Constitution day 2022

Today is Constitution Day.  Big deal?  We think so. 

The U.S. Constitution and its amendments is the supreme law of the land.

Among other things, it provides for the checks and balances that make our representative democracy a federal republic.

It also includes many prohibitions against government infringements on our core political and civil liberties.

In this light, should it be easy or difficult to change the U.S. Constitution?  Surely there are pros and cons involved. All the goodness in the Constitution would be protected by a difficult amendment process. Yet, it would be easier to improve and update with the times if the amendment process was an easy one.

In fact, the U.S. Constitution is rather difficult to amend. (See the process required by Article V.)  The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times since its ratification in 1788 by two-thirds of the states.  By contrast, countries such as Austria and India amend their constitutions far more frequently. Many countries, including France, Greece, and Spain have completely replaced their constitutions several times!  Voters in Chile rejected a proposed rewrite earlier this month.

Look at the graphic produced by the Comparative Constitutions Project. Which countries have the longest established constitutions? Which have been the shortest? Which countries amended the most and the least?

What do you think? Should it be easy or difficult to change the U.S. Constitution?  Write to us at mailto:team@cffad.org.

If you want to learn more, please check out our free short online courses and glossary.

Leave a Reply