Should states call a convention to amend the Constitution? Lessig debates

It seems tempting to invoke Article V to amend the Constitution—to “fix” it, or “restore” it, or “improve” it. But is it worth the risk?  Should the states call a convention to amend the Constitution?

On Dec. 7, Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig participated in a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared U.S. on whether or not states should call a convention to amend the Constitution.

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Lessig argued for the motion to invoke Article V, which provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

Other debate participants included Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance, who also argued in favor; David Super, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center; and Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies (both against the motion).

The debate is presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center