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Article 5 

Through Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states have the authority and power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 

 

“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, . . . . “ 

 

The Convention of States is a mechanism created by the Founders to allow for a practical check on federalism with an emphasis on state sovereignty, in the event that the national government and its bureaucracy are no longer able to respect their boundaries as established in the U.S. Constitution. 

 

The history of Article V from the 1787 Convention: On September 15, as the Convention was reviewing the revisions made by the Committee of Style, George Mason expressed opposition to the provisions limiting the power to propose amendments to Congress. According to the Convention records, Mason thought that ‘no Amendment of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.’ In response, Gouverneur Morris and Elbridge Gerry made a motion to amend the article to reintroduce language requiring that a convention be called when two-thirds of the States applied for an amendment.

 

“(Article V) equally enables the general and the state governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.”  Madison, Federalist No. 43

 

"Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can...adopt such amendments as will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government. If you and your generation...with the spirit of our founders, decide that reformation of a radical kind becomes due - then I say, let nothing stop you!  President Dwight Eisenhower

National Association of Former State Legislators