Supporting the Defenders of the Second Amendment
List of proposed amendments to the United States Constitution
This list contains proposed amendments to the United States Constitution. Article Five of the United States Constitution allows for two methods of proposing amendments: through Congress or through a convention called for by the states.
Representatives and Senators typically collectively propose up to 200 amendments during each term of Congress; most never get out of Congressional committees. Few proposed amendments pass the first constitutional hurdle: approval by two-thirds majorities in both Houses of Congress. For more information on amendments that have been approved by Congress, but not by the state legislatures, see the section of this page titled Amendments approved by Congress and awaiting ratification. The Constitution also allows state legislatures to call for "a Convention for proposing Amendments"; while many states have at different times called for such a convention, the requirement that two-thirds of states call for such a convention before one can be held has never been met.
Only 33 such proposals in U.S. history (including the 27 that were ratified) have received the two-thirds vote in Congress necessary to present them to the states. The framers intended that it be difficult to change the Constitution, but not so difficult as to render it an inflexible instrument of government. Their prescription drew upon their experience with the Articles of Confederation, which had been the United States' previous supreme law since 1781, and which required a unanimous vote of 13 states to amend. This unanimity proved impossible to obtain, and the framers therefore laid out a less stringent process for amending the Constitution in Article V.
The passage of the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1992, 202 years after it had been approved by Congress, spurred interest in the subject from the general public. Under the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), any proposed amendment which has been submitted to the states for ratification and does not specify a ratification deadline may be ratified by the states at any time. In Coleman, the Supreme Court further ruled that the ratification of a constitutional amendment is political in nature—and so not a matter properly assigned to the judiciary.