Constitutional Amendment

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  • An addition to the Constitution. All 27 amendments that have become the law in the United States have been proposed by two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress and ratified by three fourths of the states. In some instances, the authors of these amendments aimed them directly at the Supreme Court. Taken together with the high court's interpretation of them, these amendments are a barometer of the social, economic, and political change within the constitutional system.

    The framers of the U.S. Constitution realized that this document would have to be revised to meet new needs that would arise as times changed. George Washington, presiding at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, recognized the importance of Article 5 of the Constitution, which specifies how formal changes, or amendments, ...

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