A Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also called an Article V Convention or Amendments Convention, called for by two-thirds (currently 34) of the state legislatures, is one of two processes authorized by Article Five of the United States Constitution whereby the United States Constitution may be altered. Amendments may also be proposed by the Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either—as determined by Congress—the legislatures of three-fourths (presently 38) of the states or state ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states. Thirty-three amendments to the United States Constitution have been approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Twenty-seven of these amendments have been ratified and are now part of the Constitution. As of 2018, the convention process has never been used for proposing constitutional amendments.
While there have been calls for an "Article V 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", whereas law professor Michael Rappaport and attorney-at-law Robert Kelly believe that a limited convention is possible.
In recent years, some have argued that state governments should call for such a convention. They include Michael Farris, Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Levinson, Larry Sabato, Jonathan Turley, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and Greg Abbott. In 2015, Citizens for Self-Governance launched a nationwide effort to call an Article V Convention, through a project called Convention of the States, in a bid to rein in the federal government. As of 2018, CSG's resolution has passed in 12 states. 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 five states.
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