Seven Reasons why we need more citizen involvement and not a Constitutional Convention Resolution

Eagle Forum of Alabama opposes the recently introduced resolution HJR23 which pushes a Constitutional Convention as a way to obtain term limits for members of Congress. Term Limits via an Article V Constitutional Convention is a bad idea on multiple counts. We don’t need yet another call for an Article V Constitutional Convention, which according to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and other Constitutional scholars, cannot be limited to any one issue and could become a Pandora’s Box.

There are many problems with HJR23.

1. We already have ‘term limits’, they are called “elections”, every two, four, and six years. Just because voters are derelict in their duty, does not mean we must change our process.
2. ‘Artificial’ term limits means giving the bureaucracy a LOT more power, in that institutional memory and experience is no longer available.
3. Voters are prohibited from voting for the person they believe is best for that office.
4. In the last term any official serves, without re-election on the horizon, there is no longer the accountability that was once there.
5. Term limits can prevent legislators from gaining the experience they need to become skilled lawmakers.
6. Term limits would give lobbyists more influence. 
In his presidential farewell address in 1989, President Reagan rightly pointed out that term limits are “a preemption of the people’s right to vote for whomever they want as many times as they want.”
7. Here’s a look at congressional tenure by the numbers: 9.1 Years of average length of service in the United States House of Representatives as of January 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service. Average length of service in the U.S. Senate as of January 2013 is 10.2 years.

The way to effectively reform Congress lies in supporting and voting for candidates who uphold the belief in a stronger local government rather than a stronger national government. Term limits will not achieve the reform that is needed in our federal government because term limits will NOT RESTRAIN the power of our federal government. The solution is for citizens to get involved with the political process at all levels. As Justice Antonin Scalia stated on May 11, 2015: “A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a Constitution.”

Andy Schlafly on a Compact for a Balanced Budget Article V Convention

The following letter regarding a Constitutional Convention was sent from Eunie Smith to Alabama Legislators on May 6, 2015. 

To:  Alabama Legislators
From:  Eunie Smith, President Eagle Forum of Alabama

Apparently you have received misinformation regarding Eagle Forum’s position on an Article V Convention.  Please read carefully Eagle Forum Board Member Andy Schlafly’s short statement following, forwarded to me on 5/3/15:

“I completely oppose an Article V Convention.  It is a dangerous threat to our values and our Nation.  Congress or judicial activism would likely require that the voting at such a convention be in proportion to population, and thereby dominated by liberal states.  They would probably put a right to abortion and homosexual marriage into the Constitution, and repeal the Second Amendment.  There is nothing good that can result from an Article V Convention, because Congress and the Courts will not feel restrained by a new amendment any more than they comply with existing text.  Even proposing an Article V Convention has the harmful effect of devaluing the Constitution we cherish.

The original Constitutional Convention was made possible by rules of secrecy against media interference.  That is impossible today, and thus the liberal media would obtain the result it wants.  Pinning one’s hopes on an Article V Convention today is like a bankrupt man turning to gambling to solve his family’s financial problems.  Hard work, in electing good people who defend our existing Constitution, is what is needed.  The pie-in-the-sky, dangerous proposal of an Article V Convention should be rejected.  (11/16/2014)”

Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq.
Attorney who practices before the U.S. Supreme Court and twelve U.S. Courts of Appeal; General Counsel of the Assn. of American Physicians & Surgeons (oldest conservative group in the U.S.); A leading attorney in federal litigation against abortion; For six consecutive years, 2009-2014, have led busloads of teenagers to the March for Life in D.C.; Contact:  [email protected]

Proponents of a Constitutional Convention have insisted that a Convention could be limited to the one issue of a Balanced Budget.  However, Yellowhammer quoted the House Sponsor as saying that the “Convention would be limited to a small set of issues….”  Unfortunately, such limiting is wishful thinking because a convention once convened, is a law unto itself.  All it takes is a majority proclaimed by the chairman of the Convention, and anything goes.

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Andy Schlafly’s statement against a Convention of the States

I completely oppose an Article V convention.  It is a dangerous threat to our values and our Nation.  Congress or judicial activism would likely require that the voting at such a convention be in proportion to population, and thereby dominated by liberal states.  They would probably put a right to abortion and homosexual marriage into the Constitution, and repeal the Second Amendment.  There is nothing good that can result from an Article V convention, because Congress and the Courts will not feel restrained by a new amendment any more than they comply with existing text.  Even proposing an Article V convention has the harmful effect of devaluing the Constitution we cherish.

