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The Constitution

Failed Amendments
Prior to 1919 when the 18 th Amendment was ratified, there was no time limit on the ratification process. However, in 1919, Congress instituted a time limit on the passage of a proposed addition to the Constitution. To date, six Amendments have been proposed that have not been ratified. Only two of the proposed Amendments could still be ratified.

Twelve Amendments were proposed in 1789 with articles three through 12 being ratified as the Bill of Rights. Some 203 years later, the second article included with the original 12 was ratified as the 27 th Amendment. But, the first article proposed was never ratified.

The text of that proposed Amendment dealt with the number of people represented by each member of the House, as well as the number of members of the House. This proposal has become moot since the size of Congress is well over the minimum requirements stated in the Amendment.

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

The second proposed Amendment to never be ratified came about in 1810. That Amendment would have required lawyers and others with titles from foreign nations to surrender their citizenship. This Amendment could potentially still be ratified. To date, only 12 states have approved, the last being in 1812.

If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.

In 1861, an Amendment was proposed to protect the practice of slavery. This is the only proposed, and not ratified, Amendment to bear the signature of the President. The President's signature is considered unnecessary because of the constitutional provision that on the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress the proposal shall be submitted to the States for ratification. Two states approved this proposal. Technically, it could still be ratified, although the 13 th Amendment put an end to slavery.

Article Thirteen
No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.

On June 2, 1926, a proposed Amendment would have regulated child labor and allowed federal law to supercede state law. To date, 28 states have ratified this amendment.

Article--Section 1.
The Congress shall have power to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.

Section 2.
The power of the several States is unimpaired by this article except that the operation of State laws shall be suspended to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress.

The Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in March 1972, and later extended beyond the seven year limit to June 1982. However, it never received ratification by the necessary three-fourths of the states.

Article--Section 1.
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3.
This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

An August 1978 Amendment that would have granted the District of Columbia representation in the Congress reached the seven-year limit before it could be ratified.

Article--Section 1.
For purposes of representation in the Congress, election of the President and Vice President, and article V of this Constitution, the District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall be treated as though it were a State.

Section 2.
The exercise of the rights and powers conferred under this article shall be by the people of the District constituting the seat of government, and as shall be provided by the Congress.

Section 3.
The twenty-third article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 4.
This article shall be inoperative, unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.



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