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Amending the Constitution. © 2001 by Prentice Hall, Inc. Essential Questions: Formal Amendment. What are the different ways to formally amend, or change the wording of, the Constitution? How many times has the Constitution been amended? What is the Bill of Rights?. 1. 3.

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amending the constitution

Amending the Constitution

© 2001 by Prentice Hall, Inc.

essential questions formal amendment
Essential Questions: Formal Amendment
  • What are the different ways to formally amend, or change the wording of, the Constitution?
  • How many times has the Constitution been amended?
  • What is the Bill of Rights?

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Chapter 3, Section 2

amending the constitution1
Amending the Constitution
  • The Constitution provides for its own amendment—that is, for changes in its written words.
  • Article V sets out two methods for the proposal and two methods for the ratification of constitutional amendments, creating four possible methods of formal amendment.

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Chapter 3, Section 2

formal amendment process
Formal Amendment Process
  • The four different ways by which amendments may be added to the Constitution are shown here:

Write on worksheet

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Chapter 3, Section 2

amendments to the constitution
Amendments to the Constitution

Collectively, the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.They set out many of our basic freedoms.

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Chapter 3, Section 2

essential questions informal amendment
Essential Questions: Informal Amendment
  • How has basic legislation changed the Constitution over time?
  • What powers do the executive branch and the courts have to amend the Constitution?
  • What role do party politics and custom have in shaping the Federal Government?

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Chapter 3, Section 3

informal amendment processes
Informal Amendment Processes

The informal amendment process can take place by:

(1) the passage of basic legislation by Congress;

(2) actions taken by the President;

(3) key decisions of the Supreme Court;

(4) the activities of political parties; and

(5) custom.

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.

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Chapter 3, Section 3

the passage of basic legislation by congress
The passage of basic legislation by Congress
  • Acts or Laws passed by Congress
    • “Congress adds ‘flesh to the bones’ of those sections of the Constitution the framers intentionally left skeletal”
    • Example: The many departments, agencies and offices have been set up by Congress
    • (ie. CIA, FBI, Housing Authority, etc)
executive action
Presidential actions have produced a number of important informal amendments, such as the use of the military under the power of commander in chief.

Example: The Vietnam “War”

The “War” on Terrorism

An executive agreement is a pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state.

Executive Action

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Chapter 3, Section 3

court decisions
Court Decisions
  • The nation’s courts, most importantly the United States Supreme Court, interpret and apply the Constitution in many cases they hear.
  • Example: “Brown v Board of Education”

- ended segregation

“ Roe v Wade”

-abortion is legal in the U.S.

the activities of political parties
The activities of political parties
  • Political parties have played a major role in shaping the government.
    • Example:
    • - Neither the Constitution nor any law provides for the nomination of presidential candidates
    • - Both houses in Congress are organized and conduct business on the basis of party.
custom or tradition
Custom or Tradition

Unwritten custom may be as strong as written law.

Example: - The Presidential Cabinet

- George Washington made 2 term limits a custom

review
Review

1. A formal amendment

  • (a) changes the Constitution by passing laws.
  • (b) changes the written language of the Constitution itself.
  • (c) allows States to secede from the United States.
  • (d) none of the above.

2. Many of the basic rights of citizens are constitutionally guaranteed in

  • (a) English common law.
  • (b) the Declaration of Independence.
  • (c) the Magna Carta.
  • (d) the Bill of Rights.

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Chapter 3, Section 2

review1
Review

3. An informal amendment can be established by

  • (a) actions taken by the President.
  • (b) custom.
  • (c) key decisions of the Supreme Court.
  • (d) all of the above.

4. An executive agreement is

  • (a) a promise from the President to the legislature.
  • (b) a pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state.
  • (c) a decision made by the President and his cabinet members.
  • (d) the contract the President signs when he accepts the office.

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Chapter 3, Section 3