Common Cause, a left-wing government reform group, issued a Policy Brief called “The Dangerous Path: Big Money’s Plan to Shred the Constitution” on December 2. The publication described the group’s opposition against an Article V convention and a federal balanced budget amendment.
The report references Article V efforts on the left and center-right, including three separate efforts for a balanced budget amendment from the center-right. Those organizations are the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, Compact for America, and Convention of States. One campaign on the left pushing for an Article V convention to end Citizens United—Wolf PAC—was also mentioned in the report.
The release of the brief came during the American Legislative Exchange Council’s States and Nation Policy Summit, which occurred during the past week in Phoenix, Arizona. The report acknowledged the organization’s role: “Perhaps no group has been more influential than the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in pushing for an Article V convention.”
Common Cause has long opposed the efforts of ALEC because of the funding it has received from corporations such as Best Buy and Philip Morris. Common Cause acknowledged in the opening page of the brief that they received financial support from the George Soros-funded Center for Budget and Policy Priorities to produce the publication.
Common Cause attempts to paint a broad brush against the Article V movement, claiming there has been bi-partisan opposition against the movement. Archibald Cox, former president of the organization and former solicitor general of the United States (SG), said during testimony he gave while still SG that a balanced budget amendment would be “an act of supreme constitutional irresponsibility.” He also claimed the Supreme Court of the United States would not be equipped to handle cases relating to the nation’s finances.
The report cited opposition to Article V coming from Concerned Women of America, Eagle Forum, and the John Birch Society on the right. Opposition from the left to an Article V convention, according to the brief, is said to come from the American Civil Liberties Union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Common Cause made clear in an accompanying press statement it will lobby against any Article V proposals in state legislatures in 2016 and beyond. Heartland Policy Advisor for Constitutional Reform Dave Guldenschuh recently released a Policy Brief on the state of the Article V movement that outlines which states will consider Article V resolutions in 2016. To learn more about the Article V movement from an expert in the topic area, read the report: https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/article-v-movement-comprehensive-assessment-date-and-suggested-approach-state-legis