State Legislatures have no power to select & control Delegates to an Article V Convention

Congress calls the convention provided for in Article V, US Constitution, and makes the
laws necessary and proper to organize the convention:
Article V, US Constitution, says:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem necessary, shall
propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of
two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” [emphasis added]

Article I, §8, last clause, US Constitution, says Congress shall have the Power…
“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing
Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any
Department or Officer thereof.” [italics added]


The April 11, 2014 Report of the Congressional Research Service [CRS] shows that Congress is well aware
that it has the authority to organize and set up the convention:

“Second, While the Constitution is silent on the mechanics of an Article V convention, Congress has
traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including (1)
receiving, judging, and recording state applications; (2) establishing procedures to summon a convention;
… (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates…” (p. 4) [emphasis added]
S. 1272, the Federal Constitutional Convention Procedures Act, passed the US Senate during 1973, and
illustrates that Congress recognizes that it has the power to determine the number and selection process for
Delegates: It provided for the election of one Delegate from each Congressional District; and the election
of two additional Delegates for the State at large. 1

The convention is a federal function, not a State function; and State Legislatures have no control over it. When
those pushing for an Art. V Convention assure you that State Legislatures will select Delegates & force them to
sign Oaths of obedience to the State Legislature, they are making stuff up. Congress decides how Delegates
will be selected! Whether Congress provides for the election of Delegates (as in S. 1272); or Congress selects
the Delegates, State Legislatures have no power over Delegates. Furthermore, Delegates have the self-evident
Right to “alter or abolish” the existing state & federal governments. So no one has power over Delegates!
We don’t know what Congress will do about selecting Delegates! Congress may appoint themselves as Delegates.
So the number of Delegates each State gets would be the same as its number of electoral votes! E.g., Calif would get 55 Delegates.

Page 40 of the CRS Report shows it’s been recognized that there doesn’t seem to be any “. . . constitutional prohibition against
[U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . .”
Contact Joanna Martin, J.D. at