Amending the Constitution

The National Archives mounts an exhibition of proposed constitutional amendments over the years. To understate matters, not all of them were great ideas [Michael Ruane, Washington Post]

On the idea of an Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments, of which I have been critical lately, you can watch a presentation I gave to the Common Cause national “Blueprint for a Great Democracy” conference held last week.

One Comment

  • What would stop an Article V convention from being a runaway?

    Recall that the 1787 convention in Philadelphia was technically a runaway. The delegates were authorized by their states to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation. But the Articles (unlike our present Constitution) couldn’t be improved with amendments. So the delegates ginned up a miracle.

    Can it be wise to count on another? Especially when our problem (I think) is not that we have the wrong document. Our problem is that our people have a poor understanding of the document we have, and the courts increasingly ignore it. A new document won’t fix that problem.

    So (I think) an Article V convention would be more likely to present the states with a monster like the EU constitution: 70,000 words, 400 pages.

    Why go there?