Article Five, the Spending Clause, and Federalism
Consider the following hypothetical. Congress passes a constitutional amendment and sends it to the States for ratification. The amendment does not get the support of three-fourths of the states as required by Article Five. Congress responds by passing a law that refuses to appropriate federal funds to any state that has not ratified the amendment in an attempt to coerce them to do so. One of these holdout states sues claiming that this violates the Spending Clause and the Tenth Amendment.
Would this claim succeed? The Supreme Court held, in Coleman v. Miller, that the Article Five process is a political question (though not necessarily in all circumstances). On the other hand, the Spending Clause cases hold that there must be a rational relationship between the conditions placed on federal funds and the funds themselves. From a federalism perspective, applying pressure to the States would seem like a violation of their sovereign role in making textual changes. Yet Congress did something similar during Reconstruction when it placed recalcitrant Southern states under military rule until they ratified the 14th Amendment. How should all of this be reconciled?