This is Part 2 of a 2-part series of guest editorials on the option of convening the states to reform how Washington works.
There is an ongoing debate about whether we should have an Article V Constitutional Convention (CON CON) or not. Supporters like to call it a Convention of the States (COS) because it sounds less “federal” and the detractors call it a Constitutional Convention because they believe it more accurately describes what it actually is.
COS supporters believe that the only way to get any new Constitutional Amendments such as a balance budget amendment is to invoke an Article V Convention. They believe (rightly so) that Congress will never put budget restrictions on themselves. Nor will they ever have 2/3 majority in both houses to vote for a new amendment. So supporters of cos believe the people of the several states must take the initiative to do so.
Those opposing a CON CON / COS believe that there is a real potential of a “runaway” convention. The reason for their skepticism of a CON CON is having historical knowledge of the first Convention of the States. It was in fact a runaway convention. All thirteen states were sent to the convention for one purpose; to amend the Articles of Confederation for the sole purpose to pay off the war debt to France. Although all the states had explicit language from their state legislatures describing their participation at the convention, things changed rather quickly and very dramatically.