Amending the Amendment Procedures of Article V
33 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2018
Date Written: May 21, 2018
Almost everyone has an idea about how to amend the U.S. Constitution so as to address a defect in our structures of government or to alter the roster of existing protections for individual rights. There is, however, little point in contemplating such amendments without first confronting the formidable hurdles of Article V. This Article, prepared for a symposium at Duke Law School at which participants were asked to propose a specific constitutional amendment, is thus directed at amending the amendment procedures of Article V itself. The amendment that this Article proposes requires periodically asking voters whether a constitutional convention should be held. Should voters approve holding a national convention, it would have power to propose amendments and state-level conventions would decide whether to ratify the proposals. The amendment this Article offers thus provides a means for constitutional change that does not depend upon either Congress or the state legislatures. The proposal also contains safeguards to ensure that any alterations to the Constitution reflect broad and sustained public support. Besides allowing for realistic consideration of constitutional reform, the proposal offers broad political and cultural benefits.
Keywords: Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Change, Article V, Amending, Judicial Review
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