The following excerpt is from an op-ed written by Mark Alspaugh, the Arkansas State Director for the Convention of States Project. Click here to read the entirety of this fantastic article.

Article V of the Constitution provides a state-led way for “we the people,” working through our state legislatures, to propose amendments to the Constitution that can stop its systematic dismantling.

It provides that “The Congress … on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments. …” It is a constitutional “emergency cord provision” rapidly gaining momentum nationwide.

Unfortunately, polemics previously published here advance a cacophony of baseless and misleading arguments opposing an Article V convention. This commentary stands on the Jeffersonian principle that an enlightened citizenry is indispensable for proper functioning of our republic. Unlike arguments that rely on the tyranny of so-called expert opinion offered without rational proof, these arguments can be fact- checked.

Opponents label an Article V convention as a “constitutional convention.” While the label may contain a grain of truth, without clarification it is woefully, perhaps dangerously, inaccurate.

Numerous baseless beliefs and fear-mongering hobgoblins flow from such inaccuracy.

Political scientists describe three types of “constitutional conventions.” A “general constitutional convention” is one called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to replace an existing constitution. An “unlimited constitutional convention” is one called to revise an existing constitution to the extent necessary. Finally, a “limited constitutional convention” is one restricted to amending a current constitution within the scope of the convention’s call, the mandate establishing the convention.

Using the phrase “constitutional convention,” without necessary clarification, leads many to visualize a 1787-like “general constitutional convention” where everything is on the table, rather than the type actually mandated by the Constitution, a convention of the third kind.

Read the rest of the article here.

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