Changing the Constitution

Changing the Constitution - example, Congress has given the...

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Changing the Constitution Article V of the Constitution explains how Americans can change the Constitution. A change in the Constitution is called an amendment. The framers intentionally made the process of changing the Constitution difficult because they wanted the Constitution to be stable. Although more than 11,000 amendments have been proposed since 1789, only twenty-seven have been approved, or ratified. Changing the Constitution is a two-step process: 1. An amendment must be proposed by either a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress or by conventions called in two-thirds of the states. 2. The amendment must then be ratified by either the approval of three-fourths of the state legislatures or by special ratifying conventions held in three-fourths of the states. Informal Methods of Changing the Constitution Even though only twenty-seven amendments have been ratified, the Constitution has changed in other ways. For
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Unformatted text preview: example, Congress has given the president the responsibility of submitting a budget. The president has also entered into executive agreements with foreign leaders without getting prior approval or treaty ratification from the Senate. By far the biggest informal change to the Constitution has been the Supreme Courts assertion of the power of judicial review. The Bill of Rights Many states ratified the Constitution in 1788 and 1789 on the condition that Congress amend it to guarantee certain civil liberties. James Madison drafted these first ten amendments himself, which collectively became known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights safeguards some specific rights of both the American people and the states. The table on the next page summarizes the twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution....
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