Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress [March 29, 2016]   [open pdf - 809KB]

"Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two ways to amend the nation's fundamental charter. Congress, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, may propose amendments to the states for ratification, a procedure that has been used for all 27 current amendments. Alternatively, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the states, 34 at present, Article V directs that Congress 'shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments....' This alternative, known as an 'Article V Convention,' has yet to be implemented. This report examines the Article V Convention alternative, focusing on related contemporary issues for Congress. […] This report identifies a range of policy questions Congress might face if an Article V Convention seemed imminent. Some of these include the following: what constitutes a legitimate state application? Does Congress have discretion as to whether it must call a convention? What legislative vehicle would be appropriate to call a convention? Could a convention consider any issue, or would it be limited to the specific issue cited in state applications? Could a 'runaway' convention propose amendments outside its mandate? Could Congress choose not to propose a convention-approved amendment to the states? What role, if any, does the President have? What role would Congress have in the mechanics of a convention, including rules of procedure and voting, number and apportionment of delegates, funding and duration, service by Members of Congress, and other related questions?"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42589
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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