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Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

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The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of the Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms of office for Representatives. It is the most recent amendment
Article Five of the United States Constitution
Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution may be altered. Altering the Constitution consists of proposing an amendment and subsequent ratification....

 to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, having been ratified in 1992, 203 years after its initial submission to the states for ratification.

Text



Background


The Twenty-seventh Amendment provides that any change in Congressional
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 salaries
Salary
A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis....

 may only take effect after the beginning of the next term of office for Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

. Sometimes called the "Congressional Compensation Amendment of 1789", the "Congressional Pay Amendment", and the "Madison Amendment", it was intended to serve as a restraint on the power of Congress to set its own salary—an obvious potential for conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other....

.

This amendment was actually suggested by a number of states. During the 1788 North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 convention, assembled to consider the original Constitution itself, the following amendment, among others, was requested of Congress:
Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 in its 1788 ratification convention recommended the identical language that North Carolina had suggested. New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 in its 1788 ratification convention also urged Congress to consider this wording:
In 1816, more than a quarter century after the Congress had officially submitted the amendment (and eleven others) to the state legislatures for consideration, the Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases...

 expressed its desire for an amendment to the Constitution worded almost exactly as it was offered by Congress in 1789. The legislation embodying the recommendation was reportedly approved by the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. Representatives serve two-year terms...

 on a vote of 138 to 29. Sometime in December 1816 or early 1817 the Kentucky General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

 did the same thing; and in 1817 or January 1818 Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

's lawmakers followed suit.

The first hundred years


Presented in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 by Representative James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, this amendment was the second of the twelve Constitutional amendments originally submitted to the state legislatures for ratification by the 1st Congress
1st United States Congress
-House of Representatives:During this congress, five House seats were added for North Carolina and one House seat was added for Rhode Island when they ratified the Constitution.-Senate:* President: John Adams * President pro tempore: John Langdon...

 on September 25, 1789, the last ten of which became the United States Bill of Rights
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

 by December 15, 1791.

From 1789 to 1791, the compensation proposal was ratified by the legislatures of only six states—Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 —out of the ten then required. As more states entered the Union, the ratification threshold increased. In 1873, more than 80 years after Congress offered it to the nation's state lawmakers, the Ohio General Assembly
Ohio General Assembly
The Ohio General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Ohio. It consists of the 99-member Ohio House of Representatives and the 33-member Ohio Senate...

 ratified the compensation amendment as a means of protest against the "Salary Grab Act
Salary Grab Act
The Salary Grab Act was passed by the United States Congress on 3 March 1873. The effect of the Act was, the day before the second-term inauguration of President Ulysses S. Grant, to double the salary of the President and the salaries of Supreme Court Justices...

". The Salary Grab Act not only provided for a Congressional pay raise, but made that raise retroactive.

Ratification completed


The proposed amendment was ratified by Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 in 1978 as a protest to a Congressional pay raise, but the proposed amendment was largely forgotten before University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

 undergraduate student Gregory Watson
Gregory Watson
Gregory Watson has been employed in the legislative branch of Texas state government from 1982 to present. In 1982, he started the momentum behind the unusual ratification process of the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is described as the "National Coordinator of the...

 wrote a paper on the subject in 1982. He started a new push for ratification with a letter-writing campaign to state legislatures.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Coleman v. Miller
Coleman v. Miller
Coleman v. Miller, is a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which clarified that if the Congress of the United States—when proposing for ratification an amendment to the United States Constitution pursuant to Article V thereof—chooses not to specify a deadline within...

, , any proposed amendment which has been submitted to the states for ratification and does not specify a ratification deadline may be ratified by the states at any time. In Coleman, the Supreme Court further ruled that the ratification of a constitutional amendment is political
Political question
In American Constitutional law, the political question doctrine is closely linked to the concept of justiciability, as it comes down to a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case. This is because the court system only has authority to hear and...

 in nature—and so not a matter properly assigned to the judiciary.

