Constitutional Amendment

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A Constitutional Amendment, in the United States, is an amendment to the United States Constitution or to one of the constitutions of the fifty states.

Amendments to the United States Constitution are covered in Article V as follows:

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

Twenty-seven amendments to the United States Constitution have been officially ratified according to these provisions. The first ten of these are known as the Bill of Rights. An additional six amendments have been proposed by Congress but have not been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Individual Amendments

Ratified

  1. First Amendment guarantees the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition.
  2. Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.
  3. Third Amendment prevents the government from quartering soldiers in one's house.
  4. Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.
  5. Fifth Amendment
  6. Sixth Amendment
  7. Seventh Amendment
  8. Eighth Amendment
  9. Ninth Amendment
  10. Tenth Amendment
  11. Eleventh Amendment
  12. Twelfth Amendment
  13. Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.
  14. Fourteenth Amendment extended the Bill of Rights to apply against the states.
  15. Fifteenth Amendment gave African-Americans the right to vote.
  16. Sixteenth Amendment allowed an income tax.
  17. Seventeenth Amendment had senators be elected by the people, instead of by the state legislatures.
  18. Eighteenth Amendment prohibited alcoholic beverages. This amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment.
  19. Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.
  20. Twentieth Amendment
  21. Twenty-First Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. This is the only time an amendment was specifically repealed by name.
  22. Twenty-Second Amendment
  23. Twenty-Third Amendment
  24. Twenty-Fourth Amendment
  25. Twenty-Fifth Amendment
  26. Twenty-Sixth Amendment
  27. Twenty-Seventh Amendment prohibited Congress from immediately raising its own pay. This amendment was originally proposed as part of the Bill of Rights but only ratified in 1992.

Unratified

  1. First article of the Bill of Rights, 1789, would have regulated the size of Congressional districts.
  2. Titles of Nobility Amendment, 1810, would have revoked the citizenship of anyone who accepted a foreign title of nobility.
  3. Corwin Amendment, 1861, would have prohibited the government from abolishing slavery.
  4. Child Labor Amendment, 1926, would have allowed the government to regulate the labor of minors.
  5. Equal Rights Amendment, 1972, would have prohibited the government from differentiating between men and women.
  6. DC Representation Amendment, 1978, would have given the District of Columbia representation in Congress.
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