There has been a lot of talk these last few years regarding a Convention of States. Many people have no idea what it is nor how it came to be about., so let’s talk about it. Let’s see if we can dispel the mists of ignorance surrounding this issue and discover the What, the Why and the How.
What is a Convention of States (COS) and how did it come into being?
The “Father of the Bill of Rights, one George Mason, a member of the Constitutional Convention, was the man that insisted that the mechanism for this right to amend the constitution be incorporated into the Constitution. He wrote Article V of that document and after much debate and some minor alteration, it was included in the final draft. Article V provides for the amending of the Constitution in two ways: 1. Congress can call for a convention to amend the constitution and this has been done several times including during the very first session of the American Congress: 2. the people, through their state legislatures, have the same right. The states may call for a convention to amend the constitution because Mason believed that the federal government would never act to curb its own power. It turns out he was both a fortuneteller and he was right.
Mason was also the instigator of the bill of rights movement. He had insisted that the brand new Constitution needed amending to include a Bill of Rights to protect the citizens.
James Madison obliged by writing those ten amendments we call our Bil of Rights. The senate called the convention during its very first session, as Article V specifies, and 75 % or more of the states ratified those ten to give us our codified rights. But, as is said, I digress.
Please note that there is no provision anywhere in the Constitution to call a CONSTITUTIONAL convention and none has been called since the one in 1787. That includes the Article V currently under discussion. It is called as a convention to amend not re-write.
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