Certification and Congressional acceptance of ratification


On May 18, 1992, the amendment was officially certified by Archivist of the United States
Archivist of the United States
The Archivist of the United States is the chief official overseeing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. The first Archivist, R.D.W. Connor, began serving in 1934, when the National Archives was established as an independent federal agency by Congress...

 Don W. Wilson
Don W. Wilson
Don W. Wilson was appointed the Archivist of the United States, serving from December 4, 1987, to March 24, 1993.-Biography:Wilson earned a bachelor's degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and attended the University of Cincinnati, which awarded Wilson both an M.A. and Ph.D. in history...

. On May 19, 1992, it was printed in the Federal Register
Federal Register
The Federal Register , abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies...

, together with the certificate of ratification.

Speaker of the House
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Tom Foley
Tom Foley
Thomas Stephen Foley was the 57th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1989 to 1995. He represented Washington's 5th congressional district for 30 years as a Democratic member from 1965 to 1995....

 and others called for a legal challenge to the amendment's unusual ratification.

In certifying that the amendment had been validly ratified, the Archivist of the United States had acted under statutory authority granted to his office by the Congress under Title 1, section 106b of the United States Code
United States Code
The Code of Laws of the United States of America is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States...

, which states:

Despite that, Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010...

 of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 scolded Wilson for having certified the amendment without Congressional approval. Although Byrd supported Congressional acceptance of the amendment, he contended that Wilson had deviated from "historic tradition" by not waiting for Congress to consider the validity of the ratification, given the more than 202-year lapse since the Amendment had been proposed.

On May 20, 1992, under the authority recognized in Coleman, and in keeping with the precedent first established regarding the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, each house of the 102nd Congress passed a version of a concurrent resolution
Concurrent resolution
A concurrent resolution is a resolution adopted by both houses of a bicameral legislature that lacks the force of law and does not require the approval of the chief executive.-United States Congress:...

 agreeing that the amendment was validly ratified, despite the unorthodox period of more than 202 years for the completion of the task. However, neither version was adopted by the entire Congress.

Ratification dates



There is some conflict as to the exact ratification dates of the amendment. In some cases, a state's ratification resolution was signed by legislative officers before that state's second house had acted. In other cases, several governors subsequently "approved" the resolutions, even though gubernatorial action is not required by Article V (which requires ratification only by state legislatures or state conventions). Many state legislative journals are unavailable.
States that ratified pre-certification

The Congress proposed this amendment on September 25, 1789 and the following states ratified the amendment:
  1. Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

     (December 19, 1789)
  2. North Carolina
    North Carolina
    North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

     (December 22, 1789, re-ratified in 1989)
  3. South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

     (January 19, 1790)
  4. Delaware
    Delaware
    Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

     (January 28, 1790)
  5. Vermont
    Vermont
    Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

     (November 3, 1791)
  6. Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     (December 15, 1791)
  7. Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

     (June 27, 1792; this came to light after the amendment was adopted, as noted in the paragraph at the end of this list.)
  8. Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     (May 6, 1873)
  9. Wyoming
    Wyoming
    Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

     (March 6, 1978)
  10. Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

     (April 27, 1983)
  11. Colorado
    Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

     (April 22, 1984)
  12. South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

     (February 21, 1985)
  13. New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

     (March 7, 1985)
  14. Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

     (April 3, 1985)
  15. Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

     (May 28, 1985)
  16. Oklahoma
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

     (July 1, 1985)
  17. New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

     (February 14, 1986)
  18. Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

     (February 24, 1986)
  19. Utah
    Utah
    Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

     (February 25, 1986)
  20. Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

     (March 13, 1987)
  21. Montana
    Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

     (March 17, 1987)
  22. Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

     (May 13, 1987)
  23. Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

     (July 15, 1987)
  24. Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

     (February 2, 1988)
  25. West Virginia
    West Virginia
    West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

     (March 10, 1988)
  26. Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

     (July 7, 1988)
  27. Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

     (February 9, 1989)
  28. Idaho
    Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

