Constitution 4 - Amending Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Constitution 4 - Amending Deck (10):

How can amendments be proposed

1. Congress
2. National Constitutional Convention


How can amendments be ratified

1. State legislatures
2. State constitutional convention


How can congress propose an amendment

Two-thirds majority in both houses


How can national constitutional convention propose an amendment

Two-thirds of the states (never happened)


How can state legislatures ratify amendments

Three quarters of the state legislatures


How can state constitutional convention ratify amendments

Three quarters of states must hold conventions and vote to ratify


Of 33 proposed amendments, states have ratified _____ of them



Advantages of amending the constitution

1. Constitution protected from Politicians Seeking short-term gain
2. Constitution protected from short-lived Waves of popular sentiment
3. Both states and federal govt. involved, entailing a Variety of View points
4. Needs a broad-based consensus - amendments cannot be pushed through by bare majority either in Congress or the states


Disadvantages of amendment process

1. A determined minority can prevent the will of the majority from prevailing
2. Supermajorities mean SC has become the main way of amending
3. Amendments with widespread support not guaranteed to pass
4. Process doesn't always act as a barrier to poor amendments


Reasons why the constitution has been amended so rarely

1. It's a deliberately difficult process
2. It has evolved naturally
Americans are cautious of tampering with it
3. Supreme Court's power of judicial review allows the court to interpret the constitution and therefore, effectively change the meaning