Amending the Constitution

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Amending the Constitution : 

Amending the Constitution The only constant, is change…

The US Constitution : 

The US Constitution Is the oldest written constitution still in effect **Why do you think the Constitution has been able to survive for 220 years?

*Why do you think the Constitution has been able to survive for 220 years? : 

*Why do you think the Constitution has been able to survive for 220 years? One of the reasons is because the Constitution was written in broad language In many cases, allows for new interpretations to fit new circumstances Another reason that it has survived is because of its ability to be amended, or changed/added to… This process is not impossible (like it was under the Articles of Confedration, our first government in the US), but it is difficult enough to only allow for amendments that have a great deal of (but not necessarily overwhelming) support.

**Why is the amendment process so important? : 

**Why is the amendment process so important? Our nation has changed a great deal in the past 220 years…and the amendment process has allowed parts of the Constitution to change with it.

How can it be amended/changed? : 

How can it be amended/changed? There is a 2-step process for amending the Constitution First step is PROPOSAL 2 ways to propose amendments Second step is RATIFICATION 2 ways to ratify amendments

Step 1: Proposing the Amendment… : 

Step 1: Proposing the Amendment…

Step 1: Propose the amendment : 

Step 1: Propose the amendment Ideas for amendments can come from anywhere, but can only be proposed in 1 of 2 ways. The most common way that amendments are proposed is…

…2/3rds vote of both houses of Congress (House and Senate) to formally propose the amendment : 

…2/3rds vote of both houses of Congress (House and Senate) to formally propose the amendment

Sample Constitutional Amendment in Congress : 

Sample Constitutional Amendment in Congress

Another way to propose amendments : 

Another way to propose amendments Amendments can also be proposed at a national convention These would be called by the legislatures of the states, Held in one national location Each amendment would have to be agreed to by 3/4ths of the states (38) **This method has never been used to propose amendments

Step 2: Ratifying the Amendment : 

Step 2: Ratifying the Amendment Once an amendment has been officially proposed by Congress or a national convention, it must be sent to the 50 states for their approval. There are 2 ways that states can ratify, or agree to, amendments…

Step 2: Ratifying Amendments : 

Step 2: Ratifying Amendments The most common way that states can ratify amendments is by a vote in their state legislatures. 3/4ths (38) of the state legislatures must agree in order for the amendment to be officially ratified

Step 2: Ratifying Amendments : 

Step 2: Ratifying Amendments Another, less common method of ratification, is the use of state ratifying conventions. These are meetings with new delegates held in each state that vote on the amendment 3/4ths of these ratifying conventions would have to agree on the amendment Only used 1 time; to repeal the 21st amendment (Prohibition ended)

Who determines which ratification methods are used? : 

Who determines which ratification methods are used? Congress, in the text of the amendment, will determine which ratification method is used. If a national convention were used to propose amendments, they would choose the method of ratification.

How many total amendments? : 

How many total amendments? The first 10 amendments were ratified in 1791 What were these called? Since then, 17 amendments have been ratified for a total of 27

Evaluating Proposed Amendments : 

Evaluating Proposed Amendments When considering whether you would support a proposed Constitutional amendment, there are 3 questions you should ask about the amendment… Is there a “pressing need” in American society for the amendment? Is the amendment consistent with American values and the values of the Constitution? (as you define them)? What are the possible consequences (pro and con) if the amendment passes?

Review : 

Review Why is the amendment process so important? What are the two basic steps in the amendment process? What is the most common way that amendments are proposed? What is the most common way that they are ratified? Who determines the method of ratification? How many total amendments have been added to the Constitution? What are the three questions you should ask about proposed amendments?