Noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson sent out the following tweet the other day:
If we had 12 fingers, I wonder whether the Bill of Rights to the American Consitiution would have been 12 amendments long.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 22, 2014
A clever thought but one probably setting off alarm bells in the minds our constitutional law scholars out there.
Because, as Eugene Volokh notes, there were 12 amendments to the Constitution proposed in the First Congress. The first two amendments were not ratified by the states, so the 10 that passed became the Bill of Rights.
As for the two failed amendments, one became the 27th Amendment in 1992, which prohibits members of Congress from giving themselves raises during the current session.
The other amendment proposed how members of the House of Representatives would be apportioned to the states. Not enough states ratified the proposal, although, as our constitutional law scholars would point out, apportionment of House seats is spelled out in Article I of the Constitution.