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Michael Stern specializes in legal issues affecting Congress, including congressional ethics, elections, investigations, and lobbying. He served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004. He later served as Deputy Staff Director for Investigations for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Special Counsel to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He co-chairs the D.C. Bar’s Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section and serves on the ABA Task Force on Lobbying Reform. Needless to say, the views expressed here are entirely his own, and should in no way be ascribed to the DC Bar, the ABA, or, heaven forfend, the United States Congress.

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  1. Hello Mr. Stern. My name is Charles Hooper, author of The Next American Revolution: How to Demand Congressional Reform NOW. The book is not a scholarly work, rather it’s written to any American capable of reading who seeks a solution to a failed Congress.

    Essentially a manual for the people, it identifies the congressional electoral system as the real culprit behind our failed national legislature. In it, I argue that until the system is reformed, there will never be a Congress capable of performing its proper constitutional role. The only remedy the people have to force these reforms is through an Article V convention that proposes amendments specifically designed to restore Congress to what it was intended to be.

    The amendment proposals I suggest are the 28th which limits terms in office; the 29th for campaign finance reform where donations directly to candidates will be limited to individual persons; and, the 30th, which alters the congressional district system and prohibits electoral laws favoring the two major parties.

    In my book I make the argument that a revolutionary scale effort to bring about a convention can only succeed if it’s focused on a specific goal that rallies all sides of the political spectrum. Practically everybody agrees that Congress is a failure and all of us will benefit from a properly functioning legislature. My purpose in writing this book is not to presume to be a constitutional scholar or that my amendment suggestions are the only possibilities. Instead my goal is to rally citizens around a workable solution to the worst threat this country has ever faced—legislative tyranny. My hope is to stimulate debate and discussion among “regular folk” rather than among academics. It’s astonishing how few people know anything about Article V and most of those who do are only aware of the negative arguments, largely based on watching the John Birch Society video on YouTube.

    I understand that you will be attending the Article V conference at Harvard. It’s my intention to try and come but in the meantime may I ask if you would like a free copy of my book? It’s very short and according to reviews and readers, it’s very good. I can either send you an electronic copy (in .pdf format) right away and/or a paperback bound copy. Please bear in mind as you read it that although it’s written for any American to be able to read, it is accurate and focused. Otherwise, thank you very much for your years of service. I especially thank you for your time.

    Charles R. Hooper, MSW
    Asheville, NC

    Here is the link to the book’s page for your review:

  2. mstern says:

    Mr. Hooper- thanks very much. I look forward to reading your book and hope that I will see you next weekend.

  3. Matt says:

    Mr. Stern,

    I am a student at Seton Hall Law School and I stumbled upon your website while researching a comment I am writing for one of the law journals here. I enjoyed reading your posts on the topic I am writing about and was hoping you could provide me with your email address to contact you with my topic, for some feedback and to bounce some ideas off of you. It is difficult to find anyone with significant knowledge in this area of Constitutional Law so any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.


  4. Hi Mr. Stern, somehow I never got your reply to my inquiry regarding my book. I stumbled on this page however, and the offer still stands, I just need an address. Please email me at and let me know where to send it and I will get one right out to you. I thought the Conference was put together very well with a broad swath of opinion. The most valuable idea I left with was the idea to organize mock conventions. I think this will work at any leve, from high school to universities and from civic clubs, etc. Thanks again for your work.


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