Resources for the Model Constitutional Convention

Welcome to the Model Constitutional Convention

This page provides resources for student delegates and mentors attending the convention. Below, we provide (1) statistical data on the individual states that the student delegates will represent, (2) the basic structure and schedule of the Convention, (3) information about the rules governing the convention (modified Roberts Rules of Order), (4) information about a database of all constitutional amendments proposed throughout US history, and (5) supplementary readings for students interested in learning the process for constitutional amendments.

These data are intended to provide delegates with a snapshot of their assigned states to facilitate their roles as representatives of the states. Student delegates should review and familiarize themselves with these data prior to attending the Convention.

State Profiles

The Model Constitutional Convention is loosely structured as an Article V “Convention of the States” in that it is assumed that, pursuant to Article V of the Constitution, Congress has heeded a call from 2/3 of the states to call a convention for proposing amendments. This Convention is open to amendments to the Constitution on any topic, although students will debate five amendments proposed as part of the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Drafting Project. The Convention will proceed over three days, with formal proceedings beginning on Friday, May 24, and ending midday on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The schedule for the Convention may be found here

Roberts Rules of Order will be followed in all committee meetings and the plenary sessions of the Convention. For purposes of the Convention, we have streamlined Roberts Rules to simplify proceedings. All students and mentors should familiarize themselves with the Convention Rules, which may be found here. A highly experienced Parliamentarian will be present for the Convention to assist students and mentors in complying with these modified Robert’s Rules of Order.

Examples of Motions and Procedures under Roberts Rules of Order

Each committee at the Convention will be assigned and consider one of the five proposed amendments from the National Constitution Center’s Drafting Project, which may be found here.

Students interested in proposing amendments at the Convention may find the Harvard Amendments Project helpful as they draft the text of their proposed amendments. According to its website, “The Amendments Project (TAP) is a searchable archive of the full text of nearly every amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed in Congress between 1789 and 2022 (more than 11,000 proposals); records of petitions introduced in Congress between 1789 and 1949 that propose, support, or oppose constitutional amendments (more than 9,000 petitions); and thousands of proposed amendments that never made it to Congress.” The Amendments Project’s searchable database may be found here.

In addition to the Amendments Project database above, students may also be interested in a database of all applications passed by state legislatures to hold a constitutional convention pursuant to Article V.

 

Students may wish to familiarize themselves with information about the 1787 Philadelphia Convention as well as with additional information about the Article V process of constitutional amendment. The following links include articles, book chapters, and historical texts that students may find helpful as they prepare for the Convention.

Nastelson, “Amending the Constitution by Convention: Practical Guidance for Citizens and Policymakers” (2012) *
* This document contains many tips about how to propose and promote amendments through coordination among states, as well as the importance of delegates’ representation of their states of origin.

Dougherty and Hitefield, “The Effects of the Great Compromise on the Constitutional Convention of 1787” (2023)

Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (May 28, 1787)

Lepore, “How to Stave Off Constitutional Extinction” (n.d.)

Rappaport, “A Brief Overview of the National Convention Procedure” (2010)