A new book, edited by Professor Neil H. Cogan, has just been issued in which well-known constitutional scholars from across the political spectrum explore issues of state interposition, nullification, and secession.
I am among the contributors: I wrote the second chapter, which is entitled James Madison and the Constitution’s Convention for Proposing Amendments.
My chapter explains the background of the convention for proposing amendments, and the evolution of James Madison’s thoughts on the subject. Some have used a carefully isolated quotation to claim that Madison was opposed to the amendments convention concept, but in fact the quotation reflected his opposition only to a 1789 convention call that he deemed too broad and pre-mature. Moreover, Madison grew more friendly to the concept as he progressed in life, and eventually promoted it as a far better alternative than nullification.
My chapter includes extensive citations to Madison’s letters, as well as to a variety of Founding-Era sources.