Authors hold strong, but very opposite views regarding how an Article V Constitutional Convention would actually be conducted, and what limits, if any, there would be on its ability to offer amendments to the constitution.

In a University of Florida law review article (pp.618-621 and pp. 680-690), Robert G. Natelson, an attorney affiliated with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) believes there is no uncertainty about the rules and procedures governing such a convention.  He relies on historical precedent from the years preceding the 1787 convention related to the Articles of Confederation to support his conclusion that the states are in charge of the process from beginning to end.    

He is joined in the view that there is no uncertainty about the operations of a Convention by Milton Eisenhower, who was writing in support of a balanced budget amendment in 1985.  He calls fears of a “runaway” convention “extreme nonsense,” based on the contention that Congress can regulate the process.   

On the other hand, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities produced a position paper on Article V Constitutional Conventions in 2014. Their conclusion is that since the convention would write its own rules and set its own agenda, no other body including Congress or the courts would have authority over it.

Larry Greenlee, writing for the John Birch Society in 2013 agrees that there would be no way to control a constitutional convention. He is critical of the Natelson position because it is based on customs and procedures of 200 years ago, and he believes the Declaration of Independence would further support the position that the convention could take whatever steps it wished.