Why A Constitutional Convention May Not Be As Scary As You Think

Earlier this week I shared some research from the Goldwater Institute about a constitutional convention, in hopes of easing some concerns that have recently arisen in the state.

Yesterday, Dan Greenberg of Advance Arkansas Institute weighed in with a much more thorough analysis, and dare I say expert opinion on the concept of a convention.

AAI’s policy paper, titled “What State Legislators Need to Know About the Prospect of a ‘Runaway Constitutional Convention,’ ” outlines 3 main assurances that a convention would in fact be limited in scope.

1) It is impossible for an Article V convention to change the Constitution in any respect unless, after that convention, 38 states independently decide to ratify any such proposed change.

2) Arkansas state legislators could easily pass legislation that ensures that, in the event of an Article V convention, our state’s delegates could never create a “runaway convention.”

3) The people of Arkansas could pass a state constitutional amendment that would ban ratification of any amendment that had not been proposed by two-thirds of the states.

If you’re a state legislator, concerned about a runway constitutional convention, or just so happen to be a constitutional nerd, you need to read the full paper.  You can find it here.

My favorite quote from the paper:

Advocates of limited government often refer to the need to recognize the powers of state governments under the Tenth Amendment. However, an equally important power of the states is contained in the Constitution‟s Article V – to exert control by the states over a too-powerful federal government – and friends of constitutional government do themselves no favors when they ignore or misconstrue this Article’s provisions.

Up to this point, I have been fairly undecided on the idea of a convention.  I have seen legitimacy in the arguments both for & against.  However, there are two things I know for sure:

1. There is always a great amount of fear-mongering from The Left whenever conservatives start proposing bold reforms to reign in government.

2. Dan Greenberg is seldom wrong.

Nic Horton



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