Since the first and only constitutional convention in 1787, 26 amendments have been added to our governing document, but not one of them became law by virtue of the convention method. Despite more than 400 applications, no constitutional convention has been called in 202 years. Indeed it was James Madison who wrote, "Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention. . . . I should tremble for the result of a Second." In Unfounded Fears: Myths and Realities of a Constitutional Convention, Weber and Perry present a balanced, scholarly look on this controversial topic and introduce surprising conclusions.
Weber and Perry seek to determine if, in fact, the first convention was a runaway, as common wisdom holds, and they examine the process by which the Convention was called. They also review the attempts since 1787 to call a second constitutional convention, and they confront many of the questions commonly raised about a potential convention, including the process for electing delegates and the ability of Congress to establish and control the convention's procedures and substance of what a convention does. In their final chapter, they reflect on the realities of a balanced-budget amendment.