Constitutional convention (political meeting)

Constitutional convention (political meeting)

A constitutional convention is now a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution. An unlimited constitutional convention is called to revise an existing constitution to the extent that it deems to be proper, whereas a limited constitutional convention is restricted to revising only the areas of the current constitution named in the convention's call, the legal mandate establishing the convention. Examples of constitutional conventions include:

Constitutional conventions have also been used by constituent states of federations — such as the individual states of the United States — to create, replace, or revise their own constitutions. Though the several states have never held a national constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing amendments, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified not by the state legislatures, but by state level conventions after it was passed by Congress, as described as an alternate method of ratification in Article V of the US Constitution.

Several American academics have criticized the United States Constitution for specific shortcomings and have called for a Second Constitutional Convention,[1] including University of Texas constitutional law expert Sanford Levinson,[2][3][4] University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato,[5] University of Kentucky professor Richard Labunski,[6] Vanderbilt University professor Dana D. Nelson, and Yale University professor Robert A. Dahl,[7] although professor Dahl believes there is no real hope that such a Convention might ever happen.[7]

In the Republic of Ireland, the government elected in March 2011 has committed to establishing a "constitutional convention" to recommend constitutional amendments on six specified issues and others it may consider; the government has separately promised amendments on five other issues.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Professor Stanford Levinson Proposes a New Constitutional Convention". Colorado Law – Univ. of Colorado at Boulder. January 25, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ Sanford Levinson (LA Times article available on website) (October 16, 2006). "Our Broken Constitution". University of Texas School of Law – News & Events. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ "". Public Broadcasting Service: Bill Moyers' Journal. December 21, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ MICHAEL KINSLEY (November 5, 2006). "Essay: Election Day". New York Times: Sunday Book Review. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  5. ^ By Larry J. Sabato (September 26, 2007). "An amendment is needed to fix the primary mess". USA Today. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ Richard Labunski interviewed by Policy Today's Dan Schwartz (October 18, 2007). "Time for a Second Constitutional Convention?". Policy Today. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Robert A. Dahl (February 11, 2002). "How Democratic Is the American Constitution?". Yale University Press. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  8. ^ Dáil debates Vol.728 No.3 p.5 22 March 2011

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