Representatives and senators from 29 states met Thursday in the Indiana Statehouse to begin planning for the first state-led revisions to the U.S. Constitution since the nation’s fundamental governing document was enacted in 1789.

The significance of the work undertaken by The Mount Vernon Assembly to prepare for a future Convention of the States was not lost on the 94 official and participating delegates, mostly Republicans, who filled the House chamber.

“Nothing like this has occurred in over two centuries, though certainly the founders of this nation assumed it would have happened long ago,” said Indiana Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, an organizer of the meeting.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution requires Congress call a Convention of the States for proposing constitutional amendments if legislatures in two-thirds of the states (34 states) request one. If the convention approves an amendment, it then can be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 states) and added to the Constitution without additional congressional approval.

However, because an Article V convention never has been called, there are no clear procedures on how it would begin, what rules the convention would follow or whether it could be limited in scope.

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