List of amendments to the United States Constitution

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This is a complete list of all the ratified and unratified amendments to the United States Constitution which have received the approval of the United States Congress. Twenty-seven amendments have been ratified since the original signing of the Constitution, the first ten of which are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. The procedure for amending the Constitution is governed by Article V of the original text. There have been many other proposals for amendments to the United States Constitution introduced in Congress, but not submitted to the states.


# Amendments Proposal date Enactment date Full text
1st Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
2nd Protects the right to keep and bear arms September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
3rd Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
9th Asserts the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the people September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
11th Immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity March 4, 1794 February 7, 1795 Full text
12th Revises presidential election procedures December 9, 1803 June 15, 1804 Full text
13th Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime January 31, 1865 December 6, 1865 Full text
14th Defines citizenship and deals with post–Civil War issues June 13, 1866 July 9, 1868 Full text
15th Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude February 26, 1869 February 3, 1870 Full text
16th Allows the federal government to collect income tax July 12, 1909 February 3, 1913 Full text
17th Requires senators to be directly elected May 13, 1912 April 8, 1913 Full text
18th Establishes Prohibition of alcohol (Repealed by Twenty-first Amendment) December 18, 1917 January 16, 1919 Full text
19th Establishes women's suffrage June 4, 1919 August 18, 1920 Full text
20th Fixes the dates of term commencements for Congress (January 3) and the President (January 20); known as the "lame duck amendment" March 2, 1932 January 23, 1933 Full text
21st Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment February 20, 1933 December 5, 1933 Full text
22nd Limits the president to two terms, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President's term, he can be elected to a further two terms) March 24, 1947 February 27, 1951 Full text
23rd Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College June 16, 1960 March 29, 1961 Full text
24th Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes September 14, 1962 January 23, 1964 Full text
25th Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the process of presidential succession July 6, 1965 February 10, 1967 Full text
26th Establishes 18 as the national voting age March 23, 1971 July 1, 1971 Full text
27th Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress September 25, 1789 May 7, 1992 Full text

Before an amendment can take effect, it must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by two-thirds of the states, and ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of conventions thereof, the method of ratification being determined by Congress at the time of proposal. To date, no convention for proposing amendments has been called by the states, and only once has the convention method of ratification been employed.

Six amendments proposed by Congress have failed to be ratified by the appropriate number of states' legislatures. Four of these amendments are still technically pending before state lawmakers—the other two have expired by their own terms.

Amendment Date Proposed Status Subject
Congressional Apportionment Amendment September 25, 1789 Still pending before state lawmakers Apportionment of U.S. Representatives
Titles of Nobility Amendment May 1, 1810 Still pending before state lawmakers Prohibition of titles of nobility
Corwin Amendment March 2, 1861 Still pending before state lawmakers, but rendered moot by the 13th Amendment Preservation of slavery
Child Labor Amendment June 2, 1924 Still pending before state lawmakers Congressional power to regulate child labor
Equal Rights Amendment March 22, 1972 Expired 1979 or 1982 (some scholars disagree -- see main article), though possibly still able to be ratified as deadline has previously been extended and deadline was not placed in the Amendment's text. Prohibition of inequality of men and women
District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment August 22, 1978 Expired 1985 D.C. voting rights

See also

References

  • Congressional Research Service. (1992). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. (Senate Document No. 103–6). (Johnny H. Killian and George A. Costello, Eds.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.