William Safire mentioned in his column yesterday that only 10 of the 12 original amendments to the Constitution--the Bill of Rights--were ratified by the states. What are the two missing amendments?
The Bill of Rights spells out citizens' inherent liberties and limits the government's power to infringe those rights. On Sept. 25, 1789, Congress passed a 12-amendment Bill of Rights drafted by James Madison, a U.S. representative from Virginia and later the fourth president of the United States. One rejected amendment gave Americans freedom from an excessively large Congress, laying out guidelines on the number of new seats that can be created in the House following each census. The subject remains timely as this Explainer demonstrates. The other provided protection against congressional pay hikes, preventing a sitting Congress from giving itself a raise. Any increase in pay would not go into effect until the following House election. This proposal was brought back to life 203 years later when it became the 27th amendment to the Constitution in 1992.