Law & Principles
Trent England | September 24, 2015
Five Questions about Article V: Questions #5
Part five of five in the "Five Questions: Constitution expert Trent England on the pros and cons of an Article V convention" series. -Editor
Holding a national convention to propose constitutional amendments is either the only solution to rebalance our political system or a sure path to its final destruction. At least, those are the two points of view most commonly heard in the current debate over using “Article V”—really just one clause therein—in an attempt to change the U.S. Constitution.
Where do things stand today?
Article V says Congress shall call a convention after receiving applications from two-thirds of the states. These applications—passed by legislatures as joint resolutions—likely have to match up. To date, some states have applied for a convention only to consider a specific version of an amendment, while others have applied for a convention on a particular topic. Some states have previously called for a convention and later rescinded that call.
Last year, Louisiana became the 22nd state (by its own count) to call for a convention to consider proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The other efforts mentioned above (in answer to question 3) each have only a few states so far, but are actively campaigning in hopes of eventually gaining the 34 states necessary to force Congress to call a convention.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.