Article V Conventions to Amend the Constitution, and More from CRS

07.11.12 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Congressional Research Service has just produced a second report concerning “Article V Conventions” by which state legislatures can try to initiate amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

“The Article V Convention for proposing amendments was the subject of considerable debate and forethought at the Constitutional Convention [in 1787],” the new report says. “The founders clearly intended it as a balance to proposal of amendments by Congress, providing the people, through their state legislatures, with an alternative means to consider amendments, particularly if Congress was unable or unwilling to act on its own. Since it is one of the few provisions of the Constitution that has never been implemented, however, the Article V Convention presents many questions for Congress.”

See The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress, July 10, 2012.  The earlier Article V report on Contemporary Issues for Congress, noted yesterday, is here.

Other new and updated CRS reports that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response, July 9, 2012

Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects, July 10, 2012

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, July 10, 2012

Yesterday, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that make non-confidential CRS reports publicly available on a congressional website.  If the resolution is approved, the public would have authorized access to most CRS reports and would no longer have to rely on unauthorized access.  See “New Bill Would Open CRS Reports to Public” by Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation.