Proposing an amendment can be done by Congrees or states. Both houses of Congress must propose the amendment by a 2/3 vote. These is how current amendments have been offered. 2/3 of the states legislatures must call on Congress to have a Constitutional Convention. Regardless of how any amendment is proposed, it must be ratified by the states. 3/4 of the states legislatures must approve of amendment proposed by congress. 3/4 of the states must approve the ratifying convention. This method was used once to repeal prohibition (21st amendment). Since the 18th amendment Congress has set a term of 7 years for ratification. Only 33 amendments recieved 2/3 vote from both houses. Only 27 have been ratified.
Of the 6 amendments not ratified 4 are still pending. Congressional Apportionment Amendment (1789), was proposed as a means to ensure a minimum representation for the common people in the bew U.S. government. The Titles of Nobility Amendment (1810), would strip U.S.. citizenship from any citizen who accepted a title of nobility from a foreign country. The Corwin Amendment (1861), would forbid subsequent attempts to amend the Constitution to empower Congress to “abolish or interfere” with the “domestic institutions ” of the states, including persons held to labor or service (slavery). The Child Labor Amendment (1924), would regulate labor if persons under the age of 18. Interest in this amendment waned following The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which implemented federal regulations of child labor with the Supreme Court approval in 1941.
The 2 which expired included the Equal Rights Amendment (1972), was designed to give equal rights to women. The ERA was originall written by Alice Paul in 1923. In 1972 it passed both houses and went to states for ratification, it never recieved enough votes and expired in 1982. The District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment (1978), would have given the District of Columbia full representation in the U.S. congress, full representation in the Electoral College System, it expired on Aug. 22, 1985.
Some say it is to hard to ratify the Constitution, if course others disagree. You need 290 member of the House, 67 Senators, both houses of the state legislatures in 38 states. Given our political climate this is close to impossible. But the writers of our Constitution wanted it to be easy to consider changes, yet want them to carefully considered. They want to make sure the amendment had the full support of the nation, therefore it is more difficult to ratify. Another arguement could be that they didnt anticipate the size and population of our country while writing this.
It some cases this is a good thing, like when the Republican party tried to amend the Constitution to keep homosexuals from getting married. It didnt have enough support so it never happened. Now states are letting LGBT couples get married, some not all. The Democrats helped stop that amendment from happening. But as the political climate changes in our country maybe we will see more ratifications. I hoppe we do, some changes need to be made and the Constitution might be the place to start. I got alot of information on amending the Constitition from Wikipedia, if you are interested in more information. Thank you.
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