USA

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.
by Professor John R. Ville, Middle Tennessee State University. I have spent much of my academic life researching the constitutional amending process in the United States. My very first book Rewriting the U.S. Constitution: An Examination of Proposal from Reconstruction to the Present (1991) detailed approximately 40 proposals that individuals had offered from the period of Reconstruction through the publishing of the book in 1991 to either rewrite the U.S. Constitution or introduce a series of major changes to it. In the interim, I had been documenting additional proposals as individual entries for various editions of my Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues. However, it was only in revisiting the subject for my book Re-Framers: 170 Eccentric, Visionary, and Patriotic Proposals to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution (ABC—CLIO, 2014) that I realized how significantly the number of such proposals had proliferated, particularly in the last two decades.

Latest Posts

Swiss votations on November 29, 2020

by Markus Kern/Fabian Schmid.
On November 29, 2020, the Swiss electorate had to vote on two Popular Initiatives:

the Popular Initiative “For responsible businesses – protecting human rights and the environment” and

the Popular Initiative “For a ban on financing war material manufacturers”

Read More »

Votations in Switzerland on September 27, 2020

by Nora Camenisch-Ehinger and Markus Kern, University of Bern.
Due to a backlog caused by the Covid-19-epidemic, the Swiss electorate had five proposals on its plate on September 27, 2020. In most cantons and municipalities additional decisions had to be taken on cantonal or local issues. The turnout was comparatively high at around 59%, sign of the strong mobilization of the political questions at stake.

Read More »

Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

Read More »