As I predicted in this column, Congress’s continued inability to deal effectively with the debt crisis is AGAIN provoking interest in bypassing Congress with one or more corrective constitutional amendments. We could do this if the state legislatures use their constitutional power to bring about what the Constitution calls a “convention for proposing amendments.”

I’m delighted to report that Tennessee Law Review has devoted an entire issue to the subject, and that it selected my piece as the lead article in a symposium graced by contributions from several of the nation’s top constitutional scholars. I wrote the article because misunderstandings and misinformation about “conventions for proposing amendments” is rampant—even among many people who should know better. The article is based on Founding Era practice, subsequent history, and judicial case law. Although such a convention has never been held, the available information is sufficient to resolve most major questions.

Note that a “convention for proposing amendments”  is the official name given by the Constitution to the gathering. It is not a “constitutional convention,” as so often called. The article discusses this and many other questions. Those wishing to check sources will find it very densely footnoted.

You can read it here: Rules_for_Art_V_Conventions

Thanks again to the Goldwater Institute for support it provided for much of my research.

Rob Natelson

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