Skip Navigation

Rooted in the Tenth Amendment: The Article V Convention

January 18, 2016

Nick Dranias discusses the foundation and history of the Article V Convention.

The movement to amend the Constitution by convention under Article V has recently garnered incredible strength. In the past five years, nearly two dozen pieces of Article V legislation have been passed in as many states by nearly as many public policy organizations. From the Left to the Right, Americans are recognizing that the rules of the political game need to be rewritten outside of Washington to reform the federal government.

Much of this recent legislative ferment is attributable to the seminal work of one man. But what if that man was now tragically and inadvertently working to extinguish his own handiwork? What if in a valiant, but strained effort to mold inapplicable Supreme Court precedent into rules of the road for an Article V convention, that man fumbled a huge opportunity to vindicate the Founders’ intent from a clean slate?

Sadly, that appears to be happening. A leading Article V scholar recently contended that the Tenth Amendment has no applicability to the Article V convention process. This policy brief is written to refute that contention thoroughly. As discussed below, there is simply no question that the status of the Article V convention as a “convention of states” rests firmly on
Tenth Amendment principles.