The original Constitutional Convention was made possible by rules of secrecy against media interference. That is impossible today and thus the liberal media would obtain the result it wants.  Pinning one’s hopes on an Article V convention today is like a bankrupt man turning to gambling to solve his family’s financial problems.  Hard work, in electing good people who defend our existing Constitution, is what is needed.  The pie-in-the-sky, dangerous proposal of an Article V convention should be rejected.

 

Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq.

Attorney who practices before the U.S. Supreme Court and twelve U.S. Courts of Appeal

General Counsel of the Ass’n of American Physicians & Surgeons (oldest conservative group in the U.S.)

A leading attorney in federal litigation against abortion

For six consecutive years, 2009-2014, have led busloads of teenagers to the March for Life in D.C.

Don’t Be Fooled By Article V Conventions

Great article by Matthew Spaulding over at Heritage on why constitutional amendment conventions are not necessary to fix our problems.

Stemming from that analysis, and taking into consideration the circumstances under which we are now operating, we have come to the conclusion that an Article V convention is not the answer to our problems.  The lack of precedent, extensive unknowns, and considerable risks of an Article V amendments convention should bring sober pause to advocates of legitimate constitutional reform contemplating this avenue.  We are not prepared to encourage state governments at this time to apply to Congress to call an amendments convention.

Basically, the ramifications of a convention are wholly unknown, and for that reason too risky to use.

That said, advocating an Article V convention as part of a state-based strategy to press Congress to pass a constitutional amendment is not unreasonable.  Precisely because of the potential chaos of the process, the very threat of an amendments convention will pressure Congress to act rather than risk having one proceed.  That’s what happened in the 1980s with the unsuccessful push for a balanced budget amendment (good example) but also during the progressive era with the successful push for the direct election of senators (bad example).

Recommendations for Voting on the State-Wide Ballot Amendments

Below are explanations for the state-wide amendments that everyone will see on their ballot.  Local amendments are not included but sample ballots can be found here by county.  These recommendations are not “official”.  They are formed by consensus of our legislative team and we are comfortable sharing them with you.  We hope they are helpful.  The italicized words are what you will see on the ballot.  Our comments are in red. 

QUICK REFERENCE:
Amendment 1: YES Amendment 2: NO Amendment 3: YES
Amendment 4: YES Amendment 5: YES Amendment 6: YES

AMENDMENT 1:  YES
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to amend Article VIII of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 177 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, to provide that only a citizen of the United States has the right to vote.

Explanation: Only citizens of the U.S. can vote in Alabama.  This amendment needs no extra explanation and should already be in the Constitution.  We recommend a “yes” vote.

AMENDMENT 2:  NO
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to increase the membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and further provide for the appointment of the additional members; further provide for the membership of the Court of the Judiciary and further provide for the appointment of the additional members; further provide for the process of disqualifying an active judge; repeal provisions providing for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices and appellate judges and the removal for cause of the judges of the district and circuit courts, judges of the probate courts, and judges of certain other courts by the Supreme Court; delete the authority of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to appoint an Administrative Director Courts; provide the Supreme Court of Alabama with authority to appoint an Administrative Director of Courts; require the Legislature to establish procedures for the appointment of the Administrative Director of Courts; delete the requirement that a district court hold court in each incorporated municipality with a population of 1,000 or more where there is no municipal court; provide that the procedure for the filling of vacancies in the office of a judge may be changed by local constitutional amendment ; delete certain language relating to the position of constable holding more than one state office; delete a provision providing for the temporary maintenance of the prior judicial system; repeal the office of circuit solicitor; and make certain nonsubstantive stylistic changes.

This act creates a process to fill vacancies in the position of Administrative Director of Courts. This amendment proposes six changes to the state’s judicial system. In summary, this amendment:

