Question by pandahb: What are formal and informal ways to amend the Constitution?
What are the formal methods for amending the Constitution? Whare are some informal ways that the meaning of the constitution can be changed? Give examples.
Answer by Andrew M
Formal method: ratification of a Constitutional Amendment by the Legislative Branch (2/3 majority in each house), then ratification by the states (3/4 of the states must ratify)
2/3 of the states can call for a Constitutional Convention, and then 3/4 of the states can approve an amendment, which bypasses the Legislature. This has never been done.
Informal method: This isn’t really amending the Constitution, because only the formal way does that, but if the makeup of the Supreme Court changes, or the SC decides that differences in society must be accounted for, the laws can be interpreted differently and be deemed “constitutional” in different ways by different courts, which, some would argue, has the same effect as amending the document itself.
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