Free Essay

The Constitution

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Superamz
Words 418
Pages 2
Constitution
Constitutional Amendments:
• Founding Fathers initially desired TO MAKE AMENDMENT DIFFICULT although they had recognized the need for eventually doing so.
• TWO-STAGE PROCESS – The processes required super-majorities of more than 50% such as two-thirds or a three-quarters majority.
• Once the amendment has been proposed it is sent to the states for ratification. An amendment can be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures or by state constitutional conventions in three-quarters of the states. Of the 27 amendments to the constitution only one has been ratified by state constitutional conventions – The 21st amendment which repealed the 18th amendment and ended prohibition.
• Only six amendments have failed at the ratification stage in over 220 years. The most recent was the amendment designed to guarantee equal rights for women. Proposed in 1972, only 35 state legislatures ratified it – three short of the required ¾.
Amendments proposed by: Amendments ratified by:
Congress: 2/3 majority in both houses required State legislature: ¾ of the state legislature must vote to ratify
National constitutional convention: called by at least 2/3s of the states State constitutional convention: ¾ of the states must hold conventions and vote to ratify

The Bill of Rights were a group of ten amendments proposed together by Congress in September 1789 and ratified together by ¾ of the states in December 1791. The Bill of Rights was created to sugar the impact of being under a new federal Constitution with its potentially powerful centralised government and protect Americans against an over-powerful federal government.
Recent History of Amendments:
• During Bill Clinton’s presidency (1993-2001) over the 6-year period when the Republicans controlled both houses, there were 18 votes on proposed constitutional amendments.
• The House agreed to a Balanced Budget Amendment (1995) and a Flag Desecration Amendment (1995, 1997 and 1999). However, the Senate agreed to none of these, although it was one vote short on the Balanced Budget Amendment with 65-35.
• During the Presidency of George W. Bush there were ten further attempts to amend the Constitution. Only 3/10 votes received the required 2/3s majority, those votes being on the Desecration of the American Flag. This meant that the House had voted on this amendment six times since 1995 whereas the Senate had blocked it each time.
• These votes took place when the Republican Party had a majority. Additionally, the Republicans advocate policies such as the banning of flag desecration and gay marriage. Democrats tended to vote ‘No’ however.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Constitution

...o However: ▪ No constitution is entirely written, written documents do not encompass all aspects of constitutional practice ▪ No constitution is entirely unwritten, no constitution consisting only of rules of conduct or behaviour. • Unitary and federal o Unitary – establish constitutional supremacy of central government over provincial and local bodies. Reflected in UK via Parliament o Federal – divide sovereignty between 2 levels of government, both central and regional posses a range of powers that the other...

Words: 2123 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

The Constitution

...Why is the idea of amending a definition of marriage into the Constitution so controversial? Do you think the controversy is over the issue itself (i.e., same-sex marriage), or the fact that the Constitution is being used to address this issue? Explain. The controversy surrounding same-sex marriage is due to the Constitution being used to address the issue. Some factions would argue that marriage is more of a religious, social and moral issue than a political one. The Constitution was written to protect the people’s political freedom and also limit the powers of the government, hence a political document and not a moral one. Though the Bill of Rights was drafted to define basic liberties such as freedom of religion, speech, and press and guarantee defendant’s rights (Edwards, Wattenberg and Lineberry, Page 56); it does not specifically mention marriage as a right or liberty. Others would argue that through interpretation of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has established that marriage is a civil right and an amendment would limit the rights of individuals to the “pursuit of happiness” as included in the Bill of Rights. References: Edwards, George. C; Wattenberg, Martin. P and Lineberry, Robert. L. Government in America. People, Politics, and Policy. 2012 Election Edition. 2. Which of the groups that you examined above opposed the amendment, and why? Which ones supported the amendment, and why?...

Words: 530 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Constitution

...CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH 4th November 1972 PREAMBLE We, the people of Bangladesh, having proclaimed our Independence on the 26th day of March, 1971 and through a historic war for national independence, established the independent, sovereign People's Republic of Bangladesh; Pledging that the high ideals of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, which inspired our heroic people to dedicate themselves to, and our brave martyrs to sacrifice their lives in the war for national independence, shall be fundamental principles of the Constitution; Further pledging that it shall be a fundamental aim of the State to realise through the democratic process to socialist society, free from exploitation-a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens; Affirming that it is our sacred duty to safeguard, protect and defend this Constitution and to maintain its supremacy as the embodiment of the will of the people of Bangladesh so that we may prosper in freedom and may make our full contribution towards international peace and co-operation in keeping with the progressive aspirations of mankind; In our Constituent Assembly, this eighteenth day of Kartick, 1379 B.S corresponding to the fourth day of November, 1972 A.D., do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this......

