Re: Kesavananda Bharati vs State Of Kerala And ors
861. Our Constitution in Article 13(2) by its express declaration with reference to law and the State widely defined has no higher efficacy in rendering a law in contravention of its terms void than the opening words of Article 245 have in rendering a law void in contravention of term mentioned therein. Therefore, in treating Article 13(2) as having that effect in regard to Constitutional amendment the majority judgment in Golak Nath case was inept. In rejecting the distinction between legislative and constitutent powers the leading majority view in Golak Nath case was induced by the absence of the use of the labels but the same concepts were clearly indicated by the Privy Council by wholly describing the characteristic features of legislative and constituent powers.
862. If Article 368 had begun with a non-obstante clause it could not have been said that amendment under Article 368 would be law within the meaning of Article 13(2). The Attorney General rightly said that there is no non-obstante clause in Article 368 because of the quality of amending power and because the amending power is a constituent power and not ordinary legislative power. This is the position of the amending clause in a written Constitution. When the power under Article 368 is exercised Parliament acts as a recreation of Constituent Assembly. Therefore, such power cannot be restricted by or widened by any other provision. As soon as an amendment is made it becomes a part of the Constitution. An amendment prevails over the Article or Articles amended. The fact that Article 368 confers constitutent powers is apparent from the special conditions prescribed in the Article. Those conditions are different from ordinary law making process. Article 368 puts restraints on the ordinary law making process and thus confers constituent power. The Constituent Assembly was fully aware that if any limitation was to be put on the amending power the limitation would have to be expressly provided for. Article 305 of the Draft Constitution provided reservation of seats for certain sections of people in the legislature for 10 years. This reservation was not accepted by the Constituent Assembly. This shows that if the Drafting Committee or the Constituent Assembly wanted to exclude fundamenal rights from the operation of Article 368 corresponding to Article 304 in the Draft Constitution they could have expressly done so.
863. In Ghulam Sarwar v. Union of India (1967 2 S.C.R. 271 it was said there was a distinction between deprivation of fundamental rights by force of a Constitutional provision itself and such deprivation by an order made by President in exercise of a power conferred on him under Constitutional provision. The dissenting view in Ghulam Sarwar case was that an order of the President was not a law within the meaning of Article 13(2). In Mohd. Yakub v. State of Jammu & Kashmir (1968) 2 S.C.R. 227 the majority view of the Constitution Bench was that an order of the President under Article 359 was not law within the meaning of Article 13(2). There is no distinction between Article 358 and Article 359(1). Article 358 by its own force suspends the fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 19. Article 359(1) on the other hand does not suspend any fundamental rights of its own force but it gives force to order by the President declaring suspension of the enforcement of any fundamental right during the period of emergency. In Mohd. Yakub case it was said that it could not mean that an order under Article 359(1) suspending the enforcement of a particular fundamental right had still to be tested under the vary fundamental right which it suspended. Mohd. Yakub case establishes that the expression "law" in Article 13(2) is not all embracing in spite of the exclusive definition of law in Article 13(3)(a).
864. The word "law" appears in various Articles of our Constitution but not in Article
368. The reason is that the power under Article 368 is not a power to make ordinary laws under the Constitution but is the constituent power. There could be no law within the meaning of Article 13(2) at any stage before the amendment became a part of the Constitution under Article 368. There is no hiatus between an amendment being a law and thereafter a part of the Constitution. Immediately upon the passage of the Bill for the amendment the Constitution stands amended.
865. The historical background of Article 13(2) throws some light on the question as to whether Article 13(2) prevails over Article 368. On 17 March, 1947 the Constitutional Advisor Sir B.N. Rau had addressed a letter to the members of Central and Provincial legislatures. A questionnaire was annexed to that letter. Question No. 27 was "What provisions should be made regarding amendments to the Constitution". A note was appended to that question which will be found in Shiva Rao Framing of India's Constitution referred to as Shiva Rao Vol. II pp. 448-451. The methods of amendment of Constitution in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, United States of America, Switzerland and Ireland were elucidated in that note. The note also drew attention that the fact that in various Constitution express limitations were put on amending certain provisions of the Constitution. The portion of the note relating to the Constitution of Australia indicated such limitations.
866. The draft report of the sub-Committee on fundamental rights dated 3 April 1947 contained an annexure which dealt with fundamental rights. See Shiva Rao Vol. II p. 137 seq. Clause 2 of the annexure was as follows:
Any law or usage in force within the territories of the Union immediately before the commencement of this Constitution and any law which may hereafter be made by the State inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter/Constitution shall be void to the extent of such inconsistency.
