2

Article V rules how the constitution can be amended, provided that

... no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Given these texts, it seems that the content of an amendment has some restrictions. However, if the legislators and the states want to amend one of these provided conditions, say equal Suffrage in the Senate, can't they just do two amendments, in which one amends article V itself followed by the Senate related amendment? In this sense, the threshold to amend the Senate rules is not really increased, despite a possibly longer amendment procedure.

  • There is actually historical precedent for violating the equal representation in the Senate clause during the U.S. Civil War and the early part of Reconstruction. – ohwilleke Dec 22 '16 at 18:16
3

The last part, about equal suffrage in the Senate, does not expire. The question is whether it can be itself amended out of existence. There has been no test of that possibility. This article argues that this may not be subject to amendment. There is only one way to find out for sure. The idea is that the original intent was that this is supposed to be an absolute clause, but of course that only speaks to original intention (and the original intention is not clear, as the article discusses).

  • The structure of the Senate can certainly be changed by unanimous consent of the states. – phoog Dec 22 '16 at 15:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.