“[S]tate legislatures have a real power under the Constitution by which to resist the growth of federal power: They can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.
Article V provides that, ‘on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states,’ Congress ‘shall call a convention for proposing amendments.’ Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.
An amendments convention is feared because its scope cannot be limited in advance. The convention convened by Congress to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation produced instead the entirely different Constitution under which we now live. Yet it is precisely the fear of a runaway convention that states can exploit to bring Congress to heel.”