As the likelihood of a Convention for Proposing Amendments increases, people are beginning to adjust to the idea.
A recent example is adoption of a new rule by the U.S. House of Representatives providing for the recording and public availability of state legislative applications for a convention. The rule change, sponsored by Rep. Steve Stivers (R.-OH), provides that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee may transmit any such application to the House Clerk, and that “the Clerk shall make such . . . publicly available in electronic form, organized by State of origin and year of receipt.”
Although this is a modest change, it apparently is the first time either chamber of Congress has provided for an orderly way to handle and publicize Article V applications.
Another implication relates to the convention call. Under Article V, once Congress receives applications on a particular subject from two thirds of the state legislatures (34 of 50), it MUST call the convention. Nevertheless, for many years there has been concern that a ruthless congressional majority might stonewall by imposing unreasonable rules for counting applications or simply refuse to call or issue the call subject to unreasonable or unconstitutional terms. As the tone of Rep. Stivers’ news release announcing the change suggests, this rule change reduces those concerns.
This development also suggests what I am hearing elsewhere: A sizable contingent in Congress actually wants the state legislatures to get their act together and propose an amendment to fix a broken system.