9 See eg Ronald D Rotunda Bicentennial Lessons from the Constitutional

9 see eg ronald d rotunda bicentennial lessons from

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9. See, e.g., Ronald D. Rotunda, Bicentennial Lessons from the Constitutional Convention of 1787, 21 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 589,620-21 (1987); see also Dellinger, supra note 7, at 1624-30 (discussing the evolution of Article V at the Philadelphia Convention). 10. Article V provides: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this [Vol. 80:227
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1996] AN ESSAY ON TERM LIMITS The second method authorizes the states to apply to Congress to call a convention. When two-thirds of the states apply, Congress "shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments."" Whether amendments are proposed by Congress or by a constitution- al convention-the proposed amendments must then be ratified by three- fourths of the states before they can become part of the Constitution. Over the last two centuries, Congress proposed all twenty-seven amendments that have become part of our Constitution. 2 The states have never used the constitutional convention method, though its threat has been very useful in prodding a reluctant Congress to act.' 3 During this same time period, Congress also proposed various amendments that were not ratified by the requisite number of states. 4 For example, in 1861, Congress proposed an amendment that purported to forbid any future constitutional amendment that would outlaw slavery. This unusual proposal never became part of our Constitution because the states refused to ratify it. Instead, in 1865, the states added 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 Congress .... U.S. CONST. art. V (emphasis added). 11. Id. (emphasis added). 12. Lawrence Schlam, Legislative Term Limitation Under a "Limited" Popular Initiative Provision?, 14 N. ILL. U. L. Rnv. 1, 33-34 (1993). 13. See, e.g., Dellinger, supra note 7, at 1623. In 1979, thirty states submitted applications asking Congress to call a convention to consider a mandatory balanced federal budget amendment. Id. Congress was purportedly brought "to the brink of calling a constitutional convention" because only four more applications were required. Id (quoting NAT'L L.J., Mar. 5, 1979 at 1, col. 2). 14. Although Congress has proposed numerous amendments to the Constitution, the states have only ratified 27 amendments and failed to ratify six amendments. RICHARD B. BERNSTEIN & JEROME ANGEL, AMENDING AMERICA: IF WE LovE THE CONSTITUTION SO MUCH, WHY Do WE KEEP TRYING TO CHANGE IT? 169 (1993). Unratified amendments proposed by Congress have dealt with various subjects, such as calculating representation in the House of Representatives, losing citizenship if a citizen accepts a title of nobility, outlawing child labor, prohibiting sex discrimination, and treating the District of Colombia as if it were a state. See Boudreaux & Pritchard, supra note 8, at 152 n.201;
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