List of amendments to the United States Constitution

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1920 Tennessee certificate of ratification of the 19th Amendment. Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the amendment, that being the number of states required for full implementation.

This is the complete list of the thirty-three amendments to the United States Constitution which have been adopted by the United States Congress and sent to the states for ratification since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789. Twenty-seven of these, having been ratified by the requisite number of states, are part of the Constitution. The first ten amendments were adopted and ratified simultaneously and are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. Six amendments adopted by Congress and sent to the states have not been ratified by the required number of states. Four of these amendments are still technically open and pending, one is closed and has failed by its own terms, and one is closed and has failed by the terms of the resolution proposing it.

Approximately 11,539 proposals to amend the Constitution have been introduced in Congress since 1789.[1] Collectively, members of the House and Senate typically propose around 200 amendments during each two–year term of Congress.[2] Most however, never get out of the Congressional committees in which they were proposed, and only a fraction of those that do receive enough support to win Congressional approval to actually go through the constitutional ratification process.

The framers of the Constitution, recognizing the difference between regular legislation and constitutional matters, intended that it be difficult to change the Constitution; but not so difficult as to render it an inflexible instrument of government. The amending process they devised, codified in Article Five of the United States Constitution, has two steps. Proposals to amend the Constitution must be properly Adopted and Ratified before becoming operative.

A proposed amendment may be adopted and sent to the states for ratification by either:
OR
To become part of the Constitution, an adopted amendment must be ratified by either (as determined by Congress):
  • The legislatures of three-fourths (presently 38) of the states, within the stipulated time period—if any;
OR
Upon being properly ratified, an amendment becomes an operative addition to the Constitution.

There is a proviso at the end of Article V shielding three clauses in the new frame of government from being amended. They are: Article I, Section 9, Clause 1, concerning the migration and importation of slaves; Article I, Section 9, Clause 4, concerning Congress' taxing power; and, Article I, Section 3, Clause 1, which provides for equal representation of the states in the Senate. These are the only textually entrenched provisions of the Constitution. The shield protecting the first two entrenched clauses was absolute but of limited duration; it was in force only until 1808. The shield protecting the third entrenched clause, though less absolute than that covering the others is practically permanent; it will be in force until there is unanimous agreement among the states favoring a change.

Beginning in the early 20th century, Congress has usually, but not always, stipulated that an amendment must be ratified by the required number of states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states in order to become part of the Constitution. Congress' authority to set ratification deadline was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939).

Ratified amendments

Synopsis of each ratified amendment

# Subject Date submitted for Ratification[3] Date ratification completed[4] Ratification time span[5]
1st Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
2nd Protects the right to keep and bear arms. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
3rd Prohibits quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent during peacetime. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause as determined by a neutral judge or magistrate. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
9th Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 2 years
2 months
20 days
11th Makes states immune from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders; lays the foundation for sovereign immunity. March 4, 1794 February 7, 1795 11 months
3 days
12th Revises presidential election procedures. December 9, 1803 June 15, 1804 6 months
6 days
13th Abolishes slavery, and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. January 31, 1865 December 6, 1865 10 months
6 days
14th Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post-Civil War issues. June 13, 1866 July 9, 1868 2 years
0 months
26 days
15th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. February 26, 1869 February 3, 1870 11 months
8 days
16th Permits Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census. July 12, 1909 February 3, 1913 3 years
6 months
22 days
17th Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. May 13, 1912 April 8, 1913 10 months
26 days
18th Prohibited the manufacturing or sale of alcohol within the United States.
(Repealed December 5, 1933)
December 18, 1917 January 16, 1919 1 year
0 months
29 days
19th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex. June 4, 1919 August 18, 1920 1 year
2 months
14 days
20th Changes the date on which the terms of the President and Vice President (January 20) and Senators and Representatives (January 3) end and begin. March 2, 1932 January 23, 1933 10 months
21 days
21st Repeals the 18th Amendment and prohibits the transportation or importation into the United States of alcohol for delivery or use in violation of applicable laws. February 20, 1933 December 5, 1933 9 months
15 days
22nd Limits the number of times that a person can be elected president: a person cannot be elected president more than twice, and a person who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected cannot be elected more than once. March 24, 1947 February 27, 1951 3 years
11 months
6 days
23rd Grants the District of Columbia electors (the number of electors being equal to the least populous state) in the Electoral College. June 16, 1960 March 29, 1961 9 months
12 days
24th Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax. September 14, 1962 January 23, 1964 1 year
4 months
27 days
25th Addresses succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. July 6, 1965 February 10, 1967 1 year
7 months
4 days
26th Prohibits the denial of the right of US citizens, eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age. March 23, 1971 July 1, 1971 3 months
8 days
27th Delays laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next election of representatives. September 25, 1789 May 7, 1992 202 years
7 months
12 days

