List of Proposed Amendments To The United States Constitution - Amending Process

Amending Process

Amending the Constitution is a two-step process: Proposition and Ratification.

  1. Proposing an amendment: Article Five allows for two methods of proposing an amendment: By Congress or by a national convention.
    • Congressional proposition: A two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress—assuming the presence of a quorum—may propose an amendment. All of the ratified and unratified amendments have been proposed by this method.
    • National convention: An amendment may also be proposed by a national convention requested (or "applied" for) by legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states (currently 34).
  2. Ratification: A proposed amendment must then be ratified. There are two possible methods of ratification, and only Congress may choose which method to use.
    • Ratification by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states (38 states with 50 states currently in the Union). Such proposals sometimes have a ratification deadline.
    • Ratification by state conventions of three-fourths of the states. Only the Twenty-first Amendment has used this method.

Article Five specifies entrenched clauses that cannot be amended by the usual process. The first two restrictions, regarding the slave trade and direct taxes, expired in 1808. The last one specifies that an amendment cannot deprive a state of equal representation in the Senate without that state's consent.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Proposed Amendments To The United States Constitution

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