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?"
CRS Report for Congress, R42589
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html