I am working on something and looking for some opinions related to Article V of the US Constitution and the idea of an Article V Convention.
We see Herman Cain’s 999 plan for example which might require an Amendment or if SCOTUS were to uphold ObamaCare an Amendment might be needed to fix that problem. Many support a Balanced Budget Amendment or Term Limits as well.
In spite of these needs, congress seems incapable of doing anything “BIG.” Only the states are in a position to pressure congress with the threat of an Article V Convention, or if that fails they could hold an actual Article V Convention. You may disagree with that premise altogether.
For those not familiar with it:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall
propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the
Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for
proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and
Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of
three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths
thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the
Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One
thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and
fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State,
without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
1. What is your general opinion of an Article V Convention?
2. Does the “shall call” language of Article V mean congress has no choice if the requisite states make application?
a. If “shall call” leaves congress no option but to call a convention, and if congress reneges on that obligation, can the states assemble in an Article V Convention anyway? If the product of such a convention were ratified by 3/4ths of the states, would it be legal?
3. What are your thoughts on a “runaway convention” often cited as the overwhelming reason to avoid an Article V Convention?
4. There have been hundreds of applications by the states. Far exceeding the numbers required to call such a convention. Two reasons for not calling the convention in spite of this are:
a. The requests have been on a variety of topics and are therefore not “germane.” Do you believe it is necessary for applications to be “germane?” Whichever position you take, how do you support it from a constitutional perspective?
b. The requests have been spread over a number of years and are not contemporaneous. Again, how is your position supported?
5. Did the founding fathers make a mistake adding the state based Article V Convention option?
a. Can we reasonably ignore the provisions of the Constitution where we think the founders made a mistake?
If you respond please add your own opinions in an independent comment before commenting on somebody else’s opinion.
You may be adamantly opposed to the very idea of an Article V Convention. I would particularly like to hear from you.
Thanks for helping.