Article V | There is a fourth branch of the federal government, created by Article V of the Constitution. This fourth branch is superior to the Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. It is fully sovereign, with plenary power: it can do whatever it chooses, save deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate. No other branch of the federal government has any check on its authority whatsoever.
It is a Super Legislature. It convenes upon the call of two thirds of the states. The only limitation on its authority is contained in the call. States can, and always have, limited the subject matter of its deliberations in the Resolutions they pass calling for its creation. When Congress receives Resolutions from two thirds of the states, it is required by the Constitution to call a Convention. A call is not issued only if Congress itself proposes the Constitutional Amendment set forth by the states in their Resolutions.
Once a call for the convention has been made, each state sends a delegation. Each delegation has one vote. The Convention of States, or Super Legislature, deliberates on the subject matter contained in the call, and by majority vote proposes an Amendment to the Constitution on that subject. That amendment, as stated in Article V, “…shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…”
A Convention of States has never been held. When proponents of the direct election of Senators were on the verge of collecting Resolutions from two thirds of the states, thus requiring a Call, Congress abandoned its resistance to the idea, and proposed to the states what became, when ratified, the 17th Amendment.
Lew Uhler’s 30+ year dream of a Balanced Budget Amendment is well over halfway home with 27 of the 34 states needed. Read Reagan’s Letter To Lew HERE.
03/24/2015: #27, North Dakota Senate voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment 29-17. Three weeks ago it passed the House 70-20. We now have 27 of 34 needed for the “Convention of States”! | The Reagan Initiative