Protect our Constitution

Action steps to prevent the
re-writing of the U.S. Constitution

Opening up the U.S. Constitution to wholesale change would jeopardize our democracy. A convention could lead to extreme, wide-reaching and unpredictable changes to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
This is extreme, and dangerous!

Some state legislators want Kentucky to join other states in calling for a national constitution convention to re-write the U.S. Constitution. Despite a stated intent to limit what a constitutional convention could consider, there are no rules or precedents to guarantee this. Delegates would have the power to alter anything and everything about the United States government. A convention would likely open up the Constitution to whatever amendments its delegates chose to put forward, regardless of whether the convention is originally called to address a particular issue.

“There is no way to effectively 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.”

— Former Chief Justice Warren Burger

This is extreme, and dangerous. There are no safeguards to prevent a runaway convention that could lead to harmful changes to our founding document, as the Constitution itself puts no authority above a convention – including the courts. Other changes that some would like to see include eliminating birthright citizenship, ending the direct election of senators, restricting free speech, undermining federal taxing authority, limiting access to health care, restricting the role of money on political campaigns, weakening the separation of church and state, and others.

Some questions that are being asked:

  • Is there any guarantee this won't be a runaway convention?
  • How will the rules for a convention be decided?
  • Who would represent Kentucky at a convention? Who would get to choose them?
  • Who would get to chair and lead the convention?
  • Are there any guarantees democracy would be preserved?
  • How would our constitutional rights be protected?
  • Who is behind this? Who is bankrolling this?
  • What's to stop them from scrapping the whole Constitution?
  • Would there be any limits on lobbyists at the convention?
  • Would there be corporate sponsors?


HOW TO CONTACT LEGISLATORS

Legislative message line: 1-800-372-7181
This is an excellent way to leave a message for any senator or representative or for multiple people, including all members of a specific committee, at one time.

Frankfort switchboard: 502-564-8100
Ask to be connected to the office of a specific senator or representative. You may then leave a message directly with their receptionist. This is a good way to contact your own representative and senator, especially if you want to schedule an appointment or ask for a return call.

Email them
 

We've also created a special link where you can download a file with the contact information for all of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation as well as the “Kentucky Legislative Message line” to put in your phone's contacts or address book. Download it at kftc.org/callthem



Messages:

When contacting House members: “Stand for democracy and protect our Constitution. OPPOSE a Constitutional Convention of any sort. Vote NO on HJR 81 and HJR 119.”


When contacting Senators: “Stand for democracy and protect our Constitution. OPPOSE a Constitutional Convention of any sort.”

 
Background information:
 
See below at the end of this email for more information about this movement for a Constitutional Convention and these Kentucky resolutions.




2. WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Visit KFTC's information page on how to write a letter to the editor, including a list of newspapers across the state with contact information.

Suggested framework for a letter to the editor opposing a Constitutional Convention. You can apply this framework to this issue and also adapt it for most other issues:

WHERE: Who you are and where you're coming from. You may also mention the broad range of Kentuckians who care or should care about this issue.

WHY: What values do you care about and likely share with your readers that would be threatened by this legislation? (Eg.: Democracy, equality, free speech, etc.) Starting your messaging with where you're/we're coming from and the why you care will help bring more people into caring about the issue and help us build long-term power.

WHEN: Why is this so urgent *right now*? What opportunity do we have to save and protect our values *right now*?

WHAT: What is happening that folks should care about? (See the links below for background information on this.) What are the uncertainties about what is happening? What should legislators and other readers be questioning? (See list of questions above for a partial list.)

WHO: Who is trying to make this happen? (This movement is being bankrolled by out-of-state billionaires and moneyed special interests.)

HOW: How can your readers take action? (Legislators can vote to oppose HCR 13, HJR 54 and SCR 143. Others can learn more at facebook.com/KYConConWatch )

If you submit a letter to the editor let us know. Also let us know if it gets published so we can share it around.




3. JOIN, SHARE & POST TO THE KENTUCKY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION WATCH FACEBOOK PAGE

"Like" this page, a project of KFTC, to stay up-to-date as we continue to work on this issue and build power to oppose it this year. 
 
Share it with your friends.
 
Post the values you care about that a Constitutional Convention would threaten and the questions and concerns you have about this dangerous movement on the page. 




4. SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS AND JOIN KFTC

This one is pretty straight forward: Not only does it take heart and commitment to protect democracy and to build an even healthier one over time, it takes being organized and coordinated and publicized...and that takes public support financial resources.

Visit the pages and support the work of these two policy groups, among others, who are working to keep Kentuckians informed on the dangerous movement for a Constitutional Convention:

You can help ensure this work continues—rooted in our communities—for a long time to come by making a donation to KFTC.




Additional information:

Text of the legislation:

Thank you for all you do to make our communities and this world a better place,