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Amending the US Constitution

1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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7/13/2015 12:23:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Should the laws regarding the amendments of the US Constitution be changed?

The first United States Congress consisted of 21 Senators and 59 Representatives, and after the entrance of North Carolina and Rhode Island officially as the 12th and 13th states after their ratification of the Constitution, 26 Senators and 65 Representatives. This Congress passed the first twelve amendments to the Constitution - ten of which became the Bill of Rights, one ratified by the states as the 27th Amendment in 1992, and one still awaits ratification - as it fell one state short of ratification (also the first Amendment ever passed by Congress).

Why was it so easy for them to make Constitutional Amendments?

For an Amendment to be passed, there needs to be a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and House, as well as ratification from three-quarters of the states.

So at the beginning of the first US Congress, they needed 86 less Senators, 336 less Representatives, and 26 less states to pass an Amendment. Obviously, amending the Constitution was far more achievable when the votes needed were of a much smaller amount. So - is it justifiable to continue with this requirement for the passing of Amendments?
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boneman1
Posts: 2
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7/14/2015 9:42:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:23:01 AM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
Should the laws regarding the amendments of the US Constitution be changed?

The first United States Congress consisted of 21 Senators and 59 Representatives, and after the entrance of North Carolina and Rhode Island officially as the 12th and 13th states after their ratification of the Constitution, 26 Senators and 65 Representatives. This Congress passed the first twelve amendments to the Constitution - ten of which became the Bill of Rights, one ratified by the states as the 27th Amendment in 1992, and one still awaits ratification - as it fell one state short of ratification (also the first Amendment ever passed by Congress).

Why was it so easy for them to make Constitutional Amendments?

For an Amendment to be passed, there needs to be a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and House, as well as ratification from three-quarters of the states.

So at the beginning of the first US Congress, they needed 86 less Senators, 336 less Representatives, and 26 less states to pass an Amendment. Obviously, amending the Constitution was far more achievable when the votes needed were of a much smaller amount. So - is it justifiable to continue with this requirement for the passing of Amendments?

The percentages required haven't changed, so it really shouldn't be any more difficult than it ever has been. In those days we didn't have telephone or internet to communicate, so reaching everybody to try and sway their opinion was much more difficult. Today the news can reach the world in no time at all.

The process was put in place to protect us, just like the separation of powers are suppose to protect us from a president trying to exercise powers he doesn't actually have. We don't need a president or small group of people deciding to change the Constitution without approval of the people. Our forefathers came here to get away from that kind of government.
Gmork
Posts: 82
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7/14/2015 10:16:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 12:23:01 AM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
Should the laws regarding the amendments of the US Constitution be changed?

The first United States Congress consisted of 21 Senators and 59 Representatives, and after the entrance of North Carolina and Rhode Island officially as the 12th and 13th states after their ratification of the Constitution, 26 Senators and 65 Representatives. This Congress passed the first twelve amendments to the Constitution - ten of which became the Bill of Rights, one ratified by the states as the 27th Amendment in 1992, and one still awaits ratification - as it fell one state short of ratification (also the first Amendment ever passed by Congress).

Why was it so easy for them to make Constitutional Amendments?

For an Amendment to be passed, there needs to be a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and House, as well as ratification from three-quarters of the states.

So at the beginning of the first US Congress, they needed 86 less Senators, 336 less Representatives, and 26 less states to pass an Amendment. Obviously, amending the Constitution was far more achievable when the votes needed were of a much smaller amount. So - is it justifiable to continue with this requirement for the passing of Amendments?

Are you suggesting that it should be easier to change the core document to our legal system? Imagine all the fallout if a change is made. What if the 4th was amended to only include physical personal effects, and not apply to emails, phone records, or texts? Or, what if an amendment negated another, and all of the Supreme Court decisions and legal history is wiped out with one fell swoop, for example, eliminating the 14th amendment would cancel out gay marriage for all.

Also, while getting 3/4 or 2/3 is difficult now then it was, keep in mind a holdout back then had more weight, too. The difficulty is different, but still equal, and it should be difficult. Plus, weren't the first ten amendments passed on the first day of the union? It was planned that way, so, really, "back then" it was only two amendments until the civil war.

Actually, it is probably harder now then it was due to the 17th amendment. Perhaps we should repeal it. Oh, but isn't that a catch-22?
joepbr
Posts: 128
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7/15/2015 5:56:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's interesting that making a constitutional amendment in the US is so difficult, I think that the problem isn't with the proportion of congress needed to approve it, but with the fact that it bust be ratified by so many states, having it approved in 38 states is nearly impossible, specially in a country so politically divided as the USA.

On the other hand here in Brazil its too easy to pass a constitutional amendment, all it needs is 3/5 of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, as a result we have 88 amendments enacted in just 23 years, while the US had 27 amendments in almost 230 years.
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