The Constitution Of the United States of America.
What are the ways that the Constitution can be altered or amended?
It may surprise some people to find that there are actually three ways in which the Constitution can be altered.
1) It can be amended through the Congress.
2) It can be amended through the States, Article V amendments.
3) It can be altered through a Constitutional Convention.
But what are the differences between these procedures and what are the implications of using one method over the other?
Actually the differences are pretty dramatic, and the consequences of one method over the other can be startling.
The first way, and most common, is through the Congress. This is not only the most common, but it is also the only way it has ever been amended or altered in the history since it was ratified into law back in 1789.
The process goes something like this; Someone in Congress proposes an amendment, if it sounds like a good idea then the house of representatives holds a vote on the specific amendment being proposed. If the amendment passes in the House, then the proposed amendment moves over to the Senate where it is either amended itself or changed, or it may be simply voted on as it was passed to them through the House version.
Either way, whether or not the proposed amendment is changed in the Senate, it will be voted on. (assuming it is brought to a vote by the Senate leaders.) In order for a Constitutional Amendment to be approved by the House and Senate it must meet a 2/3 majority approval vote in both chambers of the Congress. Once that has been done, (If the proposed amendment reaches the required number of votes) then it will be passed along to all the States where it must meet the approval of the citizens of each state in a vote, generally held during a normal election cycle. In order for the Constitution to be amended through this method the proposed amendment must be approved by a minimum of 2/3rds of the States, (34 states). (This is what is called ratification). If it is approved by sufficient numbers of the States it then goes back to the President for signature and to the Supreme Court where it is implemented and placed into law.
Now please bear in mind that I am NOT a Constitutional Attorney, so if my explanation and description varies a little from reality don't worry, it has no legal implications.
But this method of amending the Constitution at this point in time has been the only way the Constitution has ever been altered or amended. In fact it has been done 33 times in the past although only 27 have been ratified and placed into law. And each time it was done using this method.
The second possibility is through a Constitutional Convention. We've all heard of the original Constitutional Convention that took place in Philadelphia in September 1787. This is when the original documents were written, and as always through the process of a convention it was not an easy process. You might say it is a wonder that anything was ever accomplished. The rivalries and the discussions were lively to say the least. But here we have to keep in mind that nothing like it had ever been done before. In the beginning there was only the dream of being able to form their own nation with their own sets of rules and laws. But the fighting and bickering didn't stop when the convention was closed. In fact now it's 225 years later and it still hasn't stopped. Fortunately for us however there has never been another Constitutional Convention. (At least none that I am aware of).
The third method of altering or amending the Constitution is through what is known as an Article V convention. This is the method we hear most about today. (Mark Levin's book The Liberty Amendments) This method begins in the States. The State legislatures must pass a proposed amendment. If and when it is passed in the State legislature it will then go to the people to be voted on, generally again during one of the normal election cycles. If it is approved by a majority of the votes of the people, then it is passed back to the State legislatures for ratification by each individual State.
In order for any specific amendment to become law and a part of the US Constitution it must be ratified by 2/3rds of the States, (34).
Any ratified amendment(s) are then sent to the Congress and to the US Supreme court. Since the amendment(s) have already been approved and ratified by the states, (and the people), Congress has little choice but to approve the measure and sign them into law. This Article V method is a tool given to the people through which the people can force the Congress and the Government to enact changes that the Government refuse to enact themselves. (Term limits is one current example).
It all sounds pretty complicated. No matter which method we choose it is a heavily involved process and it takes several years to accomplish any changes. This was no mistake on the part of Founders of this Country. They knew that making any significant changes to the Constitution could have some very severe implications. They made sure that making any changes to the Constitution would be difficult at best, and that the process would take a lot of time. The idea was to make sure the people had plenty of time to think about the changes that were being proposed.
So what are the real differences between the three methods of altering or amending the Constitution?
Actually the differences are pretty distinct and dramatic. And the consequences can either be very severe or they can be worth ever effort required to effect the changes.
Method #1, ( initiated through the Congress), involves one or more amendments that have been written out in very definite language and terms. What is written and voted on and then ratified is what will become part of the Constitution and eventually will become law.
What ever is passed by the Congress (specific language and wording) and then passed and voted on by the People and the States is what will be transformed into law. The people do not have the opportunity to change what ever language or wording that may be contained within the proposed amendment. (What you see is what you get). There can not be any alterations of what is said in the proposed amendment(s) unless it is sent back to the Congress where the whole process starts all over again.
Method #3, ( Article V convention) This method begins at the States. Again any proposed amendment(s) are written out and the language and wording contained within the proposals is what the people get to vote on. Any alterations or changes and the whole thing goes back to the individual States legislatures to start all over again. In order for any of these amendments to become part of the Constitution each state voting to ratify any amendment(s) must be voting on precisely the same language and wording in each state. There can be absolutely no variations or differences between the documents from one state to another. (Again - what you see is what you get). Any alterations or differences between what one state has passed and another and the whole process starts all over again.
Method #2 (A Constitutional Convention) You may be wondering why I skipped over this in the normal progression of the numbers? Because this method is the most volatile of them all. This method may stem either from the Congress or from the States. A Constitutional Convention has the possibility to open up the entire set of documents for alteration, revisions, editing, and/or abolishment. A Constitutional Convention actually has the potential of completely gutting the existing Constitution. Under this method the entire bill of rights could easily be eliminated or altered into something unrecognizable. The Second amendment could be abolished, as could any of the others. All 27 existing amendments could be abolished or altered, while new amendments could be added.
We could conceivably end up with a set of documents that say we the people have no rights at all and that we must bow down to the king.
Use your imagination only a little and it becomes pretty evident of what some people in this country would like to see changed in our existing Constitution could easily have some very severe life threatening consequences. A Constitutional Convention would most certainly alter and change The United States of America for ever.
This is how I understood the Article V Convention:
The Progressive Socialist Coup of Article 5 is another phase of destroying the United States from within.
The Article 5 Convention Scam:
Destroying America From Within (video):
A documentary that takes an in-depth look at the root of our decline in America. Socialism with the ultimate goal of global communism. This documentary also lays out names and dates and groups that have an active and growing agenda to bring America down, from Karl Marx to the Fabian Socialists to the Weather Underground to President Barack Obama.
"My object in life is to dethrone and destroy capitalism." -- Karl Marx
Agenda 21 - Global Marxism In Disguise:
Communism and Socialism:
"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'Liberalism', they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without even knowing how it happened." -- Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Presidential Candidate (six times), 1928 - 1948
Also see the Tombstone photo:
United States of America
Born: July 4, 1776
Died: November 4, 2008
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