Free «The U.S. Constitution» Essay Sample

A ?onstitution refers to a body of established precedents or fundamental principles. According to them a nation/state or any other organization is acknowledged to be governed. A written Constitution, therefore, implies the principles, which are written down in a set of legal documents or a single collection of a document. The Constitution of the United States is known for being the shortest written Constitution, having 7 articles and only 27 amendments. A constitutional amendment, on the other hand, refers to a formal change that is made towards any text of a written constitution of any given State or nation. In normal circumstances, most of the constitutions require that no amendments can be made or enacted unless such amendments have passed special procedure(s), which is more stringent as opposed to ordinary legislation. The United States Constitution requires that any given amendment must be ratified by 75% of the Nation’s or State’s legislature before such an amendment comes into effect (Schmidt, et al, 2008).

One of the amendments made to the United States Constitution is Amendment XII (1804), which stated that all electors would meet in their own respective states and vote through ballot for the President and Vice President. This United States’ constitutional amendment was proposed on 9th December 1903 and it was enacted or ratified on 15th June 1904.The amendment also stated that one of the two shall not be of the same state with themselves. The electors also have a responsibility of naming in their ballots an individual voted for as the President and in the other box, the individual voted for as Vice President. Thereafter, voters shall make distinctive lists of all individuals voted for as the President and of all individuals voted for as the Vice President and the number of votes got by each one of them. The lists shall then be signed, certified and transmitted while sealed to the United States’ seat of government, directed to the Senate’s President. The Twelfth Amendment was known to have changed the process through which the President and the Vice president were elected. However, it should be noted that this amendment did not change or alter the Electoral College’s composition, and it has applied since the year 1804 to all Presidential Elections in the United States. According to the Twelfth Amendment, each of the electors must cast his or her distinct votes for the Vice president and President as opposed to two votes for the President.

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In the presence of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the President of the Senate, according to this 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution, shall open all the certificates, after which the votes shall be counted. An individual with the greatest or highest number of votes for the Presidential slot shall automatically become President if such a number was a majority of the appointed electors’ whole number. On the other hand, an individual having the highest votes for the Vice-Presidential Slot shall become the Vice president if such a number was a majority of the electors appointed out of the whole number. In case no individual has a majority vote, then on the list, from the two highest numbers, the senate shall be responsible for choosing the Vice President so long as the quorum will comprise of two thirds of the senators.

In conclusion, the 12th amendment sought to revise the procedures of the Presidential elections in the United States. The United States’ Twelfth Amendment or Amendment XII provided the procedure through which the President and Vice President could be elected. This amendment replaced the Constitution’s Article 2, Section 1, Clause three which had earlier on provided procedures guiding the functioning of the electoral College. This amendment was proposed by the United States Congress and later ratified by the relevant number of the State legislatures. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Congress and ratified by various States on diverse dates.

Another amendment to the United States Constitution is Amendment XVII (1913), which stated that the United States Senate shall be comprised of two senators from each of the States, which are elected by people for a period of six years. Each of the elected Senators shall be entitled to one vote and the electors in each of the State shall have the relevant qualifications needed for electors with a branch having the numerous of the State legislatures. The Executive authority of each state shall be responsible for issuing writs of election in case of any vacancies happening in the representation of any given state in the Senate. This will only be done if the legislature of any given State empowers the Executive to make any temporary appointments until the individuals, who will be qualified or elected, are appointed by the State. In conclusion, this amendment should not be so construed to the extent of affecting the term or election of any Senator selected before it becomes genuine or valid as part of the United States Constitution.

In conclusion, this 17thUnited States’ Constitutional amendment established the direct election of Senators in the country through popular vote. This constitutional amendment supersedes Article one and Three, Clauses 1 and 2 of the U.S Constitution through which the senators were initially elected through State Legislatures. The amendment also altered the procedure for filling of any vacancies in the Senate by permitting the State legislatures to allow their governors to have temporary appointments till a special election is conducted.

Under the provisions of the original United States’ Constitution, Senators were only elected through State legislatures. It was made in order to ensure that the Federal Government becomes capable of containing the State’s representatives and to ensure the creation of a body, which was not dependent on popular support, which was capable of taking a more detached view on issues before it came to the Congress. William Jennings Bryan was popular for calling for reforms in the way the Senators were chosen. At the same time, George Frisbie and Elihu Rot became prominent figures who campaigned for the maintenance of the State legislative method of selecting the senators. William Bryan, therefore, became an instrumental figure behind the ratification of the Constitutional amendment on the 31st May 1913 when he was a Secretary of State in the United States. Bryan played a vital role in the seventh amendment because he campaigned for the election of the United States Senators through popular vote unlike in the original Constitution.

In conclusion to the above, the constitutional amendments were done with a view of changing the way things were done in the original constitution, top the betterment of the constitution’s users. As a result, such amendments were done through altering some texts in the original constitution and replacing them with new ones, which were deemed fit for the current generation of users. It should also be noted that Constitutional amendments are not the responsibility of one individual alone, but rather, it is a collective responsibility for majority of the members in the Parliament. Ratification of such constitutional amendments can, therefore, happen only if the majority members have proposed such changes effect (Schmidt, et al, 2008).


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