Levin’s remarks focused on how Article V of the Constitution, which gives state legislatures the power to act as a final check on the abuse of power in Washington, is the way to reclaim self-governance.
“Wide-ranging decisions affecting virtually every aspect of life are being made by fewer and fewer masterminds in Washington, D.C., in an increasingly centralized federal government using a growing army of bureaucrats, a fourth branch of government if you will, to institute and enforce them,” Levin said.
“More and more what the federal government does is insulate it from elections. If elections are one that advance the left’s agenda, then they’ll celebrate. If they lose the elections, elections are denounced as temporary inconveniences, and then they turn to the unelected federal institutions to advance their agenda,” he said.
“In other words, the trajectory towards utopian statism, concentrated power, centralized government is never really checked or actually reversed, and the reason is, and the sad truth is, that we live largely under the post-constitutional government,” Levin said. “This is no longer a federal republic, or a constitutional republic, or a representative republic. The federal constitutional representative character of the national government has been and are being expanded. We are mutating into something else.
“In Washington today, we have an ongoing constitutional convention,” he said, “where one branch or another or the federal bureaucracy act far outside the limits imposed on them by the Constitution. And rather than the branches checking and balancing each other, they usually reinforce each other. And as lawless precedent is built upon lawless precedent, what remains of the Constitution’s firewalls are breached, and my question to you is, where does this end?
“Well I’ll tell you where it ends – with you,” Levin said. “We are not without recourse, but the recourse is not in Washington, D.C. It’s not in federal elections. Why the hell would the very people who’ve done this to us reverse course? They like what they’re doing, and they’re going to keep doing it unless somebody speaks out and acts against them, and that’s you. There’s nobody else.”
“Today the federal government is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health care provider and pension guarantor – does that sound like limited government to you?” Levin asked.
“The issue is no longer what matters the federal government is involved in, but what matters it’s not involved in, and you state officials have absolutely no say and no power once the federal government claims the power to act, period. In fact, you’re mostly irrelevant once the federal government decides to act, and so are we the people. Like much of the rest of the Constitution, the 10th amendment is mostly ignored, and federalism is essentially dead,” he said.
“But there is recourse,” Levin said. “There’s a way to restore the Republic – the Constitution and the civil society, and only you and your colleagues in the state legislature have the constitutional and lawful authority to do it. Nobody else, and nobody else will do it. Do you realize that acting together the state legislatures have more power than the entire federal government?”
“The convention of the states process is quintessential federalism,” he said. “It’s the purest form of representative government we have in this nation, and it bypasses the federal branch of the national government, and that was exactly the purpose. So I want you to understand that you as individuals – each of you – have a duty under the federal Constitution.
“You have a duty under the federal Constitution of the United States of this republic. You have a duty to say it. You have the capacity as state representatives and state senators – you alone, not your governors, not congressmen, not senators, not the president, not the court – but you have it within yourselves, and it ought to be your number one priority when you leave here to help us restore this republic and give us our Constitution back.”