This is an article I wrote last year that may help clarify your questions about a Convention of States. Let’s explore this topic with the help of Article V and Constitutional Study author Paul Engel’s writings.
The Accurate Term For a Convention of States
First, the most accurate term for a Convention of States is an “Article V Convention.” Why? Article V does NOT call for a new Constitutional Convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. Here is what Article V says:
“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.”
The Purpose Of An Article V Convention
Notice the purpose of a Convention- “for proposing Amendments.” Therefore, Mr. Engel points out that a “Convention Proposing Amendments” is a more accurate term than the Convention of States to describe the work to be done at such a Convention.
Also noteworthy: only states have the power to amend the Constitution. Congress or a Convention can only propose amendments.
“…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;”
Mr. Engel writes: “The Framers of the Constitution were not fools. They knew that there may be changes to the Constitution needed to protect the people and the republic that those in Congress would not support. For example, you wouldn’t expect Congress to propose an amendment to limit their own powers. Sure, Congress proposed an amendment to term-limit the President, but does anyone think they would propose one to term-limit themselves? Hence, the need for the states, as the creators of the Constitution and the federal government, to have a method of proposing their own amendments. This method is the convention process.” https://theamericanview.com/blogs/news/convention-of-states
Additionally, do you realize that we already have term limits imposed on those in Congress? As I have previously pointed out, you and I can term-limit our senators and representatives at the voting booth!
Would Congress control a Convention Proposing Amendments? No. Congress’s role is to:
- Call the Convention
- Determine whether state legislatures will do ratification or a state convention in each state.
That is all.
Accordingly, Congress cannot read into the Constitution a role it has not been given, such as the Director of said Convention. So, if you hear that Congress leads a Convention for Proposing Amendments, re-read Article V. No such role has been given by the Supreme Law of the Land.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸
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