Constitutional Amendment Rules: The Denominator Problem
University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
University of Chicago
May 13, 2011
COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN, Tom Ginsburg ed., 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 346
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: 31working papers series
Date posted: May 13, 2011
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