  1. Provides that county district courts do not have to hold city court in a city with a population of less than 1,000; (The district courts have jurisdiction over all matters related to municipal ordinance in cities with a population of less than 1000 that has no municipal court.  This change just says that the judge no longer hears such cases within the city, but will hear them in the regular district court in the county seat.)  
  2.  Allows the Alabama Supreme Court, rather than the Chief Justice, to appoint the Administrative Director of Courts;   (The Constitution says that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has responsibility for administering all matters related to the operation of the courts and will appoint the Administrative Director of Courts to assist him or her. This amendment would give this appointment to the full Supreme Court.  The Chief Justice needs someone who will support and work with him or her.  This amendment could create disharmony on the court if the Administrator is responsible to the Chief Justice, but whose job depends on the entire court.)  
  3. Increases from 9 to 11 the total membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and determines who appoints each member (the Judicial Inquiry Commission evaluates ethics complaints filed against judges);  We can’t find a reason for this change in the legislation that passed this amendment.
  4.  Allows the Governor, rather than the Lieutenant Governor, to appoint a member of the Court of the Judiciary.  The Court of the Judiciary hears complaints filed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission.  
  5. Prevents a judge from being automatically disqualified from holding office simply because a complaint was filed with the Judiciary Inquiry Commission; and
  6.  Provides that a judge can be removed from office only by the Court of the Judiciary. (Innocent until proven guilty)

FINAL ANALYSIS: This amendment has some good points that we like but number two is bothersome. Since this is an all points or nothing vote, we recommend a “no” vote.  There should not be this many different issues in one amendment.

AMENDMENT 3:  YES
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a judge, other than a judge of probate, appointed to fill a vacancy would serve an initial term until the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January following the next general election after the judge has completed two years in office.

This amendment changes the initial term of a judge that is appointed to fill a vacancy.   It does not apply to probate judges.  Under current law, the initial term of office for a person appointed to fill a vacancy in a judgeship shall last until the end of the term remaining in the judgeship in question if the appointed judge has completed one year in office or until the remainder of the original term of office, whichever is longer.  Under this scenario the time an appointed judge could serve without an election would vary depending on the length of time remaining in the initial six-year term of office.   Under this amendment, if an appointed judge has served in the appointed position for 2 years, the judgeship shall be filled by election in the next General Election.  This would mean the appointed judge eliminates the option to serve until the end of the original term, but extends the time he or she could serve until having to stand for election.  We recommend a “yes” vote.

AMENDMENT 4:  YES
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the Legislature to recompile the Alabama Constitution and submit it during the 2022 Regular Session, and provide a process for its ratification by the.) voters of this state.

Alabama’s constitution can be changed only during a constitutional convention or when a majority of voters approve a constitutional amendment.  If a majority of voters vote “yes” on Amendment 4, the Alabama Legislature, when it meets in 2022, would be allowed to draft a rearranged version of the state constitution. This draft could only:

  1.  remove racist language,
  2.  remove language that is repeated or no longer applies,
  3.  combine language related to economic development, and
  4.  combine language that relates to the same county. No other changes could be made. Even if passed by the Alabama Legislature, this rearranged version would not become law until it was approved by a majority of voters.

The Alabama Constitution is long for a reason. Much of the additions to it are local laws. Arranging it to be more readable is probably a good idea. We will have a chance to review it before it goes to the voters. The Legislative Services Agency will be responsible for these minor changes; they cannot make substantive changes. This is not a Constitutional Convention.  We recommend a “YES” vote. 

AMENDMENT 5: YES
Relating to Franklin County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.

Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows a person to legally use physical force against another person under certain conditions. The law does not require the person to retreat before using physical force.  If the amendment passes statewide and also within Franklin County it will add churches in Franklin County to be covered by the Stand Your Ground law. Since this would only take effect if the voters of Franklin County approve it, we recommend a “YES” vote. 

AMENDMENT 6: YES
Relating to Lauderdale County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.

Alabama’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows a person to legally use physical force against another person under certain conditions. The law does not require the person to retreat before using physical force.  If the amendment passes statewide and also within Lauderdale County it will add churches in Lauderdale County to be covered by the Stand Your Ground law. Since this would only take effect if the voters of Lauderdale County approve it, we recommend a “YES” vote. 

Introducing our new, ongoing, monthly series: “What’s Good About America”

#2  Free Enterprise by, Rev. John Killian

            The free enterprise system is so identified with the heritage of our country, that economic success is spoken of as, “living the American dream.” The description is not without merit, as the founding of civilized life and the establishment of American independence on this Continent was certainly the catalyst for innovation and invention, not just in the Western Hemisphere but across the globe. We have no need to wonder why the entire world looks at our country as the economic engine that scatters wealth across the globe.

            Why is the economic system of the United States so powerful? Why does the world see our country as the source of so much wealth and promise? Other continents certainly compare with sheer workforce and natural resources.  What distinguishes American prosperity from that of other countries?

