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What is the risk of a "runaway constitutional convention"?

How can Arkansas state legislators force Congress to hold back on federal debt limit increases? Our newest paper argues that Arkansas state legislators can have a beneficial impact on Congress by proposing changes to our federal Constitution.

In Arkansas, State Senator Jason Rapert has recently introduced SJR 1, the National Debt Relief Amendment. This resolution is a call for a convention, under Article V of the federal Constitution, to consider a federal constitutional amendment – one that would block any increase in the federal debt unless that increase had been approved by a majority of state legislatures. Two-thirds of the states must call for a convention in order to trigger Article V: two other states have already passed similar resolutions, and so the passage of this resolution by 31 more states would trigger an Article V convention (also known as an "amendments convention‟).

The NDRA proposal raises many questions of policy and law. Some constitutional experts argue that an Article V convention might become a “runaway convention” that could ultimately create major changes in the Constitution, while other experts argue that this could never happen. But a few indisputable facts are worth noting.

Read our full report here.

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