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It is not necessary to amend the Constitution. It is a complete document. From time to time, people felt it would be beneficial to amend the Constitution in order to clarify the intent of the original Constitution.

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9y ago
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12y ago

There are two ways an amendment can be added to the Constitution:

  • An amendment may be proposed by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, subject to ratification (approval) of three-fouths of the States, or
  • A constitutional convention can be called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. Any amendments proposed at such a convention would also need to be ratified by three-fourths of the States.

To date, over 10,000 amendments have been proposed in Congress since 1789, using the first method described above. Of those, only 27 Amendments have been added to the Constitution. The first ten - the Bill of Rights - guaranteed basic personal freedoms or rights to Americans (or to the States). Most of the other amendments have dealt with the subjects of voting rights for previously disenfranchised citizens or to change electoral procedures.

The States have never called for a "constitutional convention" and there is no established procedure to deal with such a call. When amendments have been proposed by Congress, the Director of the Federal Register, under the supervision of the Archivist of the United States, is responsible for notifying the fifty states of such amendments and certifying the results of the ratification process.

Generally, most amendments proposed by members of Congress reflect the "heat of the moment" controversies of the times, i.e., flag burning, same-sex marriages. Such proposals are usually not seriously considered. The only such subject matter that made its way through Congress and was ratified by the States was the Eighteenth Amendment which dealt with the prohibition of Alcoholic Beverages. Ratified in 1919, it was subsequently repealed in 1933 by the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment.

In some cases, amendments proposed and approved by Congress and forwarded to the States for ratification are subject to time limits. The Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 had a 10-year time limit. Since less than three-fourths of the States had ratified the amendment by 1982, the amendment was not approved.

Some proposed amendments have no time limits. The Child Labor Amendment of 1924 still awaits the necessary three-fourths of the 50 states. Ten States have not ratified the amendment, but due to a lack of a time limit, they still could approve it.

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment, which was originally proposed along with the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, also had no time limit and was finally ratified in 1992 - 203 years after its approval by Congress.

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13y ago

There are 2 akternative methods of amending the US constition -

1. The amendment is approved by congress by a 2/3 majority in each house and than ratified by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states (or, if the proposed amendment so requires, bt special conventions in 3/4 of the states)

2. The legilators of 2/3 of the stated demand an amendment and the US congress than convenes a special constitutional convention to discuss the amendment, which tan needs to be ratified as earlier explained.

Method no. 2 has never been used successfuly. All amendments so far were enacted through method no. 1 and all but one were ratified by state legilatures (rather than special state conventions)

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15y ago

The amendment must first pass Congress and then be ratified by at least three-quarters of the states.

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13y ago

Congress will have to do this ... but don't expect it to be added in our lifetime ... You could talk to your congressman via email about the procedures though.

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7y ago

The proposed amendment must be approved by the president, supreme court, and ratified by at least three-quarters of the states

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8y ago

the amendment must be approved by the president, supreme court, and ratified by at least three-quarters of the states

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12y ago

An amendment must be approved by two-thirds of congress and then ratified by three-quarters of state legislatures or conventions.

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9y ago

This requires a 2/3 vote of the House and Senate, PLUS ratification of 3/4 of the States, OR 2/3 of the State legislatures requesting that a Constitutional Convention be convened.

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Q: What is necessary for an amendment be added to the U.S. constitution?
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