Article the First: Is Congress Ignoring an Amendment Ratified by the States?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
01/15/2013
       
Article the First: Is Congress Ignoring an Amendment Ratified by the States?

Many Americans are familiar with the 10 amendments that comprise our current Bill of Rights, but what of the other two proposed amendments that didn’t make the cut? What if one of them actually was ratified? What if recognition of that ratification would bring about a significant and fundamental change in the composition of the Congress?

On June 8, 1789, James Madison, the congressman representing Virginia’s 5th District, rose to speak in a session of the First Congress and advocated passage of the slate of amendments to the Constitution to be known to history as the Bill of Rights. On December 15, 1791, the requisite number of states (three-quarters, or nine states) ratified the amendments and thus the Bill of Rights became the constitutional law of the land.

Many Americans are familiar with the 10 amendments that comprise our current Bill of Rights, but what of the other two proposed amendments that didn’t make the cut? What if one of them actually was ratified? What if recognition of that ratification would bring about a significant and fundamental change in the composition of the Congress?

One man, a self-described “Democratic-Republican,” has filed suit in federal court to prove that such a scenario did indeed take place and that Article the First (the first of the 12 proposed amendments, 10 of which became the Bill of Rights) should be accepted as the constitutional law of the land.

First a bit of background. Article the First was the first of the slate of 12 proposed amendments passed by the House and Senate and sent to the states for ratification. Article the First deals with the proportioning of the number of representatives in the House of Representatives.

In correspondence sent to this author, Frederick John LaVergne recounted events that he claims offer credible evidence of the ratification by the requisite number of states of one of those two originally rejected proposed amendments:

In the fall of 2011, the ratification records of Connecticut and Kentucky as concerns the “Articles of Amendment” — what we, today, refer to as “The Bill of Rights”, were discovered hidden away in the drawers of the archives of those States.

In BOTH cases, the documents clearly demonstrate that “Article the First” had been passed in the affirmative by the Legislatures of those States, even though the US Government and history say they didn't. We can now prove different. [Emphasis in original.]

By ANY counting, that meant that 12 of the then 15 States voted to ratify “Article the First”. [Emphasis in original.]

To become a part of the Constitution, an amendment must pass 75% of the States’ Legislatures. 12 of 15 are 80% — clearly over the 75% threshold.

Therefore, “Article the First” has been the law of the land for over 220 years.

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