why do we have amendments to the constitution
Question: Why do we have Amendments? Answer: An amendment is 'a change in or an addition to a document. '
Our founding fathers knew that as our country grew and times changed that the Constitution would need a mechanism in place to keep up with the time and stay relevant to the needs of the people living in the US. They therefore provided this mechanism in Article V of our Constitution. Since the passing of the original 10 amendments (The Bill of Rights) there have been an additional 17 amendments. Those amendments have done such things as abolished slavery, given blacks, women and 18 year olds the right to vote, eliminated poll taxes and limited the President of the United States to two terms in office. The ability to amend the Constitution has been very important in keeping up with a changing and diverse America. But amending the U. S. Constituion is no easy thing. Read for yourself what the U. S. Constitution says about Amendments: Article Five of the U. S. 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.
Jeffrey Peters, right up here. Jeffrey Peters from We the People, coming back to bootstrapping a government by the People, one of our speakers this morning brought up the subject of the constitutional amendment [Democracy Amendment] and whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to have a constitutional amendment here in addition to the federal act.
And I think when possible simplicity is best. And so if we didn t have to do a constitutional amendment, simplicity would be better. But there has obviously been some thought given by constitutional folks that we need a constitutional amendment. So I think before we go too far in this whole effort, it would be good to have the arguments on the side of why we need a constitutional amendment, because if we don t, let s keep it simple. I d like to stay right on that thought, that, because he read my mind and that was the point I was going to try to bring us back to. The point was made, Do we need it? These rights are there. OK? But isn t that the same question we faced back in 87  when they went for ratification. They said, Well, where is the bill of rights? Where is our rights defined here? And they said, Well, we take it for granted. You know, you ve got those rights.
We don t have to say it. But then you look at the body of law, interpretive law of the Constitution that s happened since then. My God, what would have happened to that interpretation had there been no rights? So the question becomes, Should we have an amendment that states that the People will exercise their sovereign rights? Or do we not need an amendment? Is it, is it a given? That s the question. My name is Sylvia Shih. I am from California. I want to go back to some of the sentiment and reservation presented. One sentiment is that there is inconsistency in our proclaiming that there is a natural right versus the fact we even have to put it and make a Constitutional amendment. To me, is quite straightforward is that even though there is the right, we still have the need to codify whatever action we take so that there is a record of it and since the change is so fundemental then the Constitution is the proper place to make the codification and therefore the amendment. Also see the Democracy Amendment.
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