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Thread: Amending the US constitiution

  1. #1
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    Default Amending the US constitiution

    Question, are there some fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution that CANNOT be ammended even when the requisisite formalities (like 2/3rds of both houses) are met? Like say the right to bare arms (or whatever the right is). Or can every single clause of the constitution be altered? IIRC I read somewhere or heard somewhere that the voting weights of each states cannot under no cirumstances be changed. Is this true?

    I'm googling it but it's taking ages. So if anyone knows much appreciated.

    Edit found: " Furthermore, the Constitution precludes Congress from depriving a state of equal representation in the Senate (vide infra) without its consent."
    Last edited by RXP; 11-14-2004 at 03:43 AM.
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    You've answered at least part of your question, and even though it's abundantly clear that I shouldn't be posting anything requiring actual thought until I get better, I was in a Constitutional Law class before I left school to go home.

    As it stands, yes anything in the Constitution can be amended, and amendments themselves can be repealed. Well, unless it explicitly says somewhere that something cannot be amended in the original text, of which places I can't think of right now so I don't even know if that exists. The Constitution is a funny document like that. And actually the Constitution is sort of amended every day in the Supreme Court, if you consider interpretation to be a form of amendment (which I do).

    But the idea is that there are enough safeguards and checks and balances and things like that to prevent really important things like free speech to be rescinded or amended or abridged, since the people are granted sovereignty over the government in that area.

    Trouble is, though, if something like that went through, the courts can't deem part of the Constitution unconstitutional.

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    Cheers for the responce. As I learnt later anything can indeed be amended. I'm not quite sure why my american jurisprudence professor said some things can't I'll have to ask him about that.

    I find the power of your Supreme Court to be quite amazing though. Our courts can't strike down legislation. The closest they come is to issue a declaration of incompatabilty under the Human Rights ACt 1998
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    The whole judicial review thing is up for a bit of debate, as it's still not cut and dry that Chief Justice Marshall indeed had the right to affirm that power, but it's hard to imagine our governmental process without it.

    Heh, our Court would be more likely to strike down the Human Rights Act as incompatible. Though your judges wear fluffly wigs and actually participate in the legislative process, which I would consider a conflict of interest.

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    Seperation of powers have been broken in our country for hundreds of years with the Lord Chancellors office which only got reformed recently.
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    Well...*technically* American government doesn't have a separation of powers...rather, they're set with parts of the other branches' powers in order to check eachother. Like how the President can veto legislation, but the legislature can override the veto with a 2/3rds vote, and that the judiciary can deem a law unconstitutional and therefore void, but only the executive can enforce it (see also: President Jackson). Trouble is, they're overlapping an awful lot these days (see also: President Bush). How does one navigate this messy business.

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    Such as the judicial hearings about to take place on the disgusting patriot act?
    This act was bought about in the wrong circumstances and allows the wrong rights to the wrong people.

    Being a cynic i cant see the judges stopping this act.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RXP
    Question, are there some fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution that CANNOT be ammended even when the requisisite formalities (like 2/3rds of both houses) are met? Like say the right to bare arms (or whatever the right is). Or can every single clause of the constitution be altered? IIRC I read somewhere or heard somewhere that the voting weights of each states cannot under no cirumstances be changed. Is this true?

    I'm googling it but it's taking ages. So if anyone knows much appreciated.

    Edit found: " Furthermore, the Constitution precludes Congress from depriving a state of equal representation in the Senate (vide infra) without its consent."
    I remember learning in school that there's certian parts of the constitution that they can't change. I'm not sure which parts, though. I think it's the first 10 ammendments. I know the first 10 is the bill of rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyjimjimz
    I remember learning in school that there's certian parts of the constitution that they can't change. I'm not sure which parts, though. I think it's the first 10 ammendments. I know the first 10 is the bill of rights.
    Not true...all the amendments can be changed or repealed. The Bill of Rights "can't" because they've become so entrenched in our definition of what it is to be an American--but, technically, they are just like any other amendment.

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    we cannot change constitution because it is gods will that it is there

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