Is an Article V Convention on the Horizon?
by Vickie Deppe – March 2023
Recently released polls by both Gallup and Statista reveal that Americans remain highly dissatisfied with Congress. Both pollsters converged on a disapproval figure of 75% with only 21% approving. Though not record-breaking, these figures are the latest in a more than decade-long period during which our national legislature has consistently struggled to secure the approval of even one in five Americans. Similarly, the RealClear Politics disapproval average of direction-of-the-country polls is nearly 65%. Again, not a record, but representative of a decade-long trend of significant levels of dissatisfaction among the electorate.
This longstanding frustration transcends party control of both Congress and the White House and occurs against the backdrop of worsening division and rancor. The bipartisan cooperation necessary to convene an Article V Convention, draft an amendment, and get it ratified seems out of reach. But the Brennan Center’s John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III point out that gridlock and frustration are the very conditions that have precipitated constitutional reform throughout our history. They argue that this sort of widespread, entrenched dissatisfaction with the status quo is precisely what propels Americans to look for alternative means to effect change.
Two trends suggest that Kowal and Codrington are correct: all the major Article V initiatives are approaching (or have already attained) the 34 applications needed to call a convention. Readers may learn more about the aggregation process here. More importantly, Article V advocates are beginning to embrace the need for and cultivate bipartisanship in their efforts. Arizona, Missouri, and Nebraska are all in the process of codifying bipartisan participation in their delegate selection procedures, and Article V applications are beginning to secure bipartisan support.
Yes, an Article V Convention is on the horizon, because Americans are waking up to the fact that it’s not left vs. right…it’s Washington insiders vs. the rest of us.