TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
1. How would Delegates be selected or elected to a Constitutional Convention??
A. Since an Article V Convention of States is NOT a “Constitutional Convention” the Selection process would not be critical. The delegate(s) would have some idea of the Amendment or Amendments their state would like the convention to consider and their job would be to work with the other delegates to produce amendment(s) worded so the several states may act upon it/them
through the ratification process.
2. What authority would be responsible for determining the number of Delegates from each state?
A. The Legislature of each State will set criteria (fewer better than many). Logically each state only gets one vote on a particular amendment proposal regardless of the number of delegates it sends. The purpose of the convention is to draft amendments and when they are satisfied that a particular issue, for instance a balanced budget amendment, is worded suitably, a vote can be taken to send it to the states for ratification.
3. What authority would be responsible for electing the Delegates to the Convention?
A. The Legislature of each State will set criteria for electing or naming the delegate(s) to represent its state. Until 1913 the legislatures of each state decided who the Senators for that state would be. Senators were not elected by vote of the people. That method of
selecting Delegates to fill Senate seats worked for over a century.
Why couldn’t it work for a Convention of States?
4. Would Delegates be selected based on Population, number of Registered voters, or along Party lines?
A. Since the purpose of the Convention is to produce proposed Amendments to the Constitution that the several States can then ratify or not, integrity of the person(s) should be the criteria. Neither Party affiliation, population of the state,nor the number of registered voters is relevant to the task they are given to perform.
5. Would Delegates be selected based on race, ethnicity or gender?
A. None of the above. The ability to present an idea for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States and work with others to finalize the wording for it is paramount for the delegate. The Founders made it work and started with far less than they have given us!
6. What authority would be responsible for organizing the convention, such as committee selection, committee chairs and members, etc.?
A. The delegates can set up the organization through parliamentary procedure for themselves to best accomplish the task for which they were delegated. First order of business is to pick a place to meet. With the methods of communication at our disposal today, that should not be much of a challenge. At the first meeting they would elect a chairperson, then secretary then other officers, etc. Not rocket science or anything that hasn’t been done to accomplish other things throughout western history!
7. How would the number of Delegates serving on any committee be selected and limited?
A. The delegates can set up the organization through parliamentary procedure for themselves to best accomplish the task for which they are appointed.
8. How would the Chair of the Convention be selected or elected?
A. See question 6! The delegates can set up the organization through parliamentary procedure for themselves to best accomplish the task for which they were delegated.
9. What authority will establish the Rules of the Convention, such as setting a quorum, how to proceed if a state wishes to withdraw its delegation, etc?
A. The delegates to the Convention inherently have the authority to do the housekeeping it takes to do their job. Basic Parliamentary procedure under Robert’s Rules of Order or another equally recognized system, modified as the delegation sees fit to maintain order and the ability to accomplish what they were delegated to do.
10. What authority would be responsible for selecting the venue for the Convention?
A. The Delegates. The States would logically be expected to provide the budget limits both reasonable and necessary for the Convention to propose amendments and act upon those proposals.
11. Would proposed amendments require a two-thirds majority vote for passage?
A. Since proposed Amendments from this body would be sent to the several states for ratification by a ¾ majority of them just as any proposed amendment from the US Congress, and the standard for Congressional referral is 2/3 majority vote, that would be a reasonable bar to clear.
12. How would the number of votes required to pass a Constitutional Amendment be determined?
A. Acceptance by ratification of ¾ of the States per the normal ratification process the Constitution requires of the States.
13. What would happen if the Con Con decided to write its own rules so that 2/3 of the states need not be present to get amendments passed?
A. Since an Article V Convention of States is not a “Con Con” and since nothing passed by it has any force of law until and unless ratified by a ¾ majority of the several states it could conceivably require only a simple majority to approve a proposed amendment and harm no one in doing so. What would be gained by instituting such rules? Would a delegate vote to eliminate his own State from a voice in the Convention?
14. Could a state delegation be recalled by its legislature and its call for a convention be rescinded during the convention?
A. Probably, but to what end? The purpose is to propose amendments to rein in an overreaching Federal Government. Would any State not want its presence felt in an effort to do that? Just because a thing could be done in theory, does not make it reasonable or proper or convenient in the effort to stop the over-reaching Federal bureaucracy, and that is the binding purpose of the Article V Convention of States in the first place!
15. Would non-Delegates be permitted inside the convention hall?
A. The need for transparency is vital! The process should be observed and reported on so the public is apprised of progress made and issues overcome. We the People need very much to know what is going on! Should observers be permitted a voice in the procedure? No, not directly. If serious questions arise from observers they can be addressed through the states. Ultimately any unacceptable amendment that the Convention sends to the States should never survive the ratification process.
16. Will demonstrators be allowed and/or controlled outside the convention hall?
A. Of Course peaceful assembly and freedom of speech must be accommodated and accounted for as with any political function!
17. Would congress decide to submit Con Con amendments for ratification to the state legislatures or to a state constitutional convention as permitted under Article V of the constitution?
A. Under Article V, Congress SHALL call the Convention of States when requested by a sufficient number of states. That is the end of Congressional involvement. The Convention of States then, proposes amendments to the Constitution and the proposals that are accepted by the Convention are referred to the States for ratification.
18. Where would the Convention be held?
A. Where ever the delegates decide to hold it and the States are willing to approve via a budget for their share.
19. Who will fund this Convention?
A. Shouldn’t each State fund its own delegation? Fewer delegates costs less and one state, one vote to accept an amendment proposal should not be a budget buster!
20. If these questions cannot be answered (and they CANNOT!), then why would any state legislator even consider voting for such an uncertain event as an Article V Constitutional Convention?
A. These Questions have JUST been answered and since the Federal Government has shown NO sign of reining in its profligate and destructive ways, how can we NOT DEMAND that Congress call an Article V Convention of States so We the People can regain some semblance of control and exercise some amount of freedom the Founders envisioned for us? Should we not do what it takes to pass American Freedom on to the next generation?