867. The Constitutional Adviser suggested that the word "Constitution" was preferable to the word "chapter" because the entire Constitution was to prevail over law.
868. On 23 April, 1947 the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights presented an interim report addressed to the President of the Constituent Assembly containing an annexure providing for justiciable fundamental rights. See Shiva Rao Vol. II pp. 294-296 seq. Clause 2 of the Annexure to that report was as follows:
All existing laws, notification, regulations, customs or usages in force within the territories of the Union inconsistent with the rights guaranteed under this part of the Constitution shall stand abrogated to the extent of such inconsistency nor shall the Union or any unit may make any law taking away or abridging any such right.
869. Clause 2 of the annexure to the interim report was discussed in the Constituent Assembly on 29 April, 1947. Shri K. Santhanam moved an amendment to Clause 2. The amendment was as follows : In Clause 2 for the words "nor shall the Union or any unit make any law taking away or abridging any such right" the following be substituted: "Nor shall any such right be taken away or abridged except by an amendment of the Constitution". The amendment was accepted as will appear in Constituent Assembly Debates Vol. III p. 416.
870. In October, 1947 the Draft Constitution was prepared by the Constitutional Advisor. Clause 9(2) of the said Draft Constitution which later on corresponded to Article 13(2) of our Constitution was as follows:
Nothing in this Constitution shall be taken to empower the State to make any law which curtails or taking away any of the rights conferred by Chapter II of this Part except by way of amendment of this Constitution under Section 232 and any law made in contravention of this sub-section shall, to the extent of the Contravention, be void.
871. It will be seen that Clause 9(2) in the Draft Constitution included the qualification "except by way of amendment of the Constitution under Section 232". Clause 232 in the Draft Constitution prepared by the Constitutional Advisor became Article 304 in the Constitution prepared by the Drafting Committee and eventually became Article 368 of our Constitution. In Shiva Rao, Vol. III p. 325 it appears that the Drafting Committee on 30 October, 1947 at a meeting gave a note forming the minutes of that meeting that Clause 9(2) should be revised as follows:
The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this sub- section shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.
872. No reason is recorded in these minutes as to why the resolution adopted by the Constituent Assembly by passing Shri Santhanam's amendment was disregarded. No indication was given in the forwarding letter of Dr. Ambedkar in the Note appended thereto as to why the amendment of Shri Santhanam which had been accepted by the Constituent Assembly was deleted. Nor does the Draft Constitution indicate either by sidelines or in any other manner that the decision of the Constituent Assembly had been disregarded.
873. This history of the formation and framing of Article 13(2) shows that the intention of the Constitutent Assembly was that Article 13(2) does not control the Article relating to the amending of the Constitution. It must be assumed that the Drafting Committee consisting of eminent men considered that an express exclusion of the amending Article from the operation of the clause corresponding to Article 13(2) was unnecessary and the fear that that Article would cover the amending Article was groundless. It also appears that no discussion took place after the Draft Constitution had been presented to the Constituent Assembly by Dr. Ambedkar on the deletion or disregard of Shri Santhanam's amendment. The history of Article 13(2) shows that the Constituent Assembly clearly found that it did not apply to an amendment of the Constitution.
874. The distinction between constitutent and legislative power in a written Constitution is of enormous magnitude. No provision of the Constitution can be declared void because the Constitution is the touchstone of validity. There is no touchstone of validity outside the Constitution. Every provision in a controlled Constitution is essential or so thought by the framers because of the protection of being amendable only in accordance with the Constitution. Every Article has that protection. The historical background of Article 13(2) indicates that the Constitution-makers dealt separately with legislative power by providing for the same in Part XI and entrusted the constituent power to authorities mentioned in Article 368 and that authority has the same power as the Constituent Assembly because it has not put any fetter upon it. The draft Article 305 which provided for a limitation as to time for amendment of certain matters was eventually deleted. If the framers of the Constitution wanted to forbid something they would say so.
875. The vitality of the constituent power not only indicates that the Constitution is in the words of Maitland the suprema potestas but also the fact that the amending power is put in a separate Article and Part of the Constitution establishing that it deals with a topic other than legislative power and the power is meant to be exhaustive leaving nothing uncovered. The vary fact that amending power is not put in any legislative power or is not attached to a subject which is the subject matter of legislative power leaving aside the four sets of provisions, namely, Articles 4, 169, paragraph 7 Schedule 5 and paragraph 21 Schedule 6 containing specific power of amendment shows that that amending power was meant to be exhaustive and plenary. If a power of amendment without any express limitation was given it was because a legal Constitutional way of bringing a change in the Constitution was desirable or necessary. Otherwise there would be no legal way of effecting the change. It cannot be attributed to the framers of the Constitution that they intended that the Constitution or any part of it could be changed by unConstitutional or illegal methods.
876. If an amendment of the Constitution is made subject to Article 13(2) the necessary conclusion then is that no amendment of the Constitution is possible. The opening words of Article 245 which deals with legislative power indicate that any law made under Article 246(1) read with List I of the Seventh Schedule is subject to the limitations on legislative power imposed by all the Articles in the Constitution. These limitations cannot be altered or amended in exercise of legislative power, if the power of amendment is said to be located in the Residuary Entry 97 in List I. The history of residuary power in the Government of India Act, 1935 whose scheme was adopted in the Constitution shows that the topic of amendment was not only present to the mind of the Constitutent Assembly but also that the Constituent power could not reside in the residuary power.
877. The conclusions on the question as to whether Article 13(2) overrides Article 368 are these. Article 13(2) relates to laws under the Constitution. Laws under the Constitution are governed by Article 13 (2). Article 368 relates to power and procedure of amendment of the Constitution. Upon amendment of the Constitution the Constitution shall stand amended. The Constitution is self validating and self executing. Article 13(2) does not override Article 368. Article 13(2) is not a fundamental right. The Constitution is the touchstone. The constituent power is sui generis. The majority view in Golak Nath case that Article 13(2) prevails over Article 368 was on the basis that there was no distinction between constituent and legislative power and an amendment of the Constitution was law and that such law attracted the opening words of Article 245 which in its turn attracted the provisions of Article 13(2). Parliament took notice of the two conflicting views which had been taken of the unamended Article 368, took notice of the fact that the preponderating judicial opinion, namely, the decisions in Shankari Prasad case Sajjan Singh case and the minority views of five learned Judges in Golak Nath case were in favour of the view that Article 368 contained the power of amendment and that power was the constituent power belonging to Parliament Wanchoo, J. rightly said in Golak Nath case that the power under Article 368 is a constituent power to change the fundamental law, that is to say, the Constitution and is distinct from ordinary legislative power. So long as this distinction is kept in mind Parliament will have power under Article 368 to amend the Constitution and what Parliament does under Article 368 is not ordinary law making which is subject to Article 13(2) or any other Article of the Constitution. This view of Wanchoo, J. was adopted by Parliament in the Constitution 24th Amendment Act which made explicit that under Article 368 Parliament has the constituent power to amend this Constitution.
878. In order to appreciate and assess Mr. Palkhivala's other contention of implied and inherent limitations on the amending power, it is necessary to find out the necessity and importance of the amending power to arrive at the true meaning of the expression "amendment".
879. Mr. Palkhivala made these submissions. The word "amendment" means on the one hand not the power to alter or destroy the essential features and on the other there are inherent and implied limitations on the power of amendment. It is imperative to consider the consequences of the plea of limited power and also of the plea of limitless power. The test of the true width of a power is not how probable it is that it may be exercised, but what can possibly be done under it. The hope and expectation that it will never be used is not relevant. Reliance is placed on the observations in Maxwell on the Interpretation of Statutes, 12th Ed. (1969) pp. 103-106 that it is important to consider the effects or consequences which would result from it, for they often point out the real meaning of the words, before adopting any proposed construction of a passage susceptible of more than one meaning. The reasonableness of the consequences which follow from a particular construction on the one hand and the unreasonable result on the other are the two alternatives in the quest for the true intention of Parliament. Crawford Construction of Statutes (1940 Ed.) pp. 286-290 was referred to for the proposition that where the statute is ambiguous or susceptible to more than one meaning, the construction which tends to make the statute unreasonable should be avoided. Uncertainty, friction or confusion on a construction is to be avoided because preference is to be given to the smooth working of the statute. The Court adopts which is just reasonable and sensible rather than that which is none of these things. It is not to be presumed that the legislature intended the legislation to produce inequitable results. Usurpation of power contrary to the Constitution is to be avoided.
