Tag: Matthew Spaulding

Don’t Be Fooled By Article V Conventions

Great article by Matthew Spaulding over at Heritage on why constitutional amendment conventions are not necessary to fix our problems.

Stemming from that analysis, and taking into consideration the circumstances under which we are now operating, we have come to the conclusion that an Article V convention is not the answer to our problems.  The lack of precedent, extensive unknowns, and considerable risks of an Article V amendments convention should bring sober pause to advocates of legitimate constitutional reform contemplating this avenue.  We are not prepared to encourage state governments at this time to apply to Congress to call an amendments convention.

Basically, the ramifications of a convention are wholly unknown, and for that reason too risky to use.

That said, advocating an Article V convention as part of a state-based strategy to press Congress to pass a constitutional amendment is not unreasonable.  Precisely because of the potential chaos of the process, the very threat of an amendments convention will pressure Congress to act rather than risk having one proceed.  That’s what happened in the 1980s with the unsuccessful push for a balanced budget amendment (good example) but also during the progressive era with the successful push for the direct election of senators (bad example).