Following the January 2016 meeting, the League of Women
Voters board announced a new position outlining considerations
for evaluating constitutional amendment proposals.
State Leagues can use this new position, as well as
the new position calling for safeguards to govern the constitutional
convention process, to address the ongoing debates
in many legislatures regarding constitutional conventions,
in particular as they related to the Balanced Budget


The League of Women Voters will only support a proposed
amendment to the U.S. Constitution if it advances
and conforms to a LWVUS position.
In addition, the League believes the following should
be considered in identifying an appropriate and wellcrafted
constitutional amendment:

  • Whether the public policy objective addresses matters
    of such acute and abiding importance that the
    fundamental charter of our nation must be
    changed. Amendments are changes to a document
    that provides stability to our system and should be
    undertaken to address extreme problems or longterm
  • Whether the amendment as written would be effective
    in achieving its policy objective. Amendments
    that may be unenforceable, miss the objective, or
    have unintended consequences may not achieve the
    policy objective.
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  • Whether the amendment would either make our
    political system more democratic or protect individual
    rights. Most adopted amendments have
    sought to make our system more representative or
    to protect the rights of minorities.
  • Whether the public policy objective can be
    achieved by a legislative or political approach that
    is less difficult than a constitutional amendment.
    In order to expend resources wisely, it is important
    to consider whether legislation or political action is
    more likely to succeed than an amendment.
  • Whether the public policy objective is more suited
    to a constitutional and general approach than to a
    statutory and detailed approach. It is important to
    consider whether the goal can best be achieved by
    an overall value statement, which will be interpreted
    by the courts, or with specific statutory detail
    to resolve important issues and reduce ambiguity.

Statement of Position on Evaluating Constitutional
Amendment Proposals, as Announced by National Board,
January 2016.