Simulation (short)

Rules recap:

  • It is formally proposed by a simultaneous majority vote of the people of a group of states/D.C./territories that comprise a majority of the population of the United States.
  • It is ratified six months later, provided that the states/D.C./territories that did not vote the first time have an opportunity to do so, and that the overall vote remains a majority vote of the people.

This is how it could happen.

  • April, 2018. D.C. City Council puts this amendment on the November ballot.
  • April-November, 2018. Congress and the courts do not intervene, due to some combination of sympathy for D.C. voting rights, the fact that 2/3 of House members come from large states, the filibuster, and First Amendment grounds.
  • November, 2018. 90% of D.C. residents vote in favor. Because no other states participate, the Section 1 threshold is not met and the amendment fails. However, this is the first time that any group of citizens formally reject Article V exclusivity.
  • 2019-2022. Large states hold a convention to modify the proposal.
  • November, 2022. California, D.C., and a few other large states hold this referendum. 60% vote in favor. Again, this group of states does not make up a majority of the U.S. population, so the amendment dies.
  • November, 2026. All large states, D.C., and the territories participate. The vote is 58% in favor. This group makes up a majority of the population of the U.S., so this is a “proposed” amendment.
  • November, 2026-April 2027. Some other states participate, and others do not. The overall vote is 56% in favor. The amendment has been ratified.
  • April, 2027. The House of Representatives recognizes the validity of this amendment because it is the will of the people, because it is just, and because about 2/3 of House members come from large states. The Senate, president, and small states do as well because the people have spoken.
  • December, 2027. An opinion by the Supreme Court unanimously recognizes the new amendment.

See here for a more thorough description of this scenario.