A free people should be able to change its constitution without the need of congressional approval. But the current U.S. constitution requires congress to allow a convention called by two-thirds of the states [33 1/3 of the current 50 states] so 34 states clearly meets the The Web site conventionofstates.com notes that the congress can not constitutionally control the state delegate selection process [because the complete text of Amendment X of the U.S. Constitution says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”]
To help ensure passage of uniform desired wording for the convention by the U.S. Congress, the application to congress for a convention by each and every state should be worded identically. The applications should include all the limitations that all the applying states have no problem being considered even if some of the states may not agree that every such limitation is necessary. One general but still limiting wording suggested on conventionofstates.com is: “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”
Some may consider that too open and could conceivably allow the convention to get out of hand. The referenced Web site’s FAQ argues otherwise because of the number of state delegates needed for the convention’s approval of any amendment. If you haven’t, I recommend you look over that Web site for its arguments against this and other objections.
Our collective experience since the original constitution was written leads to suggesting the following more specific limiting amendments for consideration by the delegates if multiple amendments are allowed in the application to congress process:
Such a constitutional convention could be specifically disallowed from considering any topic except those listed above and those directly related to those topics including only:
There is nothing limiting delegates from the various states getting together to work out the wording for a call for a formal convention before even applying to congress for a formal convention. The most influential delegates for such a “pre-convention” would be those most trusted by the individual state legislatures.
The following is a complete direct quote from Article V. of the U.S. Constituton:
“The Congress whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall [emphasis added, this is a constitutional requirement on what the congress must do upon such application] call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed [emphasis added] by the Congress: Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses of the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”
Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there a prohibition against delegates from the various states getting together to work out the wording for a call for a formal convention before even applying to congress for a formal convention. [It turns out that just this has been done. For more information on GIAC2002.org: click the “Amending the Constitution” link in the far left menus under “National Resources.”]