For the past 30 years, the Eagle Forum organization has consistently and effectively argued against the use of Article V of U.S. Constitution by the states to propose amendments. The Eagle Forum objections, as outlined in their publication entitled “Twenty Questions about a Constitutional Convention,” address the vagueries associated with the planning and conduct of the convention, such as how delegates are to be selected, who determines the number of delegates to each state, what authority would be responsible for organizing the convention, who would chair the convention, what rules would govern, etc. The point of Eagle Forum is that no state should apply to Congress to call an Article V convention to propose amendments unless these questions can be answered in advance. Failure to do so will result in a disorganized process that has a high chance of failing to achieve anything in a reasonable time frame.
We at Compact for America (“CFA”) believe that the Eagle Forum concerns are not unfounded. Article V in and of itself does not provide specific details to the states as to the steps necessary for the proposal and ratification of a state-initiated amendment. Therefore, the founders left it to the states to figure out the appropriate steps and procedures to implement the proposal and ratification process. Knowing that the founders intended for the states to utilize their Article V powers when necessary, and knowing that the vagueries must be eliminated, Compact for America spent months seeking and obtaining peer review from Eagle Forum Director Andy Schlafly to develop a comprehensive approach to the process that answers each and all of the Eagle Forum question upfront and with certainty.
The secret to uniting and binding the states together is the use of an interstate compact agreement to organize the Article V process. This is the very agreement advocated by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) when he was a Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation that he described in his policy paper titled “Shield of Federalism – Interstate Compacts in our Constitution”. Each and every one of Andy Schlafly’s comments and suggestions, including providing for exclusive venue within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was incorporated into the compact documents.
In the end, we believe the CFA initiative now has a superior product because of the steadfast desire on the part of the Eagle Forum to have a clear and definite process in place first. Each of the questions posed by The Eagle Forum has now been answered in advance and incorporated into the provisions of the compact. We extend our sincere thanks to the Eagle Forum and to Andy Schlafly.
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