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Amending the Constitution

The Constitution defines the fundamental law of the U.S. federal government, setting forth the three principal branches of the federal government and outlining their jurisdictions. It has become the landmark legal document of the Western world, and is the oldest written national constitution currently in effect. The Constitution has been amended 27 times, most recently in 1992, although there have been over 11,000 amendments proposed since 1789.

Article V of the Constitution provides two ways to propose amendments to the document. Amendments may be proposed either by the Congress, through a joint resolution passed by a two-thirds vote, or by a convention called by Congress in response to applications from two-thirds of the state legislatures.

Measures Proposed to Amend the Constitution

Proposed Amendments Not Ratified by the States(pdf)

Discussion of Article V (pdf)

Senate Related Clauses of the Constitution

Constitutional Qualifications for U.S. Senator

The Term of a Senator:  When Does It Begin and End?  (pdf)

Direct Election of Senators

The Senate's Impeachment Role



Expulsion and Censure


Bill of Rights

The Federalist

Resources on the Constitution(pdf)

Children's Books on the Constitution

The Supreme Court  is the highest tribunal in the United States for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring equal justice under law and functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.

Find a Supreme Court Case on Findlaw

Constitution Day

Focus on the Constitution: The Connecticut Compromise

Focus on the Constitution: Advice and Consent in the Senate

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.