            Our country was founded upon principles of liberty and property. The right of the individual to private property was respected. On what grounds did the American colonies declare independence? Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in the Declaration concerning King George, “He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance”. Our Founders resisted the idea of a large, controlling bureaucracy that hindered commerce.

            As mentioned, Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s dream for an American economy is stated, “Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.”

            James Madison was the leading influence in the crafting of the United States Constitution. Madison expressed his views on private enterprise, “The enviable condition of the people of the United States is often too much ascribed to the physical advantages of their soil & climate …. But a just estimate of the happiness of our country will never overlook what belongs to the fertile activity of a free people and the benign influence of a responsible government.

            At the zenith of US-Soviet relations in 1942, a Gallup Poll showed that twenty-five percent of Americans favored a socialistic economy. In 2019, Gallup found forty-two percent of Americans now prefer a socialistic economy. Obviously, the barrage of advocacy for socialism in our educational institutions, among the media, and in the arts have filtered down to the average citizenry. As Constitutionalists, we must seize the day to inform a new generation of the superiority of the free enterprise system and the benefits of free enterprise to our land.

#1 Why We Have a Republic, Not a Democracy, by Rev. John Killian

         When Benjamin Franklin left the meeting of the Constitutional Convention, he was asked “what have you given us?”. Franklin wisely answered “ a Republic, if you can keep it.” In our pledge of allegiance, we pledge to the flag of the United States and “to the Republic for which it stands.”

            Why quibble over terminology? Is this just the same principle with different titles? Why is this important?

            Consider these quotes from our founders: John Adams, Second President of these United States said in 1814, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide” James Madison, primary author of the US Constitution said in Federalist Paper 10, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

            Edmund Randolph said, “that in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” Then-Chief Justice John Marshall observed “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is between order and chaos.”

            What about our enemies? Vladmir Lenin said “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.” Karl Marx, father of Communism, went farther and said, “Democracy is the road to Socialism.”

            Let’s break down the words. The word Democracy comes from two Greek words: Demos which means the people and cracy which means to rule. Thus, democracy is the rule of the people.

            What could be wrong with that? Let us consider the word Republic. Republic comes from a Latin phrase res publica which describes a government not ruled by private concerns, thus, without a monarch. Thus, the ownership of the government is a public matter.

            The French definition of Republic is “state in which supreme power rests in the people via elected representatives”. Our system is a Constitutional Republic, where our people rule within the confines or guidelines of a stated document that prescribes the limits of government.

            James Bovard opined, “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” What are the differences between a Republic and a Democracy?

  1. A Democracy means that the people rule. The masses can mandate policy. But in a Republic, the people can mandate policy, only up to the limit of the rights of an individual. In a Democracy, the majority can determine to take away your rights, your life or property. In a Republic, you live with the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
  2. A Democracy means that rule comes by the all-powerful majority. In a Republic, the majority cannot cross the boundary of personal rights. A Republic has a written constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority.
  3. A Democracy has free elections. But a Republic has free elections governed by a Constitution and set within boundaries so that individuals are represented.
  4. In a Democracy, religious freedom is determined by the will of the majority. A majority can limit the freedom of a minority. In a Constitutional Republic, the rights of the people to worship freely or to abstain from worship is guaranteed.
  5. Issues of free choice and decisions of private property are set by the population in a democracy. In a Republic, these decisions are set by the individuals, with limits set by the Constitution.
  6. In a democracy, minority rights are overridden by the majority. Conversely, Republic system protects the rights of minority groups or an individual.
  7. In a democracy, the rule of majority people prevails whereas in the case of the republic the rule of law prevails.

          

 

Stop Trojan Horse SJR 87

Urgent:  Please ask your Senator and House member to stop SJR87.

RE: SJR 87 asking for term limits via Constitutional Convention

In recognition of the fact that an Article V Convention is not a solution, but rather a Trojan Horse, both Maryland and New Mexico rescinded all previous calls for a Con Con during the first week of April, 2017.

Many well-intentioned conservatives cling to a Convention as a solution to problems our country faces.  However, numerous extremely radical, progressive and socialist organizations are also fighting for an Article V Convention with George Soros’ money and massive media outreach.  Constitutional scholars* (see below) and political experience confirm that a Constitutional Convention once convened would be a law unto itself.  Therefore, it could well put at risk some of our most cherished freedoms and even our entire Constitution.

