The methods of formal amendment are ways that article V of the Constitution stipulates that the Constitution of the United States can be amended. Either a proposed amendment must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate with a two-thirds majority vote or a constitutional convention must be called by a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Afterwards, the amendment must be ratified by three-quarters of the states.
As of early 2014, all of the constitutional amendments successfully ratified have been proposed by Congress. A constitutional convention of the states has never been convened. Though thousands of proposals for amendments have been made, only 27 amendments have survived the ratification process and become part of the Constitution.
The President does not have a part in the process of amending the Constitution, so once an amendment passes Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register sends information packages to each state along with a notification letter to each governor. Typically, the state ratification process has a time limit set by Congress. Though a specific period of time is not set forth in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has stated that the ratification process must be completed within a reasonable amount of time. In the case of several past amendments, the time period has been seven years.Learn More
The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a course of conduct to prohibit the federal government from infringing on rights of the U.S. citizen that are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Dissimilar to the eight preceding amendments, the Ninth Amendment does not outline or identify liberties and rights. It instead affirms protection for the unmentioned implicit rights of the people.Full Answer >
The 20th Amendment of the Constitution was ratified to reduce the amount of time lame duck Presidents and Congressmen had to push policies before the new administration and legislators took over. The amendment moved the date a President and Vice President began their terms from March 4 to January 20.Full Answer >
Freedom of speech is the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment protects an individual's right to criticize the government, express religious beliefs and assemble and protest as part of protected expression.Full Answer >
The First Amendment refers to the initial amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It guarantees freedom of expression, religion, assembly and the right to petition.Full Answer >