January 31, 2009
For the past few weeks I have basically been stalked by a guy named Bill Walker, promoting himself as an expert on the Constitution, specifically on the issue of a Constitutional Convention.
Walker has attacked my position on the Con Con, specifically my premise that once such a convention has been called and the delegates are meeting there is no way to control the agenda. In making that point, I an other opponents to a Con Con have cited a letter written by Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger, in which he says, as we do, that the agenda of a Con Con cannot be controlled.
Obviously the contents of that letter damage Walker’s argument. So he has set out to prove the letter is a fake. His entire premise is based on a mistaken date listed on a copy of the letter that was posted on a web site called www.sweetliberty.org. The letter posted there is not the original and it carries a date of 1983.
The actual letter, written to Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schalfly, was written in 1988. When Walker began to threaten me because I had referenced the letter, I contacted Phyllis and asked her if the letter was valid. She assured me it was, and said she would go to her files, find the original and post it on her web site, which she did. It can be seen here. Walker has made a big deal out of the fact that I hadn’t linked to the Schlafly letter on her site in any of the alerts and articles I had posted. The reason for that is quite simple. It wasn’t posted by Phyllis until after she and I talked on the phone the day after receiving Walker’s first e-mail stating his premise that the letter was a fake. I had never heard those charges prior to that and neither had Phyllis. Her immediate reaction when I told her that, was to quickly (within the hour) scan and post the original letter on her web site – which she did.
I then made a mistake. I issued a news release detailing Walker’s threats to me, and then inadvertently reinforced his delusional conspiracy theory by repeating that the letter was dated 1983. It was an error that I have since corrected, both in writing and on radio interviews I have given. The Berger letter was written in 1988 – after he had retired from the Supreme Court. Phyllis told me he wrote it to her when they were both serving on the Bicentennial Committee and she asked him about the Con Con issue. He wrote her the letter as a result. There was no sinister motive, just two policy wonks discussing an issue.
That is the story of the Berger letter. Period.
Walker also likes to accuse me of lying about my motives in fighting a Con Con. He accuses me of trying to destroy the Constitution by preventing such a convention. The fact is, I oppose it because I want to preserve the Constitution. I believe now is the worst possible time for such a thing to happen. America is too divided and there are powerful forces who seek to severely change our nation. They have stated many times that the Constitution is an antiquated document not fit for our “modern” times. I fear the changes they would make to what I consider the greatest governing document ever conceived. That is my only motivation for fighting a Con Con.
Walker doesn’t seem to understand the difference between political action and law. Resolutions introduced into a state legislature calling for a Con Con are political action. They are not law until voted on by the legislators. My action has been to attempt to persuade them from supporting such a measure, as we succeeded in doing in Ohio. To enter into debate and political action to influence the outcome of the voting process in the legislatures is my right, as protected by the Constitution. If, after my efforts to stop the Con Con resolutions, the required number of states go ahead and passed them anyway, then they become law. It’s a big difference and my actions have no association with “destroying” the Constitution. What a silly argument for Walker to make.
Further, Walker contends that 650 states have already passed resolutions calling for various Con Cons over the years. I haven’t disputed that. It may be true. Perhaps Congress has ignored them in violation of Article V, as Walker contends. That fact has nothing to do with my actions today. Since Congress has not called such a Con Con, the opportunity is still open for me to oppose these latest calls. Lawyers can deal with how Congress reacts to the Con Con calls. I will continue to oppose new resolutions as they appear.
The bottom line is Bill Walker is attempting to create a conspiracy where none exists and he is attacking people, attempting to damage their credibility, based on a false premise (a wrong date and an incorrect web site). His charges are simply comical and serve only to confuse the important Con Con debate.
© 2009 Tom DeWeese – All Rights Reserved
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Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center and Editor of The DeWeese Report , 70 Main Street, Suite 23, Warrenton Virginia.