Can States Avoid Interstate Compact?
States Avoid Interstate Compact
If the States Avoid Interstate Compact of any form before the Constitutional Convention is called, it is the safest approach to avoid a states compact issue. The States can accomplish this by working with the People to coordinate a generic Initiatives Amendment that each State may adopt independently.
The US Constitution Article I, Section 10: Powers prohibited of States Clause 3 declares that: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
The US Senate’s explanation of this clause is that “States cannot levy tonnage duties, which are taxes charged for the privilege of entering, trading in, or remaining in a port. States may come together to work on common problems, such as pollution of a river passing through several states, but the agreements or compacts they reach are subject to congressional consent.”
Applying this to prevent coordination of state applications for an Article V Convention will a stretch. However, the Congress might consider that a Citizens’ Initiatives Amendment could conceivably permit the People to propose an Initiative that could affect defense. Congress, therefore, may be able to make an inter-state agreement or compact related in any way to this Amendment an issue for protracted debate and delay.