  • COS advocates cover the full spectrum of ideologies and include hundreds of organizations in the Move to Amend coalition like Peace groups (Watch out Second Amendment.), communist fronts, Sierra Club, Code Pink, Occupy groups, and Wolf-PAC, which wants to publicly finance elections. Some toy with ideas like direct democracy and the popular vote, while others never publicly state what they would seek from a convention.  All that these groups have been able to agree upon so far is the desire to hold a COS.
  • A COS cannot be limited, since there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution and no law to restrict its purpose, procedures, agenda, duration or election of delegates.
  • There is no way to assure that COS delegates would obey any restrictions placed on them by the states. They may not have to run for re-election and thus would be free from accountability to the public.
  • Term limits in states such as Missouri have given unelected bureaucrats the upper hand with procedural and institutional knowledge.  In Alabama, state employees lobbying the Alabama legislature already seem disproportionate to the private sector.  How much worse will it be to give the lifetime bureaucrats in DC even more power and control over a frequently changing Congress?
  • There is no stopgap for preventing ill-conceived constitutional changes from being ratified by 38 or more states. Modern communications capability gives moneyed special interests the ability to whip the populace up with emotional rhetoric to get them to vote for ideas that test well in focus groups rather than those that have survived the test of time.
  • We have for so long neglected to truly educate our children on the Foundational events and documents that created the United States of America that many now believe the Constitution and Bill of Rights, rather than being documents based on the careful study of thousands of years of human behavior, are outdated and irrelevant. It would be easy to stir up those so uneducated into a popular frenzy of support for any number of amendments that would fundamentally change our country.

Let’s limit terms as needed at the ballot box and strive harder to observe the Constitution that we have.   PLEASE OPPOSE SJR87.

Following are links for sound arguments against the various forms of legislation related to a Constitutional Convention.  They are short and logical.  Hope you find them helpful in speaking with your state legislators.

Links for arguments COS against, CFA WP, Term Limits, and general talking points.

Blessings,

Eunie Smith

*At a minimum…the Federal Judiciary, including The Supreme Court, will have to resolve the inevitable disputes over which branch and level of government may be entrusted to decide each of the many questions left open by Article V.”
— Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School  (affirmed by email 4/7/2017)

“…there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention.  The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda.  Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey.  After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.  The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose’.”  Chief Justice Warren Burger in letter to Phyllis Schlafly.

Ask Your Legislators to Stop Trojan Horse SJR 87 (copy 05)

150Urgent:  Please contact your Senator and House member to stop SJR 87
RE: SJR 87 asking for term limits via Constitutional Convention

In recognition of the fact that an Article V Convention Of States is not a solution, but rather a Trojan Horse, both Maryland and Nevada rescinded all previous calls for a Con Con during the first week of April, 2017.

Many well-intentioned conservatives cling to a Convention of States referred to in Article V of our Constitution as a solution to problems our country faces.  However, numerous extremely radical, progressive and socialist organizations are also fighting for an Article V Convention with George Soros’ money and massive media outreach.  Constitutional scholars* (see below) and political experience confirm that a Constitutional Convention once convened would be a law unto itself.  Therefore, it could well put at risk some of our most cherished freedoms and even our entire Constitution.

• COS advocates cover the full spectrum of ideologies and include hundreds of organizations in the Move to Amend coalition like Peace groups (Watch out Second Amendment.), communist fronts, Sierra Club, Code Pink, Occupy groups, and Wolf-PAC, which wants to publicly finance elections. Some toy with ideas like direct democracy and the popular vote, while others never publicly state what they would seek from a convention.  All that these groups have been able to agree upon so far is the desire to hold a COS.

• A COS cannot be limited, since there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution and no law to restrict its purpose, procedures, agenda, duration or election of delegates.

• There is no way to assure that COS delegates would obey any restrictions placed on them by the states. They may not have to run for re-election and thus would be free from accountability to the public.

• Term limits in states such as Missouri have given unelected bureaucrats the upper hand with procedural and institutional knowledge.  In Alabama, state employees lobbying the Alabama legislature already seem disproportionate to the private sector.  How much worse will it be to give the lifetime bureaucrats in DC even more power and control over a frequently changing Congress?

• There is no stopgap for preventing ill-conceived constitutional changes from being ratified by 38 or more states. Modern communications capability gives moneyed special interests the ability to whip the populace up with emotional rhetoric to get them to vote for ideas that test well in focus groups rather than those that have survived the test of time.

