When the United States Constitution was adopted in 1787, it was a revolutionary step; one that was truly ahead of its time. It came about after the unsuccessful Articles of Confederation, when delegates decided that a confederacy was just not working. At the Philadelphia Convention, from May to September 1787, the Founding Fathers or ‘Framers’ created one of the greatest fully codified and entrenched documents ever created. It was all about compromising – forming a new federal government, making sure all states were represented equally (House of Representatives and the Senate) and giving power and denying power. It covered everything from the control of the spread of information (the Internet to you and me) to amending the Constitution itself. Why, then, did the Founding Fathers deliberately make the Amendment Process such a lengthy and difficult process? There is no doubt that the Constitution was unique and innovative for 1787, but now, in 2012, is it simply considered an 18th century straight jacket?
There have only been 27 amendments to the Constitution in 225 years (although 10 came with the Bill of Rights in 1791, the 18th and 21st Amendment on Prohibition cancel each other out, so there have really been 15 genuine changes to the Constitution). The reason for so few amendments could be due to the previously mentioned Amendment Process. Possible amendments must go through the proposal and ratification stage to become a formal amendment. Super majorities are needed in both houses (two thirds) of Congress to propose an amendment or else a National Constitutional Convention must be called by at least two-thirds of the states (though this has never been used). To get both the House of Representatives and the Senate to agree is no easy task, although during Bill Clinton’s presidency of 1993-2001, the House of Representatives agreed to a Balanced Budget Amendment, and although the Senate ultimately did not agree it was only one vote short of the required...
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