Skip to comments.Repeal the 17th Amendment to Restore the 10th.
Posted on 04/08/2013 4:57:56 PM PDT by Jacquerie
Happy Anniversary! Today marks one hundred years of the horrible 17th Amendment.
Its Progressive purpose was to democratize the Senate, and boy, did it! In a complete about face from the philosophy, experience and warnings from the Framing generation, the States no longer participate in the federal government. One hundred years ago today, the republic ceased being federal, and overnight became a single un-confederated republic that spanned a continent.
It also created a temporary, partial power vacuum, and set the stage for total consolidation of authority in the national government. Once State agency was removed, all that was left were parchment barriers, as described by James Madison, to keep the national government confined to enumerated powers. By parchment barriers, he meant laws that could not be enforced due to the structure of government.
For a simple analogy, consider speed limit laws. If a city council passed a statute that disbanded highway patrol deputies, speed limits would be ignored, accidents would multiply and drivers would rightly regard local law enforcement with disdain and contempt. Speed limits were still law, but for all practical purposes were repealed. Ignored by local police, speed limits, while theoretically in force, like Madisons parchment barriers, were made irrelevant.
In similar fashion, the 17th Amendment effectively repealed the 10th Amendment. While the 10th still exists in theory like the speed limits above, without enforcement by a State appointed Senate, the national government was suddenly free and unencumbered to ignore the parchment barrier of the 10th, federal separation of powers and enumerated powers. Still, the freedom destroying effects of the 17th took time to kick in.
Almost thirty years after ratification, in an infamous 1942 decision, Wickard v. Filburn, Scotus illegally assigned State control over intra-state commerce to Congress and unelected national bureaucrats. FDR appointed eight of the nine justices. Wickard blew the lid off limited, enumerated powers and set the stage for consolidated national authority. For Progressives, it was a twofer; it hammered the last nail in the coffin of separation of powers between the national and State governments and welcomed consolidated government with open arms.
Consider this: If States were still represented in the Senate, would Wickard have had a chance? Would Scotus have risked retribution from forty-eight State Senators? Better yet, would FDR have bothered to nominate judges hostile to the 10th? Would judges hostile to the 10th Amendment have made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee if he did?
Our subsequent history is one of increasing oppression as the Administrative branch exploded in power and arrogance. Recently, Arizona was told it could not secure its international border. Californians are told they cannot, by CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT define marriage as between a man and a woman. State Voter ID laws are derided as racist. We cannot buy a lightbulb, toilet, or auto unapproved by the heavy hand of some nameless tyrant in Washington. The EPA shuts down electrical power plants in the name of bogus climate change. Oh, and of course, Obamacare. Would these outrages have occurred if States appointed Senators? Left without means of self-defense, is it clear the 17th Amendment effectively repealed the 10th?
Because of the 17th we are not only not a federal republic, we are scarcely a republic at all.
What to do? The fact that over half of the States opposed Obamacare was overlooked by the dinosaur media and their partners, the lower federal courts and Scotus. Resistance is in the air. Obamacare is precursor to the unlimited evil we should expect as the national government/media complex cooperate to oppress us.
My Friends, as Mark Levin regularly reminds us, reform will not emerge from Washington. If we are to peacefully save what remains of our freedoms and regain what was lost, it is time for the States to call an Article V Constitutional Convention. If Congress does not head it off on its own to consider a single amendment, repeal of the 17th, we have little to lose. Our consolidated government ignores our unalienable rights, separation of powers and is arming itself to put down mass confrontation. If Congress ignores the threat and the States convene a convention, we risk no more than where we are already headed, a consolidated government of unlimited powers bent on creating a perfect social justice Utopian hell.
We have the means to save our society and lives; lets use them. Together, with the help of God, we just might save these United States.
I feel like celebrating the fact that a small handful of career politicians can’t choose Senators anymore.
The 17th Amendment not only is evil but utterly illogical.as well. Its repeal is an essential step toward restoring America as envisioned by its Founding Fathers.
The 17th Amendment and Republican Freedom
The 17th Amendment, State Laws and the Independent Judiciary
The 17th Amendment, Gateway to Despotic Government
The 17th Amendment and Administrative Government
Completely agree direct elections for senators doomed us.
Yes. There is no guarantee of restoration with repeal, but without it, I don’t have any hope.
