How progressives Promoted the ‘Runaway Convention’ Myth to Protect the Warren Court’s Judicial Activism

How progressives Promoted the ‘Runaway Convention’ Myth to Protect the Warren Court’s Judicial Activism

You may have heard alarms that if we hold a national convention for proposing constitutional amendments the gathering would be an uncontrollable constitutional convention (“con-con”) that could propose anything at all. The claim is called the “runaway scenario.” It has almost no basis in history or law. But it has long frightened Americans away from using the Constitution’s chief mechanism for bypassing Congress and curing our dysfunctional federal government. The “runaway” specter has been raised by fringe elements on both…

Read More Read More

How We Know a National Amendments Convention Is a ‘Convention of the States’

How We Know a National Amendments Convention Is a ‘Convention of the States’

Most state legislatures have filed applications with Congress demanding a national convention for proposing constitutional amendments. Americans are asking just what kind of convention the Constitution requires.Nearly all experts believe an amendments convention is a “convention of the states”—the traditional term for a meeting in which representatives of state legislatures deliberate on the basis of sovereign equality. The rule at a convention of the states is that each state has an equal voice. This would be a familiar procedure: There…

Read More Read More

Yes, the Constitution was adopted legally

Yes, the Constitution was adopted legally

An old myth has showed up in the media again: the myth that delegates to the 1787 Constitution Convention violated their trust—that they produced a new constitution although empowered only to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Fortunately, the claim that the 1787 convention had no authority to propose a new constitution is pure fiction. I have made the point before, but a new article by constitutional lawyer Michael Farris rebuts the myth in detail. Its core error is…

Read More Read More

All In One Place: The Evidence that an Amendments Convention is a Traditional “Convention of the States”

All In One Place: The Evidence that an Amendments Convention is a Traditional “Convention of the States”

You may have heard opponents of the Article V convention process claim that the make-up of a convention for proposing amendments is a “mystery”—that we have no idea of how the membership would be selected, how they would vote, etc. Those active in the Article V movement have known for some time that this is inaccurate. For one thing, scholarly research by myself and other scholars, such as Professor Michael Rappaport at the University of San Diego School of Law,…

Read More Read More

Court rulings on Trump travel ban endanger state rules used to block school choice

Court rulings on Trump travel ban endanger state rules used to block school choice

Liberal politicos celebrating court decisions voiding President Trump’s travel orders seem not to have noticed something: Those decisions pose a direct threat to the state constitutional language they rely on to block school choice programs. This danger is not merely theoretical: The state constitutional language they rely on will come under Supreme Court scrutiny later this year. The state constitutional provisions at risk are called “Blaine clauses” or, less accurately, “Blaine amendments.” They ban state aid to schools and other…

Read More Read More