Q:

What is an informal amendment?

A:

Quick Answer

An informal amendment to the United States Constitution is one that occurs through non-traditional processes such as "de facto" changes of law. These processes of amendment, which may be the result of either circumstantial social change or judicial review, are considered non-traditional because they are not specified in the Constitution as legitimate means by which amendments can be made.

  Know More

Full Answer

As a result, informal amendments can be rather controversial, especially those made by judicial review. This is the process whereby law courts are able to pass judgment on whether a federal law is constitutional.

In the U.S., judicial review will typically be carried out by the Supreme Court, but not always. In fact, all courts at all levels are permitted to evaluate federal legislation against the Constitution. The majority of other countries with constitutions grant this power of judicial review only to a specific type of court.

The other process by which informal amendment occurs is more organic and therefore usually less controversial. As society changes, parts of the Constitution become obsolete or unfair, warranting alteration. A prime example of this occurred during the Industrial Revolution, when the right to vote was informally extended beyond white, male landowners. as specified in the Constitution, to the middle and working classes.

Learn more about Law
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the definition of the Necessary and Proper Clause?

    A:

    The Necessary and Proper Clause refers to a section of the United States Constitution that grants Congress the authority to create and enforce laws that are deemed "necessary and proper" by the powers granted to the branches of the government by the Constitution's various provisions. The clause is found under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can the President exercise legislative power over Congress?

    A:

    Under Article I, Section 7 of the United States Constitution, the president has the authority to veto legislation that is passed by Congress. After receiving a legislative bill, the president is given 10 days to sign the bill into law or to veto it, either by regular or pocket veto.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the provisions of the Privileges and Immunities Clause?

    A:

    The Privileges and Immunities Clause, Section 2 of Article IV of the United States Constitution, also referred to as "PIC4," prevents states from discriminating against the fundamental rights of out-of-state citizens. Basically, it means that the citizens of one state are on an equal footing when they travel to another state. Out-of-state citizens are entitled to the same rights as other citizens in the state in which they happen to be in.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does federal law override state law?

    A:

    Due to the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution, federal law overrides state law in most cases. The Supremacy Clause is closely related to the idea of preemption.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore