27th Amendment

U.S. Constitution of 1787

27th Amendment

US Constitution Amendment
Proposal Date
Enacted Date
Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next election of the representatives. - Signers: Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg (PA) & Vice President John Adams (MA)
September 25, 1789
May 7, 1992

The Twenty-seventh Amendment 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 to the United States Constitution: although it was submitted to the states for ratification in 1789, it was not adopted until 1992.

The laws ascertaining the compensation of senators and representatives, for their services, shall be postponed in their operation until after the election of representatives immediately succeeding the passing thereof; that excepted which shall first be passed on the subject.

This Article the Second of the proposed 12 Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, concerning the compensation of Congressional members, is currently the last amendment to the Constitution of 1787, having been ratified on May 7, 1992 as the 27th Amendment.

It was the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), that enabled University of Texas undergraduate student Gregory Watson to begin a letter-writing campaign to revise the amendment.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any proposed amendment that has been submitted to the states for ratification with no ratification deadline specified, may be ratified by the states at any time.  As a result of Watson's campaign, Maine was the first to ratify the Second Amendment in April 1983.    On May 18, 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 had ratified all 12 amendments during that state's initial month of statehood, technically making Alabama the 38th state to ratify the amendment and finalize its addition to the Constitution. 

Article the Second - Exhibited is a 1790’s printing of the September 25th, 1789, Act of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled proposing 12 Constitutional Amendments: “Articles in addition to, amendment of, the constitution of the United States of America, proposed by congress, and ratified by the legislatures of the several states, pursuant to the fifth article of the original constitution.” Signed in type by Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Adams, Vice-President of the United States and president of the Senate. Published in the  Acts Passed at the First Session of the Third Congress of the United States of America, Begun and held at the City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, On Monday the Second of December, in the Year MDCCXCIII, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighteenth, published in Philadelphia PA by Richard Folwell, 1796, in full calf leather.

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Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos hosting the Louisiana Primary Source Exhibit at the State Capitol Building for the 2012 Bicentennial Celebration.

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