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Article V 2.0, Part One: Certainty

This blogpost is the first in a series of three explaining the difference between the Compact for a Balanced Budget approach and other “legacy” approaches to originating Constitutional amendments-from the states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

The differences between the Compact approach to Article V and the “legacy” approaches to Article V can be captured in three categories: 1) Certainty; 2) Safety; and 3) Speed.

As you will see, the Compact approach is truly “Article V 2.0.”


All efforts to originate constitutional amendments from the States require the organization of a convention for proposing amendments under Article V of the United States Constitution. However, unlike the legacy approach, the Compact approach ensures you know precisely what you’re going to get from the amendment by convention process before it begins.

The necessary agreement among the states (the “compact”) and the compact-activating congressional resolution pre-commits supermajorities of the states and simple majorities of Congress to:

* The necessary application to Congress

* Identity and instruction of delegates

* Convention agenda (including the complete text of the contemplated amendment)

* Convention rules

* Convention logistics, and the…

* Ratification itself.

Unlike the legacy approach, the Compact approach also uniquely organizes a Commission to oversee the amendment process, enforce the Compact, manage logistics, and parley with Congress and other states to keep everything on track. As you can see, nothing is left to the imagination and the Compact approach makes it near-impossible to “game” the process.

Ultimately, the states will have a megaphone to match that of the political class in Washington. The only question left open is whether the convention the Compact organizes will propose the contemplated federal Balanced Budget Amendment.

For specifics, you can find a one page overview of the Compact for a Balanced Budget here.

Compact for America Chairman Tom Patterson offers his thoughts on the importance of this unique aspect of the Compact approach here.

This Expert FAQ addresses every major legal issue raised by the Compact approach to Article V and demonstrates that the approach is fully constitutional under current legal precedent.

Now that we’ve addressed the Certainty offered by America’s Compact, tomorrow, we will look into the “Safety” that America’s Compact offers when compared to all other legacy approaches to advancing and ratifying Constitutional amendments via the states.

Related Reading...

Read Article V 2.0, Part Two: Safety Here

Read Article V 2.0, Part Three: Speed Here

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