written by MPMTA historian, Rich Harisay;

Their objection centers around the mythical fear that such a convention could become a runaway convention. The book by Weber and Perry (cited in bibliography below) puts this myth to rest. It is also pointed out that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right wing organization, has published a handbook instructing legislators and others in how to promote such a convention and even gain control of it. The objectors' conclusion is to avoid having such a convention. That does not make any sense; if someone (or group) is going to try to control such a convention, we want to be there to oppose such an attempt. Better yet, let's have ours first so that we can establish the rules for such conventions since one has never been held before.

Founding Fathers on Article V Conventions
“... the national rulers, whenever nine States concur, will have no option upon the subject. By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States [which at present amount to nine], to call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof." The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress "shall call a convention." Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body.”. (emphasis ours) [Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper #85]

James Madison expressed his opposition to a second convention (before ratification). This fact, often misquoted and misapplied, has been used to support opposition to AVCs when Madison, in fact, was not opposed to the general concept. ALSO: The so-called “runaway convention” is a myth invented and perpetuated by those who own Congress to protect their investment therein.

Last Paragraphs

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.” When Thomas Jefferson wrote this in 1787 he was in Paris (as our envoy) responding to the news of Shay's Rebellion. Later in life he concluded that rebellion was still necessary but that blood shed was no longer a necessity due to the availability of the AVC. To his very end he championed a free republican democracy.
Many people are familiar with the fact that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, the fourth of July 1826, many miles apart. Even though Jefferson died first (Adams had no way of knowing this) yet we should live by his last words: “Thomas Jefferson still lives.”


Weber, B.J. & Perry, B.A. Unfounded Fears: Myths and Realities of a Constitutional Convention. Praeger 1989

Hamilton, Madison, Jay, Henry. The Complete Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Classic Books America 2009

Bernstein, R.B. Thomas Jefferson. The Folio Society, London 2008

You have no rights to post comments