The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution might not seem very important. It just changes the date that the new president and Congress take office. But if the dates had always been as they are now, American history might have gone very differently. Today, presidents take office on January 20 instead of March 4. So why is that important? Elections are held in November. From November to January (or March, before this amendment), the old politicians – called lame ducks – still had power. But they didn’t have to answer to the voters anymore.
The 20th Amendment: Shortening the Lame Duck Period
Thanks to the 20th Amendment, power changes hands much faster than it once did.