Q:

What is the process for making amendments to the Constitution?

A:

Quick Answer

The Constitution can be amended if two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate vote for the amendment and three-fourths of the state legislatures ratify it. The Constitution can also be amended if two-thirds of the state legislatures call a convention and three-fourths of the state legislatures ratify it.

Continue Reading
What is the process for making amendments to the Constitution?
Credit: Brendan Hoffman Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides the procedure for the introduction and ratification of amendments. The first way to propose an amendment is to get the two-thirds supermajority vote of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This process does not require the president���s signature. Amendments can be sent to the states for ratification.

Alternatively, in order to initiate an amendment, two-thirds of the state legislatures can request that Congress calls a national convention specifically for this purpose. Amendments can be ratified in one of two ways. In the first method, amendments are ratified if three-fourths of the state legislatures accept it. The second method involves getting the ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states to approve it. This second method was used once to ratify the 21st amendment, which repealed Prohibition.

According to the Supreme Court, ratification must come within a reasonable time after the amendment has been proposed. Starting with the 18th amendment, Congress has typically set a definite period for ratification. In several cases, including the 18th and 20th amendments, the reasonable period set was 7 years. It has not been established how long a reasonable time may extend.

Learn more about The Constitution

Related Questions

Explore