Words: 20973 - Pages: 84

Premium Essay

Constitution

...The United States Constitution has secured an unprecedented degree of human freedom, upholding the rule of law, securing the blessings of liberty, and providing the framework for the people of America to build a great, prosperous, and just nation unlike any other in the world. George Washington thought that it was “little short of a miracle” that the delegates could agree on the Constitution. Americans had stumbled on this road before. The United States had established an earlier constitution in 1781, the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, each state governed itself through elected representatives, and the state representatives in turn elected a weak central government, one so feeble that it was unworkable. This league of states, hastily crafted during wartime, had to be replaced with a real government. The challenge was devising stable institutional arrangements that would reconcile majority rule and minority rights, that is, reflect the consent of the governed but avoid majority tyranny. The new constitution would need to secure the rights promised in the...

Words: 428 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Constitution

...Name Tutor Class Date of submission Constitution The constitution of the United States has three articles that explain the how powers are separated as well as checks and balances among the branches of the federal government. The federal government consists of three main branches that have separate powers. The three branches of the federal government include; the judiciary, the executive as well as the legislature. Among the three branches, each one of them is tasked with independent as well as separate functions and mandate. Among the three main branches of the federal government, there is none of them which can assume the functions of another. The separation of powers provides specific functions for each branch. The legislature which consists of the congress makes the laws for the nation, the executive that consists of the president implements the laws while the judiciary that entails the court system interprets and defines legal conflicts (Peterson 89). There is none of the three branches which can assume the functions of another. However, the three branches of the federal government are interrelated. They collaboratively work with each other hence checks and balances for the federal government. The checks and balances ensure that there is no single arm of the government that attempts to assume too much power (Peterson 78)....

Words: 324 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Constitutions

...The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world,[2] containing 444 articles in 22 parts,[3][4] 12 schedules and 118 amendments, with 117,369 words in its English-language translation,[5] while the United States Constitution is the shortest written constitution, at 7 articles and 27 amendments.[6] Constitution of the Philippines From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Constitution of the Philippines Created October 15, 1986 Ratified February 2, 1987 Location Legislative Archives of the House of Representatives,...

Words: 16003 - Pages: 65

Premium Essay

The Constitution

...According to the US History Scene website, the Articles of Confederation gave the states full ruling power over themselves on any matter that was not explicitly mentioned by Congress; and that was where all of the Articles of Confederations’ problems began. Because the states had so much self-governing power, there were problems with economic disorganization, legislative inefficiencies, and a lack of central leadership (Brackemyre, n.d.). The US History Scene website told me that there were three main organizational problems. First was the fact that they could not levy taxes to raise funds. The states were permitted to create taxes to pay for their self-government, and to pay the government the fees owed, but the government itself was not allowed to create taxes to pay off the military and other debt incurred during the Revolutionary war. This was a problem because even though the states were supposed to pay the government monies based off of their land value, often it was not paid. Next was fact that the government had little control over trade. The only control granted was in regards to the Natives, and only then if it did not infringe with the states. The government dealt with foreign treaties (as long as they were not trade related), and the states had complete control over all things trade related (except treaties). This caused problems because each state did what was best for them, and there was no unity as a country. The third and final problem was that there was no......

Words: 1448 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Constitution

...Eventually the courts figured out that the doctrine allowed state law enforcement to ask enforcement officials to seize the evidence, even if it violate the constitution so there for the doctrine was thrown out. There are many different thoughts of the functional to the exclusionary rule. Some individuals feel...

Words: 1506 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Constitution

...Though the constitution provided for the Parliamentary form of Government, yet it declared that the executive authority of the Federation would be in the president. 4. Any Muslim citizen of Pakistan, who was at least forty years...

Words: 770 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Constitution

...Running head: Constitution Paper Constitution Nequia Covington Christopher Powers Abstract The American Revolution creating the ideology that all men are created equal failed to connect with the new United States’ form of government. Americans attempted to define the meaning of American equality by holding several constitutional conventions that defined how the government would operate and who could participate in political life. The basic principles of democracy, giving majority the rule, struck fear into those who believed this would bring ruin of the hard-fought struggle for independence. The forming of a republic, which constructed a government where the important affairs would be entrusted only to representative men of learning and refinement, eased several minds. Constitution Paper The American Revolution creating the ideology that all men are created equal failed to connect with the new United States’ form of government (OpenStax, 2014). Americans attempted to define the meaning of American equality by holding several constitutional conventions that defined how the government would operate and who could participate in political life (OpenStax, 2014). The basic principles of democracy, giving majority the rule, struck fear into those who believed this would bring ruin of the hard-fought struggle for independence (OpenStax, 2014)....

