Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Nov 2011 19:02 UTC
Legal So, the White House has this site where American citizens can set up petitions, and once they've gained enough support in the form of signatures, the White House will respond. One of the very first petitions added to the site called for the abolition of software patents - both issued and for the future. The petition gained enough support, so the White House has responded. Hit read more for a summary of the respons.
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That is only kinda true. There are two ways for a constitutional amendment to be kicked off. The first is for two thirds of the members in both the House and the Senate passing the amendment. The second is for a Constitutional Convention to be called for by two thirds of the legislatures of the States. Once either of those two things happen the amendment requires ratification by three fourths of the states. However, only first process (amendment going through the House and the Senate) has ever actually been used. So, for all intents and purposes, an amendment requires Federal support first.

Just because it hasn't been used before doesn't mean it isn't possible. In fact I think this course of action is now the MOST likely way we will see ANY constitutional ammendments. There is much more compromise and sanity on the state level (for the most part) than the federal level. It's obvious that an ammendment will NEVER make it though THIS congress. On the other hand every state is hurting now and congress isn't doing ANYTHING about it. Unlike recent memory, the states have been ahead of the Fed in many regards when it comes to things like equal rights, campaign finance reform, prohibition reform, etc. If anything the states are the MOST LIKELY place an ammendment will originate these days.

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