Last week, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) called for a new constitutional convention to amend the United States Constitution after reading conservative talk radio host Mark Levin’s new book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic. During an interview with the Tulsa World, Coburn stated, “I used to have a great fear of constitutional conventions ... [but] I have a great fear now of not having one.”
The Liberty Amendments, which hit shelves on August 13, debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The book has gained considerable traction among conservative politicians and activists who view Mr. Levin’s ideas as a way of restoring constitutional government to the United States of America after decades of abuse from those whom Mr. Levin calls “statists,” or those who seek to expand the powers of the federal government to achieve an ultimate sort of big-government utopia at the expense of the states and individual liberty.
Just last week, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shared a picture on social media holding Mr. Levin’s book before embarking on a hunting trip, and on August 30, Rush Limbaugh publicly voiced his approval of the bestseller, stating that “it will be in EVERY history book for the life of the country.”
I have never been one to fully jump on the talk-radio bandwagon as many conservatives are so eager to do, partially because I believe talk radio to be one of the many “pulpits to enrage the citizenry,” as Alexander Hamilton so eloquently put it. All reservations aside, however, I have always held Mr. Levin in higher esteem than many of his colleagues. Levin is a man who graduated undergrad at the age of 19, served on his local school board immediately after graduation, and obtained a law degree from Temple University all before turning 25 (an impressive resume that even a millennial would be proud of). He served in an advisory role to members of President Reagan’s cabinet culminating in his serving as chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese. Whether you like talk radio or hate it, Mark Levin is an educated man whose ideas deserve attention.
The Liberty Amendments are as follows:
1. An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress
2. An Amendment to Restore the Senate
3. An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices and Super-Majority Legislative Override
4. Two Amendments to Limit Federal Spending and Taxing
5. An Amendment to Limit the Federal Bureaucracy
6. An Amendment to Promote Free Enterprise
7. An Amendment to Protect Private Property
8. An Amendment to Grant the States Authority to Directly Amend the Constitution
9. An Amendment to Grant the states Authority to Check Congress
10. An Amendment to Protect the Vote
After Senator Coburn’s statements last week, it has become apparent that the movement to pass the Liberty Amendments movement is picking up steam and that a broader discussion of each individual amendment is warranted. Over the next few weeks, in an effort to better understand each amendment, I will post articles discussing each of them and providing commentary on what Mr. Levin got right and what he got wrong. Finally, I will write a conclusion giving my overall impression of the book and whether I believe Mr. Levin’s ideas are realistic, possible to implement, and good for our nation as a whole.