The Constitution lobby hopes to form a "critical mass...a more formidable force than all the lobbies and unions now in New York -- who will keep a permanent watchful eye on what government is doing at every level, and will hold those in power directly accountable." Those dues will go toward paying "approximately 1,240 Constitutional Monitors" who will be trained to review "the constitutionality of all official actions of all public officials." Violations of any constitution will be reported to the attorneys at a Citizen Vigilance Center, which will recommend appropriate action.
At this site, the lobby details its purposed response to unconstitutional measures:
1. Measure the actions of their public servants against the requirements of their city charters,state and federal Constitutions, local laws and oaths of office.
2.In the event of a violation, serve a Petition for Redress of Grievance and instructions of remedy, as protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, upon all parties involved.
3.Make the public aware of the violation and remedy and apply public pressure on the serving parties to reply and/or comply with the remedy.
4.In the event there is no substantive response,take steps to enforce the Rights of the People that have been violated via coordinated Civic Actions by the Lobby members.
The ultimate goal, as the membership drive appears to envision, is to establish a "constitutionalist" voting bloc that would ideally transcend established party lines. The question must inevitably arise, however, of how apolitical such a lobby can be. Nearly every Supreme Court decision reveals deep disagreements over the meaning of the Constitution and its relevance to current affairs. For generations, many Americans have asserted that the true two-party system of the country divides the strict constructionists of the Constitution from those whose looser interpretations enable more extensive government. If the organizers of the lobby (Robert Schulz is identified as "a prominent Constitutional activist") sincerely believe that they can form a formidable lobby or voting bloc based on a non-partisan reading of the founding document, they are probably doomed to be mistaken.
Any implicit claim of ideological neutrality in the press release might be belied by the inclusion of the "Articles of Freedom" among the group's recommended readings. The Articles were drafted at a "Constitutional Convention" in November 2009. They are "the conceptual foundation guiding the mission of the Constitution Project." I don't have time now to review the Articles in detail, but even a cursory glance reveals instant controversy on many topics and a bias in favor of libertarian or paleoconservative readings of the Constitution. While the lobby nowhere asserts that assent to the Articles is a precondition of membership, the organizers' apparent reliance on them must alienate large segments of the politically-conscious population. If organizers insist on assent to the Articles, their lobby immediately becomes "political" unless that word means something very different to them. I may have a chance to find out more for myself next week, so the jury is out for the time being.