This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to the special audience edition of "Hannity."
Tonight, we are joined for the hour by the always outspoken nationally syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author, the great one, Mark Levin. Now, in a moment, we'll also bring in our studio audience as you can see of distinguished guests. But first, let's take a look inside the great one's latest book, "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic." It's now on bookstores, on Amazon.com.
Now, Levin is proposing 11 amendments to our Constitution and explains how each and everyone could help to restore this country's founding principles, preserve individual rights. And mark the first step towards reclaiming the country that belongs to you, the American people. Here to explain, "Liberty Amendments," why he wrote the book, author himself, the great one, ladies and gentlemen, welcome Mark Levin.
In many ways, you wrote "Liberty and Tyranny," sold over a million copies. You wrote "Ameritopia." Am I right in reading this book and thinking this is almost like a third in a series?
MARK LEVIN, AUTHOR, "THE LIBERTY AMENDMENTS": You know, it really is. And I just want people to understand, I'm not running around writing amendments to the Constitution. What I'm doing is talking about re- establishing Constitutional republicanism because we do not have it today. We can get in to that a little bit later. What I'm saying is unlike our opponents who evade the Constitution, who eviscerate the Constitution, trying ways to centralize the government as much as they can in violation of the Constitution, I'm saying, those of us who believe in individual liberty and private property rights and the rule of law and the Constitution need to look at the Constitution for answers. And it provides one under Article 5, two methods for amending the Constitution. One, two-thirds of both houses --
HANNITY: Well, as you're saying this, we'll going to put on the screen Article 5 to explain. There are two --
LEVIN: Two methods.
HANNITY: Go ahead. LEVIN:
Right. One of which has been used successfully. We have 27 amendments to the Constitution. One which is not. But that second method is not radical. It's not weird. It's there because the framers put it there and they put it there for a reason. The second method for amending the Constitution. The first was two thirds of Congress proposing amendments to the states, three-fourth of the states ratifying. In this instance, it's two thirds of the states. Calling a convention. Not a Constitutional convention. Article 5 talks about a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution, proposing amendments. And you still three fourths of the state to ratify. So, you wouldn't have a runaway convention or anything like that as we have today a runaway Congress, a runaway Supreme Court and a runaway bureaucracy and president. This is a system put in place specifically by the framers and George Mason insisted on it and got the support of the other members, the other delegates to the Constitutional convention. He said, look. If Congress turns oppressive, if the federal government is oppressive, what is recourse other than violence? We have to have a way for this to be addressed and his recourse was, the states would get together as they often did, as they did to give birth to the nation and propose these amendments and you still need three-fourths of them to approve them.
HANNITY: But there's been 27 amendments but only the one method have been used.
HANNITY: You write at length in many ways how our framers in particular foresaw that this day would come, a day in what you call a post-constitutional America. Explain what you mean by that, give examples of what you see that defines that.
LEVIN: Well, the entire construct of the Constitution is intended to prevent what's happening today, this centralized, concentrated power of government. A handful of lawyers on the Supreme Court issuing edicts. The President of the United States legislating and ruling by fiat. Congress getting involved in every aspect of our lives. All of this is contrary to the Constitution. So, first of all, if you don't believe that, this focus ain't going to interest you, and you'll go through life wailing nailings and you'll accept it.
But some of us know that's not the case. And so, we have to accept the fact that this is a post Constitutional period and when you look at Obamacare as an example, as I've talked about, Congress has passed a law, they had no power to pass. The President signed a law, he had no power to sign, the Supreme Court contorted the Constitution, amended the Constitution if you will, and imposed it on us. And now, we're being told, that's it folks, we can't defund it. You're stuck with it. There's nothing you can do about it. And I'm saying, the hell with that, there are things we can do about it. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but the more our government legislates and operates like this, the worse it's going to get. The barriers, the firewalls to the Constitution have been breached.
HANNITY: You talk about in the book at length than you go in a great detail that the Left has been the progressives, the statists, as you call them, have been successful. In other words, beyond their wildest dreams. Which is why you say post-Constitutional America. Now, how does this give more power to the states and what was the anticipated? Because you quote the federalist papers a lot throughout the book. What were they intending by putting this specific process in place that it could be used one day?
LEVIN: First of all, they had to do this in part because the Constitution would never have been ratified. At the state conventions, they were our framers, too. And these delegates to the state conventions were very skeptical of this notion of the central government. You know, people don't know if you read what's available on the state convention debates, Massachusetts almost voted down the Constitution. John Adams wound up having to twist arms. He was fighting mostly his cousin Sam Adams who was an anti-federalist.
You look at Virginia, the Constitution was almost defeated. I mean, you are talking about the home of Madison in Washington and so forth, and New York. The Constitution was almost defeated. So they had to make sure if they were going to get these other states to ratify that when they presented them with the Constitution it would empower the states, it would ensure that the states retain their sovereignty. It would ensure that the central government had specific enumerated powers, limited powers and the final thing they had to do because the states were proposing changes to the Constitution. And they didn't want to have another convention was, they agreed that when the first Congress met, they would propose amendments to further limit the federal government vis-a-vis the individual and the individual's liberty. This provision in the Constitution, Article 5, is very, very important. It is the only way that we have today that I am aware of and if somebody has a different idea, then they ought to put it on the table for the American people in a civil, legal, Constitutional, thoughtful way to work with their state legislatures over time. Not tomorrow. To begin the process of reclaiming their republic. Otherwise these centralized decisions by a handful of governing masterminds are not only going to continue, they're going to become additionally coercive.
HANNITY: You quoted Madison who pointed out that the powers dedicated to the federal government are few and they are defined. How far have we left that original intention?
LEVIN: Well, now the states have few power, very little power, few powers, and a really live at the behest of the federal government. Why don't you think about this for a second? The states created the federal government. The states gave life to the federal government. Now the states live at the behest of the federal government. Really, the federal government can step in whether it's voting, whether it's the environment, whether it's the road system, whether it's the tax system.
The federal government is preempting the field in all respects. So rather than checks and balances between the three federal branches, for the most part, the three federal branches are giving their imprimatur one after the other. Whether it's ObamaCare. Whether it's these other acts of the federal government so it's the federal government working mostly in unison, as well as that fourth branch of government, the massive bureaucracy against the states and against the individuals.
HANNITY: You looking at a Constitution to provide the means for restoring self government and you even go as far as to suggest otherwise there is the potential of social collapse.
LEVIN: Well, I mean, when you have a federal government that has unfunded liabilities over $90 trillion and three years ago was $67 trillion. I mean, it's growing that fast, when you have a federal government that is imploding and expanding at the same time, when you have a Federal Reserve that is just mindlessly, you know, printing money through quantitative easing and so forth and when you have politicians who are only rewarded if they spend your children and your grandchildren's money and future, not if they try and draw the line and so the system is broken because we're unmoored from the Constitution. So the notion of limited government was all swept away with a big exclamation mark with Obamacare and so many laws before it.
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