We Know the Rules Michael Farris October 28, 2013 Michael Farris Our self-described “naysayer’s” next argument against a Convention of States is as follows: “There are no rules for a modern-day ‘constitutional convention.’” Not true. We know the fundamental rule that governs a Convention of States: each state gets one vote. The Founders did not create a convention of individuals. They created an interstate convention for proposing amendments, which is why it is called a Convention of States. There were several interstate conventions in America’s history, and the rules for a Convention of States are the rules of international bodies when sovereign units of government gather. Every convention of American states practiced one-state, one-vote. Every convention of nations today practices one-state, one-vote. It is a rule that is inherent when sovereign governments meet. Our naysayer’s argument is like saying that the Founders didn’t create rules for juries. The Constitution doesn’t specify that juries have to be unanimous to convict a person of crime. It doesn’t require that juries find defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But those rules are firmly in place just as if they had been written down. Why? Because that is the nature of a jury in the Anglo-American system. When they required jury trials, unanimous verdicts and proof beyond a reasonable doubt came along automatically because that is the nature of a jury. The same thing is true here. The nature of a convention of sovereign governmental entities requires one-state, one-vote. The Founders gave us the only rule that matters. The fact that there are no rules for assigning the number of delegates from each state is absolute proof of the nature of the system they were designing. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, each state could send whatever number of delegates they wanted. When it came time to vote, the delegates from each state had to caucus, and the majority within that delegation cast the vote for the state. That is exactly what will happen with a Convention of States today. The most important rule in any gathering is this one: Who has the power to make the rules? That question has been answered. The Convention of States can decide what internal committees to appoint. It can decide the order of business. It can decide when to take breaks for dinner. None of those kinds of rules need to be specified in the Constitution. All that is important is to specify the rule for voting. And that has been done. One-state, one-vote.