constitution, why it’s necessary and how it happens and his specifically proposed Amendments. The transcript of the interview is below along with the full video.

Pullout Quote:

I’m talking about a stable, predictable – still a super-majority, two-thirds of states is not easy. Three-fifths of the states wouldn’t even sign ObamaCare – they’re challenging that, so these are still super-majorities, but Sean, there needs to be recourse for the people, not through majoritarianism, but through representative government. That’s what the states are supposed to be, a buffer between them and the federal government.

 

The Liberty Amendments - Restoring The American Republic

The Liberty Amendments – Restoring The American Republic

Begin Transcript (all emphasis and anything in brackets [ ] is mine)

HANNITY: You believe America is now in a post-Constitutional period and this was anticipated by our Framers in 1787, and there is a mechanism that they have created that would allow Amendments to start in the States?

LEVIN: We have to stop fooling ourselves. I’ve written other books about political philosophy and conservatism and non-conservatism. You look at the Government today and it’s not really a Representative Republic.

You’ve got a massive bureaucracy pushing out 3,000 laws every year. Nobody’s voted for them. Nobody knows who they are.

You look at the Supreme Court today. One Justice moving in one direction, one in the other – issues these breathtaking laws that have effect on the entirety of society with no recourse.

You have the President of the United States brazenly re-writing laws and saying if Congress doesn’t act, he will act.

Then you have Congress writing these massive laws under the cover of dark, issuing them quickly, on matters they don’t have any right to legislate about and conferring enormous authority on these departments and agencies they create, delegating lawmaking authority to the Executive Branch.

It’s not really a Representative Republic. It’s not really a Federal Republic, it’s not really a Constitutional Republic, because we are unmoored from the Constitution.

For 100 years the Progressive movement, the statists, have been chiseling away and chiseling away at the Constitutional construct and it’s time for Conservatives and other Americans to say, you know what? They’ve succeeded.

This is why we have top-down government. This is why the Government is involved in everything from selecting our toilets and our light bulbs and our automobiles and our toasters.

Now they’re in our health care. They’re collecting all kinds of data on us.

I’m simply saying I think it’s time if Americans want to remain free to start reacquainting ourselves with the Constitution and specifically Article V and specifically the second part of Article 5 which is the Amendment process.

Article V of the U.S Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two

Mark Levin

Mark Levin

thirds of the several states, shall call a convention 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 three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Back to Levin and Hannity’s conversation

The Framers thought, some of them in particular, that we might reach this point with an oppressive centralized government. Look at the Constitution. It is written to prevent this. They feared that politicians would lack virtue and we would reach this state and so they left us a legacy.

They left us the Second Amendment process under the Constitution, which essentially bypasses Congress, bypasses the federal Government and gives the states the power, collectively, in a Convention – not a Constitutional Convention, a Convention the Constitution says proposing Amendments to the rest of the states.

HANNITY: That’s very different though?

LEVIN: Very different because the Constitution is not up for grabs anymore than when Congress, with two-thirds of the House recommends Amendments to the Constitution. Here the states would be recommending Amendments to the Constitution.

The reason the Framers did this is because they said, an oppressive federal Government, an oppressive Congress is not going to rein itself in with Constitutional Amendments.

And I’m not into just amending the Constitution willy-nilly. I’m into following the process the Constitution itself grants us. We are the progeny of the Framers of the Constitution. This is our heritage.

We can beg Congressmen and Senators to reform themselves all we want. It doesn’t appear they are prepared to do it.

We can beg the Supreme Court not to issue outrageous decisions based on their own policy preferences – they ignore us.

The President of the United States could care less what we think, so this is a way, the Framers believed, for the grassroots, the people to engage with State delegates and State Senators to begin a long process of taking our country back.

HANNITY: This is an answer to all those people that are watching the statists create this all powerful central government, an assault on individual liberty and all the people who say, ‘what can we do?’ – this is the answer.

Now Article V provides two methods to make these Amendments. Explain what that means. It’s only been used in one way, historically. Twenty-seven Amendments – it’s only been used the one way – initiated in Congress. Explain the second way.

