Should I Capitalize "First Amendment"?

Grammar Girl answers a reader question. (Hint: "First Amendment" is a proper noun)

Mignon Fogarty,
June 15, 2012

Should I Capitalize

  by Mignon Fogarty

Patrick C. asked:

"When discussing a specific amendment, does it gain proper noun status? For instance, is it the Fourteenth Amendment or the fourteenth amendment?"

Both the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook say to capitalize names such as "First Amendment" and "Fourteenth Amendment."

The names of all acts, bills, laws, and amendments are capitalized:

  • My dad just signed up for Social Security.

  • I carry a copy of the Bill of Rights.

  • How does the North American Free Trade Agreement work?

Related Articles

Capitalizing Proper Nouns
Understanding Capitalization
When Should I Capitalize "Constitution"?

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