     (March 23, 1989)
  29. Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

     (April 26, 1989)
  30. Alaska
    Alaska
    Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

     (May 6, 1989)
  31. Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     (May 19, 1989)
  32. Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

     (May 22, 1989)
  33. Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

     (May 25, 1989)
  34. Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

     (April 5, 1990)
  35. Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     (May 31, 1990)
  36. North Dakota
    North Dakota
    North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

     (March 25, 1991)
  37. Alabama
    Alabama
    Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

     (May 5, 1992)
  38. Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

     (May 5, 1992)
  39. Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

     (May 7, 1992)
  40. New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     (May 7, 1992)
  41. Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

     (May 12, 1992)


The Archivist of the United States certified that the amendment's ratification was completed on May 7, 1992, with Michigan being the 38th state to ratify. It later came to light that the Kentucky General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

 had ratified all 12 amendments during that state's initial month of statehood, technically making Missouri the 38th state to ratify the amendment and finalize its addition to the Constitution. Nonetheless, the federal government's official record still holds that Michigan was the 38th state to ratify the amendment.

States that ratified post-certification
  1. California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

     (June 26, 1992)
  2. Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

     (June 10, 1993)
  3. Hawaii
    Hawaii
    Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

     (April 29, 1994)
  4. Washington (April 6, 1995)
    • Kentucky
      Kentucky
      The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

       (March 21, 1996) (re-ratification, had previously ratified on June 27, 1792)


States that have not ratified the amendment
  1. Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

  2. Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

  3. Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

  4. New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

  5. Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...


Cost of living adjustments


Congressional cost of living adjustments
Cost of living index
A cost-of-living index is a theoretical price index that measures relative cost of living over time or regions. It is an index that measures differences in the price of goods and services, and allows for substitutions to other items as prices vary....

 (COLAs) have been upheld against legal challenges based on this amendment. In Boehner v. Anderson, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit known informally as the D.C. Circuit, is the federal appellate court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Appeals from the D.C. Circuit, as with all the U.S. Courts of Appeals, are heard on a...

 ruled that the Twenty-seventh Amendment does not affect annual COLAs. In Schaffer v. Clinton, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* District of Colorado* District of Kansas...

 ruled that receiving such a COLA does not grant members of the Congress standing
Standing (law)
In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case...

 in federal court to challenge that COLA; the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 did not hear either case and so has never ruled on this amendment's effect on COLAs.

Sources

  • Congressional Research Service. (1992).
  • The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. (Senate Document No. 103–6). (Johnny H. Killian and George A. Costello, Eds.), Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office
    United States Government Printing Office
    The United States Government Printing Office is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office prints documents produced by and for the federal government, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, the Executive Office of the President, executive...

    . Includes an interview with Gregory Watson
    Gregory Watson
    Gregory Watson has been employed in the legislative branch of Texas state government from 1982 to present. In 1982, he started the momentum behind the unusual ratification process of the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is described as the "National Coordinator of the...

    .
  • Bernstein. The Sleeper Wakes: The History and Legacy of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment.

See also


External links

  • The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation is available at:
    • GPO Access—Official version of the document at the United States Government Printing Office
      United States Government Printing Office
      The United States Government Printing Office is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office prints documents produced by and for the federal government, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, the Executive Office of the President, executive...

      .
    • FindLawFindLaw
      FindLaw
      FindLaw is a business of Thomson Reuters that provides online legal information and online marketing services for law firms. FindLaw was created by Stacy Stern, Martin Roscheisen and Tim Stanley in 1995, and was acquired by Thomson West in 2001....

      's version of the official document; incorporates 1996 and 1998 supplements into text, but does not include prefatory material included in the official version.
  • National Archives: Twenty seventh Amendment
  • Memorandum Opinions for the Counsel to the President opining that the Archivist was required to certify the Amendment as part of the Constitution (May 13, 1992; November 2, 1992)