Law & Principles

Five Questions about Article V: Questions #5

September 24, 2015

Trent England

Part five of five in the "Five Questions: Constitution expert Trent England on the pros and cons of an Article V convention" series. 

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 Some states have previously called for a convention and later rescinded that call.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.

Read the full article in Perspective >