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10 Widener J. Pub. L. 1 (2000-2001)
Towards a More Perfect Union: Some Thoughts on Amending the Constitution

handle is hein.journals/wjpl10 and id is 11 raw text is: WIDENER JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW
Copyright © 2000 by the Widener University School of Law
Volume 10              2000                   Number 1
TOWARDS A MORE PERFECT UNION:
SOME THOUGHTS ON AMENDING THE
CONSTITUTION
by Thomas E. Baker*
I. INTRODUCTION
Our constitutional tradition insists that a measure must run the
Article V gauntlet to be deemed worthy enough to be added to the
Constitution. Our experience vith amending the Constitution
demonstrates that such measures are few and far between. We must
be mindful of these lessons whenever we contemplate a proposal to
amend the Constitution. This essay provides an overview of the
procedures for amending the Constitution, describes the long-run
experience with those procedures, and reminds us of the wisdom of
the Framers, as We the People contemplate the plethora of pending
proposals to amend the Constitution of the United States.
II. AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
A. Amendnent Procedures
The procedures for amending the Constitution represent the
Framers' best efforts to reconcile the need for change with the desire
for stability in government structures. In the words of James Madison,
*Thomas E. Baker holds the James Madison Chair in Constitutional Law
and serves as Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Drake University Law
School; thomas.bakerodrake.edu. This article is a longer version of an essay
vwitten for A.B.A. Insights on Law and Society, Fall 2000, at 4
(http://w.T.insightsmagazine.org).

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