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Who can amend the Constitution?


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Answered 2011-01-11 20:31:29

There are two entities that can amend the Constitution:

  1. Constitutional Amendments are typically a joint venture between Congress and the states. Either the House of Representatives or the Senate may propose an amendment. The measure must receive a favorable vote from two-thirds of both houses of Congress, and is then sent to the states for ratification.

    In order for the amendment to be added to the Constitution, three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendment within a reasonable period of time. Congress determines the definition of "reasonable," but seven years is a common time frame.

  2. Article V of the Constitution provides that the Constitution may also be amended if the states call a constitutional convention, draw up an amendment, and ratify it by a "yes" vote of three-fourths of the convention. The last time the US held a constitutional convention was 1787, when the US Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation.
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