Constitutional Archaeology Confirms the Compact Approach to Article V
Compact for America Educational Foundation has already published several policy reports arguing that the original meaning of Article V is clearly and unequivocally one in which the "application" of the state legislatures determines the content of the convention call, and therefore the convention agenda.
More than that, our research has shown that the Founders repeatedly made representations indicating that they anticipated the states would specify in word-for-word detail the amendment or amendments they desired to be proposed by convention in their "application."
This doesn't mean that the application couldn't also call for a "drafting convention" focused on a general topic; it means only that the Founders said over and over again that they thought the states could and would target the amendment process to the specific amendment(s) they wanted. That targeted, laser-focused approach underpins the Compact approach to Article V and confirms its constitutionality.
Here's more proof of the Compact's fidelity to first principles: A few days ago, a gentleman and self-taught constitutional scholar by the name of Ken Quinn (who has also served as Regional Director for the Convention of States project) discovered and reported on still more proof of this original meaning of the "application" in Article V.
It is a newspaper report of an Article V application from the State of North Carolina dated November 23, 1789 in which a specific list of amendment proposals is sought.
It illustrates that the earliest, ratification-era understanding of Article V was that states had the authority to apply to Congress for a convention to propose specified amendments, not just a general topic or subject matter. It underscores yet again the correct original meaning of Article V - that the states could seek the proposal of any amendment they desired by specifying it in their application.
Thank you Ken Quinn for your excellent constitutional archaeology! We are looking forward to reporting on more of your findings.