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Notes 10/16 If there are images in this attachment, they will not be displayed. Download the original attachment How Democratic? Constitutional Amendment Process Rigid Amendment Process • Originate in Either House of Congress • Pass Each Chamber 2/3’s Vote – 290 in House, 67 in Senate • Measure Sent to the States • Pass 3/4’s of State Legislatures (38) by Majority Vote in each chamber • President has no formal role in the process • Supreme Court has no role either Rigid Amendment Process • 34 out of 100 US Senators or • 146 out of 435 US Representatives • 13 states out of 50 • Can Defeat a Proposed Constitutional Amendment • No Direct Popular Participation in Amendment Process – no national referenda – no national initiative process Rigid Amendment Process • There are 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution • 10 Adopted in 1791 • 17 Adopted Since 1791 • 2 adopted dealt with Prohibition of Alcohol (18th) and its repeal (21st) • 2 adopted between 1795 and 1804 (11-12) Rigid Amendment Process • 3 Adopted after the Civil War, 1865-1870 (13-15) • 3 Others Adopted during the Progressive Era, 1913-1920 (16-17, 19) • 1 Other Adopted in 1933 (20th) • 4 Adopted during the 1960s Era, 1961-1971(23-26) Remaining 2: • 22nd Amendment (1951) • 27th Amendment (1992) Recent Amendment Proposals Defeated Presidential/Congressional Powers: • Balanced Budget • Congressional Term Limits • Presidential Line-Item Veto • Direct Popular Vote for President Social Policy • Define Marriage as One Man, One Woman Civil Liberties/Rights: • Equal Rights for Women (ERA) • School Prayer (Overturn Engel v. Vitale , 1962) • Rights for Unborn, Life at Conception (Overturn Roe v. Wade , 1973)
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Notes 10/16 • Prohibit Flag Burning (Overturn Texas v. Johnson , 1989) Elements of Constitutional Amendment • Purpose/Proposed Change/Entity-Branch Effected – “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” • Enforcement Mechanism – “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” • Enactment Date – “This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.” Elements of Constitutional Amendment • The Congressional Resolution also specifies means/route of ratification – three-fourths of state legislatures or (26 times) – three-fourths of state conventions (1 time) • The Congressional Resolution may also include a sunset
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