Over 400 Applications – Where’s the Call to Convention?
By Rodney Dodsworth – February 23, 2016
Once congress receives applications from 2/3 of the states, it is duty bound to call a convention.
Over 400 applications have been submitted. Where is the call to convention?
Check out Federalist #85. Alexander Hamilton: By the fifth article of the Constitution, the congress will be obliged “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the states to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall . . . ” The words of this article are peremptory. Congress SHALL call a convention. Nothing is left to the discretion of Congress. Consequently, all the arguments about the disinclination to change vanish.
In a January 2nd, 1789, letter to George Eve (Madison Writings pages 428-429), James Madison wrote, “It is to be observed however that the question concerning a General Convention, will not belong to the federal Legislature. If 2/3 of the States apply for one, Congress can not refuse to call it: if not, the other mode of amendments must be pursued.”
[Ed: Congress has refused to act 11 times the states have reached the 2/3 threshold. The last time was in 1979 when they actually reached 39. By ’81 they had reached 41. In 2023, Congress has been reminded under HCR 24 introduced in the House by Rep. Arrington-TX. It is time for Congress to put on its Big Boy Pants and do its job: set the time and place for opening the doors to a convention for proposing a Congressional limit on spending amendment to the Constitution.]