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Time Limits on Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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3 Responses

  1. WPB says:

    Not a direct answer to your question, but are you familiar with Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921), upholding that restriction in the Eighteenth Amendment on the grounds that “the fair inference or implication from Article V is that the ratification must be within some reasonable time after the proposal.”

  2. Joe says:

    See also, COLEMAN V. MILLER. But, the author is aware of that one, since he cited it in a recent article.

  3. Scott Bauries says:

    The Dillon case also cites, in footnote six, portions of the Congressional Record reflecting the debates over whether a time limit should be imposed. I have not read these transcripts, but Justice Van Devanter seemed to think that Congress was moved by the four amendements that had remained pending for many decades prior to the 18th: “These were the circumstances in the light of which Congress, in proposing the Eighteenth Amendment, fixed seven years as the period for ratification. Whether this could be done was questioned at the time and debated at length, but the prevailing view in both houses was that some limitation was intended, and that seven years was a reasonable period.” (citation to Cong. Rec.).

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