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The Constitution of the United States provides two methods for making amendments. Only one has ever been used. The United States Congress can pass a bill setting out a proposed amendment by a vote of two thirds in each body. Or a constitutional convention can be convened by a vote of two thirds of the state legislatures, which will propose one or more amendments. This has never happened and its unclear exactly how such a constitutional convention would operate.

In either case, the amendments to the U.S. Constitution only become effective after being ratified by 3/4 of the states. Some amendments are quickly ratified. The 27th Amendment, on the other hand, was proposed in 1792 and did not achieve final ratification until 1992. Unlike all proposed amendments since Prohibition, this amendment had no deadline.

Some prominent amendments never are ratified. The Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in 1972 and was ratified by 34 of the necessary 38 states. However, advocates could not get the last four states necessary and the Congressionally-imposed deadline for ratification passed.

The first 10 amendments were soon passed and are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. Another cluster of amendments was passed following the Civil War and sought to enshrine the rights of the newly freed slaves.

The United States Constitution now has 25 functioning amendments. There have been 27 ratified in total, but one of these, the 18th, was Prohibition and another, the 21st, was the repeal of Prohibition.

Amendment

Ratified

Description

1st

1791

Rights to Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition

2nd

1791

Right to Bear Arms

3rd

1791

Quartering of Soldiers

4th

1791

Search and Seizure

5th

1791

Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process

6th

1791

Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions: Rights to Jury Trial, to Confront Opposing Witnesses and to Counsel

7th

1791

Jury Trial

8th

1791

Protections against Excessive Bail, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

9th

1791

Non-Enumerated Rights

10th

1791

Rights Reserved to States

11th

1795

Suits Against a State

12th

1804

Election of President and Vice-President

13th

1865

Abolition of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude

14th

1868

Protects rights against state infringements, defines citizenship, prohibits states from interfering with privileges and immunities, requires due process and equal protection, punishes states for denying vote, and disqualifies Confederate officials and debts

15th

1870

Voting Rights

16th

1913

Federal Income Tax

17th

1913

Popular Election of Senators

18th

1919

Prohibition

19th

1920

Women's Right to Vote

20th

1933

Commencement of Presidential Term and Succession

21st

1933

Repeal of 18th Amendment (Prohibition)

22nd

1951

Two-Term Limitation on President

23rd

1961

District of Columbia Presidential Vote

24th

1964

Abolition of Poll Tax Requirement in Federal Elections

25th

1967

Presidential Vacancy, Disability and Inability

26th

1971

Right to Vote at Age 18

27th

1992

Congressional Compensation

Off-site search results for "Amendment Summary: 27 Updates to the U.S. Constitution"...

First Amendment Library - Case Summary
... Amendment reportsFlag-desecration reportSupreme CourtExpertsColumnistsFirst Amendment publicationsGlossaryFreedom Singsâu0084˘EventsFirst AmendmentSchoolsCongressional Research Service reportsGuest editorialsFOI materialThe First Amendment ...
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/faclibrary/casesummary.aspx?case=s ...

ADAH: Alabama Moments (Boswell Amendment--Quick Summary)
... Quick Summary | Details | Bibliography | Boswell Amendment u00a0 The Boswell amendment to the Alabama constitution was passed by the Alabama Legislature in 1945 and ratified by the Alabama electorate the next year, requiring a prospective voter ...
http://www.alabamamoments.state.al.us/sec53qs.html

Fifteenth Amendment to the U.s. Constitution History Summary
Fifteenth Amendment to the U.s. Constitution Guide Get the complete Fifteenth Amendment to the U.s. Constitution American History Guideâu0080u00946 pages in all. Each American History Guide is written by a subject expert or professional educator and is a ...
http://www.bookrags.com/history/americanhistory/fifteenth-amendment-to ...

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