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Constitutional Amendment Rules: The Denominator Problem


Rosalind Dixon


University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Richard Holden


University of Chicago

May 13, 2011

COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN, Tom Ginsburg ed., 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 346

Abstract:     
The difficulty of constitutional amendment, in most contexts, clearly depends on both the formal rules governing amendment and a variety of other factors. This chapter explores the significance one such non-textual factor: the size, or scale, of a polity. It, first, identifies a number of theoretical reasons to think that the “denominator” for constitutional amendment purposes may affect the difficulty of amendment in a jurisdiction; and second, uses an original dataset on constitutional amendments at a state-level in the US, and the size of state legislatures, to show a clear negative relationship between actual amendment denominators and the rate of constitutional amendment, in various US states.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

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Date posted: May 13, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Dixon, Rosalind and Holden, Richard, Constitutional Amendment Rules: The Denominator Problem (May 13, 2011). COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN, Tom Ginsburg ed., 2011; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 346. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1840925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1840925

Contact Information

Rosalind Dixon (Contact Author)
University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
Richard Holden
University of Chicago ( email )
1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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