The Constitutional Amendment Process


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The Constitutional Amendment Process

  1. 2. Amendments <ul><li>Allowed by Article V </li></ul><ul><li>The Constitution proposes two methods for proposal and two methods for ratification </li></ul><ul><li>This makes four total methods for formally amending the Constitution </li></ul>
  2. 3. First Method <ul><li>Proposed by 2/3 vote in each house of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by ¾ of the states (38) </li></ul><ul><li>26 of the 27 Amendments were made this way </li></ul>
  3. 4. Second Method <ul><li>Proposed by Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by state conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Only the 21 st Amendment was made this way </li></ul>
  4. 5. Third Method <ul><li>Proposed by a national convention called by Congress requested by 2/3 (34) of the states </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by ¾ of the states (38) </li></ul>
  5. 6. Fourth Method <ul><li>Proposed by National Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by State Convention in ¾ (38) of the states </li></ul>
  6. 7. Fourth Method Second Method State Conventions Third Method First Method ¾ of the States National Convention 2/3 Vote in Each House of Congress  Proposal   Ratification 
  7. 9. Informal Amendments <ul><li>A change in the meaning of the Constitution without changing the actual wording </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of Constitutional changes happen this way </li></ul>
  8. 10. Basic Legislation <ul><li>Congress passes laws that add details and meanings to the Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Example: The departments and agencies of the Executive branch are not spelled out in the Constitution, they were created by Congress </li></ul><ul><li>2) Congress passes statutes that define how it uses its powers </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Congress has passed hundreds of commerce laws because the Constitution says that they are to regulate commerce </li></ul>
  9. 11. Executive Action <ul><li>The manner in which the Presidents use their power to set precedent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: The President cannot declare war, but he is Commander in Chief of the military. In the past, Presidents have made war using their power as Commander in Chief. This has happened on more than 200 occasions. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. Executive Action <ul><li>Executive Agreement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a pact made between the President and the head of a foreign state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legally binding as treaties between two countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sidesteps the need to get Congressional approval </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. Court Decisions <ul><li>The courts interpret and apply the Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court decision sets a precedent – all other courts in the future must abide by their decision </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court is, “a constitutional convention in continuous session.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Woodrow Wilson </li></ul>
  12. 14. Party Practices <ul><li>The Constitution makes no mention of political parties </li></ul><ul><li>The process of nominating candidates and organizing Congress into separate party groups are informal amendments </li></ul>