If Congress proposes a Balanced Budget Amendment, what happens to the campaign for an Amendment Convention? At that point, would it be moot, duplicative?
Not at all. Whatever Congress proposes, the Amendment Convention should review. If it finds itself, satisfied, no further action would be necessary. But if the States are not entirely happy with the Congressional proposal, they can make one of their own. It can be a supplement to the Congressional proposal, or a substitute. The States in assembly at the Amendment Convention will be deciding on ratification, so they’ll have a pretty good idea of what will get a 3/4 vote, and what won’t.
The first time Article V was used successfully no Amendment Convention needed to be held. The issue back then was straightforward — the direct election of Senators. Once Congress proposed the 17th Amendment, an Amendment Convention would have served no purpose, and was never held. A Balanced Budget Amendment is complicated, and the supervision of the States is needed. Congress should be under no illusion that it can somehow prevent an Amendment Convention. If they want to pass their own BBA, fine. The States operate independently, and in a supervisory capacity..
I gather the announcement in D.C of the Nashville Convention was received enthusiastically, and that every Legislator who has been asked has said they’d like to attend. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of history?
The meeting in Nashville is an organizational tool. When you study Article V closely, and work out its implications, it’s readily apparent there are two problems, education and communication. Implicit in Article V, and not yet realized, is a fourth branch of government. State Legislators need to be educated on that. Some get it right away. Others never do.
Once State Legislators are aware of Article V’s potential, they need to communicate with one another about what to do with bit. Acting alone, no State has any power. Acting together, their power is virtually unlimited. At Nashville, both formal and informal networks of communication will be formed. I think there will be a consensus that term limits comes next. And at an Article V Term Limits Amendment Convention, the delegates can decide, formally or informally, what the third Amendment Convention will meet to consider.
We should have an Amendment Convention every other summer, in odd years, when elections aren’t coming up. It can become part of our regular political calendar. The reason that idea is not all just smoke is because of the kind of people who serve in State Legislatures, and will be delegates to these Conventions. They’re all going to love doing this. What’s not to like? Spend a week or so in some nice State Capitol, and propose Amendments to the Constitution. I was one of them for eight years, and I’ve met hundreds from around the country. For these guys, this is hog heaven.
There have been almost 400 comments posted at American Thinker about my article a couple days ago. The last one posted, earlier today, was the only one by a guy who really gets it — the power and potential of Article V. A lot of State Legislators don’t really get it either. But enough do to make it happen. And more are learning.