President Trump is set to announce his nomination to fill the Supreme Court seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Whoever Trump nominates, they'll have big shoes to fill. Justice Scalia was one of the staunchest defenders of the Constitution this country has ever seen -- and that included Article V.
Below are a few of his statements regarding the Convention of States option, given at the American Enterprise Institute’s Panel Discussion on Article V.
The founders inserted this alternative method of obtaining constitutional amendments because they knew the Congress would be unwilling to give attention to many issues the people are concerned with, particularly those involving restrictions on the federal government's own power. The founders foresaw that and they provided the convention as a remedy. If the only way to get that convention is to take this minimal risk, then it is a reasonable one.
I listed first among the things that I would like to have considered the structural issues at the federal level. I do not have a lack of trust in the American people. I am the one here who is least terrified of a convention. We have come a long way. We have gotten over many problems. But the fact remains that a widespread and deep feeling of powerlessness in the country is apparent with respect to many issues, not just the budget issue. The people do not feel that their wishes are observed. They are heard but they are not heeded, particularly at the federal level. The Congress has come up with a lot of paliatives---the legislative veto, for example-which do not solve the problem at all.
The process should be used for some significant issue that concerns the American people, but which issue is chosen is relatively unimportant. I would not want a convention for some silly purpose, of course. But I think there are many serious purposes around, many matters that profoundly concern the American people and about which they do not now have a voice. I really want to see the process used responsibly on a serious issue so that the shibboleth-the Richard Rovere alarm about the end of the world--can be put to rest and we can learn how to use the process responsibly in the future.
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