Resolution for Limitations on Authority of state Delegates to a ‘Convention for Proposing Amendments’ under Article V of the US Constitution

Limitations on Authority Of [insert state] Delegates to a “Convention for Proposing Amendments” (Article V, United States of America Constitution)

Summary

The purpose of this resolution is to place limits on the delegates appointed to a Constitutional Convention called under Article V of the US Constitution.  This resolution will eliminate the possibility of a “runaway convention” the reason most often cited by scholars for their opposition to an Article V Convention.  The resolution restricts delegates to work only on those amendments authorized in their legislative instructions and calls for the immediate recall of any delegate that works on an unauthorized amendment.

Model Resolution

“Article V convention” means a “Convention for proposing Amendments” as expressly provided in Article V of the United States of America Constitution; and

“Article V Application” means a [Joint, Concurrent] resolution passed by the State Legislature of [INSERT STATE] on the same subject or containing the same proposed amendment text as 33 other sovereign states requiring Congress to call an Article V convention by setting the time and place; and

“Delegate” or “alternate” means a person selected by the State Legislature of [INSERT STATE] or any other method provided by law to represent the State of [INSERT STATE] at an Article V convention; and

“Legislative Instructions” means instructions given by the state legislature to delegates and alternates before and during an Article V Convention; and

“Unauthorized amendment” means a proposed amendment that is outside the subject matter of the application, the call, the commission, or any Legislative Instructions.

No delegate from [INSERT STATE] to an Article V convention shall have the authority to vote to allow consideration of or vote to approve an unauthorized amendment for ratification to the United States of America Constitution; and

Any delegate casting a vote to allow consideration or approval of an unauthorized amendment shall be immediately recalled by [an official or committee authorized by a Resolution of the State Legislature] and replaced by an alternate; and

Every candidate for delegate or alternate from [INSERT STATE] to the Article V convention shall be required to take the following oath:

[Suggested language] [“I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a delegate or alternate to an Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America and the State of [INSERTSTATE]. I will not vote to allow consideration of or to approve any unauthorized amendment proposed for ratification to the United States of America Constitution; and

The State Legislature [or an official or committee authorized by a Resolution of the State Legislature] shall certify in writing to the Article V convention the selection of delegates and alternates, the recall and replacement of delegate[s] with alternate[s] and the nullification of unauthorized votes cast by the delegate[s] of [INSERT STATE]; and

Any Delegate who violates the oath contained in this section shall be subject to [the maximum civil, criminal penalty] provided for by [INSERT STATE] law.

This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Options:

1. Committee(s) of Correspondence for Article V Conventions for Proposing Amendments

Optional [The Legislature shall designate one or more legislative committees for purposes of communicating, exchanging information and otherwise engaging in discussion and dialogue with the several states and Congressional delegation regarding acts, resolutions and issues related to the Article V convention rules, process, potential amendments, interstate compacts, developing common credentials and instructions for delegates, and procedures for an Article V Convention for proposing amendments. It may vest this function in the Joint Committee, in existing committees of each house, or in such other legislative committee as it may see fit to establish.]

2. Prohibits Delegates from Attending a Convention for Proposing Amendments if Congress Mandates Proportional Representation

Optional [Delegates from the state of [INSERT STATE] shall only be authorized to attend an Article V Convention for proposing amendments where each state has one equal vote.]

 

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Article V, Balanced Budget Amendment, Constitution, Constitutional Amendment, Federalism