880. Reliance was placed by Mr. Palkhivala on American Jurisprudence 2d. Vol. 16 Article 59 at pp. 231-232, Article 72 at p. 251, Article 287 at pp. 270-71 and Article 88 at pp. 273-74 in support of these propositions. First, questions of Constitutional construction are in the main governed by the same general principles which control in ascertaining the meaning of all written instruments particularly statutes. External aids or arbitrary rules applied to the construction of a Constitution are of uncertain value and should be used with hesitation and circumspection. Second, Constitutions are general and many of the essentials with which Constitutions treat are impliedly controlled or dealt with by them and implication plays a very important part in Constitutional construction. What is implied is as much a part of the instrument as what is expressed. Third, a Court may look to the history of the times and examine the state of things existing when the Constitution was framed and adopted. The Court should look to the nature and object of the particular powers, duties and rights in question with all the light and aids of the contemporary history. Fourth, proceedings of conventions and debates are of limited value as explaining doubtful phrases. Similarly, the opinions of the individual members are seldom considered as of material value.
881. Mr. Palkhivala said that the word "amend" may have three meanings. First, it may mean to improve or better to remove an error, the quality of improvement being considered from the stand point of the basic philosophy underlying the Constitution. Second, it may mean to make changes which may not fall within the first meaning but which do not alter or destroy any of the basic essential or any of the essential features of the Constitution. Third, it may mean to make any changes in the Constitution including changes falling outside the second meaning. The first meaning was preferred. The second was said to be a possible construction. The third was ruled out.
882. The crux of the matter is the meaning of the word "amendment" The Oxford Dictionary meaning of the word is to make professed improvements in a measure before Parliament; formally, to alter in detail, though practically it may be to alter its principle, so as to thwart it. The Oxford Dictionary meanings are also alteration of a bill before Parliament; a clause, paragraph, or words proposed to be substituted for others, or to be inserted in a bill (the result of the adoption of which may even be to defeat the measure). In Words and Phrases Permanent Edition, Volume 3 the meaning of the word "amend" and "amendment" are change or alteration. Amendment involves an alteration or change, as by addition, taking away or modification. A broad definition of the word "amendment" will include any alteration or change. The word "amendment" when used in connection with the Constitution may refer to the addition of a provision on a new independent subject, complete in itself and wholly disconnected from other provisions, or to some particular article or clause, and is then used to indicate an addition to, the striking out, or some change in that particular article or clause.
883. The contention that the word "amendment" in Article 368 should bear a limited meaning in view of the expression "amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any of the provisions of this Schedule" occurring in paragraphs 7 and 21 in Schedules 5 and 6, is unsound for the following reasons.
884. First, the power of amendment conferred by the four provisions, namely, Article 4 read with Articles 2 and 3, Article 169, paragraphs 7 and 21 in Schedules 5 and 6 is a limited power. It is limited to specific subjects. The exercise of the power of amendment under those four provisions, if treated by Articles themselves, is an uncontrolled power since the power can be exercised by an ordinary law. But as a part of the Constitution the power is a subordinate power because these Articles themselves are subject to the amending provisions of Article 368. Article 368 is the only provision of the Constitution which provides for the amendment of this Constitution which means the Constitution of India and every part hereto. It may be mentioned that in construing Article 368 the title of the part "Amendment of the Constitution" is an important aid to construction. The marginal note which speaks of the procedure of amendment is not complete by itself because the procedure when followed results in the product, namely, an amendment of the Constitution which is not only a matter of procedure.
885. Second, these four provisions which are in the same terms, namely, "no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purpose of Article 368" show that but for these terms the amendment would have fallen within Article 368 and was being taken out of it This is an important consideration particularly in connection with Schedules 5 and 6 which provide that Parliament may, from time to time by law, amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any of the provisions of this Schedule. These provisions show that an amendment by way of addition, variation or repeal will also fall within the amendment of the Constitution provided for in Article 368 but is being taken out of Article 368. This express exclusion contains intrinsic evidence that the meaning of the word "amendment" in Article 368 includes amendment by way of addition, alteration or repeal.
886. Third, paragraphs 7 and 21 in Schedules 5 and 6 which provide that Parliament may from time to time by law, amend by way of addition, variation or repeal indicate the necessity of amendments from time to time. The expression "by way of" does not enlarge the meaning of the word "amendment" but clarifies. The expression "by way of" shows that the words addition, variation or repeal are substitutes of the word "amendment" and are forms of intention. The whole Schedule cannot be repealed either by paragraph 7 or by paragraph 21, because Article 244 provides for the administration of Scheduled Areas and tribal areas on the application of the two respective Schedules. The words "from time to time" also indicate that because of subject matter amendments may be from time to time. The history behind the two Schedules originates in Section 91 and 92 of the Government of India Act, 1935 dealing with excluded areas and partially excluded areas.
