How can an amendment be repealed?



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The only known and used way to repeal an amendment is by proposing, voting on, and ratifying a new amendment intended to repeal the other amendment. This process only occurred once when the Twenty-first Amendment was ratified to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment, ending the era of Prohibition in the United States.

To repeal an amendment, a new proposed amendment needs to go through the same regular process as any other amendment, meaning it needs to be confirmed by Congress or national conventions, and then ratified by state legislatures or state ratifying conventions.

The process is cumbersome, maybe even more than the process of introducing a new amendment, because it requires strong popular support to even be conceived. The process of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment was the only successful attempt at a repeal of an amendment because such a move was widely supported by the general public which greatly opposed the effects of Prohibition.

However, interestingly enough, there were more states in favor of the Eighteenth Amendment when it was proposed than there were states in favor of the Twenty-first Amendment when it was asked of them to ratify it.

To repeal the Eighteenth Amendment was relatively ``easy'' because the public, who was tasked with electing delegates to state ratifying conventions, was in favor of the proposal. However, it is hard to imagine that Americans would be interested in repealing any other amendment which has received calls for a repeal, for instance, the Second Amendment. The general public is much more polarized when any other amendment to the Constitution starts to be questioned, especially if it is included in the original draft of the Bill of Rights -- chances of repealing such an amendment are more than slim.

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