Research on Specific Article V Issues

• Counsel on Drafting an Article V Application
• Misc. Article V-Related Resource Papers
• Resources on the “Runaway Convention” Question
• Resources on the Question of Limiting an Article V Convention
• Resources on the Potential for Litigation when 34 th Application is Reached
• Resources on the Question of Congress’ Involvement in an A5 Convention
• Resources on History of the Phrase “Convention of States”

Counsel on Drafting an Article V Application:

State Initiation of Constitutional Amendments: A Guide for Lawyers and Legislative Drafters – 2016 – Robert Natelson.

This 354-page treatise is one of the most thorough, and possibly the most practically useful, Article V papers available.  It is comprehensive, thoroughly documented, and includes references to the significant quantity of decided Article V case law that already exists.


Article V Guide for Legislative Drafters – by Robert Natelson.

This publication is designed to assist legislators, lawyers, and legislative drafters as they consider legislation aimed at state-initiated Article V applications. This compendium for Lawyers and Legislative Drafters was published by the Convention of States Project.


Principles for Drafting A Balanced Budget Amendment – December 1, 2014 – by Robert Natelson.


Article V: A Handbook for State Lawmakers – 2016 – Written by Robert Natelson and published by the American Legislative Exchange Council.


State Lawmakers! Don’t Put Extraneous Matter in Your Article V Application – January 20, 2017 – by Robert Natelson.

A warning to State lawmakers who are sponsoring an Article V convention application.


Misc. Article V-Related Resource Papers:

23 Unanswerable Article V Questions… And Their Answers – by Rob Natelson


Twenty False Claims Regarding a Balanced Budget Amendment Convention – by David Guldenshuh


The Article V Movement – July 2015 – by David Guldenschuh

A Comprehensive Assessment to Date and Suggested Approach for State Legislators and Advocacy Groups Moving Forward


Our Constitutional Moment – by Tyler Watts, Ph.D.

This May 6, 2014 essay was published in the Indiana Policy Review.  The heavily footnoted essay makes clear why the only way to reign-in federal over-reach and out-of-control spending is through the use of Article V.


Wisconsin Testimony of Tim Dake

This file is the testimony of Tim Dake (author of Far From Unworkable) given at the March 28, 2017 Wisconsin Joint Federalist Committee hearing.  His presentation is an example of how to counter the considerable misinformation that is often distributed by Article V opponents.


Young Americans Beware

A publication prepared in booklet form by and for millennials, warning them of the national debt their parents and grandparents are leaving for them.


Comparing Article V Convention to National Party Convention is Absurd – October 12, 2013- by Robert Natelson


Why an Article V Application for a Balanced Budget Amendment is Safe – February 15, 2015 – by Michael Stern

This letter was written by Attorney Michael Stern in February 2015 to a state legislator who was concerned about a possible “runaway convention.”


When We Amend the Constitution, Make Sure We Follow the U.S. Procedure, not the “Confederate States” Procedure – September 19, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the issues surrounding efforts to pre-write a proposed amendment for an up/down vote by an Article V convention.


What is an Amendments Convention “Application?” What is a “Call?” – February 25, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the Latinate etymology of two words which are key to the Article V process.


The Impending “Convention for Proposing Amendments” – December 13, 2015 through February 7, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

This series of six articles originally appeared in the Washington Post’sVolokh Conspiracy,” a leading constitutional law website.                                                                              Part 1 Part 2 Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6


Resources on the “Runaway Convention” Question:

How progressives promoted the ‘runaway convention’ myth to save judicial activism – As published in The Hill on May 7, 2017 – by Rob Natelson

The specter of a “runaway convention” has been raised by fringe elements on both the left and the right. The claim starts with efforts to confuse an amendments convention with a constitutional convention, or “con-con”.  The claims first arose in the 20th century.  During the 1960s and 1970s, leading establishment liberals, such as Kennedy speechwriter Theodore Sorensen and Kennedy confidant Arthur Goldberg, capitalized on that confusion by raising the runaway specter.  Their plan was to scare people away from using the Constitution’s amendments convention mechanism.  Read the details in this article.


Article V and the “Runaway Convention” – September 21, 2011- by Michael Stern


A Response to the Runaway Scenario – April 17, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.


