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Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

John R. Vile, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016, xv + 266 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8203-4900-8).

This book is the culmination of more than 30 years of thinking about the unused Article V convention mechanism and related subjects. I spend the first part of the book exploring the origins of Article V processes and convention precedents in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries. I also examine early legal commentaries on the subject. Although I believe the weight of this evidence, including Alexander Hamilton’s comments in Federalist No. 85, suggest that such conventions can be limited, I note that this specific issue does not appear to have been as prominent in earlier legal and political discourse as it is now, and I examine recent arguments both for and against the limited convention option.

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