887. Fourth, reference was made to Section 9(1)(c) of the India Independence Act 1947 which empowered the Governor General to make omissions from, additions to and adaptations and modification to the Government of India Act, 1935. The Government of India Third Amendment Act 1949 amended Section 291 of the 1935 Act and empowered the Governor General to make such amendments as he considers necessary whether by way of addition, modification or repeal. It was, therefore, said that when our Constitution did not use the expression "by way of addition, modification or repeal" the word "amendment" in Article 368 will have a narrower meaning. The expression "amendment" has been used in several Articles of the Constitution. These are Articles 4(1) and (2), 108(4), 109(3), and 4, 111, 114(2), 169(2), 196(2), 198(3) and (4), 200, 201, 204(2), 207(1), (2), 240(2), 274(1), 304(b) and 349. In every case amendment is to be by way of variation, addition or repeal. Again, different expression have been used in other Articles. In Article 35(b) the words are alter, repeal. In Article 243(1) the words are repeal or amend. In Article 252(2), the expression is amend or repeal. In Article 254(2) proviso the words are add to, amending, variation or repeal. In Article 320(4) the words are such modifications whether by way of repeal or amendment. In Article 372(1) the words are altered or repealed or amended. In Article 372(2) the words are such adaptations and modifications by way of repeal or amendment. In Article 392(1) the expression is such adaptations by way of modification, addition or commission. Again, in Article 241(2) the words are modification or exceptions. In Article 364 the words used are exceptions or modifications. In Article 370(1)(d) and (3) the words are modifications and exceptions. Again, in Schedule 5 paragraph 5(1) and Schedule 6 paragraphs 12(a), (b), 19(1)(a) the word used are exceptions or modifications. Modifications in Article 370(1)(d) must be given the widest meaning in the context of a Constitution and in that sense it includes an amendment and it cannot be limited to such modifications as do not make any radical transformation.
888. The several Constitution Amendment Acts show that amendments to the Constitution are made by way of addition, substitution, repeal. The Attorney General is right in his submission that the expression "amendment of this Constitution" has a clear substantive meaning in the context of a written Constitution and it means that any part of the Constitution can be amended by changing the same either by variation, addition of repeal.
889. The words "Amendment of this Constitution may be initiated" and the words "Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill" in Article 368 indicate that the word "amendment" is used in an unambiguous and clear manner. The Attorney General said that our Constitution is not the first nor is the last one to use the word "amendment". The American Constitution in 1787 used the word "amend". Several Constitutions of other countries have used the word "amend". The word "amend" is used in a Constitution to mean any kind of change. In some Constitutions the words alteration or revision have been used in place of the word amend or along with the word amendment. Some times alteration and revision of the Constitution are also spoken of as amendment of the Constitution.
890. Constitutional provisions are presumed to have been carefully and deliberately framed. The words alterations or amendments, the words amendments or revisions, the words revision and alteration are used together to indicate that these words have the same meaning in relation to amendment and change in Constitution.
891. The meaning and scope of amending power is in the object and necessity for amendment in a written Constitution.
892. The various amendments which have already been carried out to our Constitution indicate that provisions have been added, or varied or substituted. The Attorney General gave two correct reasons for the object and necessity of the power of amendment in a written Constitution. First, the object and necessity of amendment in a written Constitution means that the necessity is for changing the Constitution in an orderly manner, for otherwise the Constitution can be changed only by an extra Constitutional method or by revolution, Second, the very object of amendment is to make changes in the fundamental law or organic law to make fundamental changes in the Constitution, to change the fundamental or the basic principles in the Constitution. Otherwise there will be no necessity to give that importance to the high amending power to avoid revolution.
893. The object of amendment is to see that the Constitution is preserved. Rebellion or revolution is an illegal channel of giving expression to change. The "consent of the governed" is that each generation has a right to establish its own law. Conditions change. Men Change, Opportunities for corresponding change in political institutions and principles of Government therefore arise. An unamendable Constitution was the French Constitution which by an amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1884 declared that the National Assembly shall never entertain a proposal for abolition of the republican form of Government. The United States Constitution provided that no amendment could be made prior to 1808 affecting the First and Fourth Clauses of Section 9 of Article 1 relative to the prohibition of the importation of slaves, and that no State without its consent shall be deprived of equal suffrage in the Senate. These are examples of limiting the sovereign power of the people to change the Constitution.
