United States Constitution:Article V
For the full text of the U.S. Constitution, see Full Text of the United States Constitution.
Article V of the United States Constitution details the process for amending the Constitution.
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.
The Founding Fathers, having recognized that changes to the Constitution may be required, established Article V to guide the process. Unlike normal laws, which can be passed or amended by a majority vote in Congress, the Founders wished the Constitution to be more difficult to change. It takes a 2/3 vote of Congress (House and Senate) to propose an amendment, or 2/3 of the states calling a for a constitutional convention to make changes to the constitution. Once a new amendment has been made, it must be adopted by 3/4 of the states in a process known as ratification.