Mid-February 2017 Article V Progress Report – by David Guldenschuh
Fellow Article V Supporters:
Enclosed is your mid-February edition of THE ARTICLE V CONVENTION LEGISLATIVE PROGRESS REPORT. By my latest worksheet count, more than 110 pieces of Article V legislation have been filed in 34 states so far in 2017 with at least a dozen or so more items still to follow. No application has made it completely through a state yet, but several should pass before the next March 1st Report. We have seen five rescission resolutions filed, two of which were quickly defeated. Delegate Selection bills have been filed in 9 states and are moving forward steadily. All groups are having successes, but most notable is the BBA Task Force which is but a couple of votes away from reaching the 90% mark of progress toward the 34 state trigger for calling a convention.
Since my last Report, I have continued to receive feedback that one or more groups are attempting to further their own efforts by challenging the efforts of another group. A common theme being employed is the claim that the 28 state applications counted by the BBA Task Force are all different and won’t aggregate. Folks, that argument is about as fanciful as the “runaway” convention argument. I have spoken with virtually every Article V constitutional scholar in the movement. I have actually read the applications. There is a consensus that 26 of the 28 applications all use sufficiently similar language to aggregate as a call for a balanced budget amendment convention. There are two applications – Maryland and Mississippi – that arguably contain specific amendment language that could affect their aggregation. The Mississippi application will likely be updated before the BBA reaches 34. As for Maryland, its preamble specifically calls for a BBA, the proposed language of the amendment is not terribly dissimilar from the other 26 applications and the application does not require the exact wording of the amendment; rather it requires only a proposal “substantially as follows,” which is highly likely to be the case. The bottom line is that a strong argument can and will be made to a receptive Congress to aggregate all 28 current applications with any 6 that follow, and if aggregated as is expected, it will be extremely difficult for any Court to undo that aggregation. As Mike Stern has pointed out, the recent Madison Elector cases offer comfort that the courts will not meddle with the Article V process.
I will be writing more on this issue in the near future. I once again caution about speaking negatively about other groups. That tears down the overall movement. It subjects you to being scrutinized using the same narrow standard you apply to others. You may not desire such scrutiny. We need to be supportive of all the groups and not give ammunition to the naysayers. Let’s turn our attention and positive vibes to passing applications and saving this country!
Good luck to all. If I can ever be of assistance to any of you, please don’t hesitate to ask.
David F. Guldenschuh
Editor and Publisher
The Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report