Although all 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were first approved by Congress and then ratified by the states, Article V of the Constitution also allows for “a convention for proposing amendments.” The convention mechanism has never been used, but frustration with the difficulty of getting amendments through Congress has pushed constitutional reformers to seriously consider this mode of amendment. That there is no precedent for an Article V convention, however, raises questions about the constitutionality and practicality of using conventions to effect limited constitutional change. In Conventional Wisdom, John R. Vile sets out to address these questions, and the result is a valuable work of scholarship of interest to constitutional scholars and political practitioners alike.
Vile confronts the two biggest objections to using Article V conventions to amend the Constitution. First, many argue that Article V does not permit Congress or the states to limit the amendments proposed in an Article V convention, which suggests that the convention mechanism is appropriate only for considering wholesale changes to the Constitution. But Vile adduces evidence showing that many Framers, most notably, Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist, No. 85, understood Article V as allowing for limited conventions. Vile also explains how it came to be
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Remembering Fred I. Greenstein
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Articles | Book reviews
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.