Class will be tonight, Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at AllStar/CARSTAR Collision, 522 Railroad Street, Corona, CA

Constitution Class Handout
Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs
Lesson 10
Amendments and Conventions
Article V is the section in the Constitution that
provides the people and the States the opportunity to change the law of the
land if needed by establishing the amendment process.  Originally, only the States were going to be
able to propose amendments.  On the
second to the last day of the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers
added as an afterthought to allow the Congress to propose amendments as well.  The amendment process is the only process
through which the Constitution may be altered.
Amendments, according to Article V, may be proposed by
either two-thirds of both Houses of the United States Congress, or by a
national convention of States.  Amendments
must then be ratified by approval of three-fourths of the States either through
their legislatures, or through ratifying conventions.
Amendments proposed by a national convention is a
process known as an Article V. Convention.
Current opinion regarding an Article V. Convention
varies.  Some people and groups have
warned against such a convention, fearing a runaway convention that could be
used to re-write the Constitution.  The
Constitution does not allow for a runaway convention.  In an Article V. Convention, only amendments
may be proposed.
The call for an Article V. Convention is nothing
new.  Forty-Nine States have called for
it, many of those calls beginning longer than over a 100 years ago.  Over 700 applications have been made.  The convention has never taken place because
the Congress will not set a time and place (the only federal duty in an Article
V. Convention), for fear of the people proposing amendments, and the States
ratifying them, that would limit the powers of the federal government.  Centralized systems do not like it when the
individual mind gets involved, and demands change.
There are three kinds of conventions.  A con-con, which is a Constitutional
Convention, and there was only one, held back in 1787, and there should only be
one in our history.  In addition to the
con-con, and the Article V. Convention, is a kind of convention called Republic
.  A Republic Review may be
used to audit the federal government, determine what is unconstitutional, and
then form a plan of action to alter the federal government so that it falls in
line with the principles of the United States Constitution.  An Article V. Convention, or the States
working together through nullification, could be the result of a Republic
Review.  The strategy to convene a
Republic Review convention lies primarily with We the People.
Amendments, no matter how they are proposed, require
three-quarters approval from the States. 
This approval process is called “ratification.”  Ratification is the failsafe, according to
Alexander Hamilton in his Federalist 85, against conventions that may be used
to rewrite the Constitution.  Any change
to the Constitution is possible, as prescribed by Article V, as long as the
amendment is capable of receiving three-quarters of the States’ ratification
The only exception to any amendment being possible is
addressed at the end of Article V. 
According to the Constitution, no amendment, without the consent of the
State in question, may deprive a State of equal suffrage in the Senate.  This testifies to the importance, in the
minds of the framers, to the need for the United States Senate to remain
unchanged, with the Senators being appointed by the State legislatures.
Since the
Constitution is a document that contains express powers for the federal
government, granted by the States, the only way to change or add authorities is
through the amendment process, with State approval.  When it is understood that the original
authorities granted to the federal government were granted to the central
government by the States, it is appropriate that it takes three-quarters of the
States to ratify an amendment.  When
Congress proposes an amendment, it is literally a case of the federal
government asking for permission of the States to have a new authority, and
approval by the States requires three-quarters agreement.
Article V.
– A convention for the proposal of constitutional
amendments applied for by the States and called by Congress.
– Powers granted to the federal government by enumerated authorities
expressly granted in the United States Constitution.
Republic Review – A convention of delegates
representing the several States in order to audit the laws, actions, and
composure of the United States federal government; a review of unconstitutional
characteristics of the federal government based on the amendment ratification
concept that if it takes three-quarters of the States to ratify an amendment, a
quarter (plus one) of the States determining a law, action or department of the
federal government to be unconstitutional allows the States to nullify the
Questions for Discussion:
1.  What two sources
may propose amendments?
2.  Why does it require
the States to ratify proposed amendments?
3.  How is an Article
V. Convention an important part of restraining the federal government?
Friends of
the Article V. Convention:
G. R.
Mobley, We the People: Whose Constitution
is it Anyway?
Hobart, Washington: Mobius Strip Press (2013)
G. R.
Mobley, We the People: The Strategy to
Convene a Convention for
; Hobart, Washington: Mobius Strip Press
Andrews, A Guide for Learning and
Teaching The Declaration of
and The U.S. Constitution – Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical
Learning Methods of the Founders
; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the Constitution
Notes Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale
Mark R.
Levin, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring
the American
Republic; New York:
Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster (2013)
Philip B.
Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder’s
Constitution –
Four – Article I I, Section 8, Clause 5 to Article VII
Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987)
Douglas V. Gibbs, 2015

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