GOV Final - Alex Frieden Final Essays AP Government &...

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Alex Frieden Final Essays Mr. Wilson 8 th pd. Spring Essay # 2 As much as we’d like to believe so, our forefathers weren’t omniscient. The United State constitution, the supreme law of all the land, is therefore a living breathing document. It is subject to change at any time. However doing so is very difficult and requires the will of myriad people. There are both formal in informal ways of amending the constitution. A formal amendment of the constitution means that an addition is actually made to the document. An informal amendment is not really an amendment is it just a change in the interpretation of the current constitution. The process for formally amending the constitution is explicitly laid out in the constitution itself, in article. There are two ways to propose an amendment. The first of which is a two thirds majority vote in both houses of congress. The second, which has never been executed, requires two thirds of the states to hold constitutional conventions to deem an amendment necessary. After the proposition of an amendment, three fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendment or three fourths of the states must host conventions to ratify the amendment for it to take affect. Informally amending the constitution just means changing the legal interpretation of its meaning. One way is just that, the times may change and a different interpretation of a part of the constitution may be taken by congress. For example the right to vote granted by the constitution was once given only to white landowning males. Now it is extended to all citizens over the age of 18. The second way that the constitution may change informally is through the judicial branch. The judiciary has the sole power to determine the constitutionality of any law or action. A change by the judiciary means a change in the entire nations outlook on an issue. The last way that a change may be made to the constitution is by direct amendment by the people. It is of the people by the people so therefore if by some means the people felt the need to change it, it would be so. However, this is nearly impossible because the structure for a national referendum is not there. Essay #9 Thousands of bills are proposed and less than ten percent of them become laws. This means that some 90 percent of them get killed somewhere along the line between
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2008 for the course GOVT 1111 taught by Professor Lowi, t during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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GOV Final - Alex Frieden Final Essays AP Government &...

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