Constitutional Disuse or Desuetude: The Case of Article V

53 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2014 Last revised: 4 Jan 2022

See all articles by Richard Albert

Richard Albert

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law; University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government; Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo; Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas; Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Derecho; São Paulo Law School of Fundação Getulio Vargas FGV DIREITO SP; Reichman University - Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Harry Radziner School of Law; University of Toronto - Faculty of Law; University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law; Airlangga University; Yale University; Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai

Date Written: March 1, 2014

Abstract

Article V of the United States Constitution is in decline and disuse. Studies of comparative formal amendment difficulty, the decelerating pace of Article V amendments, and the relative infrequency of Article V amendments in the modern era – the most recent having been ratified roughly one generation ago, and the next-most recent a generation earlier – confirm the impression that Article V’s federalist supermajority requirements make the United States Constitution one of the world’s most difficult to amend formally. The consequence of formal amendment difficulty has been to reroute political actors pursuing constitutional change from formal to informal amendment. The attendant decline and disuse of Article V as a vehicle for constitutional amendment suggests that Article V may itself have changed informally. In this Article, I explore whether Article V has been informally amended by constitutional desuetude.

Keywords: Constitutional Amendment, Formal Amendment, Informal Amendment, Article V, Amendment Difficulty

Suggested Citation

Albert, Richard, Constitutional Disuse or Desuetude: The Case of Article V (March 1, 2014). 94 Boston University Law Review 1029 (2014), Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 327, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2461510

Richard Albert (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512.213.1113 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.utexas.edu/faculty/richard-albert

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government ( email )

College of Liberal Arts
1 University Station A1800
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo ( email )

Facultad de Derecho
Av. Samborondón 5
Samborondón, 092301
Ecuador

HOME PAGE: http://uees.edu.ec/postgrado/postgrado-derecho

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas ( email )

12 place du Pantheon
Paris cedex 06, 75231
France

Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Derecho

Calle 12 # 1-17 este
Calle 12 0 83
Bogota D.C, Cundinamarca 3456
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://www.uexternado.edu.co/derecho

São Paulo Law School of Fundação Getulio Vargas FGV DIREITO SP

R. Rocha, 233, Bela Vista
São Paulo, 01330-000
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://direitosp.fgv.br

Reichman University - Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Harry Radziner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.idc.ac.il/en/schools/law/pages/home.aspx

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utoronto.ca

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca

Airlangga University

Dharmawangsa Dalam Selatan
Surabaya, East Java 60286
Indonesia

HOME PAGE: http://www.unair.ac.id

Yale University

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai ( email )

2nd Floor, CETTM MTNL Building, Technology Street
Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai 400076
Maharashtra
India

HOME PAGE: http://mnlumumbai.edu.in/vaf.php

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
343
Abstract Views
1,832
Rank
162,272
PlumX Metrics