37

Is there a mechanism (aside from amendments, which, well, can only amend) that allow legislators to update the single most important legal text of the US? The portion that I bolded is where you are incorrect. Amendments can not only amend the text, they make any change to it at all. The 17th Amendment effectively overwrote the first two clauses of Article ...


21

Yes. The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution overrides any state law -- even a state constitutional amendment. Article 6, Paragraph 2 states: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law ...


20

The premise of the question is flawed. The default outcome is not enshrined in the EU (Withdrawal) Act, but in Article 50 itself. If the UK takes no action, its EU membership will end at the end of October. For anything else to happen, the UK must do something: approve the exiting agreement, request another extension perhaps for an attempt to negotiate a ...


13

Our cousin site, History.SE had an answer by @Athanasius covering this in-depth. I won't copy/paste the whole answer, but the executive summary is that Constitutional amendment had the following 3 benefits: It avoided the questions of constitutionality of regulating intrastate commerce (as-is, federal law would have had constitutional difficulties with ...


13

is it possible for MPs to pass legislation to change this default position from "No Deal" to revocation of Article 50? Technically yes, if time can be allocated in parliament. Politically no. Firstly because the majority parties apparently see no political gain in going against the decision of the electorate in the referendum. The number of MPs persuaded ...


12

In the early 1900’s, many American Protestants strongly supported Prohibition, but in order to outlaw alcohol (or anything), the only option Congress had was to wait for the States to amend the Constitution. Congress obtained the power to lay and collect taxes on anything (including labor) in 1913 with the newly established 16th Amendment, and immediately ...


11

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wikipedia says: Although the Twenty-second Amendment was clearly a reaction to Franklin D. Roosevelt's service as President for an unprecedented four terms, the notion of presidential term limits has long-standing roots in American politics. The 22nd amendment was passed when Harry Truman was president (March 21, 1947). That ...


9

Right from the start, you begin with an assumption which must be challenged: "don't touch, just reinterpret". In fact, the constitution of the United States of America is not supposed to be reinterpreted. The supreme court is supposed to judge based on their best effort at deciding what the original authors' intent were. Is there a mechanism to update it? ...


8

The rules regarding amendments to a bill are controlled by their respective chambers. The constitution allows the Senate and House to make their own rules and is very hands off with respect to what those rules are. The short answer is that there are no restrictions on amendments with a couple small exceptions. A longer answer would be that amendments can be ...


8

The text of the Corwin amendment: No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. The thirteenth and fourteenth amendments were passed prior to ...


7

When they made several new amendments, how did they go back to the constitution and revise any prior sections to comply with that new amendment? They don't. Some renditions of it will strike out certain sections, but amendments are in addition to the other text of the constitution. They don't change it. For example, the bill of rights are ten amendments ...


7

There are two primary problems with your calculation, the first of which is overestimating the minimum support required and the second of which is dramatically underestimating the plausible lower limits. First, you are assuming that state legislators will vote yes if a bare majority of their districts support the amendment. This elides the fact that only ...


7

67 senators is the majority if all 100 are present. There's no notion of tie in such 2/3-vote circumstances. (Also, for presidential impeachment at least the VP does not participate at all; he is replaced by the Chief Justice). Wikipedia has a complete list of tie breaking votes (since 1945); none involve a [near] 2/3 majority case. Nor does it mention that ...


6

As a tidy up. According to this report, Senator Laura Ebke stumbled on the omission while researching another resolution and decided to close the gap. "This is really a ceremonial thing," she said. "James Madison wrote this. It would be kind of neat to go ahead and have Nebraska ratify it."


6

I'll do my best to answer broadly, but I'd highly suggest better defining your use of the term "serious attempts" for a more precise response. Summary No proposed amendments concerning impeachment have made it to the ratification process Proposed Constitutional Amendments According to the National Archives data set Amending America: Proposed Amendments ...


6

The reason it is difficult to change the Constitution is by design. The purpose is to prevent the rights guaranteed by it, from being erased by something so whimsical and fleeting as the majority opinion. States agreed to join the Union and cede authority to the government because the Constitution was/is difficult to change.


6

Revocation still requires the Government to send a letter to the EU, in order for it to take effect. Parliament is highly unlikely* do that itself, but it could in theory compel the Government to do that, similar to how the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 required the Prime Minister to seek an extension to Brexit. (* As a commenter rightly points out, ...


5

Constitutional amendments in the US face an additional barrier which they require in very few other federal republics: Ratification by the legislature of 3/4 of the federal states. That means after passing two chambers of the US congress with 2/3 majority (which is pretty standard for constitutional changes in most democratic republics) it needs to pass at ...


5

Although the US Constitution did not originally set term limits on the Presidency, this was a controversial point among its framers: However, when the states ratified the Constitution (1787–88), several leading statesmen regarded the lack of mandatory limits to tenure as a dangerous defect, especially, they thought, as regards the presidency and the ...


5

There is a petition to ask the Government to change the default in such a way. The threshold for responses for a Government response has passed and the (May) Government responded on the 17th of April, with a firm (double) no: This Government will not revoke the Article 50 notice. ... As the Prime Minister said at the April European Council, we ...


4

The American system was designed to have checks and balances so that none of the three branches could become too powerful. However a long-serving president can upset that balance. The president nominates Supreme Court justices. We saw with FDR how he initially proposed a court-packing plan to get his policies past a Supreme Court that found his policies ...


4

Your plan revolves around controlling the state legislatures. Article V gives Congress the ability to specify that an amendment must be passed via convention instead of via state legislatures, and if this sort of thing is openly being done, they would probably specify that. In Vermont, for example, the delegates to such a convention would be elected at-...


4

There is a PhD dissertation on two-tier theory written by John C. Hughes entitled "John Marshall Harlan, The Warren Court, and the Freedoms of Speech and Press" (July 1978) which has the clue for the origin of the two-tier theory. In page 219, the author talks about the origin of two-tier theory of free expression and writes that it has been first ...


3

Ultimately, the answer is that the Archivist of the United States gets to decide what "ratified" means. A valuable lesson can be drawn from the adoption of the 27th Amendment - one which was unorthodox, in that it was actually a part of the Bill of Rights, but didn't get "ratified" by 3/4 of the states until 1992. Quoting Wikipedia's Artcile on the 27th: ...


3

No coordination, no leadership, no talking, nor governor intervention is required. The existing channel for applications for a Constitutional Convention is the Congressional Record. The Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter of ratification timing in Coleman v. Miller, finding: A proposed amendment to te Federal Constitution is considered pending ...


3

There have been zero serious or notable legislative or State efforts to amend Article V of the US Constitution between March 4th, 1789 and August 14th, 2019. This covers the time period from the formal start of the US Government under the Constitution, following sufficient ratification. As noted by the question, Article IV lays out the process to amend the ...


2

The 19th amendment did not have any effect on allocating Representatives, as women were always counted. Similarly, children count, even though they can't vote. So the 26th amendment (which set the voting age to no higher than 18) didn't change the allocation either. The 15th amendment also did not change the allocation. But that's because the 13th and ...


2

There are some grey areas because there haven't ever been conventions for amendments. The first part is pretty straightforward, if two thirds of state legislatures call for a convention then Congress is responsible for setting up a place and time for the convention. From that point presumably each state could individually decide to attend and select a ...


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