The Pros and Cons of Article V of the United States Constitution

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The United States Constitution is one of the most significant documents in modern world history. Its official date of adoption was on the seventeenth of September in 1897. The Constitution itself represents the advent of democracy, justice and freedom in a once-was colony which thereafter gained its independence. It established three branches of government; the legislative branch, the judicial branch and the executive branch. Additionally, the Constitution outlined the relationship between the country’s citizens and the Federal government.

Many section of the Constitution have been debated and examined. One of the most interesting articles is Article V which details the process of ‘amending,’ or revising, the Constitution. There are two ways to go about the amending process. According to, “the first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment.” Secondly, "Congress ... on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which ... shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States (Philip 26)." This procedure has never been used to amend the Constitution.

One pro of this Article is the fact that the executive branch, or the President, does not have an official role in the amendment process. He cannot veto a proposed amendment. This limitation to power, an example of the system of ‘check and balances’ so central to the philosophy of the Constitution, prevents the President from engaging in self-serving ratification.

In an...
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