Q. What are the formal and informal methods of constitutional change?


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

Contact the Online Library for additional assistance at 888-559-7579 or auolibrary@argosy.edu.


  • Last Updated Jul 26, 2017
  • Views 156392
  • Answered By [Unclaimed]

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 265   112

Contact Us

Don't see an answer to your question? Submit a new question to us using this form.
Your Contact Information

Please give an e-mail address so we know where to send your answer. We will not share it.

Fields marked with * are required.