In recent years, some conservatives have responded to the gridlock in Washington with a call for a convention of states to amend the Constitution. Conservative author and talk show host Mark Levin has compiled a laundry list of “liberty amendments” that he would like to see ratified at a convention of the states. Those unfamiliar with the concept of such a convention might wonder how, as Levin told CNS News, Americans can “turn to the Constitution, to save the Constitution, if you love the Constitution, before there is no Constitution.”
The idea of a convention of the states comes from Article V of the Constitution, which describes the amendment process. Amendments have traditionally been proposed by Congress, but the Constitution does provide an alternative method. If the legislatures of two-thirds of the states call a convention to propose constitutional amendments, then those amendments will take effect when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. This means that agreement of 34 states would be required to call a convention and 38 states would be required to ratify any proposed amendments.