The story of the first technical amendment to the Constituiton

In Chisolm v. Georgia (1793) the Supreme Court decided to give itself jurisdiction over the states in suits by non-citizens of that state.  The court used the fuzzy language of Article III, Sec. 2 to justify its power grab.

So Congress proposed the 11th Amendment in 1794, which was ratified by 3/4 of the states in 1795.  It wasn’t controversial.  It was merely a technical amendment.  The Framers had not made themselves clear when they adopted the original language at the Philadelphia Convention.

So it should be with the Fix Article V Amendment.  All it does is correct some sloppy drafting.

But Congress would never pass such an amendment, since it empowers the state legislators.  So these legislators need to empower themselves by passing the Mason Amendment.

Why wouldn’t they?  Maybe the thought of exercising supervision over Congress is too scary.  Maybe they don’t trust themselves, or each other.  Or maybe they think Congress is doing just fine.

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