2024 Model Constitutional Convention
Join us for the first nationwide student-led constitutional convention in the United States!
On May 23-26, 2024, the Center for Constitutional Design at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU will host the first national student-led Model Constitutional Convention in the United States.
Convening in Phoenix, Arizona, students will propose, debate, and adopt amendments to the United States Constitution in a simulated three-day Convention. Assembling in Phoenix as state convention delegates, undergraduate and law students from across the United States will benefit from a rich learning experience focused on the process of constitutional change and reform in the United States.
The Model Convention will take place on May 23-26, 2024 at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. ASU’s law school is located in downtown Phoenix and is housed in the new and highly modern Beus Center for Law and Society, located at 111 East Taylor Street, Phoenix AZ, 85004. Student delegates will stay at the Sheraton Hotel immediately adjacent to the Beus Center.
Apply to join the Model Convention
Law and undergraduate students are invited to apply to join us for the Model Constitutional Convention.
We will cover the costs of travel, lodging and food expenses for all students selected to join us at the Model Convention. We seek a widely diverse group of students to participate and encourage all interested students from any institution of higher education or law school to apply.
Applications received by March 1, 2024 will receive full consideration.
The Model Constitutional Convention
Students who participate in the Model Constitutional Convention will have the opportunity to explore the text of the U.S. Constitution, learn more about the amendment process, and acquire the practical skills of political negotiation and compromise necessary to advance constitutional change in a liberal democracy.
Framework for the Simulation
The Model Constitutional Convention will follow one of the two procedures available under Article V of the United States Constitution to adopt constitutional amendments. The first and most typical method requires the adoption of an amendment by a 2/3 vote in Congress. The second method allows the legislatures of 2/3 of the states to submit an application to Congress requesting that Congress call a national convention to consider one or several constitutional amendments. This second method is often referred to as a “Convention of the States” or as an “Article V Convention.” Both methods then require any proposed amendment be ratified by ¾ of the states (either by the state legislatures or via state conventions).
Student delegates will arrive in Phoenix on May 23, 2024 and assemble to begin deliberations on May 24, 2024 on the working premise that Congress has summoned the delegates by a 2/3 vote to convene a constitutional convention under Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of amending the Constitution.
The Model Convention will begin their deliberations with five amendments drafted by scholars pursuant to the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Drafting Project. Delegates will also have the opportunity to propose any amendments of their choosing during the small committees within the limits imposed by time and the orderly administration of the committee deliberations.
The Model Convention will assume that each state has an equally-weighted vote (two delegates each), and that, like the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, each delegation must vote as a block. All Convention matters will proceed in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order and incorporate many of the rules followed by the Framers at the 1787 Convention in Philadelphia. Rules of order and norms of civility will be enforced throughout the convention. The student delegates to the convention will discuss, deliberate, and ultimately vote on the proposed amendments in committee sessions and on the floor of the Convention.
Invitation to Faculty Members and Graduate Students
The Convention needs mentors to assist at this event. Please contact Stefanie Lindquist if you are interested in receiving more information about this opportunity to be involved!
What you need to know
The Model Convention will take place on May 23-26, 2024 at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. ASU’s law school is located in downtown Phoenix and is housed in the new and highly modern Beus Center for Law and Society, located at 111 East Taylor Street, Phoenix AZ, 85004. Student delegate will stay at the Sheraton Hotel immediately adjacent to the Beus Center.
The United States Constitution has not been amended since 1992, yet many scholars, citizens and politicians think that amending the Constitution in various ways could strengthen our constitutional democracy. For example, Justice John Paul Stevens proposed six amendments to the Constitution that he argued would promote democracy and individual rights. But is it still possible to amend the U.S. Constitution? Some believe that the difficulty of the amendment process—in combination with our current political polarization—makes it impossible.
An important goal of the Model Convention is to provide current students with an opportunity to test that proposition. In addition, students will acquire leadership skills and engage in deliberations aimed at reaching consensus. The Model Convention will enable students both to understand the process of amending the Constitution, and to demonstrate to the nation that compromise over constitutional change may indeed be possible!
The Model Convention is organized and hosted by ASU’s Center for Constitutional Design, led by Stefanie Lindquist (Executive Director). The Model Convention has been funded through the generosity of a private donor, President of Democracy Restated John Storr.
In addition to the students, we are excited to welcome prominent academics and experts in constitutional law to the Convention.
Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and Professor of Law at George Washington University, will deliver the welcoming keynote address on May 24, 2024.
Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Berkeley Law, will deliver the keynote address at the evening banquet on May 25, 2024.
Students from any university and any state may apply to participate in the Convention. The Convention organizers encourage law students and undergraduate students from all backgrounds to apply, as we are seeking a diverse group of students in terms of ethnic background, ideological orientation, and geographic location. More details on the application process may be found here. The Convention will be managed by faculty and graduate student mentors and assisted by an expert in Roberts Rules of Order.
Yes. The Center for Constitutional Design will provide each student participant with a stipend to cover travel costs. The Center will make all arrangements for lodging and food for the duration of the convention.
Student delegates will be selected on the basis of merit, and with an effort to formulate a diverse group of delegates from varied backgrounds and with diverse policy preferences. Law students at any stage in their law school careers may apply, as well as undergraduates who have taken at least one advanced course in American government, policy making, or constitutional law. The application page provides more information on the selection process.