7 Comments

  1. Eloise Hamann

    What was the rationale of the opposition to a convention. The old fear that the convention would consider all kinds of matters? The never been done anxiety?

    Eloise


  2. Can an Article V Convention be constrained to address only the Amendment which prompted the call for such a convention? My belief is “no,” which makes me very hesitant to promote this route.

    Aren’t we already close to the required number of states having called for an Article V Convention to consider balanced budget and redefined federalism issues?

    Assuming that the state legislatures would selec the delegates to any such convention, I shudder to think of what delegates from my state of Wisconsin might favor.

  3. Cilla Raughley

    We have a system for calling a Constitutional Convention, but not for running one, so this is a high-risk strategy. It is possible (likely?), for example, that the system would favor the low-population red states over the higher population blue states. Organized far right groups around the country have been circulating petitions calling for such a convention for years. Their agenda includes limiting the size and powers of the federal government, requiring a balanced budget, outlawing a woman’s right to choose, making same sex marriages illegal, and supporting faith-based biases in civic life. This one falls under the careful-what-you-wish-for category. Our country may simply be too politically polarized right now to make this a wise strategy.

    But this doesn’t mean we have to stand still. I encourage readers to check out a strategy that gets AROUND Citizens United, with a fully constitutional plan for reform that actually goes further than simply overturning Citizens United would go. Check it out at Represent.us and AntiCorruptionAct.org

  4. Wes

    Topics can be limited to a specific topic. Thats the whole reason the 34 state threshold required to call for the convention hasn’t been met. There are well over a hundred calls for an article V convention but there need to be 34 states calling for a convention on the same topic, hence the convention would be limited to that issue. Otherwise, a convention would have already been called, since all that would be needed is for 34 states to call for a convention for any reason.

    DOJ Report on Limited Article V Convention of the States
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/115134NCJRS.pdf

  5. Bob Guldin

    Thanks for the comments on my article. It’s true — I did not get into the pros and cons of the Article V convention approach as a way to amend the Constitution. But I’ll touch on those arguments here.

    First, this point can be argued back and forth for hundreds of pages and endless hours. This article merely tried to supply the pro-amendment movement with some useful news about recent events — news which is often hard to come by.

    Second, I understand people’s fears and reservations about an Article V convention. I agree that no one knows, or can know, how delegates would be chosen or how such a convention would proceed.

    But I believe these fears are overblown, because the likelihood of such a convention ever occurring is minuscule. If it hasn’t happened in 220 years, it’s not likely to happen now.

    But working, state by state, for a series of state resolutions demanding such a convention is a powerful tool and tactic for the get-money-out-of politics movement. It’s a great way to organize. It gives us short-term victories that can keep the movement growing.

    And if we can rack up 20 or more states to “apply” for such a convention, it may well, in combination with many other actions, prod Congress to act.

    But to make this approach work, we in the pro-amendment movement need to work together and stop blocking each other’s activities. We don’t all have to be on the same page to be on the same side. Let’s talk to each other and develop ways to cooperate.


  6. An oligarchy of well-heeled special interests now governs our country. See: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/princeton-experts-say-us-no-longer-democracy. As a result, progress toward passing laws to stabilize our economy and our environment for the well-being of the general public are being stymied. The risk of allowing this oligarchy to continue includes meltdown of financial systems as we saw in 1929 and 2008, as well as catastrophic climate change. To deal effectively with these clear and present dangers, we must restore the sovereignty of the people through a constitutional amendment to affirm that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Even groups such as the Brennan Center and Common Cause agree that we need such an amendment. However, Congress is unlikely to propose an amendment without the threat of an Article V convention, as shown by the fact that 16 states called upon Congress to do so over three years ago, yet we still have no such proposal. Because of the huge risks of financial instability and catastrophic climate change, waiting years and years for Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to fix our broken democracy is a far more risky approach than calling for an Article V amendment convention. See Fixing Our Broken Democracy at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCxLwCpJ2HI

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