The Presidential Role in the Constitutional Amendment Process
39 Pages Posted: 13 May 2013 Last revised: 14 May 2013
Date Written: May 6, 2013
The President should have the power to veto constitutional amendment proposals. After all, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution provides that “[e]very Order, Resolution, or Vote” requiring “the Concurrence” of both houses of Congress must be “presented to the President” for approval or veto. Constitutional amendment proposals unmistakably require the concurrence of both houses of Congress (by two-thirds majorities, no less). Yet all three branches of the federal government, with varying degrees of consistency, have decided that constitutional amendment proposals need not be presented to the President. I argue that Article V, which defines the amendment process, is bound by Article I, Section 7’s strictures and the President is thus empowered to veto congressional amendment proposals as both a textual and a normative matter. Recognizing the implications of this conclusion, I propose broad definitions of presentment and approval to rescue the validity of the existing twenty-seven amendments while requiring all future constitutional amendment proposals to be presented to the President for approval or veto.
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