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Anecdotal Amendment Factoids

Which Amendment to the Constitution took the longest to ratify?
The 27 th took 202 years, 7 months, 12 days. Twelve amendments were proposed to Congress on September 25, 1789. Numbers 3-12 were approved, and became the first 10 amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Number 1, related to congressional apportionment, has since become irrelevant. Number 2 was initially ratified by six states, but fell short of the necessary approval by three fourths of the states.

What West Virginia Senator wrote the Amendment giving 18-year-olds the right to vote? Jennings Randolph wrote the 26th Amendment, ratified on July 1, 1971.

Which Amendment took the shortest amount of time to ratify? The 26th Amendment – granting 18-year-olds the right to vote – 3 months, 8 days.

How many Amendments took less than one year to ratify?
Answer: Seven. 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 26th .

How many Amendments actually had a number assigned to them when they were proposed? Answer: Four, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th.

Here are some “proposed” amendments that never made it out of committee or were never given much credence.

  • To guarantee the right to use the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto (108th Congress, 2003-2004)
  • To restrict marriage in all states to be between a man and a woman (108th Congress, 2003-2004)
  • To allow for any person who has been a citizen of the United States for 20 years or more to be eligible for the Presidency. (107th Congress, 2001-2002)
  • To declare that life begins at conception and that the 5th and 14th amendments apply to unborn children (106th Congress, 1999-2000)
  • To provide for the reconfirmation of federal judges every 12 years (105th Congress, 1997-1998)
  • To clarify that the Constitution neither prohibits nor requires school prayer (105th Congress, 1997-1998)
  • To clarify the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, specifically dealing with the right to bear arms (104th Congress, 1995-1996)
  • To repeal the 16th Amendment and specifically prohibit an income tax (104th Congress, 1995-1996)
  • To remove automatic citizenship of children born in the U.S. to non-resident parents (103rd Congress, 1993-1994)
  • To prohibit abortion (103rd Congress, 1993-1994)
  • To disallow the desecration of the U.S. flag (102nd Congress, 1991-1992)
  • To prohibit involuntary bussing of students (102nd Congress, 1991- 1992)
To repeal the 26th Amendment (granting the vote to 18-year olds) and granting the right to vote to 16-year olds (102nd Congress, 1991-1992)



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