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1. Informal Amendment Process Chapter 3 section 3
2. Informal Amendment Process Informal amendment is the process by which over time many changes have been made in the Constitution which have not involved any changes in its written word.
3. III. Informal Amendment
Key point in understanding the Const. and the process of constitutional change is that there is much in the const. that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
A. Basic Legislation
1.Congress can pass laws that spell out some of the Const. brief provisions.
2. Congress can pass laws defining and interpreting the meaning of const. provisions.
4. B. Executive Action
1. Presidents have used their powers to delineate unclear const. provisions (ex: difference between Congresss power to declare war and the Pres. power to wage war).
2. Pres. Have extended their authority over foreign policy by making informal executive agreements w/ representatives of foreign governments, avoiding the constitutional requirement for the Senate to approve formal treaties.
5. C. Court Decisions
1. The nations courts interpret and apply the Const. as they see fit, as in Marbury v. Madison.
2. The Supreme Court has been called a constitutional convention in continuous session.
6. D. Party Practices
1. Political parties have been a major source of informal amendment.
2. Political parties have shaped government and its processes by holding political conventions, organizing Congress along party lines, and injecting party politics in the process of presidential appointments.
1. Each branch of government has developed traditions that fall outside the provisions of the Constitution.
2. Examples: Succession - powers and duties of the Pres. granted to the vice president, not the office itself (25th Amendment 1967)
No third-term tradition 1796, Washington refused a third term FDR broke the tradition 1940 &1944 (22nd Amendment 1951)
*informal amendment became
a formal amendment.
8. Amendments 1. Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
2. Freedom to bear arms
3. Dont need to quarter troops
4. Restricts search and seizure with probable cause, discuss warrants
5. Double jeopardy, dont have to self incriminate
6. Right to a speedy trial
7. Right to a trial by jury
8. Prevents excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment
9. Power is reserved for the people
9. Amendments Continued 10. Powers given to the states
11. Suits against states
12. President/VP- President and the VP must run on the same ticket
13. Ended slavery
14. Defines rights of citizens, due process, privileges and immunities
15. Gives African-Americans the right to vote
16. Allows the government to collect income taxes
17. U.S. Senators will be elected by popular vote, not be state legislatures
10. Amendments ContinuedAgain 19. Gives women the right to vote
20. Lame Duck
21. Repeals prohibition
22. President has a two term limit
23. Includes the voters of the District of Columbia in the presidential electorate
24. No more poll taxes
25. Create the order of Presidential succession, VP vacancy, presidential inability
26. Can vote if 18
27. Congressional pay raises, wont take effect until an election of Representatives has taken place
11. Questions What is an informal amendment?
What are three of the informal methods of amending the Constitution?
Which one is the most effective and which one is used the most? Why?