Amending the Constitution

Amending the
“We the people” want to
change this!!!!
The Amendment Process
Proposing + Ratifying (approving)
Step 1: Proposing Amendments (2
1. 2/3 vote of each house of Congress (the
only method used to date)
2. 2/3 of the states can request that
Congress call a national convention
Ratifying Amendments
2 Ways:
1. Legislatures in 3/4 of the states ratify
(approve) the amendment)
2. Each state may call a special ratifying
convention. THEN, 3/4 of the conventions
must approve it.
• **A state that rejects an amendment by method
#1 can reverse their decision and approve the
What if a state legislature
approves an amendment
and then revokes
• Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): would
prohibit discrimination on the basis of
• 35 states approved of it BUT then 5
changed their minds
• Is state revocation Constitutional?
Are these actions
acceptable under the 1st
• Wearing a jacket that says “F**K THE
DRAFT” in a court house?
– Cohen v. California
• Burning your draft card on the steps of a
– United States v. O’Brien
Is this a violation of the 4th
• The officer noticed the Petitioner talking with another
individual on a street corner while repeatedly walking
up and down the same street. The men would
periodically peer into a store window and then talk
some more. The men also spoke to a third man whom
they eventually followed up the street. The officer
believed that the Petitioner and the other men were
“casing” a store for a potential robbery. The officer
decided to approach the men for questioning, and
given the nature of the behavior the officer decided to
perform a quick search of the men before questioning.
A quick frisking of the Petitioner produced a concealed
weapon and the Petitioner was charged with carrying
a concealed weapon.
The Supreme Court Case
• Terry v. Ohio
• Created a “2 Prong Test”
– Reasonable suspicion that a crime has, is, or will be
– Has a reasonable belief that the person “ may be armed
and presently dangerous”
• This has been extended to include car
• Requirement of identification (passed in 24 states)
• Police can frisk an individual in a stopped vehicle
The Amendments
Bill of Rights (1-10)
1. Freedom of religion, speech, assembly, petition
2. Right of the people to keep and bear arms
3. People cannot be forced to house soldiers in
4. Protects against unreasonable search and seizure and
warrants must be based on probable cause
5. No one cal be held for a serious crime without being
presented to a grand jury; double jeopardy; the right
to avoid self-incrimination; no one can be deprived
of life, liberty or property without due process, the
right to eminent domain
Bill of Rights
6. All criminals have the right to a speedy and public trial
by an impartial jury, the accused can confront any
witnesses called against them and call their own
witnesses; the accused has the right to counsel
7. Civil cases can be tried in front of a jury
8. No excessive bail, fines or cruel and unusual
9. The people have the rights granted by the Constitution
but others as well
10. The powers of the federal government are limited to
those in the Constitution
The Amendments
Also Part of the Bill of Rights
11. Prohibits a state from being sued in
federal court by citizens of another state or
of another nation
12. Provides for the use of separate ballots for
when the Electoral College votes for
president and vice president
The Amendments
“The Civil War
13. Abolished slavery
14. Grants everyone equal protection under the
-Originally intended to protect the rights of
freed slaves
15. Voting rights cannot be deprived to any
person based on race, color, or former status
as a slave
“The Twentieth Century
16. Authorized the income tax
17. Established direct election of US senators
18. Prohibited the manufacturing, importing and exporting of
alcoholic beverages
19. Prohibited the forbidding the right to vote to any citizen
based on sex
20. Changed the details of Congressional and presidential
21. Repealed the 18th Amendment
The 20th Century
Amendments Cont.
22. Limits the President to 2 terms
23. Granted Washington D.C. presidential electors
24. Prohibited the requirement of payment of a poll
tax as a requirement for voting
25. Provides for the succession to the office of the
president in the event of death or incapacitation
26. Lowered the national voting age to 18
27. Limits congressional pay rates