Why is the US Constitution so hard to amend?
We know that the constitution of a nation delineates the national framework of the government. With time changes are needed and thus this founding document too gets amended as per the requirements.
But the amendment of constituition of US, one of the biggest democracy in the world is not so easy. It’s interesting that of the 11,000 amendments proposed in the centuries since only 27 have succeeded as of 2016. So what is it that makes the Constitution so hard to change? The founders of the nation wanted to build a unified country where people from 13 different colonies could be assured that their agreements won’t be undone easily.
How will the amendment happen?
For proposing an amendment, it must receive two third votes of approval in both houses of Congress or a request from two thirds of state legislatures to call a national Convention.
Next to actually bring an amendment, it must be ratified by three quarters of all states. Due to such a high threshold the US government is not able to pass amendments like other nations. The last amendment done in US was in 1992.
How any amendments pass at all?
The first ten known as Bill of Rights, including freedom of speech, right to a fair trial were passed all at once to resolve conflicts from original constitutional convention.
Later on the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery as well as the Fortheenth and Fifteenth amendment passed only after a civil war.
Amendments like outlawing burnig of flag, limiting congressional terms or even repealing the Second amendment enjoy strong support but their chances of passing is slim due to the more diversification of Nation.
Once the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia calculated that it would take only two percent of American population to block any amendment.
The best way would be to lower the threshold value required for the proposal and ratification but that itself requires an amendment.
Over the time the judicial system has expanded its interpretation of existing constitutional laws to keep up with time.
According to Thomas Jefferson the earth belongs to the living not the dead therefore it’s ultimately the people’s will that should shape the direction in which the nation moves ahead.