Examine the Reasons Why Most Proposed Amendments to the American Constitution Have Failed to Pass

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There have been approximately 11000 proposed amendments to the US constitution but only 27 have been passed with the first 10 being collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The success rate of amendments since the constitution was first set up has been less than 1%. One reason why most proposed amendments fail to pass is due to the Founding Fathers when the Constitution was first drawn up. The founders wanted the bar set high because they believed that most issues should be left to the ordinary political process. A constitutional amendment takes an issue away from the normal process of democracy. However most proposals aren’t inspired by a broad national consensus but instead for political gains, e.g. the day after the Supreme Court ruled flag burning to be protected speech in 1989, the US representative Michael Bilirakis introduced an amendment outlawing desecration of the flag. Amendments to ban flag burning have been introduced in every session of Congress since, spanning more than two decades. Another reason why most proposed amendments fail to pass is the difficulties posed by the very complex amendment process. The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. However the first way is very difficult to achieve and there have been many amendments which have been or currently are very close to being passed, e.g. the Child labour Amendment. In 1926, an amendment was proposed which granted Congress the power to regulate the labour of children under the age of 18. This amendment is still outstanding, having been ratified by 28 states but for an amendment to be passed
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