• Created by: mkimani
  • Created on: 05-02-19 10:35


  • Codified - one single, authoritative document 
  • Entrenched - hard amendment process and judiciable
  • Has many vague elements; open to interpretation
  • Synoptic - US SC can strike down statute laws unlike UK SC where all laws are equal - constitutional law is higher in US
  • Synoptic - debates over power and relationships between federal govt and states depend on interpretations


  • Has had 27 amendments since written
  • Proposed by either 2/3 of house and senate OR state legislatures 
  • Ratified by either 3/4 of state legislatures (38) OR ratifying conventions in 3/4 states
  • Synoptic - formal process, but SC amends in whenever it applies judicial review so constitution is effectively amended several times a year


  • any amendment will have the support of a clear majority of the USA
  • Pointless/ 'knee-jerk' amendments not passed; no short-term irrational thinking entering the constitution. Preserves sanctity of the constitution 
  • ratification retains federalism; protects key principles of political process and small states get represnted. Attempts to undermine state power has failed through the amendment prrocess e.g. attempts to remove electoral college
  • Prevents abuse of power; entrenched stops an individual from one political party changing constitutional rules for their own benefit - key aim of Fathers. Current process requires bipartisan support as a single party is highly unlikely to have a 2/3 majority in each chamber e.g. in 2006 Bush requested a line-item veto power which would allow him to veto just parts of a bill, rather than whole bill - this enhanced power was not approved


  • hard to remove outdated aspects - over 200 years and US society/democracy has changed dramatically. e.g. rules surrounding presidential election and electoral college - this was established when there were fears that people would not make rational decisions so electoral college of voters would decide on a president. Although it is inconceivable that electoral college would reject the will of the people today causes…


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