• We have for so long neglected to truly educate our children on the Foundational events and documents that created the United States of America that many now believe the Constitution and Bill of Rights, rather than being documents based on the careful study of thousands of years of human behavior, are outdated and irrelevant. It would be easy to stir up those so uneducated into a popular frenzy of support for any number of amendments that would fundamentally change our country.

     Let’s limit terms as needed at the ballot box and strive harder to observe the Constitution that we have.   PLEASE OPPOSE SJR87.

Blessings,
Eunie Smith

*At a minimum…the Federal Judiciary, including The Supreme Court, will have to resolve the inevitable disputes over which branch and level of government may be entrusted to decide each of the many questions left open by Article V.”
— Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School  (affirmed by email 4/7/2017)

“…there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention.  The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda.  Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey.  After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.  The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose’.”  Chief Justice Warren Burger in letter to Phyllis Schlafly.

Eagle Forum of Alabama President Eunie Smith awarded the “Dan Ireland Salt and Light Award”

Congratulations to Eunie Smith on being awarded the 2016 Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) “Dan Ireland Salt and Light Award” for her many years of selfless volunteer work for God, Family and Country/Alabama.   ALCAP Executive Director Joe Godfrey cited many of Eunie’s diverse accomplishments including her having been elected by the Southern Baptist Convention to serve seven years as a Trustee and then elected as Chairman of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee. He recently stated, “When our ALCAP Board discussed who should be this year’s recipient, there was no question that Eunie should be the person to receive the Dan Ireland Salt & Light Award.  She has been a strong advocate for the cause of Christ for many years and has had a positive impact on our culture that many may never realize.” Dr. Ireland himself made the surprise presentation at First Baptist Church Birmingham during the Sunday morning May 15 service.  See the story from The Alabama Baptist, here.

In attendance was State School Board Member Stephanie Bell who said of Eunie, “She is a treasure and Alabama has been blessed by the work of this sacrificial Christian servant and volunteer. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do as you stand for what is right”, and of Eagle Forum, “…they have at their center a core of beliefs about what schools should be, about the role of government.  But to accomplish their goals they are willing to work with anyone or group if they believe the result will be one that benefits children and families.”

ALCAP is a statewide interdenominational ministry that serves as Alabama’s “moral compass” and lobbies the legislature on behalf of the faith community.

Eagle Forum of Alabama was begun by Eunie Smith, who was tapped by Phyllis Schlafly to lead.  For over forty years, Eagle Forum of Alabama, under Eunie’s leadership, has sought to help citizens participate in the process of self-government and public policy making.  We seek to equip individuals with timely, reliable information from a conservative, Constitutional point of view on public policy issues which affect the family.  They will then know how, when and where to express themselves to make their voice heard.  This type of participation in self-government is essential for America to continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise.  We must keep the education of our children with these principles – unalienable rights, limited government, private enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional moral values – a major priority.

Some Eagle Forum of Alabama Accomplishments:

  • Catalyst for the Alabama Reading Initiative
  • Proposed the law for citizens’ textbook review
  • Persuaded the State Board of Education to include insert that macroevolution was to be treated as a theory
  • Drafted and pushed passage of the Alabama Abstinence Act of 1992
  • Drafted and pushed passage of the regulation that stopped psychotherapeutic techniques in classrooms
  • Stopped the so-called Equal Rights Amendment
  • Preserved women’s traditional exemption from military draft and combat
  • Retained social security benefits for widows and dependent wives
  • Passed federal and state laws to combat child pornography
  • Protected Alabama parents’ rights to decide on kindergarten
  • Defeated HillaryCare
  • Defeated the ABC Child Care bill
  • Participated in coalitions that defeated the lottery and video poker
  • Consistently advocate legislation that protects innocent human life from conception to natural death
  • Held statewide meetings educating the public on Common Core and continue to work for its repeal
  • Led the movement in 1981 that rescinded the Alabama legislature’s prior calls for a federal constitutional convention, knowing that it would jeopardize the U.S. Constitution
  • Regularly brief state legislators, Congressmen and Senators on countless issues

Ed Martin’s Slander Against Eagle Forum of Alabama

Dear friends and supporters,

I am writing you to set the record straight.  You may have received an email from Ed Martin, who has been employed for approximately 16 months by the National Eagle Forum board on which I serve.  He made statements against me personally as well as Eagle Forum of Alabama. These statements from Mr. Martin are slanderous, libelous and without merit. Does it make sense that six long term board members with a total of 219 years of collective volunteer service to the organization would “hijack Eagle Forum”?  (I have personally served over 44 years.) Certainly not!  These board members have fought tirelessly for many years for the values we hold dear under the leadership of Phyllis Schlafly.

