Is an Article V Convention on the Horizon?
by Vickie Deppe
Recently released polls by both Gallup and Statista reveal that Americans remain highly dissatisfied with Congress. Both pollsters converged on a disapproval figure of 75% with only 21% approving. Though not record-breaking, these figures are the latest in a more than decade-long period during which our national legislature has consistently struggled to secure the approval of even one in five Americans. Similarly, the RealClear Politics disapproval average of direction-of-the-country polls is nearly 65%. Again, not a record, but representative of a decade-long trend of significant levels of dissatisfaction among the electorate.
This longstanding frustration transcends party control of both Congress and the White House and occurs against the backdrop of worsening division and rancor. The bipartisan cooperation necessary to convene an Article V Convention, draft an amendment, and get it ratified seems out of reach. But the Brennan Center’s John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III point out that gridlock and frustration are the very conditions that have precipitated constitutional reform throughout our history. They argue that this sort of widespread, entrenched dissatisfaction with the status quo is precisely what propels Americans to look for alternative means to effect change.
Two trends suggest that Kowal and Codrington are correct: all the major Article V initiatives are approaching (or have already attained) the 34 applications needed to call a convention. Readers may learn more about the aggregation process here. More importantly, Article V advocates are beginning to embrace the need for and cultivate bipartisanship in their efforts. Arizona, Missouri, and Nebraska are all in the process of codifying bipartisan participation in their delegate selection procedures, and Article V applications are beginning to secure bipartisan support.
Yes, an Article V Convention is on the horizon, because Americans are waking up to the fact that it’s not left vs. right…it’s Washington insiders vs. the rest of us.
Article V News
The Convention of States Project application has been filed in Kentucky; a third and fourth rendition of the CoSP application have been filed in the Iowa Senate, along with companion legislation in the Iowa House. In Montana, SJ 2 failed on the floor owing to bipartisan opposition.
A rescission attempt in North Dakota failed in committee.
In Arizona, a measure for selecting delegates to statewide ratification conventions failed in committee.
The next meeting of the Phoenix Correspondence Commission is scheduled for March 10 at 9 a.m. PST. The PCC is an official channel for the states to communicate with each other and with Congress regarding Article V matters. If you would like to represent your state at the PCC, please contact Bruce Lee.
David Walker, Comptroller General during the Clinton and Bush administrations, outlined a path towards federal fiscal restraint for RealClear Politics. Legislators and other state officials who are interested in learning more about the mandamus suit referenced therein may contact Walker here.
Who Said It?
We have too many high sounding words, and too few, actions that correspond with them.
October 16, 1774