The Constitution of the U.S. is its supreme law, as it controls the whole country through its government. Thus, the power of the country is “divided into three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial” so that it is balanced (Kozak, p. 206). It was adopted in 1787 and has been improved 27 times already. The creation of the U.S. Constitution allowed the government to forget about the Articles of Confederation that were primarily used as the framework for the organization of the country’s power.
As the Confederation does not exist already, the U.S. Constitution occurred to be based on principles of Federation. Today it is a highly valued document, which strengthens law and political world. Needless to say that the Constitution was made to provide a set of rules that are to be followed while governing and to unify the nation in this way. It is focused on people and tells what should be done for them and what cannot be done against them.
The Constitution is amended to include some improvements and corrections regarding the current needs of people. In this way, the Bill of Rights was adopted because the government thought that the people’s rights were not well protected. That is why the Constitution is to include the description of the methods that can be used to improve it. Today the amendment is extremely difficult to adopt due to the complexity of the procedure. It can be managed in two ways, and each of them presupposes that the majority of the representatives of power come to the agreement. The absence of approval at least in one of the houses of 13 states prohibits the adoption.
The Article V of the Constitution claims: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate” (Brennan, p. 5).
As we can observe, this approach is rather strict, and hundreds of amendments were abolished since 1787. The things are not that complicated regarding the state constitution, which allowed some to be changed more than 500 times. However, the national constitution is a more significant and influential set of rules that is why I believe the procedure of its amendment should be strict and remain difficult. Of course, the U.S. Constitution can become obsolete due to the unchanged doctrines but otherwise it will not meet the needs of the population with the course of time.
It is thought that now the Supreme Court becomes more influential because of the complexity of the amendment process. Still, it is right that the Constitution is not easy to change because the governmental and legal system depends on it. Being able to implement any alterations without resistance, the representatives of one of the branches would get the whole power. It is vital that the Constitution focuses on the general public and is targeted at its benefit. The amendments made for the improvement of the people’s lives are to be adopted while others should be rejected. Realizing that the country is willing to support and protect its population, the individuals are likely to unite and act according to the Constitution, which proves that it copes with its functions.
The U.S. constitutional system “is noted for two structural principles: separation of powers and checks and balances” (Jelen / Rozell / Shally-Jensen, p. 1008). They are to be considered while speaking about the amendment process. Regarding the ideas of ancient philosophers, the government mixed several forms to apportion the functions. So the country is to be ruled by common people, aristocrats and a king at the same time.
This concept was adopted but transformed so that now the U.S. is controlled by the House of Representatives, Senate and the President, as: “In the mixed state stability is achieved by dividing the sovereign power among different social classes… In a system of separated powers, authority is divided into three different functions, with each function assigned to a distinct body. Inevitably, as with legislative policy, the three branches of legislative, executive, and judicial end up participating to various degrees” (Jelen / Rozell / Shally-Jensen, p. 1008). As the power is separated, it ensures freedom and the absence of abuse.
Thus, the amendments are also to be supported by the majority of the states, which would prove that the decision is collective, and it does not interfere with the needs and wishes of the population. Right now 2/3 of each House are to vote for the amendment. I believe that such approach is right because if the votes will be combined to reach a collective decision, the power of one of them would increase unequally. For example, if we combine 1/3 of the Senate and 2/3 of the House of Representatives are for the amendment, which was proposed by the last one, the results would be biased. Such approach would not only make the Constitution more flexible but also vulnerable. The balance is an extremely important principle, which is to be maintained to make the decisions accepted by everybody.
Moreover, these principles are tightly connected with the values of liberty and efficiency. “Framers accepted a separation of powers but endeavored to prove that rigid adherence to it in all cases would be subversive of the efficiency of the government, and result in the destruction of the public liberties” (Jelen / Rozell / Shally-Jensen, p. 1009). All representatives of the country are to be treated as a whole while speaking about the improvements needed for the U.S. It would be wrong to adopt an amendment that enhances the situation for ones and worsens it for others. The nation is to be unified, which presupposes limited separation.
Taking everything mentioned into consideration, I would conclude that the amendment process in the U.S. is complicated, which makes it almost impossible. Still, this situation should not be changed, as it ensures that only the improvements beneficial for everybody are implemented.
Brennan, Thomas. The Article V Amendatory Constitutional Convention, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014. Print.
Jelen, Ted, Mark Rozell, and Michael Shally-Jensen. American Political Culture, Denver: ABC-CLIO, 2015. Print.
Kozak, Ellen. The Everything U.S. Constitution Book, Avon: Adams Media, 2011. Print.