894. An unamendable Constitution is said to be the worst tyranny of time. Jefferson said in 1789 that each generation has a right to determine a law under which it lives. The earth belongs in usufruct to the living; the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The machinery of amendment is like a safety valve. It should not be used with too great facility nor should be too difficult. That will explode and erode the Constitution.
895. Most Constitutions are rigid in the sense that they are amendable only by a different process than that by which ordinary laws may be altered. Thus they distinguish clearly between the constituent power and the legislative power, each being exerciseable by different organs according to different processes. Chief Justice Marshall said that the opponents of change want changes just as much as any one else. They want however to determine what the changes shall be.
896. Amendment is a form of growth of the Constitution inasmuch as amendment means fundamental changes. The Constitution devises special organs or special methods to amend or change the fundamental principles that create the Government. The methods of amendment may be by ordinary law making body as in Great Britain or by the ordinary law making body with special procedure or unusual majority or by special organs of government created for the purpose such as Constitutional convention or by the electorate in the form of referendum or of initiating a referendum. In case a written Constitution makes no provision for amendment it is usually held that the national law making body by ordinary procedure may amend the Constitution. If a Constitution provides the method of amendment that method alone is legal. Any other method of amendment would be a revolution. The deliberative and restrictive processes and procedure ensure a change in the Constitution in an orderly fashion in order to give the expression to social necessity and to give permanence to the Constitution.
897. The people expressed in the Preamble to our Constitution gave the Constitution including the power to amend the Constitution to the bodies mentioned in Article 368. These bodies represent the people. The method to amend any part of the Constitution as provided for in Article 368 must be followed. Any other method as for example convening Constituent Assembly or Referendum will be extra Constitutional or revolutionary. In our Constitution Article 368 restricts only the procedure or the manner and form required for amendment but not the kind or the character of the amendment that may be made. There are no implied limitations to the amending power. The Attorney General summed up pithily that the Constitution Acts not only for the people but on the people.
898. The Attorney General relied on several American decisions in support of these propositions. First, the word "amendment" does not mean improvement. The view in Livermore v. Waite 102 Cal. 118 of a single learned Judge that amendment means improvement was not accepted in Edwards v. Lesseur South Western Reporter Vol. 33, p. 1130. Second, ratification by people of States would be void when a federal amendment proposed by Congress is required to be ratified by the legislatures of the States. Ex-parte Dillon Federal Reporter No. 262 p. 563. The legislature is a mere agency for ratification of a proposed amendment. Ex-parte Dillon did not accept the view of the learned single Judges in Livermore v. Waite that amendment means only improvement. Third, the argument that the word "amendment" carries its own limitations regarding fundamental principles or power of State or control of the conduct of the individuals by devising a method of referendum by State legislatures is adding a new method of amendment. This is not permissible. Feigenspan v. Bodine 264 Federal Reporter 186. The only method of amendment is that prescribed by the Constitution. The theory of referendum by State legislatures is not valid. Fourth, the assumption that ratification by State legislatures will voice the will of the people is against the prescribed method of amendment and grant of authority by the people to Congress in the manner laid down in Article V of the American Constitution. It is not the function of Courts or legislative bodies to alter the method which the Constitution has fixed. Ratification is not an act of legislation. It derives its authority from the Constitution. Hawke v. Smith 253 U.S. 221; Dillon v. Gloss 256 U.S. 358, Leser v. Garnett 258 U.S. 130. Fifth, the power of amendment extends to every part of the Constitution. In amending the Constitution the General Assembly acts in the character and capacity of a convention expressing the supreme will or the sovereign people and is unlimited in its power save by the Constitution. Ex-parte Mrs. D.C. Kerby American Law Reports Annotated, Vol. 36, p. 1451. Sixth, the argument that amendments which touch rights of the people must be by convention is rejected by Supreme Court in American Article V of the American Constitution is clear in statement and meaning and contains no ambiguity. Where the intention is clear there is no room for construction. Rhode Island v. Palmer 253 U.S. 350; U.S. v. Sprague 282 U.S. 716. Seventh, principles of the Constitution can be changed under Article V Schneiderman v. United States of America 320 U.S. 118. Eight, the Constitution provides the method of alteration. While the procedure for amending the Constitution is restricted here is no restraint on the kind of amendment that may be made. Whitehall v. Elkins 389 U.S. 54.
899. Except for special methods of amendment in a rigid or controlled Constitution although the methods may vary in different Constitutions and except for express limitations, if any, in rigid or controlled Constitutions, the meaning and scope of the amending power is the same in both the flexible and rigid forms.