It may be argued that there is no pressing need for Congress to examine its

It may be argued that there is no pressing need for

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It may be argued that there is no pressing need for Congress to examine its Article V options and responsibilities. Historical precedent suggests that attaining petitions from two-thirds of the states necessary for an Article V Convention in a timely manner is a difficult obstacle, as demonstrated by several unsuccessful convention drives in the latter part of the 20 th century. These fell short of the two-thirds mark, despite the vigorous efforts of organized support groups over a period of several years; moreover, until recently, there has been little apparent interest in the Article V Convention mechanism in the states since the 1980s. Judging by the historical record, the process might arguably be described as a footnote to constitutional history. The measured pace of the legislative process in the states has also traditionally served as an additional check to haste in calling such a convention. 1 For instance, in the case of the balanced budget amendment convention drive of the 1970s and 1980s, it took seven years for an organized campaign to gain convention applications from 32 states, two short of the two-thirds required in Article V. 2 Although the Article V Convention device is not widely known or understood at present, it could provide a vehicle for issue organizations and coalitions seeking amendments to the Constitution. Given the extraordinary speed and flexibility of contemporary social media and communications technology, interested organizations could conceivably launch an Article V Convention campaign for a specific amendment or amendments, or perhaps for a general constitutional convention, within a shortened time frame. In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, it took time for “grass roots” efforts to emerge, form organizations to promote their cause, communicate with like-minded groups, undertake campaigns in state legislatures, and generally to learn and perfect the ancillary skills necessary for nationwide issue advocacy. By comparison, the contemporary availability of instant interpersonal electronic communication, email, and other social network media can facilitate remarkably rapid growth in awareness of a political phenomenon. For instance, MoveOn.org emerged in 1998 as an ad hoc on-line coalition opposed to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and grew quickly to a membership of 5 million. 3 More recently, the Tea Party movement originated in late 2008 with online discussions in conservative-oriented social networking sites and frequent conference calls among organizers. On February 19, 2009, a cable network business commentator made an on-air call for rallies to oppose government spending; his emotionally charged remarks were picked up by cable news networks and various websites, and 1 As Supreme Court Justice and constitutional commentator Joseph Story noted, “The great principle to be sought is to make the changes practicable, but not too easy; to secure due deliberation, and caution; and to follow experience, rather than to open a way for experiments, suggested by mere speculation or theory.” See Joseph Story,
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