How the Hamilton Electors Show that an Article V Convention Cannot Run Away – January 1, 2017 – by Michael Stern. 

This scholarly piece discusses Delegate Limitation Acts (DLAs) and details evidence that states have the unquestioned authority to instruct and control their delegates to an Article V convention.


Runaway Convention? Meet the ULC: An Annual Conference of States Started in 1892 That Has Never Run Away – January 11, 2017 – by Kenneth Quinn.

The states have been meeting together every single year since 1892 (except 1945) to propose laws through the Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws  The Uniform Law Commission follows the same rules that have governed multi-state conventions throughout American history, and their sessions have never run away.


Resources on the Question of Limiting an Article V Convention:

The Constitutionality of a Limited Convention: An Originalist Analysis, Constitutional Commentary – 2012 – by Michael B. Rappaport, University of San Diego School of Law


Article V and the Single Amendment Convention – March 2017 – by Michael Stern


May state legislative applications limit an Article V convention? Subject, yes; specific language, probably not – October 20, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the question of limiting an Article V convention to a subject or to a specific pre-written proposed amendment.


What Happens If 34 States Submit Article V Applications and No One Is Counting? – April 2017 – by Karla A. Jones.

Ms. Jones of the American Legislative Exchange Council reports that Congressman Luke Messer (IN) has introduced a bill that calls on the Archivist of the United States to separate all the applications and rescissions from all other Congressional records housed at the Archives and transmit them to Congress.  Additionally, the Archivist would be obligated to organize copies of applications and rescissions and submit a report to Congress detailing the extent of suspected missing applications or rescissions not found in the compilations.


Resources on the Potential for Litigation when 34th Application is Reached:

Justiciability of Claims Related to the Article V Convention and the Political Question Doctrine (Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 – 1939) – September 16, 2016 – by Michael Stern


More on The Justiciability of Controversies Related ti the Article V Convention – March 4, 2017 – by Michael Stern


More on Justiciability: Dyer v. Blair – March 6, 2017 – by Michael Stern


Resources on the Question of Congress’ Involvement in an A5 Convention:

Could Congress Control an Amendments Convention? Not According to the Founders! – October 5, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the question of possible Congressional control over an Article V convention.


Mike Stern Rebuts Claim that “Congress would control a convention” – February 24, 2015 – by Michael Stern.

The response of Article V scholar and former House of Representatives legal counsel Mike Stern to the irresponsible claim that Congress could control a Convention for Proposing Amendments.


Resources on History of the Phrase “Convention of States”:

Why the Constitution’s ‘Convention for Proposing Amendments’ Is a Convention of the States – October 2017 – by Rob Natelson, published by Heartland Institute.

This 28-page Brief is broken into 6 parts ranging from review of a related Supreme Court decision, to a detailed history of interstate conventions, to details on amendment ratification… and includes 10 pages of documentation/references.  It is a publication every state legislator should read.

How We Know a National Amendments Convention Is a ‘Convention of the States’Published at on May 18, 2017 – by Rob Natelson.

This is the Article V scholar’s latest review of the historic facts that support the conclusion that “a convention of the states” provided for in Article V of the Constitution is a known type of assembly with clear parameters.


Why the Constitution’s ‘Convention for Proposing Amendments’ Is a Convention of the States  – May, 2017 – by Rob Natelson.

This 38-page treatise, citing research by multiple scholars and a Supreme Court decision, proves that an amendments convention is a convention of the states… a kind of gathering that has been a frequent feature in American history, and whose protocols and composition are thoroughly documented.


How Do We Know an Article V Amendments Convention is a “Convention of the States?” Because Both the Founders and the Supreme Court Said So – July 26, 2016 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the question of whether an Article V convention is intended to be a gathering of states or of American people.


More Evidence An Article V Convention is a “Convention of the States” – November 20, 2014 – by Robert Natelson.

Deals with the question of whether an Article V convention is a convening od states or a mass popular gathering.


Still More Evidence That An Amendments Convention is a “Convention of States” – October 16, 2015 – by Robert Natelson.

The term “convention of states” (or “convention of the states”) dates at least from the year 1780. By 1788 it was being applied specifically to a convention for proposing amendments under the new Constitution.