Constitution formal and informal methods

408 Words2 Pages
Since it was written, the Constitution has been changed by both formal and informal methods. The Constitution can be amended by using many ways of informal methods, some examples are judicial interpretation or incorporation of traditions, precedent and practice. The informal methods are used more often than the formal methods because the informal methods are easier to amend the constitution. (a) Amending the Constitution by formal methods consists of two steps, proposal and ratification. In order to be ratified, the amendment has to be first proposed. To be proposed, an amendment had to be voted by two-thirds of the both houses of Congress or by a national constitutional convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. The latter one has never been used in history. The second process is ratification. An amendment is ratified if three-fourths of the states legislatures voted for it or by conventions in three-fourths of the states. (b) Two informal methods that have been used to change the meaning of the Constitution are judicial interpretation and incorporation of traditions, precedent and practice. Judicial interpretation is the way which the Supreme Court chooses how the Constitution is to be interpreted to the extent of most constitutional. Interpretation can be changing with changing times, socially and culturally. Judicial review was established through judicial interpretation in court case Marbury v. Madison. The Supreme Court justices interpreted that the Constitution gives them to right to review laws for constitutionality. Another informal method is incorporation of traditions, precedent and practice. Although not enumerated in the Constitution, a traditional practice may be widely used because of widely acceptance. Political faction is one example of amending the Constitution informally. Since the formations of
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