Under Article Five, the Constitution can be amended in two ways: through a two-thirds majority vote in Congress or by a two-thirds vote of a national convention at the request of at least two-thirds of the states. To become operative, three-quarters of the states, or state ratifying conventions, must ratify.Continue Reading
There have been 33 amendment proposals sent to the states for ratification since the establishment of the Constitution, all via Congress. Twenty-seven amendments have been made to the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments. State legislatures have at various times used their power to pressure Congress into proposing an amendment, but many legal questions remain how the amendment process would work via this route.
To become operative, an amendment, whether proposed by Congress or a national Constitutional Convention, must be ratified by either the legislatures of three-quarters of the states or state ratifying conventions in three-quarters of the states. Congress has specified the state legislature ratification method for all but one amendment.
Since the turn of the 20th century, amendment proposals sent to the states for ratification have generally contained a seven-year ratification deadline. An amendment with an attached deadline that is not ratified by the required number of states within the set time period is considered inoperative and rendered moot.
An amendment becomes operative as soon as it reaches the three-quarters of the states threshold, and once certified by the Archivist of the United States, it officially becomes an article of the Constitution.Learn more about The Constitution
Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the U.S. government, the U.S. Congress. The longest of the articles to the Constitution, Article I is broken down into 10 sections, and describes the organization of Congress and its delegated powers.Full Answer >
Article 1, Section 8, clause 18 of the United States Constitution gives Congress power to make any laws considered "necessary and proper" for the nation. According to Wikipedia, this clause, often called the "Necessary and Proper" or the "Elastic" clause, is sometimes accused of giving too much power to Congress.Full Answer >
The Annenberg Classroom states that the "elastic clause" of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to create any laws required to carry out the responsibilities that are specifically assigned to Congress in Article I, Section 8 of that document. The clause, which comes at the end of that section, has been used several times since it was established, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.Full Answer >
Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution defines the relationship of the states toward one another, and their relationship to the federal government. Section 1 contains the "Full Faith and Credit Clause," which requires each state to extend recognition to the public and legal acts of other states.Full Answer >