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3 J.L. & Pol. 51 (1986-1987)
The Constitutional Convention: A Safe Political Option

handle is hein.journals/jlp3 and id is 61 raw text is: The Constitutional Convention:
A Safe Political Option
by Paul J. Weber*
Authority for the constitutional convention arises from article V
of the Constitution, which reads:
The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem
it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on
the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several
States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which,
in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of
this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-
fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths
thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be pro-
posed by the Congress.
Contemporary discussions of constitutional conventions generally
take place on two levels: in academic or scholarly literature and in
the popular media. Rarely do these different discussions affect each
other. There is, however, one exception: the issue of the safety of
a constitutional convention. Unfortunately, many scholars have done
the nation a disservice by concocting hypothetical horribles.1 They
focus on whether a constitutional convention would jeopardize civil
liberties or produce a constitutional, economic or social crisis. These
hypothetical problems are then magnified by the media, distracting
public attention from the real problems addressed by those who call
for a convention.'
This article will explore the various points in the constitutional
* Professor of Political Science, University of Louisville.
See, e.g., Goldberg, The Proposed Constitutional Convention, 11 Hastings Const. L.Q. 1 (1983);
see also Gunther, Constitutional Roulette: The Dimensions of the Risk, in The Constitution and the
Budget 5 (W. Moore & R. Penner ed. 1980).
' This article takes no position on the value, wisdom or merits of specific amendments which are
the bases of calls for a convention.

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