The Article V Movement: A Comprehensive Assessment to Date and Suggested Approach for State Legislators and Advocacy Groups Moving Forward

Published November 16, 2015

This Heartland Policy Brief is a comprehensive overview of the most consequential social movement occurring in the United States today: the Article V movement.

As attorney David Guldenschuh notes, “The desire for power and the influence of special-interest money has so utterly corrupted Washington, DC that citizens no longer feel their leaders and representatives are looking out for the nation’s best interests.”

Fortunately, Guldenschuh notes, the nation’s Founders recognized the national government might some day overreach its authority. That is why they included in the U.S. Constitution Article V, which provides a mechanism for states to propose constitutional amendments to rein in the national government.

Guldenschuh describes four Article V advocacy groups – the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, Convention of States Project, Wolf-PAC, and Compact for America – and reports on educational efforts undertaken by those organizations and others. He especially refutes fears of a “run-away convention.” And he concludes by proposing a strategy for the movement going forward, noting:

The Article V movement has the resources, the grassroots support, and the ability to [rein in the national government]. The question is, can leaders within the movement coordinate their efforts and cooperate with each other to accomplish this mighty goal, or will the movement devolve into a circular firing squad as unfortunately happens all too often among conservative groups? Time will tell, if it doesn’t first run out on us all.

This Policy Brief is a publication of The Heartland Institute’s Center for Constitutional Reform, which was launched earlier in 2015 to support all efforts to restore constitutional order in the United States. If you have any questions about this study or ideas for how we can work together to promote this effort, please contact Project Manager Kyle Maichle.


David Guldenschuh is a leader in the nationwide movement of states to call a convention of states pursuant to Article V of the U.S. Constitution to propose amendments to the Constitution to rein in our federal government and return a balance of power and federalism to the relationship between our federal and state governments. He is the publisher of the Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report,the only nationally recognized tracker of the status of all Article V legislation in the country.

Guldenschuh is the former Legislative Liaison Director for the Convention of States Project, where in 2014he led Georgia to become the first state in the country to pass the CoS Article V application for a convention of states. He presently serves as Special Counsel to the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, and is a member of the Board of Policy Advisors of the Heartland Institute, where he concentrates on constitutional reforms.

Perhaps more than any other individual in the country, Mr. Guldenschuh has established working relationships with virtually all groups and individuals working within the Article V movement. Mr. Guldenschuh is a 1981 cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, and has on multiple occasions been named one of Georgia’s “Top Lawyers” by Atlanta Magazine.