Constitution of the United States

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Although many amendments have been proposed, only twenty-seven amendments have been added to the Constitution. Why have there been so few amendments?

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While the United States does not have a provision for entrenched sections of its Constitution (in other words, sections which are not subject to amendment), the structural impediments to any routine amendment are extremely high and difficult to overcome. Amendments require action by two-thirds votes in both of the chambers of Congress, followed by ratification conventions in a super-majority of states. This makes the process of amendment complicated and has limited the number of amendments successfully passed.

A second reason for the small number of successful amendments is the inherent flexibility of the US Constitution. Only a few pages long, the Constitution provides only the most basic structure to government, leaving most issues to be resolved by statute law. In his important study of US constitutional amendments, The Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the United States During the First Century of Its History , Herman Ames opined that more amendments had not passed because the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 548 words.)

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