Stopping a Dangerous Article V Convention

The only way to defend our values against this threat is if ordinary people like us step up to make a difference. Join the fight today.

Legislators in West Virginia Have a Fight on Their Hands

Some lawmakers in West Virginia are, like many other state legislators across the country, fighting against the dangerous call their state has made for an Article V constitutional convention.  

This call for a constitutional convention, or Convention of States, is a well-funded campaign led by Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler, Texas mega donor Tim Dunn, and former U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).  

Mark Meckler has been very open about his ideas for what an Article V convention could do. Constitutional amendments according to their vision would radically change our system of federalism, and not in a good way.  

Article V of the Constitution states that when called for by two-thirds of state legislatures – or 34 states – a convention must be called to amend the Constitution.  

However, there are no ground rules in the Constitution that lays out how the convention would be run if one were to be called. It does not state who the delegates would be, how they would be chosen, or how the rules would be made. Not only does it exclude how the rules would be made, but it also does not state what the rules should be 

This leaves many unanswered questions for the delegates to figure out and a lot of responsibility for them to get it right –which is not something that can be guaranteed with no previous standards.   

In West Virginia, lawmakers know the risks and what is at stake if a constitutional convention were to be called.  

In a recent interview with a reporter for The Register-Herald, legal scholars and lawmakers alike shared concerns over what could happen if West Virginia became a state to make a call for a convention and raise the number of states to close the gap toward a convention.   

“We’re playing with fire here and risking our entire Constitution,” said Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison. He argued that nothing would stop delegates to the convention from changing the rest of the convention.  

“Here’s the question you have to ask yourself,” he said. “Are term limits, are the balanced budget amendment or any other amendment we propose worth the risk of having our entire Constitution changed or any part of it that’s important to you, whether it’s the First Amendment or Second Amendment or Social Security or anything else that could be changed by constitutional convention?”  

Bob Bastress, a constitutional law professor at West Virginia University’s College of Law, noted that the last time such a convention was held, to amend the Articles of Confederation in 1787, “they ended up drafting a whole new Constitution which was drastically different from the articles.”  

Even though lawmakers supporting the amendment say it would be held to enact congressional term limits, Bastress said there would be nothing to limit the delegates from exploring other topics other than “the politics of the moment.”  

We cannot let a convention be a quick fix for the politics of the moment, the fundamentals on which our current political parties stand are at risk with an Article V convention – the rights that every American holds dear, regardless of political affiliation – will be at risk.  

Related News

KC Becker: Constitutional convention could spell chaos for democracy

KC Becker, who lives in Boulder and represents District 13, is the now the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. She penned this op-ed on September 25, 2018, while majority leader. We deserve a democracy that puts hardworking Coloradans ahead of wealthy special interests and the well-connected. No one can deny the powerful influence […]

Read More >

Colorado Rescinds Calls for Article V Constitutional Convention

Last week, lawmakers in Colorado took the important action of rescinding all of Colorado’s previous calls for an Article V constitutional convention. This crucial legislation removes Colorado from the dangerous equation many state legislatures have fallen prey to by wealthy special interests looking to start a constitutional convention when they hit the 34 state threshold […]

Read More >

The Wisconsin Assembly just approved a resolution to call a dangerous Article V convention – what happens now?

AJR-77, a resolution calling for an Article V constitutional convention, was passed in the State House last week, February 18. The vote in the house was 60-38. The House is 63 R – 36 D, meaning some Republicans votedagainst this application for a convention.  Wisconsin already has an active convention resolution for the Balanced Budget Amendment, passed in 2017. Former […]

Read More >

Breaking: New Polling Shows Majority of Republican Voters Oppose Changing Constitution through an Article V Constitutional Convention

A new national poll done by J. Wallin Opinion Research revealed a majority (59.2%) of Republican voters oppose changing the U.S. Constitution by calling an Article V Constitutional Convention. Further evidence in the poll shows the reluctance of Republican voters to take drastic steps to alter this foundational document.  Protecting and preserving the rights guaranteed […]

Read More >

Georgia groups to legislators: Protect our constitutional rights & vote against any call for an Article V convention

The following letter was sent to Georgia lawmakers this week from a local coalition of civil rights and advocacy groups. Protect Our Constitutional Rights – Vote NO on SR 854 March 11, 2020 Dear Senator, We are writing you today on the dangers of an Article V convention and to urge you to vote “NO” […]

Read More >

New Hampshire’s upcoming vote to rescind calls for a constitutional convention affects us all

This legislative season in New Hampshire has been busy when it comes to the dangerous push for an Article V constitutional convention. HCR 6 and the call for a constitutional convention was handily defeated in a bipartisan manner with a vote of 318-27.  While this was a great win for New Hampshire because it did not add any new calls to their roster, they still have existing applications for a convention […]

Read More >

Now is Not the Time to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution

Guest commentary by Justin Pidot, professor of law and the co-director of the Environmental Law Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law   In this politically fractured time, some state legislatures have called for a convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. Article V of the Constitution provides for such a process, […]

Read More >

Convention of States “Reopen America” Ploy

“I don’t think it’s helpful to encourage demonstrations and encourage people to go against the president’s own policy,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”   And yet, that is what is happening around the country as Facebook groups and special interest lobbying organizations are engineering protests at capitols around the nation for states continuing stay-at-home orders as […]

Read More >

Stay Connected

We need your help before it's too late. Join our mailing list to receive important updates and help us mobilize.