Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution
A Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also called an Article V Convention, or Amendments Convention, is one of two procedures for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution described in Article Five of the Constitution. The other method is a vote by two-thirds of each house of Congress.According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States,"" meaning 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V Convention has proposed an amendment or amendments, then the amendment or amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution.Congress has the power to choose between two methods of ratification: ratification by the state legislatures, or instead ratification by state conventions called for that purpose. In contrast to those separate state ratification conventions, a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution would be a single federal convention. While there have been calls for a second federal convention based on a single issue such as the Balanced Budget Amendment, it is not clear whether a convention summoned in this way would be legally bound to limit discussion to a single issue; law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen has suggested that such a convention would have the ""power to propose anything it sees fit"". All 27 amendments to the Constitution have been passed via Congress and not through proposal by state legislatures.In recent years some constitutional scholars have argued that state governments should call for such a convention. They include Michael Farris, Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Levinson, Larry Sabato, Jonathan Turley, and Mark Levin. As of 2015, there is an active nationwide effort to call an Article V Convention. Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG), through a project called Convention of the States, is promoting Article V legislation in all 50 states in a bid to rein in the federal government. CSG's resolution has passed in Georgia, Alaska, Florida, and Alabama. Similarly, the group Wolf PAC chose this method to promote its cause, which is to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Their resolution has passed in Vermont, California, Illinois, and New Jersey.