The convention of the states meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in September will need a set of rules. Moreover, that convention will be engaged in further rule-writing because the Arizona Legislature called it partly to suggest rules for a prospective Article V Convention for Proposing Amendments.
I suggest the planners start with the Model Rules provided here. It is an update of rules prepared by a drafting team I headed in 2015 and 2016. It offers advantages no other proposed rules have:
- There was an extended deliberation period—about a year and a half.
- The drafting team included two experienced constitutional lawyers and four seasoned state legislators, one of whom had served in legislative leadership in two different states.
- The Model Rules were not the product of theory or speculation. Although updated for modern conditions, they derive directly from prior convention and legislative experience. Earlier versions worked in Philadelphia in 1787 and, under extremely difficult circumstances, at the Washington Convention of 1861.
- These Model Rules are relatively simple.
- We know they actually work: They were tested at a two-day simulated convention in Williamsburg, VA in 2016, where they operated almost flawlessly. Based on that experience, we had to make only very minor amendments.
Obviously, no set of rules can be taken unchanged. But I recommend these for a place to start.