By comparison the Article V Convention option has yet to be successfully

By comparison the article v convention option has yet

This preview shows page 6 - 7 out of 33 pages.

By comparison, the Article V Convention option has yet to be successfully invoked, although not for lack of activity in the states. Proponents of various amendments took concerted efforts to secure the necessary number of applications several times in the 20 th century. The most successful example to date was the early - 20 th century campaign for an amendment to provide popular election of U.S. Senators. Although only 25 of 48 states applied for a convention, this effort is frequently credited with “prodding” the Senate to join the House of Representatives in proposing what became the 17 th Amendment in 1912. 7 Two Article V Convention campaigns of the 1960s - 1980s came even closer to the constitutional requirement, but were ultimately unable to attain applications from the legislatures of two - thirds of the states. The Article V Convention in the 21 st Century: Renewed Interest During the last third of the 20 th century, two campaigns came close to achieving the constitutional threshold of 34 state applications for an Article V Convention. The first sought a convention to consider an amendment authorizing states to use criteria other than strict equality of population in apportioning districts in one chamber of their legislatures. The second advocated a convention to consider an amendment to require a balanced federal budget under most circumstances. Both campaigns ultimately failed to attain their goal. Various reasons are cited for their failure, including second thoughts in state legislatures; for the apportionment amendment, the death of Senator Everett Dirksen, its principal advocate; changing public attitudes concerning the issues; and, in the case of the balanced federal budget amendment campaign, congressional legislation to address concerns over the persistent budget deficits. 8 Many advocates assert, however, that convention applications remain valid indefinitely and that those submitted at any time in the past still count toward the constitutional threshold. Three decades have passed since the high - water mark of the balanced budget amendment convention campaign in the 1980s; consequently, few current Members of either chamber have had the occasion to consider the prospect of an Article V Convention. This situation may, however, be changing, as new communications technology and changing patterns in issue advocacy may offer convention proponents ways to counteract traditional deterrents to the convention alternative. Traditional Deterrents to an Article V Convention In the past, several factors tended to impede the progress of campaigns for an Article V Convention. (...continued) additional information, see CRS Report R42979, The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues , by Thomas H. Neale, p. 10.
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