Wisconsin Legislature’s Vote Leaves Nation Only Six States Shy of Article V Constitutional Convention

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  • David Vance
Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

The Wisconsin Legislature’s vote yesterday to call a constitutional convention under Article V leaves the nation in a perilous position, just six states shy of calling a convention that could lead to the rewrite of the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, this is not fake news. Wisconsin became the 28th state to call for a convention, ostensibly to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. But the deep-pocketed special interest groups behind this effort to call a convention are not likely to stop with a single amendment when there are no rules to prevent opening up the Constitution to a full rewrite in a runaway convention. The effort to call the convention is funded by wealthy special interest groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that have long pushed for a broad legislative agenda in the states and it is hard to imagine then not foisting that agenda on the Constitution itself through unelected and unaccountable delegates to the convention. 

In recent years, Common Cause activists have successfully rolled back Article V convention calls in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, and New Mexico, preventing the nation finding itself just two states away from constitutional mayhem. We will continue our works to roll back previous convention calls and work with state legislators across the political spectrum to stop this dangerous effort. 

The specter of an Article V convention to rewrite the Constitution remains one of the most alarming threats to our democracy that nobody has ever heard of before. We intend to continue to sound the alarm, educate the public and fight this dire and well-funded threat to our democracy.

To read our updated background memo on this issue, click here

To read a coalition statement by over 230 groups opposing calling an Article V convention, click here.

To read our 2015 report, The Dangerous Path, on the dangers of an Article V convention, click here