Rescind All Applications for an Article V Constitutional Convention

Alert Summary

It is imperative that state legislators — especially those in states with outstanding, or “live,” applications for a BBA or COS convention — rescind each of their states’ previously passed Con-Con applications.

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It is imperative that state legislators — especially those in states with outstanding, or “live,” applications for a BBA or COS constitutional convention — rescind each of their states’ previously passed applications for an Article V constitutional convention.

We are uncomfortably close to a potentially disastrous event for our Constitution. Currently, twenty-six states have “live” applications to Congress to call an Article V convention for the purpose of proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). That means that if only eight more states apply for such a convention, Congress will be forced to call it — and BBA supporters are pushing to aggregate unrelated applications to deceptively reach the 34-state threshold.

The danger in calling such a convention is that based on the precedent of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, an Article V constitutional convention would have the power to make major changes in the Constitution, or even completely rewrite it, including changing the ratification process to make adoption of the revised constitution easier. This danger is referred to as “a runaway convention.”

Any convention could lead to a runaway convention that would reverse many of the Constitution’s limitations on government power and interference. In other words, a Con-Con could accomplish the same goals that many of its advocates claim to be fighting against. As evidence, a 2016 Convention of States (COS) controlled simulation resulted in amendments massively increasing the federal government and expanding its spending powers.

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia understood the danger of a constitutional convention. While he voiced support for one at a 1979 event, the justice had reversed his opinion by 2014 due to the uncertainty of what could come out of it. In 2015, Scalia reiterated his opposition to an Article V convention, stating “this is not a good century to write a constitution.”

More recently, Glenn Beck, who was a longtime supporter of COS, withdrew his support for COS during the September 15, 2022 episode of the Glenn Beck Show. “We are not the people to open up this sacred document. We are not the people — that was a God-inspired document,” Beck said. “I withdraw my support. And I’m sorry to say that, but I withdraw my support.… This Constitution is wholly inadequate for anyone other than a religious and moral people. We are not those people.” Click HERE to watch a video of Beck reversing his endorsement of COS.

In the early 1980s we were even closer to the calling of an Article V convention. Thirty-two of the necessary 34 states had applied to Congress to call a BBA Article V convention. Then over the years from 1988 to 2010, seventeen states rescinded (canceled) their BBA Article V convention applications based on the widespread knowledge that Article V constitutional conventions are threats to our rights as secured by the Constitution due to the power of such conventions to become runaway conventions. That meant that for a while only fifteen or sixteen states had “live” applications for a BBA Article V convention.

However, after 30 years had elapsed with no new BBA Article V convention applications approved, the momentum changed back in favor of applying for such conventions in 2013. Since then, some states that had rescinded their applications have reapplied, and some other states that had never applied, have now applied for the first time. However, 2016-2017 saw a resurgence in rescissions of BBA Article V convention applications, including rescissions in Delaware (2016), Maryland (2017), Nevada (2017), and New Mexico (2017), along with Colorado’s 2021 rescission. Additionally, Georgia’s BBA application expired in 2020. Which brings us up to the present situation, of twenty-six states with “live” applications.


Live BBA Application Targeted by BBA Not Targeted by BBA

Since the early 2010s, however, multiple states have passed new applications for an Article V Con-Con, mainly modeled after Convention of States’ (COS) model resolution. This momentum has been offset by the recent rescissions, but has been based on new, false claims by Article V convention proponents. For a rebuttal of these claims, we highly recommend that you view “Change It or Obey It? Why the Constitution Is the Solution,” an 89-minute video presentation by constitutionalist Robert Brown.

Additionally, view our “Model Resolution for a State Legislature to Rescind All Constitutional Convention Applications.” For additional examples of rescission resolutions click here and the scroll to “Model Con-Con Rescission Resolutions.”

Urge your state legislators to rescind every state application for an Article V convention. Also urge them to enforce — not change — the Constitution by nullifying unconstitutional laws.

Although we provide a way to easily email legislators, we know from long experience that it takes a lot more interaction with your legislators to get your point across than that provided by emails alone.

That's why we provide an easy way not only to email them, but to contact them by phone, tweet, and even video message them.

Contact your state legislators

Please visit, phone, and email your state legislators in support of introducing and passing a rescission resolution. Also urge them to enforce — not change — the Constitution by nullifying unconstitutional laws.

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