Along the Midway: Some Thoughts on Democratic Constitution-Amending

In the American political circus there is apt to be going on at any given time a number of sideshows pretty much unrelated to the action under the Big Top. Essentially harmless and perhaps even functional for the system, they include the activities of the anti-vivisectionists, campaigns to impeach the Chief Justice, and the fratricidal spasms of various Marxist-oriented splinter movements. Among these sideshows, however, one has been distinguished by its perennial character and by the attention given to it by otherwise sober and restrained persons. I refer to the attempt through state legislative petitions to get Congress to call a constitutional convention pursuant to article V.