The US Constitution is Impossible to Amend



The US Consitution is Impossible to Amend


The author argues the process to amend the US Constitution has become so difficult it is now effectively impossible to change it.

The framers of the document required two super-majorities, one for proposing an amendment and another for ratifying it.

The author argues this is almost impossible to achieve in the populous and diverse nation that the US has become. He cites as evidence the fact that just 12 amendments have been enacted since 1870, and only a single one since 1971.

He argues the effective inability to amend the Constitution has greatly increased the influence of the least representative body of the federal government – the Supreme Court. Those seeking any reform to the constitutional framework must appeal to the Court to 'interpret' the document in a new way. This process lacks transparency, favours the powerful and can cause long delays in implementing the intentions of the people.



Thumbnail image: Chuck Coker/Flickr

Eric Posner

University of Chicago

Published Date
May 5, 2014