4 Ways to Amend the Constitution

AFA supports Method 3 of 4: Ratifying an Amendment in State Legislatures.  See other 3 methods at http://www.wikihow.com/Amend-the-Constitution.

Method 3 of 4: Ratifying an Amendment in State Legislatures



    Work with state legislators to secure support. Amendments to the Constitution can be ratified through the assent of three fourths of the state legislatures.[11]

    • 26 of the 27 amendments have been ratified this way.



    Wait for official copies of the proposed amendment. The Office of the Federal Register at the National Archives and Records Administration will send official copies of the proposed amendment to the states.

    • There is no constitutional requirement to wait for official notice before states can take action. Sometimes state legislatures ratify amendments without this step.[12]ratify3
    Introduce resolutions in state legislatures to ratify the amendment. Procedures vary from state to state, but generally both houses of the state legislature pass a ratification resolution.ratify4

    Pay attention to any time limits. The Supreme Court ruled that ratification must be within “some reasonable time after the proposal.” Congress often requires that the proposed amendment is approved within a certain period of time. Read the resolution that proposed the amendment to see if there are any stipulations.[13]

    • Congress often sets a 7 year time limit.
    • Congress can also extend time limits for ratification. During the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment proposed by Congress in 1972, Congress extended a 7 year time limit by 3 years but ratification still failed.[14]ratify5

    Build support in three fourths of the states. Once three fourths of the state legislatures have ratified the amendment it becomes part of the Constitution.

    • Currently, the amendment would need ratification from 38 out of 50 states.