Summation of ratification data for each ratified amendment[6]

" Y " indicates that the state ratified the amendment.
" N " indicates that the state rejected the amendment and has not ratified it.
" Y(‡) " indicates that the state's ratification of the amendment came after the state had officially rejected it.
" Y(×) " indicates that after officially ratifying the amendment the state rescinded that ratification.
" — " indicates that the state did not complete action on the amendment.
" " indicates that the amendment was ratified before the state joined the Union.
State
(in order of statehood)
1-10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Delaware · Delaware Y Y N Y(‡) Y(‡) Y(‡) Y Y(‡) Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Pennsylvania · Pennsylvania Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
New Jersey · New Jersey Y Y Y(‡) Y(×) Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Georgia (U.S. state) · Georgia Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y
Connecticut · Connecticut Y Y N Y Y N N Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Massachusetts · Massachusetts Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y
Maryland · Maryland Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y(‡) Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
South Carolina · South Carolina Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y(‡) Y N Y Y Y Y
New Hampshire · New Hampshire Y Y Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virginia · Virginia Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y N Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
New York · New York Y Y Y Y Y Y(×) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
North Carolina · North Carolina Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Rhode Island · Rhode Island Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Vermont · Vermont Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Kentucky · Kentucky Y Y Y Y(‡) Y(‡) Y - Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Tennessee · Tennessee Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ohio · Ohio Y Y Y(×) Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Louisiana · Louisiana Y Y(‡) Y(‡) Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y
Indiana · Indiana Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Mississippi · Mississippi Y Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y N Y
Illinois · Illinois Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Alabama · Alabama Y Y Y Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maine · Maine Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Missouri · Missouri Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Arkansas · Arkansas Y Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Michigan · Michigan Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Florida · Florida Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Texas · Texas Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Iowa · Iowa Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Wisconsin · Wisconsin Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
California · California Y Y Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Minnesota · Minnesota Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Oregon · Oregon Y Y(×) Y(‡) Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Kansas · Kansas Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
West Virginia · West Virginia Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Nevada · Nevada Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Nebraska · Nebraska Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Colorado · Colorado Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
North Dakota · North Dakota Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
South Dakota · South Dakota Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Montana · Montana Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Washington (state) · Washington Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Idaho · Idaho Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Wyoming · Wyoming Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Utah · Utah N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Oklahoma · Oklahoma Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y
New Mexico · New Mexico Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Arizona · Arizona Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Alaska · Alaska Y Y Y Y Y
Hawaii · Hawaii Y Y Y Y Y

Unratified amendments

Synopsis of each unratified amendment

Title Subject Status
Congressional Apportionment Amendment Would strictly regulate the size of congressional districts for representation in the House of Representatives. Pending since September 25, 1789
Titles of Nobility Amendment Would strip citizenship from any United States citizen who accepts a title of nobility from a foreign country. Pending since May 1, 1810
Corwin Amendment Would make the states' "domestic institutions" (slaveryimpervious to the constitutional amendment procedures established in Article V and immune to abolition or interference from Congress. Pending since March 2, 1861
Child Labor Amendment Would empower the federal government to limit, regulate, and prohibit child labor. Pending since June 2, 1924
Equal Rights Amendment Would have prohibited deprivation of equality of rights by the federal or state governments on account of sex. Initial ratification period ended March 22, 1979
and extension period ended June 30, 1982; amendment failed
District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment Would have granted the District of Columbia full representation in the United States Congress as if it were a state, repealed the 23rd Amendment and granted the District full representation in the Electoral College plus participation in the process by which the Constitution is amended as if it were a state. Ratification period ended August 22, 1985;
Amendment failed

