The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

 

U.S. states where the people can use a state constitutional convention to bypass the legislature's gatekeeping power over constitutional amendment

Videos

U.S. State Constitutions

For This and Future Generations…, Montana PBS documentary of Montana’s 1972 constitutional convention–30 years after the convention.  The documentary focuses on the debate over the right to a clean and healthy environment, but it also provides a good feel for the process.

Michigan Can Lead the Way: Michigan Constitutional Convention, a documentary on Michigan’s 1961-2 constitutional convention.  It was produced shortly after the convention and feels like a PR document praising American democracy in comparison to authoritarian regimes that don’t have such an institution empowering the sovereign people.  The documentary highlights the legislative reapportionment issue and focuses on the proceedings of the convention itself.

Foreign Constitutions

Blueberry Soup, a documentary on Iceland’s 2010 constitutional convention by Wilma’s Wish Productions.  Much of the documentary explains how Iceland’s 2008 financial crisis led to the call for a constitutional convention.  There is a fee to watch this film.

Other

What is a constitution? (An animation produced by IDEA)

George Washington’s most significant contribution (a brief interview with Professor Gordon Wood, produced by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History).  This highlights the problem of political altruism, which is an aspect of the legislative gatekeeping problem.

University of Virginia Professor Peter Onuf on Jefferson’s view of a living constitution, “The Earth Belongs to the Living. ”

Frey, Raymond, Creating a Constitution, The Constitution Project, September 24, 2012 (Article V briefly mentioned at 20:00; after 24:30 the issue of the 1787 constitutional convention gets dropped).

Allen, Anthony, The Making of the Constitution, Episode #6, Are We to Be a Nation? in the Liberty series, March 29, 2014.  The great majority of this film is devoted to the periods before and after the constitution rather than the constitutional convention itself.  the fairly brief discussion of the convention itself begins at 24:00.

John Birch Society, A Crash Course on a Constitutional Convention, February 2016,  An attack on the very concept of convening a Federal constitutional convention and, by implication, a state constitutional convention.  For example, “We don’t have the statesmen of the past; we have the politicians of the present.���