Explain the Factors Which Make It Difficult to Amend the Us Constitution

Topics: United States Constitution, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Constitution Pages: 2 (735 words) Published: January 7, 2013
Q. Explain the factors which make it difficult to amend the US Constitution (15 marks) To amend the US Constitution, a bill has to go through a two-stage process: proposal and ratification. The proposal stage has to have two thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Every successful amendment has started this way and even the failed ones. A proposal can also be made by a Constitutional convention, which is a one-off body which is put together for a specific purpose, and this is called by Congress on petition by two thirds of the states. This method has never been used. The problem with this proposal method is that the Constitution doesn’t state how it should be done and there is no mechanism. There are, however, implications for proposals. The Democrats and Republicans are needed for amendment proposals to succeed, so this means one party simply cannot enforce and support a proposal. There needs to be a consensus. This means that this ‘implication’ can bring about bipartisanship, so this means both parties can find a common ground and work together to pass the legislation. An example of bipartisan support is the Flag Desecration Amendment. This was an amendment that had plenty of bipartisan support but not enough because it fell short of one vote. It was argued that flag desecration was removing people’s rights (such as freedom of speech) and Senators and Politicians generally dislike remove people’s rights. This is the same for the ban on gay marriage as the Constitution shouldn’t tell people how to lead their lives. Newt Gingrich had proposed that public schools should have prayers (which were more likely to be Christian prayers) but this would have removed rights such as freedom of religion, therefore limiting people’s rights. After the proposal stage, there then is the ratification stage. Once a bill passes this stage, it is an amendment. In the ratification stage, the proposed bill has to be approved by legislatures in three...
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