- Limits the ability of a person to sue a
- Allows a person to sue if a state denies their
|The judicial system was left up to
Congress to create. As this was done,
clarification was needed.
Election of President and V.P.
- Electors to the Electoral College are to
cast one vote for President and separate
vote for Vice President
- The House elects the President of no
candidate gets an electoral majority (each
state w/ 1 vote)
- The Senate elects the Vice President of no
candidate gets an electoral majority
|In the election of 1800,
confusion in the Electoral College resulted from
the requirement that the runner-up for president
become president. Further confusing was the fact
that electors could cast votes for Vice
Presidential candidates for President. The final
result was the election of Thomas Jefferson
and the 12th amendment.
Abolition of Slavery
||The end of the
Civil War saw a series of three amendments
designed to grant greater equality to former
Equal Protection Under the Law
- Declares that all citizens are guaranteed
equal treatment and protection under the law
- Bars former Confederates from holding
- Declares Confederate debt null and void
|This has proven
one of the most significant amendments outside
the Bill of Rights. Equal protection is the
basis for all modern civil rights laws,
disability acts and other actions designed to
protect minority rights.
Right to Vote
- Insures black males the right to vote
amendment, poll taxes and literacy tests would
attempt to deny black males voting rights in the
southern states for nearly 100 years.
- Grants Congress the power to collect taxes
- Money collected does not have to be
reapportioned to states based on population
had long fought for the taxation if income as a
way of leveling out the great economic disparity
between rich and poor that developed during the
Direct Election of Senators
- Senators are to be elected by the people
Constitution provided for Senators to be elected
by state legislatures. This was a Populist
cause, designed to increase people's
participation in government.
- The sale, making or transportation of
alcohol is illegal
movement had gained support in the rural areas
of the nation, somewhat in reaction to the
growth of urban areas and the temptations cities
brought. This was repealed (overturned) by the
passage of the 21st amendment.
- Women are granted the right to vote
|Women such as Susan
B. Anthony (for whom the amendment was
named) fought for a voting right amendment for
over 40+ years.
- President and Vice President are sworn
into office on Jan. 20th (moved from March
|During the heart of the depression
voters chose the New Deal policies of FDR
over the policies of then president Hoover. The
election occurred in November, but presidential
terms began in March of the next year. As a
result nearly 5 months went by during which the "lame
duck" presidency of Hoover did
little to alleviate the suffering of the Great
Depression. This amendment shortens the
"lame duck" time by moving inauguration
up by 2 months.
Repeal of Prohibition
- The 18th amendment (prohibition) is
- Alcohol is again legal
|Prohibition was regarded as a huge
failure. Bootlegging and speakeasies
allowed liquor to flow freely, and created a
huge network of organized crime. Many feared
disrespect for the prohibition laws would cause
disrespect for all law, and the 18th amendment
Presidential Term Limits
- No person may serve as President more than
|George Washington had sent the
precedent of two terms. All other presidents
continued to serve no more than two terms, up
until FDR was elected a record four
times. After his administration ended, there was
widespread support for a formal limit on presidential
Voting in Washington D.C.
- Grants Washington D.C. 3 electors to the
|Residents of the capitol did not
have any political voice in federal government.
This amendment grants them the minimum number of
electors. To today Washington D.C. has no
Senators or Reps. to the House.
Abolition of Poll Taxes
- Poll taxes are illegal in federal
states had used poll taxes and literacy
tests to limit black voting after the Civil War.
Literacy tests were already illegal by the
1960's, but an amendment was required to outlaw
the poll tax.
- Establishes a clearer succession to the
presidency and vice presidency
|During the era of the Cold War and
in the wake of JFK's assassination, a clearer
chain of ascension to the nations' highest
offices was needed.
- The age of eligibility for voting is
lowered to 18
|In the wake of
protests over the Vietnam war, a fundamental
hypocrisy in the American voting system became
clear. 18 year-olds could be drafted and forced
to fight in war, but could not cast a vote for
the politicians who were determining their fate.
Congressional Pay Raises
- Congressional pay raises do not take
effect until after the next Congressional
|The process for this amendment was
begun in the 1790's. It keeps a current Congress
from raising their own pay.