effective Article V Convention advocacy movement has been greatly compressed, and that much of the infrastructure previously considered necessary for such a campaign might be avoided altogether.This report opens with a brief overview of the provisions of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which established the alternative procedures for proposing amendments to the states. It then addresses, from the standpoint of policy, the role of Congress in calling a convention, the form and function of Article V conventions, the amendments they might propose, the ratification process, and such ancillary issues as the role of the President. A companion report, CRS Report R44435, The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Current Developments, provides tracking and policy analysis of current activity in Congress, the states, and the Article V Convention advocacy community. CRS Report R42592, The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress, provides comprehensive information and analysis of the convention mechanism, including a detailed examination of constitutional and statutory provisions, origins and original intent at the Constitutional Convention, case studies of major campaigns for an Article V Convention, and a review of the role of the states in the process.Background: Article V of the U.S. ConstitutionAs noted directly above, Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two procedures to amend the nation’s fundamental charter. The first, “Proposal by Congress,” authorizes proposal of amendments by Congress:The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, ... which ... shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several
The Article V Convention: Contemporary Issues for Congress Congressional Research Service 2 States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress....1The second, the “Article V Convention” alternative, requires Congress, “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”—34 at present—to call “a Convention for Proposing Amendments....”Amendments ratified by the states under either procedure are indistinguishable and have equal force; they are both “valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution....”2Both modes of amendment share key constitutional requirements.Amendments proposed either by Congress or an Article V Convention must be ratified by the legislatures or conventions in three-fourths of the states—38 at present.Congress has authority to choose the method of ratification in the states. The options are ratification by ad hoc conventions called by the states for the specific purpose of considering the ratification, or ratification by the legislatures of the states. Here again, the three-fourths requirement applies in both instances.