Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Beyond the Super-Majority: Post-Adoption Ratification of the Equality Amendments

23 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2007  

Gabriel "Jack" Chin

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Anjali Abraham

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Abstract

Although an amendment to the Constitution is effective when ratified by three-fourths of the States, the States in the Union at the time of adoption unanimously ratified the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, as well as the Bill of Rights. Ratification of an already-effective provision at first blush appears pointless, but it serves an important function: Post-adoption ratifications moot legal and political infirmities with earlier ratifications when, as was the case with the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, one or more of the first three-fourths of the states to ratify did so in a procedurally questionable manner. Post-adoption ratification has also served as an important symbol; for example, several states ratified the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments during the Civil Rights era to show support for racial integration.

Keywords: Constitutional law, Amendments,Thirteenth amendment, fourteenth amendment, Fifteenth amendment, nineteenth amendment

Suggested Citation

Chin, Gabriel "Jack" and Abraham, Anjali, Beyond the Super-Majority: Post-Adoption Ratification of the Equality Amendments. Arizona Law Review, Vol. 50, 2008; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 07-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1076805

Gabriel Chin (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
400 Mrak Hall Dr.
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
520-401-6586 (Phone)
530-754-5311 (Fax)

Anjali Abraham

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
204
Rank
127,156
Abstract Views
4,314