List of Constitutional Amendments to the United States Constitution

List of Constitutional Amendments to the United States Constitution

An amendment is an alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, constitution, etc. A total of twenty-seven amendments have been ratified by the United States Congress since the United States Constitution was originally signed.

The first ten amendments are known as the the Bill of Rights. The procedure for amending the United States Constitution is governed by Article V of the original text.

List of Constitutional Amendments

Following is a list of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution that received the approval of the United States Congress. Information includes the name of the amendment, a brief description, and the date it was enacted.

Amendment Description Date Enacted
1st Amendment Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government December 15, 1791
2nd Amendment Protects the right to keep and bear arms. December 15, 1791
3rd Amendment Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers. December 15, 1791
4th Amendment Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause. December 15, 1791
5th Amendment Sets out rules for indictment by a grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy. December 15, 1791
6th Amendment Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel. December 15, 1791
7th Amendment Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law. December 15, 1791
8th Amendment Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. December 15, 1791
9th Amendment Asserts the existence of unremunerated rights retained by the people. December 15, 1791
10th Amendment Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution. December 15, 1791
11th Amendment Provides immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity. February 7, 1795
12th Amendment Revises presidential election procedures. June 15, 1804
13th Amendment Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. December 6, 1865
14th Amendment Defines citizenship and deals with post–Civil War issues. July 9, 1868
15th Amendment Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. February 3, 1870
16th Amendment Allows the federal government to collect income tax. February 3, 1913
17th Amendment Requires senators to be directly elected. April 8, 1913
18th Amendment Establishes Prohibition of alcohol (Repealed by Twenty-first Amendment). January 16, 1919
19th Amendment Establishes women’s suffrage. August 18, 1920
20th Amendment Fixes the dates of term commencements for Congress (January 3) and the President (January 20);known as the “lame duck amendment”. January 23, 1933
21st Amendment Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment. December 5, 1933
22nd Amendment Limits thePresident to two terms, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President’s term, he/she can be elected to a further two terms). February 27, 1951
23rd Amendment Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College. March 29, 1961
24th Amendment Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes. January 23, 1964
25th Amendment Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the process of presidential succession. February 10, 1967
26th Amendment Established 18 as the national voting age. July 1, 1971
27th Amendment Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress. May 7, 1992

 

There have been many other proposals for amendments to the United States Constitution introduced in Congress.


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