LEVIN: Two-thirds members of both Houses in Congress can propose Amendments, send them to the States. You need three-fourths of the states to ratify them to become part of the Constitution.

There’s another way. The second way, that’s never actually be tried in an effective manner…it’s never actually been done, but it has as much legitimacy and authority as the other method. It bypasses Congress. Essentially, you need two-thirds of the states to inform Congress that they are going to hold a Convention for the purpose of proposing Amendments, just as Congress has a meeting and proposes Amendments.

At that Convention, Amendments can be debated and discussed, but they don’t become part of the Constitution unless three-fourths of the states, when presented with them, adopt the Amendments.

I would say to some skeptics, not a lot, but some who claim to be Conservative Constitutionalists, but are basically RINOs and like the status-quo. This is the process the Constitution provides for occasions like this.

If you support federalism, nows the time to do it. If you think states should have more authority, nows the time to do it.

This federal Government is a juggernaut in the opposite direction, and the circle of liberty around every person is getting smaller and smaller, and states really have no say in anything anymore.

HANNITY: You said you took on this project, not because you think the Constitution is out-dated. You believe it’s just the opposite, but the statists have been so successful you say, that they have disfigured and dismantled the Constitution.

Now, you propose a series of Amendments. You write them out and you call them the Liberty Amendments. Let’s go through what these would mean and how they would give power back to the states.

LEVIN: First of all, people will say, don’t you support the Constitution? Why do you want to change it. I love the Constitution. I revere the Constitution. It’s been changed. I call this a post-Constitutional period. An example, ObamaCare. Obvious. Congress passed a law it didn’t even have the power to pass. The President of the United States signed a law he didn’t have the power to sign. The Supreme Court upheld a law that is blatantly unconstitutional. They twisted the statute, changed the language of the statute, rewrote the statute and this is going on all the time.

HANNITY: Lawmakers exempted themselves from ObamaCare and the American people – if it’s good for them, why isn’t it good for Congress and their staffs?

LEVIN: Because we have these governing masterminds, this professional ruling class, and when you look at the Framers, there was never supposed to be a professional ruling class. There was this thing, rotation, in-and-out of office. That’s why Senators serve 6 years, Congressmen 2 years. They didn’t have term limits back then because it never occurred to them you would have Senators serving 36, 42 years or members of the House  20, 30, 40 years. It didn’t even occur to them. They felt strongly about a citizen legislature.

Thomas Jefferson, who was not at the Constitutional Convention – one of the complaints he had about the Constitution, he ended up supporting it, was this issue of rotation. He thought members of the House shouldn’t serve more than 1 year.

Just on that one subject, in the 1800s, members of the House served 2 years and that was it. Fifty-percent turn over [each election].

I hear people say, what about continuity. Continuity of what? This?

The conversation moves to Levin’s specific proposals:

Term Limits for Members of House and Senate: Historically, when they created this bicameral legislature – the House two terms, the Senate 6 terms and the Senate was supposed to be made up of members chosen by the state legislature. They wanted rotation out of office because they wanted these people to have a real, true understanding of what their constituents were thinking and what they were feeling. As a matter of fact, really, Congress is part time. Farmers continued to farm, businessmen continued to be businessmen. You can see the problem today. You have members of Congress who represent certain industries or unions or interests as much or more than their constituents or states.

An example, let me also talk about the 17th Amendment. I want to go back to what the Framers intended. The Senate makes no sense.

HANNITY: The first one is term limits for Congress. Then you layout the historical reasons for it.

LEVIN: Twelve years and out. Twelve years total – House or Senate combined.

HANNITY: You want to restore the Senate to the way we used to elect Senators?

LEVIN: Right. This will be a tough argument. These are ideas that I think will help re-establish Constitutional Republicanism as the Framers intended, and I make the case in each chapter. I don’t just throw them out. I draw from the Framers and why they did this.

