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Thursday, 18 May 2017 06:20

How We Know a National Amendments Convention Is a ‘Convention of the States’

Written by  Rob Natelson

Most state legislatures have filed applications with Congress demanding a national convention for proposing constitutional amendments. Americans are asking just what kind of convention the Constitution requires.

Nearly all experts believe an amendments convention is a “convention of the states”—the traditional term for a meeting in which representatives of state legislatures deliberate on the basis of sovereign equality.

The rule at a convention of the states is that each state has an equal voice.

This would be a familiar procedure: There have been about 40 conventions of states in American history—although this one would be the first called to propose constitutional amendments under the authority of the Constitution itself.

Other commentators—predominately, but not exclusively, convention opponents—argue an amendments convention should consist of popularly elected delegates, perhaps allocated by population.

The Constitution itself merely refers to the assembly as a “Convention for proposing Amendments.” So we must look at history to understand how the Founders understood the term.

In an 1831 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said an amendments convention is a convention of the states. My newly-issued research study confirms the Supreme Court was correct.

During the century before the Constitution was drafted, conventions among North American colonies, and later among states, met on average every three or four years.

Read more at TownHall

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