Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution

A painting depicting the signing of the United States Constitution
The U.S. constitutional amendment process
"We the People" in an original edition of the Constitution
Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig has called for a Second Constitutional Convention of the United States.

Article V Convention or amendatory convention; is one of two methods authorized by Article Five of the United States Constitution whereby the United States Constitution may be altered.

- Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution

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John Birch Society

American right-wing political advocacy group.

A sign advocating America's withdrawal produced by the John Birch Society

It opposed efforts to call an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Article Five of the United States Constitution

Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process for altering the Constitution.

The U.S. constitutional amendment process
Resolution proposing the Nineteenth Amendment
Tennessee certificate of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. With this ratification, the amendment became valid as a part of the Constitution.

Amendments may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate; or by a convention to propose amendments called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures.

Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution established the direct election of United States senators in each state.

The Seventeenth Amendment in the National Archives
James Wilson was the only member of the Constitutional Convention who supported electing the United States Senate by popular vote.
William Jennings Bryan campaigned for the popular election of U.S. senators.

Twenty-seven states had called for a constitutional convention on the subject, with 31 states needed to reach the threshold; Arizona and New Mexico each achieved statehood that year (bringing the total number of states to 48), and were expected to support the motion.

Tom Coburn

American politician and physician who served as a United States senator for Oklahoma from 2005, until his resignation in 2015.

Senators Coburn and Barack Obama discuss S. 2590 in 2006
Senators Coburn and Obama and Congressman Jeb Hensarling greet President George W. Bush at the signing ceremony of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
Senator Coburn at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland

Coburn also served as a senior advisor to Citizens for Self-Governance, where he was active in calling for a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Progressive American think tank that analyzes the impact of federal and state government budget policies.

The Center is opposed to modern day efforts to call a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.


Requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority.

Euler diagram showing A is a subset of B, A⊆B, and conversely B is a superset of A.

Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in one of two ways: a two-thirds supermajority votes of each house of United States Congress or a convention called by Congress on application of two-thirds (currently 34) of the states.

Constituent assembly

Body assembled for the purpose of drafting or revising a constitution.

Opening session of the 2021 Chilean constitutional convention
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy (1940)
The Virginia Constitutional Convention, 1830 (George Catlin, ca. 1830). Many state constituent assemblies, like the 1830 Virginia Constitutional Convention, were highly formalized but the legitimacy of the constitution they drafted depended on whether it was authorized by the people, not whether a particular procedure was followed.

Article V of the Constitution does permit Congress to appoint a national constitutional convention to propose amendments but it has never done so.

Balanced budget amendment

Constitutional rule requiring that a state cannot spend more than its income.

Constitution of the Year XII (First French Republic)

They began a plan to make an "end run" around Congress, for the U.S. Constitution also allows two-thirds of state legislatures to petition for a convention to be called for the purpose of writing proposed amendments to the Constitution, a procedure which has never happened under the Constitution; the Constitution itself was created by the original constitutional convention of 1787.

Greg Abbott

American politician, attorney, and former jurist who has served as the 48th governor of Texas since 2015.

Abbott in 2015
Greg Abbott talks about the Harriet Miers nomination with President George W. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justices in 2005. From left: Eugene Cook, Raul Gonzalez, Abbott, John Hill, James Baker, Bush, and Craig Enoch
Abbott and John Cornyn highlight Crime Stoppers Month in San Antonio, 2008
Abbott after receiving the Republican nomination in 2014
Abbott speaking at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council conference
Governor Abbott with President Donald Trump during Hurricane Harvey emergency
Abbott and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly in a helicopter touring the Mexico–United States border in 2017.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, India's Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in a meeting with Governor Abbott, in 2018.
Abbott speaking with President Donald Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in the Oval Office
Abbott and President Joe Biden at the Harris County Emergency Operations Center in 2021

In 2016, Abbott spoke to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, calling for a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Everett Dirksen

American politician.

Senators Mike Mansfield (left) and Dirksen conversing in 1967.
Dirksen with President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew on January 20, 1969.
Dirksen played a key role in passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Statue of Senator Dirksen on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. A duplicate is located in Mineral Springs Park in his hometown of Pekin, Illinois.
President Richard Nixon paying his last tributes to Senator Dirksen in 1969.

After the Warren Court imposed one-man-one-vote on all state legislative houses in the 1964 case Reynolds v. Sims, he led an effort to convene an Article V convention for an amendment to the Constitution that would allow for legislative districts of unequal population.