An Article V convention: How to overcome Congressional resistance

An Article V convention: How to overcome Congressional resistance

Few on the Hill seem to be taking notice of the gathering clouds — a situation that the states would do well to exploit.  If anything, the nascent “Article V movement” is little more than a curiosity among the ruling elite.  Congress, aware of Article V, has every expectation that the states will continue a 200-year losing streak when it comes to coordinating the resolutions necessary to trigger the process.  This is entirely due to the fact that the founders left Congress in charge of counting the resolutions.

Really bad idea, that.

The issue comes down to the “aggregation” of the resolutions.  To whatever extent each state’s resolution differs from other states, Congress can play games with the counting.  The only way around the problem is for the states to coordinate their efforts and agree on resolution language that could be introduced verbatim into dozens of legislatures simultaneously — a “shock and awe” maneuver if ever there was one. …

The way forward is for the states, in their resolution language, to simply quote the part of Article V, which compels Congress to call the amendments convention:

The Congress … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments[.]

A minimalist resolution basically quoting Article V provides no purchase for legal challenge and is effectively saying to Congress, “The Constitution says we can demand it…so we’re demanding it.  Period.”  The bonus of taking this path of least resistance is that there are already 18 states with valid resolutions of this type — and those resolutions never expire!

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