This bicameral plan was presented by the Sherman Plan, the Connecticut Plan. The plan was that the Senate would be representative of the states, so the states would have input into what’s going on in the federal government. The House of Representatives, direct election every two years. Now we have people setting 20 years, not representing the states. It’s a mishmash. The problem is you have this professional dug-in, entrenched bureaucracy.

HANNITY: Okay. Term Limits for the House and Senate, go back to the old way state legislators would elect Senators, then you say an Amendment that would establish term limits for Supreme Court justices – and a super-majority legislative over-ride.

LEVIN: Right. Why should one lawyer depending on, really, the luck of the draw – the historical times, a 5 to 4 vote, for all times set in place cultural, social, economic, whatever, policy for the nation – a nation of 310 million people – without any recourse whatsoever. It is absurd. That’s not what the Constitution intended. There’s nobody at the Constitutional Convention that argued for that. If that had been the case, there would have been no Constitution because the states would never have conferred that kind of power.

They [the Framers] thought that would be the weakest branch, there’s no question about it, and I’m not saying eliminate the independent judiciary, the Supreme Court. What I’m saying is in some of these far-reaching, societal cases, let society have a say. Three-fifths of the states or three-fifths of Congress having the power to over-ride a majority Supreme Court decision.

HANNITY: You have two Amendments to eliminate federal spending and taxing. We’re not going to survive as a Republic if we keep spending and you outline all of this in great detail, but give me the short synopsis.

LEVIN: That may be the longest chapter because all the information is necessary. Does anybody really think this Congress, this President is going to limit itself? Have they shown any evidence of that?

In fact, this President comes to office and massively expands spending, and quite frankly, George W. Bush massively expanded spending under him with a Republican Congress.

This is not Republican or Democrat. This is constitutional and originalism. The problem is under Republican administrations and Congresses, and Democrat administrations and Congresses, we have this massive explosion of the federal government. If we don’t Constitutionally limit that, and how much of our private property they can take through taxation, we’re doomed because they’re not going to limit it.

HANNITY: You have an Amendment to limit the federal bureaucracy, which is now, as you said, they are in every aspect of our life…

LEVIN: The federal bureaucracy is the fourth branch of government. Three thousand rules and laws a year. The people have no say in it, so that is a delegation Congress gave to them, and I say it ought to be delegated back.

HANNITY: You believe in an Amendment to promote free enterprise, protect private property, grant the states the authority to directly amend the Constitution.

LEVIN: Right. Two-thirds of the states to directly amend the Constitution. The Constitution has been rewritten and mangled and amended left and right by all three branches of the federal government.

I’m talking about a stable, predictable – still a super-majority, two-thirds of states is not easy. Three-fifths of the states wouldn’t even sign ObamaCare – they’re challenging that, so these are still super-majorities, but Sean, there needs to be recourse for the people, not through majoritarianism, but through representative government. That’s what the states are supposed to be, a buffer between them and the federal government.

HANNITY: The bottom-line here – there is recourse within the Constitution itself, and it begins with state legislatures and the Amendment process can happen. In other words, you believe this is the answer to those who say “what do we do?”

LEVIN: I believe it’s the answer and I believe we Conservatives or Constitutionalists or Americans generally, we have to have the resolve that the Left has. They spent 100 years pushing for this government-run health care and they finally got it, and they wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We should spend whatever time it takes to protect our children and our grandchildren, and future generations, and re-establish the Constitution and the liberty that flows from it.

End video transcription.

Mark Levin and Sean Hannity Interview on Liberty Amendments (video)

Linked at Western Journalism – thank you!

One Pingback/Trackback

  • Linda

    Don’t have all the specifics but this weekend there was someone on Fox News that said he was beginning the process and looking for 3,000 locations and anyone who was interested could go to conventionofstates.com

    • Linda, thank you for that! I’ll check it out and update.

  • Mark is incredible as always!

  • Ken D.

    Don’t forget to like your state’s The Liberty Amendments Facebook page. Find it here: http://www.facebook.com/TheLibertyAmendmentsProject. If your state doesn’t have one then feel free to create a group or page to promote the call for an Article V Convention.

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