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Websiteshttp://thomas.gov/

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendments.html

http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm

http://www.america.gov/st/usg-english/2008/April/20080416204259eaifas0.7985803.html



Amending the Constitution

Historical Context:

The United States Constitution is the oldest written constitution in the world. When contrasted with other constitutions in existence today, its longevity is truly remarkable. Nearly two – thirds of the world’s more than 160 national constituents have been adopted or revised since 1970; only 15 national constitutions predate World War II; most nations which have constitutions have had at least two since 1945.

The Constitution was written in 1787 and became effective in 1789. At the time of its adoption there were 13 states and ~ 4 million people living in the United States. Today, there are 50 states and ~ 295 million people living in the United States. Since 1789 only 17 amendments have been ratified updating and modernizing the Constitution. It has been 20 years since the last amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1992.

Unit Essential Questions:

  1. To what extend does government impact the daily lives of American citizens?
  2. What values are reflected in a successful Constitution?

3. How does the Constitution accommodate for the ever-changing needs of the public?

Prerequisite Knowledge: Familiarize yourself with the 27 amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and on the amendment process.

Objective: 1) Gain an understanding of the formal and informal process that are used to amend the Constitution. 2) Learn how difficult it is to amend the Constitution 3) Develop an appreciation for the existing 27 amendments to the Constitution.
Task:
  • Within your groups reach a consensus on an amendment that you would like to propose as the 28th amendment to the Constitution.

  • Write the amendment paying special attention to the wording and the manner in which you phrase the amendment for possible ratification.

RESOLVED: Nothing in this Constitution prohibits teachers in the public schools of the nation from opening the school day with a voluntary, non – denominational prayer.

  • Prepare a case in support of your possible amendment to the Constitution. Keep in mind that the amendment process requires an overwhelming majority in both houses for ratification. You must supply ample evidence in support of your amendment. YOUR JUSTIFICATION MUST BE CONVINCING!

  • You must also prepare a case in defense of your possible amendment to the Constitution. Keep in mind that the amendment process requires an overwhelming majority in both houses for ratification. Your amendment will face a great deal of opposition through the ratification process- you must be prepared to defend all aspects of your amendment from all possible angles. YOUR DEFENSE MUST BE CONVINCING!!

Outcome: Presenting the group’s proposed amendment to the class for debate and possible ratification.

Template


Amendment Template