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Republish it! But please do not edit the piece. Also make sure that you attribute the author, and mention the article was originally published on Scholars Strategy Network. \u003Cem\u003EBy copying and pasting the markup below you will be adhering to these guidelines.\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022\/republishing-ssn-articles\u0022\u003EView additional guideline details.\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Ctextarea\u003E\n \u003Cdiv about=\u0022\/brief\/conservative-campaign-new-constitutional-convention-would-hobble-federal-government\u0022 typeof=\u0022sioc:Item foaf:Document\u0022 class=\u0022ds-1col node node-brief view-mode-stealourcontent_node clearfix\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ch2\u003E\n The Conservative Campaign for a New Constitutional Convention that Would Hobble the Federal Government\n \u003C\/h2\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/scholar\/david-marcus\u0022\u003EDavid Marcus\u003C\/a\u003E, University of Arizona\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Since the 1970s, conservatives have invested enormous effort and resources into state-level politics, vastly out-organizing and out-spending progressive groups. Once obscure organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (\u201cALEC\u201d for short) have taken center stage in U.S. politics \u2013 successfully pushing for right-leaning laws in dozens of state legislatures. ALEC and like-minded groups understand that they can project power nationally if their allies dominate state legislatures.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Consider the Redistricting Majority Project (or \u201cREDMAP\u201d), a project designed to produce Republican majorities in state houses in time for redistricting following the 2010 census. REDMAP spent huge sums on state legislative races. After victories, newly elected Republican legislators quickly authorized gerrymandered congressional districts, with clear partisan payoffs. Even though Democratic candidates won 1.1 million more votes nationally in 2012, Republicans secured a 33-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Now conservative groups want to use their dominance of state politics to change the U.S. Constitution in radical ways. If they are successful in an Article V movement to persuade enough state legislatures to support calls for a new Constitutional convention, such a gathering could propose amendments designed to cripple, permanently, the federal government\u2019s regulatory and fiscal powers.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EThe Current Campaign for an Article V Constitutional Convention\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides two methods for enacting amendments. In the first approach \u2013 used so far in U.S. history for all twenty-seven of the existing Constitutional amendments \u2013 two-thirds of both houses of Congress vote for a proposed amendment, which then goes for consideration by state legislatures. Three-fourths of the states must agree to the proposed amendment for it to be adopted.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n The Founders included a second method to ensure that Congress could not block amendments that might threaten its institutional interests. State legislatures can enact \u201capplications\u201d requesting a convention, and if two-thirds of them do so, Congress must \u201ccall\u201d a convention. The convention, not Congress, then would propose amendments. Ratification of those proposals would still require three-fourths of the states to agree.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n No effort to trigger an Article V convention has ever succeeded, but todays several conservative groups hope to change that. Perhaps the most extreme is the Citizens for Self-Governance, which has received significant funding from wealthy conservatives including the Koch Brothers, the DeVoses, and the Robert and Rebekah Mercer family foundation. If Citizens for Self-Governance gets its way, a new convention would propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution mandating a balanced federal budget, eliminating all existing federal tax laws, and \u2013 in general -- reversing gains in congressional authority established since the New Deal and World War II.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Another approach, seemingly more narrow, is propelled by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and the Compact for America, both supported by ALEC. This kind of amendment would cripple Congress\u2019s power to meet a budgetary shortfall through tax increases. Although seemingly more modest, the Compact\u2019s ambitions are basically the same as those of Citizens for Self-Governance. If the federal government cannot spend more than it takes in, and cannot raise taxes, extreme cuts would necessarily follow \u2013 and the federal government\u2019s role in U.S. governance and social welfare would shrink dramatically.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EUnanswered Legal Questions\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Should a new Constitutional convention be convened, conservative groups hope to control the convention\u2019s procedure as well as its agenda. Success would depend on answers to a number of procedural questions:\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cul\u003E\n \u003Cli\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EHow would convention delegates get apportioned and selected?\u003C\/strong\u003E Scholars and lawyers have assumed that the number of a state\u2019s delegates would depend roughly on its population, and that voters would elect delegates. But the Compact for America proposes that each state\u2019s governor, speaker of the house, and president of the senate attend as delegates. Republicans presently control both houses in thirty-two states and governorships in thirty-three states, so this would ensure a supermajority of conservative delegates.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003Cul\u003E\n \u003Cli\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EHow would voting work at the convention?\u003C\/strong\u003E Scholars who have examined this question in the past have proposed something roughly consistent with the one-person, one-vote rule: California would receive many more votes than Wyoming, to ensure that its 39 million residents get the same representation as Wyoming\u2019s 600,000. Conservative groups, however, want each state to have a single vote, giving a Wyomingite 65 times more representation than a Californian. Although the 26 smallest U.S. states represent less than 18 percent of its population, they could form a majority.\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003Cul\u003E\n \u003Cli\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EOnce the convention begins, could delegates consider any proposal? And who would have final say?\u003C\/strong\u003E Could the original calls for the convention \u2013 enacted by Republican legislators \u2013 limit the agenda? If Congress apportions delegates according to state population, or if the convention proposes eliminating the Electoral College, can opponent groups sue? Or would federal courts refuse to hear these political questions?\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EThe Continuing Threat\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n By one count, legislatures in 28 of the necessary 34 states have passed Article V resolutions. Progressives have started to react. Just days after Arizona passed its recent Article V resolutions, New Mexico voted to rescind its earlier resolution. Maryland and Nevada soon followed suit. But the threat of a new convention will remain, and conservative experts have spent years devising plans like those in ALEC\u2019s \u201cArticle V Handbook for State Lawmakers.\u201d Progressives need to have well-supported legal arguments ready to go. They must understand that the path to national power often goes through the states.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u0026nbsp;\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-footer-comments\u0022\u003E\u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp;\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Ctable align=\u0022left\u0022 border=\u00220\u0022 cellpadding=\u00221\u0022 cellspacing=\u00221\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ctr\u003E\n \u003Ctd\u003E\n \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholars.org\u0022\u003Ewww.scholars.org\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/td\u003E\n \u003C\/tr\u003E\n \u003C\/table\u003E\n \u003Ctable align=\u0022right\u0022 border=\u00220\u0022 cellpadding=\u00221\u0022 cellspacing=\u00221\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ctr\u003E\n \u003Ctd\u003E\n July 2017\n \u003C\/td\u003E\n \u003C\/tr\u003E\n \u003C\/table\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u0026nbsp;\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E \u003Cp\u003EThis article was originally published on \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/\u0022\u003EScholars Strategy Network\u003C\/a\u003E. Read the \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/brief\/conservative-campaign-new-constitutional-convention-would-hobble-federal-government\u0022\u003Eoriginal article\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cimg height=\u00221\u0022 width=\u00221\u0022 typeof=\u0022foaf:Image\u0022 src=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/stealourcontent\/track.gif?nid=39497\u0022 alt=\u0022\u0022 \/\u003E \u003C\/textarea\u003E\n\n \u003Cp\u003ECopy the above code and paste it into your website or CMS to republish.\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n"}]