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Chapter 3 Section 2 Formal Amendments. Formal Amendment Changes to the constitution can happen in two ways –Formal Amendments –Informal means.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 Section 2 Formal Amendments. Formal Amendment Changes to the constitution can happen in two ways –Formal Amendments –Informal means."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 Section 2 Formal Amendments

2 Formal Amendment Changes to the constitution can happen in two ways –Formal Amendments –Informal means

3 Formal Amendment Constitution is about 200 years old Scattered population –Travel and communication was limited Today –Stretched across 50 states The Constitution of today is/is not the same of 1787

4 Formal Amendment Process Amendment: changes in the written word of the constitution Established in Article 5 –Two methods of proposal –Two methods of constitutional amendments

5 Formal Amendments 1 st Method: –Proposed by Congress by 2/3 votes –Both houses of Congress –Today: 38 states must approve –26 of 27 amendments were adopted this way

6 Formal Amendment 2 nd Method: –Proposed by Congress –Ratified by conventions –¾ states needed –21 st Amendment (1933) Believed popularly elected delegates = reflect public opinion Repealed prohibition

7 Formal Amendment 3 rd Method –Proposed by National Convention –Called by Congress –Request 2/3 of states –Must be ratified by ¾ State legislatures –Congress has not called a convention

8 Formal Amendment 4 th Method: –Proposed by national convention –Ratified by conventions –¾ states needed –Constitution was adopted in this way

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10 Federalism and Popular Sovereignty Amendment Process: –Emphasizes the Federal Character of governmental system –Proposes take place at national level –Ratification is a State by State manner –Represents the expression of the People’s sovereign will

11 Criticize the practice of sending to State legislatures vs. conventions Permits change without expression from the people Representatives elected: –Party membership –Name familiarity –Stands on taxes, schools, welfare programs –Not elected for stand on Amendments Conventions: people elected specifically for the yes-no vote on Amendment Federalism and Popular Sovereignty

12 State cannot require an amendment proposed by Congress to be approved by a vote of the people of a State before it can be ratified by State legislature State can call for an advisory vote by the people Federalism and Popular Sovereignty: Supreme Court Role

13 Proposed Amendments One Restriction –“NO State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” If both houses approve it DOES NOT go to the president for approval/veto –It is not making LAW (not legislating) State rejections: –Not forever bound by the action –Can reconsider and ratify

14 Proposed Amendments 15,000 since 1789 Only 33 have been sent to states Only 27 have been ratified by States 1 st 10 Amendments = Bill of Rights (1791) Congress can put “a reasonable time limit”

15 The 27 Amendments

16 Bill of Rights Added less than 3 years after ratification of Constitution Proposed 1 st session of Congress Set out the guarantees: – of freedom of belief and expression – of freedom and security of the person –of fair and equal treatment before the law

17 Chapter 3 section 3 Constitutional Change by Other Means

18 Constitutional Change by other Means Basic Legislation by Congress Actions taken by the President Key decisions of the Supreme Court The activities of politcal parties Custom

19 Constitutional Change by other means: Basic Legislation Congress passes laws to “add flesh to the bones” of the Constitution –Ideas framers left Skeletal –Example: federal court systems/ 25 th amendment (succession of president) Added by the way it has used its powers –Example: Foreign commerce and trade Does not specifically say what congress does Define it by passing laws

20 Presidential actions –produced a number of important informal amendments –Example: the use of the military under the power of commander in chief. Executive agreements: –Pact made by the President directly with head of a foreign state –Do not need to be approved by Congress Treaties: agreement b/w Sovereign states –They have to be approved by congress Constitutional Change by other means: Executive Action

21 The nation’s courts, most importantly the United States Supreme Court, interpret and apply the Constitution in many cases they hear. –Example: Marbury v. Madison Constitutional Change by other means: Court Decisions

22 Constitution makes NO mention of Political Parties Neither Constitution or Law provides for nomination of candidates for presidency National Conventions Electoral College –Group that makes the formal selection of the nation’s president Congress conducts business in parties President makes appointments based on party affiliation Constitutional Change by other means: Party Practices

23 Cabinet: –15 member executive advisory board to President –Constitution DOES NOT mention a cabinet 8 times Vice president took over for presidents who died in office –Johnson for Kennedy –1963: 25 th amendment addressed succession Senatorial Courtesy: –Senate will approve only those presidential appointees who are acceptable to the senator or senators of the President’s party from the State involved Constitutional Change by other means: Customs

24 150 years of “NO third term tradition” –Started with George Washington –Lasted till 1940 –Roosevelt sought and was elected to a 3 rd and 4 th term Result 22 nd Amendment limiting term limits –Once unwritten and informal became part of the constitution Constitutional Change by other means: Customs


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