Constitutional scholars clear the air and lay to rest fears of a runaway convention

On the eve of the National Debt Relief Amendment (HCR 87) committee hearing, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy has released research to explain the proposal to a broad audience. The NDRA resolution is for a state-led Article V amendment to the U.S. Constitution, already passed by North Dakota, and it would be the first since original ratification.

Sponsored in Louisiana by Noble Ellington (R-Winnsboro), the NDRA would allow states to reject rising federal debt. It reads:

“An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

The three research articles are the following:

1.Questions and Answers About Amending the U.S. Constitution” – a quick primer on the what an Article V amendment is, prepared by Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute and

2.State Leadership and Bravery Needed to Repair Our Constitutional Republic” – a more complete justification and historical account of the state-initiated amendment process (six pages). Robert J. Thorpe, a constitutional scholar and lecturer, prepared this, and his website is

3.10 Facts: To Rebut the Mythology of a Runaway Convention” – for those who hold concerns about the unpredictability of an amendments convention – also prepared by Nick Dranias.

This morning, Jeff Crouere of WGSO’s Ringside Politics radio show also interviewed Fergus Hodgson of the Pelican Institute on this matter. (Click below to listen or here to download – 10 minutes.)


This video provides an overview of the NDRA, with perspectives from an Arizona legislator, Goldwater Institute scholars, and the founders of
The House Committee on Governmental Affairs is set to consider the National Debt Relief Amendment (HCR 87) at 9am on Tuesday, May 24. If you would like to express your support or opposition to this initiative, here are the contact details for the committee members, and here are the staff details.

Express your views on this issue! The Pelican Post has a poll within today’s commentary, so be sure to vote.