In Article V of the U.S. Constitution, our founders established the ‘Convention for proposing Amendments’ as a method by which ‘We the American People’ – by lobbying our state legislators – might bypass the federal government in order to propose and ratify those constitutional amendments deemed necessary to reform it. Here’s how it works:
Step 1. Two thirds of the state legislatures must apply for the convention to propose a specific amendment and then Congress MUST call for the convention by setting the time and place.
Step 2. State selected convention delegations propose the amendment and then Congress MUST select the mode of ratification (state legislatures or state ratification conventions).
Step 3. Three quarters of the States (38 of 50) must ratify the amendment.
Once the amendment has been ratified, it becomes a permanent part of the U.S. Constitution with just as much force as any other part. The Congress can’t touch it, the president can’t veto it, and the Supreme Court can’t declare it unconstitutional. It becomes the supreme law of the land by which all branches of the federal government must abide.
The text of Article V is listed below (convention text is highlighted in red):
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it 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, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress …”