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Methods for Amending the Government

  • Date Submitted: 09/06/2011 07:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.4 
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The formal method for adding amendments to the Constitution contains two stages.   The two stages are proposal and ratification.   There are two alternative routes for proposing amendments.   An amendment can be proposed by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress or by a national convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures.   There are also two options for ratifying amendments.   An amendment can be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by special state conventions called in three-fourths of the states.   The chief executive may influence the success of proposed amendments, but the president has no formal role in amending the Constitution.
An example of an informal method that has been used to change the meaning of the Constitution is that the Supreme Court decided that it should be the one to resolve differences of opinion.   This occurred in the case of Marbury vs. Madison.   The court claimed that it had the power of judicial review.   It is implied, but not stated in the Constitution that courts have to right to decide whether the actions of the legislative and executive branches are in agreement with the Constitution.   Issues with current political practices also change the Constitution.   Political parties didn’t even exist when the Constitution was established.   The authors of the Constitution probably would not have agreed with the idea of political parties to begin with, because they encourage factions.   For example, in 1800 a party system had been developed, and to this day it still plays a critical role in our government.   Although the Constitution reads nothing about political parties, they exist today and they have radically changed the American government.
Informal methods are used more often than formal methods when it comes to the amendment process.   The Constitution does not describe in detail the complete way to function the government.   Instead, it left flexibility for the system of...


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