including the likelihood, in practice, that the new mechanism contemplated would actually generate constitutional reform and the risk also of a runaway convention producing too many or undesirable changes.
2018] A MENDING THE A MENDMENT P ROCEDURES 121 I. A P ROPOSED C ONSTITUTIONAL A MENDMENT This Part begins by setting out the key features of the proposed amendment. It then discusses the likely benefits of the proposal, which include democratizing the amendment process and enhancing our constitutional culture. A. Key Features Section 1 of the proposed amendment requires asking voters 23 at the next federal election, and then in federal elections every twenty years thereafter, whether they favor holding a constitutional convention. If both a national majority of those voting favors a convention and a convention is favored in a majority of the states, then Congress is obligated to call the convention. The voters in each state must then elect three delegates to represent the state and convene in Washington, DC the following June. Sections 2 and 3 of the proposal discuss qualifications and compensation for convention delegates. Section 2 requires that delegates be eighteen years of age, citizens of the United States for five years, and inhabitants of the state they represent at the convention. Section 2 also prohibits delegates from holding other national or state offices while serving in the convention. For example, a Senator or Governor would be ineligible to serve as a delegate. Section 3 provides for delegates to receive a salary and expenses during the time of their service at the convention in the same manner as a U.S. Representative during a congressional session. Sections 4 and 5 specify the basic operations of the convention. As provided in section 4, a majority of delegates constitutes a quorum. Proposed amendments, however, require the approval of two-thirds of all convention delegates. Section 5 gives the convention power to determine its operating rules, choose its officers, resolve disputes over the qualifications of delegates, appoint staffers, and keep records, and it guarantees federal funding for convention expenses. At the same time, section 5 permits removal of a delegate for cause only upon a two-thirds vote by the convention members; the procedure for filling vacancies is also specified (the governor may make a temporary appointment until voters are able to elect a new delegate). 23. Voters are called “electors” to track the language of Article I, section 2.
122 D UKE J OURNAL OF C ONSTITUTIONAL L AW & P UBLIC P OLICY [V OL . 13:2 Section 6 specifies the process for ratification of proposed amendments. Under section 6, a proposed amendment must be limited to a single subject and submitted to state ratifying conventions. Section 6 specifies that a majority of the states must approve the proposal and that the majority derive at least two thirds of the number of U.S. Representatives from all of the states. The latter provision serves as a proxy for population. With 435 Representatives