Is Article V the Solution to Our FBI Problem?

The FBI has clearly shifted its mission from law enforcement to political enforcement. Only the geniuses of The View, the TDS afflicted “journalists” of CNN, and the beneficiaries of the FBI’s legal exemption policy (the Democrats); would argue otherwise. Video of armed FBI agents raiding the home of a former President dispelled the myth of “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity” for the rest of us.

Just 10 years ago, talk of eliminating the FBI was not a subject for serious political debate. But after excusing Hillary for violation of the espionage act, an attempted coup, social media censorship, entrapment schemes, targeting of citizens as domestic threats, James Comey’s memory loss under oath, and Christopher Wray’s avoidance of Congressional oversight; over half of Americans consider the bureau to be Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo (per Rasmussen Reports). With that level of public distrust, the need to take serious corrective action has become a legitimate subject of debate.

But imposing accountability legislatively, seems like a political impossibility. In our current environment of polarization, it’s inconceivable that legislation to restrict or close a government agency could clear the hurdles of a Senate filibuster and a Presidential veto. But what if Congressional legislation weren’t required to give the FBI the spanking it has earned? What if it could be done without the consent of the federal government?

Convention of States Action (COSA) is a grassroots movement, which is encouraging the states to use the second clause of Article V to impose accountability on the federal government, through Constitutional amendments. Notably, the second clause allows the states to amend the Constitution, with no participation of (or interference from) Congress, the Supreme Court, or the President.

In the fall of 2023, COSA held a mock convention of states. It was attended by commissioners from 49 states – who were mostly elected state legislators. The commissioners were an accurate reflection of those who would conduct an actual convention. They simulated how an actual convention of states would be conducted by developing amendment proposals, debating them, and voting on them. Had it been an actual convention of states, their approved proposals would have been sent to the states for ratification. If ratified by 38 states, the proposals would become amendments to the Constitution, immune from Congressional or Supreme Court approval – since amendments are Constitutional by definition.

One of the proposals approved by the simulated convention states:

The Legislatures of the States shall have authority to abrogate any action of Congress, President, or administrative agencies of the United States, whether in the form of a statute, decree, order, regulation, rule, opinion, decision, or other form.

It prescribed the mechanics of abrogation.

Such abrogation shall be effective when a simple majority of the Legislatures of the States declare the same provision or provisions of federal law to be abrogated.

If ratified it would be the “Washington can pass it, but it can’t keep it unless we agree” amendment. It would apply to all acts (past and present) of Congress and the executive branch not specifically empowered by the Constitution (e.g., states could not abrogate the treaty approval authority of Congress as it’s granted by the Constitution). States could overturn legislative and executive actions not prescribed in the Constitution, by a simple majority vote of state legislatures.

Were such a proposal to be ratified, it would dramatically shift the balance of power in the United States. The only federal entities created by the Constitution are: the Congress (Senate and House), the office of the President (and Vice President), and the Supreme Court (with an unspecified number of justices).

All other departments, agencies, and bureaus were created by Congressional legislation; and would be subject to abrogation by the states. The amendment would not empower the states to expand government, but it would empower them to shrink government at will.

If the FBI wishes to continue surveilling Catholics as possible terrorists, visiting the home of citizens because they attended a political rally, or dragging elderly pajama clad men out of their homes at gunpoint; it would be doing so under the oversight of the states. A mere 26 states could close the bureau with a simple vote in their respective legislatures. Congress would be free to reassign the bureau’s duties, but that too would be subject to abrogation should the states disapprove. Would the FBI risk its own extinction by continuing its current path? Or would its agents decide that obeying their oath isn’t such a bad idea after all? How would other departments respond to such accountability?

Conducting an Article V convention, and obtaining ratification of proposals, would be a herculean effort. But getting 38 states to agree with the necessity of imposing accountability on Washington, seems much more achievable than attempting to use the federal government to take corrective action on the federal government.

Author Bio: John Green is a retired engineer and political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He spent his career designing complex defense systems, developing high performance organizations, and doing corporate strategic planning. He can be reached at

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