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Ap Gov Unit 3

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What important purposes are served by the right to amend the Constitution guaranteed by Article V?
Evaluate James Madison’s claim in Federalist 43 that the Constitution “guards equally against the extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable, and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults.”
Some critics of the amending process contend that amendments, once proposed, should be submitted to popular vote, bypassing state legislatures. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

P1. According to professor Douglas Linder, the delegates assembled in Philadelphia were under no illusions that the constitutional scheme they were struggling to establish was perfect for present circumstances, much less perfect for the future generations of Americans. Jefferson’s letter to James Madison in 1789 included these words: “Every constitution...naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.” If we were to take Jefferson’s words literally, we would have to disagree, since it goes hand and hand with the process of the human mind.

P2. The framers believed that a flexible constitution would provide the protection needed by a young and somewhat fragile government against revolutionary upheavals. As one delegate said, "The novelty and difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision.” In order to form a more perfect union under the Preamble, it was necessary to provide a means to keep the Constitution a “living” document.

P3. Under Article V, by a two-thirds vote in each house, Congress may propose an amendment to the states & specify whether the mandated three-quarters of the states are to ratify it in their legislatures or by a special convention. The other method of amending is for the legislatures of two-thirds of the states to call a convention for proposing

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