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As in any debate there were two sides, the Federalists who supported ratification and the Anti-Federalists who did not.
At the time of writing, the Founding Fathers were keen to ensure that their constitution would stand the test of time, and would be free from meddling – they were keen to avoid “tyranny by the majority”, and wanted to make sure that any powerful political figures would not be able to change the fundamental law of the land on a whim.
However, they did recognise that the constitution may need to adapt and change according to the times and so took care to detail a complex amendment process in Article 5 of the Constitution.
They argued that the federal courts would be too far away to provide justice to the average citizen.
The Federalists argued that the federal courts had limited jurisdiction, leaving many areas of the law to the state and local courts.
Another way in which flexibility was built in was via the vague wording used in much of the Constitution.
This vague wording has effectively allowed the Supreme Court to grant itself the power of judicial review (following the 1803 Marbury v Madison case) in which Justices are able to decide whether pieces of legislation or actions taken by the public sector are constitutional or not, based on their interpretation of the Constitution and its Amendments.Most recently, the 27 Amendment (the congressional pay agreement which prevents members of Congress changing their salaries in a given Congressional term) was finally ratified in 1992 after initially receiving Congressional approval in 1789 but then subsequently forgotten until it was rediscovered in the 1980s.Of those 27 Amendments, the first 10 were passed together as the Bill of Rights in 1791, and a further two don’t really count because the 18.Once the Constitution of the United States was written in 1787 at the Philadelphia convention, the next step was ratification.This is the formal process, outlined in Article VII, which required that nine of the thirteen states had to agree to adopt the Constitution before it could go into effect.outside its given powers, when it passed the Adam Walsh Act which restricted the movement of sex offenders.The Supreme Court found that Congress was able to pass this Act under the elastic clause because of its role in protecting citizens.Following a super majority approval in both houses of Congress, the amendment then has to be approved or ratified by three quarters of state legislatures within a “reasonable” time period (typically 7 years).Alternatively, but never used, is the constitutional convention route, whereby a convention is called by two thirds of state legislatures.However, the small number of Amendments is actually not a strong enough argument to state conclusively that the US Constitution is inflexible. For example, in the original Articles, Article 1 includes something that we now call the elastic clause, or “necessary and proper clause”, which appears after the quite specific list of enumerated powers.This states that “Congress shall have the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers”.