Selection of a Delegation by the States

The BBA Planning Convention will be the first national convention of the states convened since 1861. This will be a historic event.

This convention will be the model for a convention for proposing an amendment to the Constitution. The power to propose and ratify an amendment, bypassing Congress, was given to the States to restrain the national government. It is a power the Framers of the Constitution expected the States to use. But they have not, because of the "fear" of an amendment convention.

It is therefore important States select individuals who believe in and understand the process of Article V, but the choice of a delegation is up to individual States.

A delegate also does not need to be a legislator. At this time several states have appointed non - legislators as a delegate.

A state may select as many members to its delegation as it desires. However, there will likely be space limitations on the floor of the convention. At the present time, provisions are being made to seat up to seven members of a delegation from each state. If the delegation is greater than seven, some of the members might have to sit in the audience section if there is one or outside the actual convention floor.

For most previous “conventions of the states,” if it was in session, each state legislature determined the size of its delegation, how it will be chosen, and what specific instructions it should follow.  If a legislature was not in session, then the delegation was appointed pursuant to current state law or as provided for in the "call" of the convention.

The delegation and its individual commissioners are the agents of the legislature. They are not "independent contractors." They must abide by the instructions of the appointing authority else they are violating the fiduciary relationship between the principal (State) and agent (the delegation).

It should be understood that individuals without the proper appointment documents will not be initially seated at the opening of the Arizona convention. The convention itself may approve the credentials after the convention is organized.

HCR 2022 passed the Arizona legislature on March 30, 2017. By this time, most legislatures have gone “sine die” and others have sparse time remaining in their session. As a result, they will not be able to advance and approve a resolution appointing their delegation.

Anticipating this situation, HCR 2022 provides that ... “if no manner is determined by a state legislature, (delegations may be) selected jointly by the majority leadership of each legislative chamber of that state,”

Under this circumstance, the appointing authority, “majority leadership of each legislative chamber,” may also provide to the delegation specific instructions. The instructions can be similar to the model resolution provided hereafter. Much of the same language used in the sample resolution can be used in the "appointment of the delegation" document by the leadership.

The phrase "select jointly" is very important. This is a convention of state legislatures, not one House of a legislature or the minority of a legislature. If one House desires to appoint a delegation but the other refuses, then there is no state delegation. The majority leadership of both houses may appoint minority members to the delegation, but the appointment of a delegation is reserved to the majority party, as that is the party which was elected by the people in the state to lead the legislature.

If there is time a legislature may still approve an appointment resolution, however a direct appointment by the leadership is the simplest means a this time.