What is the format for the Mock Convention of States?
Each participating high school will form a team of students and a faculty advisor. Any student may participate on his/her school’s team during the preparation for the event. Each team will draft a Proposed Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and a Statement of Need to be presented at the Mock Article V Convention. Each team and faculty advisor will select five students to send as their delegation to the Mock Article V Convention of States on Nov. 12. Other team members are encouraged to attend and participate as observers.
At the event each delegation will have 5 minutes to present it’s proposed amendment and another 10 minutes to respond to questions or arguments against their amendment proposed by the other delegations. At the conclusion of the discussion period the amendment will be voted up or down.
The following check points are designed to help each school’s team to stay on track in the preparation of their Proposed Amendment and Statement of Need.
- On or before September 14 each delegation shall submit a proposed amendment topic. Each topic must be unique from those of other schools.
- September 28 – An outline or first draft of the proposed amendment should be submitted for review. Freedoms Foundation staff will review and make re recommendations for additional research or changes to improve your amendment.
- October 12 – Submit draft of your Proposed Amendment (250 word limit) and Statement of Need (500 word limit).
- October 26 – Submit your finished copy of the Proposed Amendment and Statement of Need. This is a HARD DEADLINE. These documents will be posted on the website for review by all participants and will also be printed in the program to be distributed on the night of the event.
- Additional presentation materials (optional) – During the presentation and discussion of an proposed amendment a large screen projection of the amendment will be projected. Each delegation may submit additional information to be displayed. This MUST be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and MUST be submitted by November 9 in order to included.
- Judging and Presentation of Awards – A panel of five judges will score each delegation on the following elements:
- Draftsmanship of the Proposed Amendment and Statement of Need
- Reasoning presented in support and defense of the Proposed Amendment, as outlined in the Statement of Need and the discussion of the amendmentd.
- Participation in the discussion of other proposed amendments
- Level of participation of all members of the delegation.
Guidelines for proposed amendments.
The proposed amendment may apply to any part of the Constitution. It may cover only a single topic, but may contain different related provisions in order to be complete and unambiguous.
The proposed amendment should be concise and unambiguous.
The proposed amendment is limited to 250 words.
Guidelines for Statement of Need
The Statement of Need should address the reason the amendment is necessary and outline arguments in favor of its adoption, as well as rebut anticipated arguments against it. The statement of need is limited to 500 words.
What is an Article V Convention of States?
An Article V Convention or Convention of States is one of two ways provided in Article V of the US Constitution by which amendments can be proposed. Article V states:
“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 call a convention for proposing amendments…”
While all of the present amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by the first method – passing both houses of Congress by two-thirds – there have been several attempts to call an Article V Convention. So far none have succeeded, but there are two or three current attempts that have some momentum.
Learn more about Article V Conventions HERE