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What are the formal and informal methods of constitutional change?

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2011  |  10442 Views
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Formal method of amending the United States Constitution:

Article V creates a two-stage process for amending the Constitution: proposal and ratification.

  • An amendment can be proposed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or...
  • By two-thirds of state legislatures requesting Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.
  • An amendment can be ratified by a favorable vote in three-fourths of all state legislatures or by such a vote in specially called ratifying conventions called in three-fourths of the states.

Informal method of amending the United States Constitution:

  • By judicial interpretation (in Marbury v. Madison-1803- the Supreme Court declared that the federal courts had the power to nullify actions of the national government if found to be in conflict with the Constitution.
  • Social, cultural and legal change.

Robyn, R. The Constitution-Chapter 2-O'Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change The Constitution. Retrieved from http://www.personal.kent.edu/~rrobyn/Chap%2002%20Outline.htm


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