1. Did the Constitutional Convention of 1787 "runaway"?
Answer - NO
James Madison in Federalist 41 concluded, "...the charge against the convention of exceeding their powers (in drafting our Constitution)...has no foundation to support it." Constitutional Law Professor (ret.) Rob Natelson's research concluded, "Of the 55 delegates, therefore, only Nathaniel Gorham and Rufus King of Massachusetts arguably exceeded their authority by signing (proposed U.S. Constitution)"
2. Can an Amendment Convention be limited to just the subject of balancing the budget? Answer-YES
James Madison, Federalist 43 - "It (Article V), moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other." Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85 - "And consequently, whenever nine (2/3), or rather ten (3/4) States, were united in the desire of a particular amendment, that amendment must infallibly take place." Professor Natelson's research into interstate conventions found: "As was true of earlier interstate gatherings, the convention for proposing amendments is called to propose solutions to discrete, pre-assigned problems. There is no record of any federal convention significantly exceeding its pre-assigned mandate -- not even the Constitutional Convention, despite erroneous claims to the contrary."
3. Wouldn't a Balanced Budget Amendment Convention be as unpredictable as a political party convention? Answer - NO
A Balanced Budget Amendment Convention would be nothing like a political party convention because: 1. Voting would be by state so no single delegate could propose an unrelated amendment to the Convention 2. Delegates would be given instructions by the legislature limiting them to drafting a balanced budget amendment 3. Faithless delegates, like faithless presidential electors who attempt to "runaway", could have their vote voided, be immediately recalled/replaced and face civil or even criminal charges for violating their oath of office (See: Utah's HB 392 Passed by the House). Political party convention delegates are not bound by state law to limit the scope of their debates or their occasional antics.
4. What will the rules be for the Balanced Budget Amendment Convention? Answer - Undetermined
The rules for the Convention will be determined by a majority of states represented. However, a bipartisan task force of state legislators from over 30 states, called the Mt Vernon Assembly, is holding two meetings this year for the purpose of developing proposed Amendment Convention rules.
5. Can Congress dictate to state legislatures or the Article V Convention anything beyond the time and place to convene the multi-state drafting conference? Answer: NO
Our Founders, in Article V, granted the sovereign States and Congress equal authority to propose an amendment. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85 - "Concluding Remarks" stated, "The Congress "shall call a convention." Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body...alterations in it (our Constitution) may at any time be effected by nine (two-thirds) States... But every amendment to the Constitution would be a single proposition, and might be brought forward singly"
Professor Rob Natelson's research confirms our Founders intended that Congress's roll be limited to setting the Convention's time and place, "...founders affirmed that the States could amend the Constitution in any way they desired...the states "run the show"... Congress has almost nothing to say about it beyond fixing the time and place of the call and identifying the subject matter specified by the States in their applications."