Words: 932 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Constitution

...The Bill of Rights, the most celebrated part of the United States Constitution, almost seems like an afterthought. The Constitution, which spelled out the form of the national government and delineated the responsibilities of each branch, was ratified in 1788. Three years later Congress added 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights) that guaranteed individual liberties. This paper will summarize why those amendments were included, and analyze whether the Bill of Rights altered the Constitution or merely strengthened it. The 1780s were a time of triumph and turmoil in America. The decisive American victory at Yorktown in 1781 guaranteed the nation’s independence, confirmed two years later by a peace treaty with England that recognized the new nation. The Bill of Rights is a critical part of the Constitution. When the formatters of the Constitution were creating the document, some believe that the Bill of Rights was not necessary. However after long debate, they agreed that it should be included. The purpose however is to guarantee certain rights not provide them; for example the freedom of speech under the First Amendment. There are limitations and people need to   realize that the   Constitution does not   guarantee free speech. “The Freedom of Speech   or known as the First Amendment is one of the most valuable and precious rights guaranteed to Americans in the United States Constitution....

Words: 3308 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Constitution

...The Philippine Constitution may be classified as conventional or enacted, written, rigid or inelastic. It was drafted by an appointive body called "Constitutional Commission." Uganda is currently engaged in the process of making a new National Constitution. It is the declared policy of the NRM Government that a constitution should not be imposed on the people by force_ but that the people themselves must be...

Words: 1057 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Constitution

...There is a contrast in both the interests and intents amongst the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration comes off as a “passionate outcry of abuse and emancipation for the colonists (Hornberger, 2001),” while the Constitution avoids the Revolution inspired tone that is present in the Declaration. Combined, the Declaration and the Constitution gave way to a liberal government. The tone of the Declaration is one of pure emotion that resulted in a set of events that left the colonists not only furious, but desperate to break away from Great Britain as well. The Declaration of Independence contains a long list of allegations from the colonists regarding abuse, stating that King George III of Great Britain was responsible for them. The fear of these abuses occurring within the newly found country of America is the reason that the Bill of Rights was formed. A majority of the first ten amendments to the Constitution are responses to specific, British abuses. For example, in regards to the “charge of King George III making judges dependent on his will alone, as well has his denial of the right to a trial by jury (Hornberger, 2001),” the Constitution states that all citizens shall enjoy the right to a "speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed."...

Words: 893 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Constitution

...ADVANTAGES: UNWRITTEN An unwritten constitution based on conventions has the advantage of being extremely adaptable or flexible. Since it is unwritten, it can be changed easily to deal with new situations. All that is necessary for the practises to be changed is for Parliament to agree that change is necessary. Old constitutional practises do not become 'millstones' that make it difficult to deal with changed circumstances. There is an entrenchment, but one that given democratic consensus may be more easily modified than as a written constitution. So long as democratic processes are in place and Parliament and the Judiciary act as elected guardians, then in many ways the British Constitution appears more fitted to reflect a changing world and changing circumstances. Unwritten Constitution changes to reflect the times in which we live. DISADVANTAGE: It carries risks. If a constitution is to place limits on government or to set out the parameters within which governments must operate, then the fact that it can be adapted by government whim can be problematic. Written constitutions can become set in stone. What was appropriate in the past may become anachronistic, outmoded and inappropriate today; but the mere fact of being written into a formal constitution may hinder or prevent a timely or rational change....

Words: 712 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Constitution

...Lindsey Serrano GOV-135 The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The very first 3 articles of the Constitution make the rules and separates each of the three branches of government. They are the legislative, executive and judiciary branches. This constitution was created on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It took two years before becoming effective on March 4, 1789. The United States Constitution can be changed through the amendment process. The first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment guarantees citizens the right to practice whatever religion they choose. Therefore, the government cannot interfere in an individual’s freedom of worship. This is an example of an individual's liberty from the government. Civil rights are the positive actions the government should take to make all Americans equal. Civil rights, specified in the 14th Amendment is also in the Bill of Rights. The question is; do we need the U.S Constitution to protect our civil rights and liberties? The Bill of Rights in the Constitution is provided in Article 5. With the Bill of Rights our liberties are protected. These ten amendments are laws that gives each individual the same law to follow. Without the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, the government cannot be trusted with our given rights....

Words: 1012 - Pages: 5