Amend the US Constitution?

In Feburary of 2016 the US LWV produced the positions.  Part 1 and Part 2 can be read in this PDF.  Constitution Position-2-USLWV2016

the text of the positions is below

Considerations for Evaluating Constitutional Amendment Proposals

The League will only support a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution if it advances and conforms to an LWVUS position.

In addition, the League believes the following should be considered in identifying an appropriate and well-crafted constitutional amendment:

a) Whether the public policy objective addresses matters of such acute and abiding importance that the fundamental charter of our nation must be changed. Amendments are changes to a document that provides stability to our system and should be undertaken to address extreme problems or long-term needs.

b) Whether the amendment as written would be effective in achieving its policy objective. Amendments that may be unenforceable, miss the objective, or have unintended consequences may not achieve the policy objective.

c) Whether the amendment would either make our political system more democratic or protect individual rights. Most adopted amendments have sought to make our system more representative or to protect the rights of minorities.

d) Whether the public policy objective can be achieved by a legislative or political approach that is less difficult than a constitutional amendment. In order to expend resources wisely, it is important to consider whether legislation or political action is more likely to succeed than an amendment.

e) Whether the public policy objective is more suited to a constitutional and general approach than to a statutory and detailed approach. It is important to consider whether the goal can best be achieved by an overall value statement, which will be interpreted by the courts, or with specific statutory detail to resolve important issues and reduce ambiguity.

Position on Constitutional Conventions under Article V of the U.S. Constitution

The League is concerned that there are many unresolved questions about the powers and processes of an Article V Constitutional Convention. The League believes such a convention should be called only if the following conditions are in place:

a) The Constitutional Convention must be transparent and not conducted in secret. The public has a right to know what is being debated and voted on;

b) Representation at the Constitutional Convention must be based on population rather than one state, one vote, and delegates should be elected rather than appointed. The delegates represent citizens, should be elected by them, and must be distributed by U.S. population;

c) Voting at the Constitutional Convention must be by delegate, not by state. Delegates from one state can have varying views and should be able to express them by individual votes;

d) The Constitutional Convention must be limited to a specific topic. It is important to guard against a “runaway convention” which considers multiple issues or topics that were not initiated by the states;

e) Only state resolutions on a single topic count when determining if a Constitutional Convention should be called. Counting state requests by topic ensures that there is sufficient interest in a particular subject to call a Convention and enhances citizen interest and participation in the process; and

f) The validity of state calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention must be determined by the most recent action of the state. If a state has enacted a rescission of its call, that rescission must be respected by Congress.

==Study Materials Constitution Amendments==

US LWV  has provided study materials regarding the process of amending the US Constitution. Under what circumstances is it advisable to amend the US Constitution? What makes a sound and well crafted text of an amendment proposal? This study is in 3 parts,

part 1 Consideration for evaluating a Constitutional Amendment if proposed.

Foundation Readings Part 1

part 2 Considerations for evaluating the pros and cons of calling a  Constitutional  Convention Article V.

Foundation Reading part 2

The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress,” Thomas H. Neale, Congressional Research Service Report R42589, http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42589.pdf

“ The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives,” Thomas H. Neale,Congressional Research Service Report R42592,  http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42592.pdf

Part III relates to how the League might put the guidelines from Part I and Part II into practice and asks two overall balancing questions between process and positions. Should the evaluation guidelines from Part I and the process  criteria from Part II always be applied or may they be set aside in the overall context of any particular amendment proposal?

The consensus questions for the local Rouge Valley League are due to the National League on December 1 2015.

Rogue Valley League is meeting to  discuss and review the study on November 21 2015.

Below is a link to a PDF for the Study Guide  document.  It contains the study questions,  pros and cons, Point of View,  and background information links.  The study guide document is 24 pages long with lots of room for each question and making notes. below is the same document compressed to 14 pages  (As a good steward of the environment if you want to pint it out.)

constitutional_amendment_study_guide_2015_1_4-24PgVersion constitutional_amendment_study_guide_2015_1_4-14PgVersion

Consensus Questions-only-ConstitutionalAmendmentStudy 4 pages

This document was prepared by the LWVUS Campaign Finance Task Force it is a review of Constitutional Amendments proposed in response to Citizens United in 2012

Two members of the Lane County LWV—Susan Tavakolian and Linda Ferdowsian—shortened the material on Constitutional Convention. Their document includes the consensus questions with pro-con statements.

LaneCo summary of Constitutional Convention

Link to the US LWV web pages  Study materials