Phyllis Schlafly nominated me to the position which I have served for many years as First Vice President of the National Eagle Forum C4 Board. To accuse me of calling for her removal is also slanderous, libelous and without merit.  Her legacy is legendary and ongoing. It is because of our love and respect for Phyllis and our years of camaraderie that we remain dedicated to protecting her legacy and Eagle Forum.

The “rogue meeting” which Mr. Martin references is a duly called meeting of the full board of directors to conduct necessary board business.  The Martin email with its baseless name calling was not signed by Phyllis Schlafly and is totally uncharacteristic of Eagle Forum.  Eagle Forum has always been an organization that exemplified respectful dialogue and free speech.  The email was apparently designed to intimidate and to thwart six patriotic Americans from doing their fiduciary duty.  These women love God and country and have sacrificed selflessly as volunteers to serve both through Eagle Forum.  To make private Board matters public and slander these women in the process is unconscionable.

Mr. Martin’s letter asserts that Eagle Forum of Alabama “allowed Alabama to pass a Constitutional Convention (Con Con) in 2015.”  While Eagle Forum of Alabama’s goal is to influence the legislature on a myriad of public policy issues, it is beyond absurd to hold this organization accountable for all actions of the state legislature. As you well know, Eagle Forum of Alabama and I personally have faithfully fought any form of Con Con brought to Alabama since our founding. Eagle Forum of Alabama’s reputation of opposing Con Con is well known to those in Alabama. For examples, search our state chapter’s website (alabamaeagle.org) using the term “Constitutional Convention” where a smorgasbord of entries regarding our activities will be readily apparent.

Eagle Forum of Alabama is committed to protecting the integrity of America’s divinely inspired Constitution.  We were instrumental in the Alabama legislature’s resolution rescinding all Con Con calls as far back as 1981. On May 6, 2015, I sent a letter via email to Alabama legislators stating Eagle Forum of Alabama’s position against a Con Con. Included in that letter was Andy Schlafly’s statement against it, as well.  Please see the Con Con question contained in the attached candidate questionnaire and official response from Deborah Love, Executive Director of Eagle Forum of Alabama here.  It is well-known that Eagle Forum of Alabama has consistently opposed any call for a Federal Con Con as well as State Con Cons.

Eagle Forum of Alabama immediately calls on Mr. Martin to cease making slanderous remarks about Eagle Forum of Alabama. If Mr. Martin does not stop making these false statements, we will be forced to take further action on behalf of Eagle Forum of Alabama. If anyone has questions about Eagle Forum’s stance on issues or activities, please contact me or the staff of Eagle Forum of Alabama.  Please be assured that we will continue as we have done for more than 44 years to stand for truth.

Sincerely,

Eunie Smith
President

Eagle Forum of Alabama

Office (205) 879-7096

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Some of Eagle Forum of Alabama’s Educational Resources on the Dangers of Constitutional Conventions

This is not a comprehensive list of our publications or work on the dangers of Constitutional Convention.

 

Video Library Resources on Constitutional Convention

alabamaeagle.org/resources/video-library

 

Print Resources on Constitutional Convention and Constitutional Education.  All resources in print and media library are listed our website and are available to the public at no charge.

alabamaeagle.org/resources/print-library

 

Question on Candidate Questionnaire on Constitutional Conventions

http://alabamaeagle.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Stacy-Lee-George.pdf

 

Eagle Forum of Alabama Website Articles on Constitutional Conventions

http://alabamaeagle.org/?s=Constitutional+Convention

 

Executive Director, Deborah Love’s Response to Ed Martin’s False Accusations

http://alabamaeagle.org/2016/04/11/executive-director-deborah-loves-response-to-ed-martins-false-accusations

 

Eagle Forum of Alabama’s Position Statement

http://alabamaeagle.org/issues/alabama-constitution

 

Eunie Smith’s letter to Alabama Legislators on an Article V Convention

http://alabamaeagle.org/2016/04/11/andy-schlafly-on-a-compact-for-a-balanced-budget-article-v-convention