opportunity to propose amendments without the normal hurdle of getting them

Opportunity to propose amendments without the normal

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opportunity to propose amendments without the normal hurdle of getting them past two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate might prove hard for ideologues to resist. Would conservative delegates really vote against, say, a separate amendment asserting that the protections of citizenship start at conception?
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Arguments like this have worked in some more liberal states. Delaware, which passed an application for a balanced-budget amendment in 1976, rescinded it last year; New Mexico, Maryland and Nevada followed suit in 2017. But that tactic seems to have run out of room; none of the remaining 27 states looks likely to rescind. Instead the focus is now on the seven states with Republican-controlled legislatures that have yet to request a convention: Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. In some of these states, opponents are putting up a strong enough fight that a convention is not a foregone conclusion. In March the Idaho Senate, where Republicans hold a 29-6 majority, shot down an Article V application. Virginia’s House of Delegates approved an Article V application in 2016, but Richard Black, a Republican state senator, has helped stymie the resolution’s progress with warnings of devious Democrats hijacking a convention. “They could change freedom of religion to say certain teachings from the Bible are hate speech,” he told supporters by e-mail in 2015. “They could take away our right to own a gun.” And there are indeed people on the left who like the idea of turning such a convention to their own ends. Two Republican majorities in Congress alongside a Republican president have made the idea of restraining the federal government more appealing to liberals. An Article V convention has a prominent advocate in Lawrence Lessig, an idealistic law professor at Harvard, who argues that it is the only way to achieve campaign-finance reform. Mr Lessig envisions a grand bargain of “electoral integrity for fiscal integrity”, in which the left would reduce the amount of money in elections and the right would reduce the amount spent by government. To allay the fears that Mr Black and Mr Lessig might stir in Republican hearts, the BBATF and CoS insist that a convention could put forward amendments only on the subjects listed in the states’ applications. Sponsors in some states, such as Wisconsin, have proposed state laws that would ban delegates from casting votes on unrelated topics. But Article V itself says nothing about limiting the scope of a convention. Indeed, it says nothing about many issues which, were a convention to be called under its auspices, would become contested: who would attend; whether it would be open to states that had not called for it; what limits might be placed on its delegates;
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by what majority an amendment would need to pass to be proposed; and so on.
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