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A Guide to Constitutional Amendments


• Legal Context for U.S. Constitutional Amendments

One of the primary legal measures included along with the U.S. Constitution is for the introduction of amendments to this foundational legal document for the United States. The two primary considerations taken into consideration by the Founding Fathers when allowing for the application of amendments to the Constitution were the need for flexibility in the country’s legal infrastructure and the danger posed by changes too quickly and readily introduced to the U.S.

• Ratification of Amendments

The process allowed for by the Founding Fathers for the passage of Constitutional amendments can either occur through a 2/3 proposal made in Congress, or the call for a constitutional vote by 2/3 of state legislatures.

• Specific Amendments

Up to the present, the U.S. Constitution has been affected by 27 specific amendments. It should be noted, however, that not every one of these amendments is still in effect. As an example of this fact, it could be noted that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which was applied in 1919 to prohibit the sale of alcohol in the United States, was repealed through the actions of the 21st Amendment, which went into effect in 1933.

o Bill of Rights

The first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are referred to as the Bill of Rights, which were passed in 1791 at the same time and are generally regarded specifically as foundational principles for the liberties and rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens and residents.

NEXT: A Quick Guide to the First Ten Amendments

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