What would a Constitution Convention accomplish?

Mark Levin has been agitating for some time for the several states to call an Article 5 Convention to propose changes to the U.S. Constitution. This is somewhat uncharted territory. The closest comparison was the convention which scrapped the Articles of Confederation and created the current Constitution – ignoring the requirement for unanimous consent that was required by the articles of Confederation. Once you call the meeting, there is no telling where it might end up. Presumably it would be a public meeting covered by Fox News and the stock market reacting in real time.

First, the infallible language of Article 5 as directly written by the hand of God

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.

The last phrase rules out switching the U.S. to a unicameral legislature, combining the House and Senate to prevent gridlock. The Founding Fathers feared Democracy, and the Senate is there to protect the country from the huddled masses yearning to get free st00f by stealing from the rich. The Senate has the most important powers – the power to approve treaties, to reject presidential appointments and to remove the President from office. Presumably you can’t remove that language first and then call a second convention to dissolve the Senate.

Replacing the office of President with a Prime Minister might be possible – where the executive branch head is elected by the majority in the Legislature rather than the electoral college and the people, and subject to recall by a “vote of confidence”.

Any changes would require 3/4 of the states to approve – with CONGRESS deciding whether states would approve using legislatures or conventions of its citizens.

It would require 34 states to call the convention and 37 to approve the changes (assuming the number of states doesn’t change). Once called, Article 5 doesn’t state how the meeting will be conducted. The presumption is each state would have equal representation, but that isn’t stated directly. A convention does not propose the amendments first – it meets then proposes the amendments. The President plays no role in approving amendments.


Neither party is going to call for a convention unless it believes it will control the outcome. Republicans control the legislatures of 31 states.

So what amendments would you propose that you think have any chance of becoming part of the Constitution?

This entry was posted in American Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply