Constitutional Amendments • The Amendments • Amendment Process • Proposed Amendments
The Amendments • How many constitutional amendments do you know? • 0-6 – Poor • 7-13 - Ok • 14-20 - Good • 20+ - Genius!
Definitions Amendment An amendment is a formal revision to the Constitution, responding to needs of a changing nation. The amendment procedure is laid out in Article V of the Constitution
Amendment Process • The Founding Fathers, while realising the likely need to amend the Constitution, wanted to make doing so a difficult process. • Thus, it was to be 2 stage process requiring super-majorities of more than 50% such as a 2/3 majority in both houses of Congress and ¾ of the states agreement.
The Constitutional Amendments • Bill of Rights = 10 • Others = 11-27
Why has the Constitution been amended so rarely? • With only 27 amendments passed, and only 17 of them in last 220 years, the question is raised as to why so few amendments have been passed. • There are 4 significant reasons why.
Why has the Constitution been amended so rarely? • Amendment process is deliberately difficult • Constitution is unspecific (e.g. provide for the common defence and general welfare) • Judicial Review – interprets constitution and can effectively change meaning (“interpretative amendments”) • Prohibition is a lesson – amend with caution!!
Proposed Amendments • Proposed Constitutional Amendments Approved by Congress- Not ratified- Awaiting Ratification • Proposed Constitutional Amendments Not Approved by Congress
How would you amend the constitution? • You have 3 minutes in which to write an amendment to the US Constitution. • Pass your proposed amendment to the Teacher. • The class will vote on your amendment. • Remember you need a 2/3 majority in order to send your proposal for ratification. Start Timer 3 Minutes 3 2 1 0
Homework • Revise for end of topic test. • 25 short questions • Pass mark = 18 • Failure to reach the pass mark will result in re-taking the test in an after school session.