Authentication and Proclamation.

Formerly, official notice from a state legislature, duly authenticated, that it had ratified a proposed amendment went to the Secretary of State, upon whom it was binding, “being certified by his proclamation, [was] conclusive upon the courts” as against any objection which might be subsequently raised as to the regularity of the legislative procedure by which ratification was brought about.69 This function of the Secretary was first transferred to a functionary called the Administrator of General Services,70 and then to the Archivist of the United States.71 In Dillon v. Gloss,72 the Supreme Court held that the Eighteenth Amendment became operative on the date of ratification by the thirty-sixth state, rather than on the later date of the proclamation issued by the Secretary of State, and doubtless the same rule holds as to a similar proclamation by the Archivist.


Act of April 20, 1818, § 2, 3 Stat. 439. The language quoted in the text is from Leser v. Garnett, 258 U.S. 130, 137 (1922). [Back to text]
65 Stat. 710–711, § 2; Reorg. Plan No. 20 of 1950, § 1(c), 64 Stat. 1272. [Back to text]
National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984, 98 Stat. 2291, 1 U.S.C. § 106b. [Back to text]
256 U.S. 368, 376 (1921). [Back to text]