Summation of ratification data for each unratified amendment

" Y " indicates that the state ratified the amendment.
" N " indicates that the state rejected the amendment and has not ratified it.
" Y(‡) " indicates that the state's ratification of the amendment came after the state had officially rejected it.
" Y(×) " indicates that after officially ratifying the amendment the state rescinded that ratification.
"" indicates that the state did not complete action on the amendment during the stated ratification period.
An empty cell indicates that the state has not completed action on the pending amendment.
State
(in alphabetical order)
Unratified congressional apportionment amendment.png Unratified titles of nobility amendment.png Unratified corwin amendment.png Unratified child labor amendment.png Not ratified equal rights amendment.png Not ratified DC voting rights amendment.png
Alabama · Alabama
Alaska · Alaska Y
Arizona · Arizona Y
Arkansas · Arkansas Y
California · California Y Y
Colorado · Colorado Y Y
Connecticut · Connecticut N N N Y Y
Delaware · Delaware N Y N Y Y
Florida · Florida N
Georgia (U.S. state) · Georgia N Y N
Hawaii · Hawaii Y Y
Idaho · Idaho Y Y(×)
Illinois · Illinois Y Y
Indiana · Indiana Y(‡) Y
Iowa · Iowa Y Y Y
Kansas · Kansas Y(‡) Y
Kentucky · Kentucky Y Y Y(‡) Y(×)
Louisiana · Louisiana N Y
Maine · Maine Y(‡) Y Y
Maryland · Maryland Y Y Y(×) N Y Y
Massachusetts · Massachusetts N Y N Y Y
Michigan · Michigan Y Y Y
Minnesota · Minnesota Y(‡) Y Y
Mississippi · Mississippi
Missouri · Missouri N
Montana · Montana Y Y
Nebraska · Nebraska Y(×)
Nevada · Nevada Y
New Hampshire · New Hampshire Y Y Y(‡) Y
New Jersey · New Jersey Y Y Y Y Y
New Mexico · New Mexico Y(‡) Y
New York · New York Y N Y
North Carolina · North Carolina Y Y N
North Dakota · North Dakota Y Y
Ohio · Ohio Y Y(×) Y Y Y
Oklahoma · Oklahoma Y
Oregon · Oregon Y Y Y
Pennsylvania · Pennsylvania Y(‡) Y Y(‡) Y
Rhode Island · Rhode Island Y N Y Y
South Carolina · South Carolina Y N
South Dakota · South Dakota N Y(×)
Tennessee · Tennessee Y N Y(×)
Texas · Texas N Y
Utah · Utah Y(‡)
Vermont · Vermont Y Y N Y
Virginia · Virginia Y N
Washington (state) · Washington Y Y
West Virginia · West Virginia Y Y Y
Wisconsin · Wisconsin Y Y Y
Wyoming · Wyoming Y Y
Total ratifications 11[7] 12 3(×2) 28 35(×5) 16

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Measures Proposed to Amend the Constitution". Statistics & Lists. United States Senate. 
  2. ^ "C-SPAN's Capitol Questions". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  3. ^ U.S. Congress, House. The Constitution of the United States of America, As Amended, H. Doc. 102-188, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., (Washington: GPO, 1992).
  4. ^ U.S. Congress, House. The Constitution of the United States of America, As Amended, H. Doc. 102-188, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., (Washington: GPO, 1992).
  5. ^ Ratification time span calculated by http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html
  6. ^ Website about the U.S. Constitution with many facts, summarized
  7. ^ http://libguides.wsulibs.wsu.edu/content.php?pid=133726&sid=2065874

References

  • Congressional Research Service. (1992). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. (Senate Document No. 103–6). (Johnny H. Killian and George A. Costello, Eds.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

External links