For a few weeks earlier this year, it looked like the Article V movement might have stalled.
Some state lawmakers thought the election of President Trump would be a sufficient solution to federal dysfunction. Wyoming’s passage of a balanced budget application was offset by rejection in conservative Idaho and rescission in liberal New Mexico. The idea of the Tennessee legislature sponsoring a convention of states later this year to plan for a balanced budget convention passed Tennessee’s senate, but was stalled in its house of representatives. US Term Limits won approval of the Utah house, but had not added to its application count. The liberal WolfPAC group, which wants a campaign finance reform amendment, was stuck at five states. Most notably, the grassroots driven Convention of States movement seemed unable to add to its existing total of eight states.
In politics, though, events often ripen over a long time behind the scenes and then burst into view with blinding suddenness—much as the Berlin Wall suddenly crashed after years of being quietly undermined. Within the last few days, we have seen:
- The “planning convention” idea being reborn in the Tennessee house;
- Arizona adopting the balanced budget amendment application;
- Less predicably, Arizona also adopting the Convention of States application;
- North Dakota adopting the Convention of States application, becoming the 10th state to do so.
David Guldenschuh, a Rome, Georgia attorney and Article V expert, keeps track of applications and rescissions with his Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report, which you can get by subscribing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All historical applications are collected, reproduced, and categorized through the diligence of Robert Biggerstaff at the Article V Library.