Nothing in Article V gives the states any power to make this fundamental decision. If apportionment is by population, the big states will control the outcome.
Article V doesn't give any power to the states to propose constitutional amendments, or to decide which amendments will be considered by the convention. Article V doesn't give any power to the courts to correct what does or does not happen.
Now imagine Democratic and Republican conventions meeting in the same hall and trying to agree on constitutional changes. Imagine the gridlock in drafting a constitutional plank by caucuses led by Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton.
Everything else about how an Article V Convention would function, including its agenda, is anybody's guess. Advocates of an Article V convention can hope and predict, but they cannot assure us that any of their plans will come true.
If we follow the model of the 1787 Convention, will the deliberations be secret? Are you kidding? Nothing is secret any more. What are the plans to deal with protesters: the gun-control lobby, the gay lobby, the abortion lobby, the green lobby, plus experienced protestors trained by Obama's Organizing for Action, at what would surely be the biggest media event of the year, if not of the century.
There is no proof that the VIPs promoting an Article V convention have any first-hand knowledge of the politics or procedures of a contested national convention. Don't they realize that the convention will set its own agenda and that states will have no say over which amendments are considered?
A recent example of how a convention chairman wielding the gavel can manipulate what happens is the way the 2012 Democratic National Convention chairman ruthlessly called the vote wrong when a delegate tried to add a reference to God in the party platform. The chairman got by with declaring the amendment passed even though we all saw on television that the "Noes" won the vote.
The whole process is a prescription for political chaos, controversy and confrontation. Alas, I don't see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins or Alexander Hamiltons around today who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I'm worried about the men who think they can.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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