“I feel like celebrating the fact that a small handful of career politicians cant choose Senators anymore.”
I understand your inclination but after much contemplation I am convinced there is nothing in the 17th amendment that merits celebration.
Agreed! Completely there.
Excellent treatise. Completely agree. The 17th needs to be repealed to get us back to a functional Constitutonal Republic as originally designed.
For years I have thought that the key to restoring balance to the Constitution was repealing the 17th Amendment.
1913 is a year that will live in U.S. History infamy. First the 16th Amendment allowing congress to tax incomes “without regard to any census or enumeration” and then the 17th which in effect destroyed federalism. Not to mention that Woodrow Wilson was installed as POTUS ushering in the Progressive Era that hit it’s zenith with FDR. The rest is just window dressing. The Republic essentially died in 1913.
It’s time to call an article V convention. We must do this now before its too late. If the libs take Texas its game over. Repeal the 17th. Strike the interstate commerce clause completely. Clarify the 2nd amendment. Etc.
in general restore our republic and return freedom and liberty.
Now we need Mark Levin to get with the program and quit wasting time worrying about the next election or any other reforms from inside Washington. It’s time for the states and the people to restore liberty.
Tomorrow I’m going to pass these posts to my FL State assemblyman and Senator. Think about doing the same in your home State. Twenty-six (or was it 28?) States challenged Obamacare. Resistance is in the air.
Yes, the media, rats and rinos will come down hard on an amendment to repeal the 17th. So what? Gee, will they start to call us names? When was the last time we set the terms of the debate? The last consistent time was during the Ronald Reagan era. Today we get an occasional reprieve from, for instance, Senators Rand Paul or Ted Cruz. In the course of defending this amendment, we would educate a couple generations of Americans purposely kept ignorant of the magnificent bequest of our ancestors, the Constitution. This is an idea that conservatives should flock to.
Imagine a Senate composed of people who dont give a rip what the left-media say about them. Imagine a Senate immune from popularity polls and whatever spews daily from Obama or Chrissy Mathews. Imagine a Senate that flips the bird to a President who even considers anti-10th Amendment radicals to the federal bench. Would such a Senate put up with an EPA or HHS that pushes their States around?
I cannot tell you how much I agree with this.
To be fair, the old system wasn’t a gem, either.
Contemplate on RINO David Dewhurst, the GOP primary voters rejected him in favor of conservative Ted Cruz but Dewhurst would be the US Senator for Texas right now if the legislature got to choose. You see as LT Governor he was President of the State Senate, and 18 of the 19 Republican Senators endorsed him. Do you get it? This is no good.
People who want to repeal this amendment (which by the way is not ever gonna happen, it’s just a waste of time that makes conservatives look bad) aren’t looking at the real world. In the real world state legislators are full of POLITICIANS that can’t be trusted. Letting them pick Senators is a recipe for corruption and less conservative Senators overall.
Nah, the 16th amendment COULDN'T have come first.
That would mean the 16th was passed by those wonderful, statesmen-like giants of the Senate who were appointed by state legislators and believed in representing state interests and upholding federalism. NO WAY would such politicians pass such sweeping draconian federal legislation like an national income tax. If they did, it would mean the anti-17th crowd is wrong that state legislative appointed politicians will "save our Republic"
Yeah and they also passed the 17th, and the legislatures agreed, that’s the process our founders devised to amend the constitution.
And thank God they did or else their would be no bill of rights.
Lift your rock. Crawl back.
Still serving the cause of the political elites again, I see.
Ya’ done good.
The 17th amendment effectively abolished the Senate and in its place it created a redundant house of reps.
Although we may not have a population knowledgeable enough about the nature of their own Federal Constitutional system to understand the devastating effect of this change. Much less knwoalgable enough about the nature of freedom & self-government to understand the cost of what is and has been lost as a result.
We who know cannot in our hearts deny the 17th Amendment’s effect to ourselves, nor the need to not only educate our population on the Constitution and John Loche theory upon which it’s founded. But to eventually guide them back toward a health respect for liberty and the competing decentralized interest which are necessary to practically defend & preserve freedom.
Perhaps the worst of the worst effects is the lifetime appointment of dozens of radical leftists to federal benches. Political theory aside, would any of these anti-10th Amendment nutjobs since the days of FDR have had a chance if Senators looked out for State interests rather than reelection by the mob?
I doubt it, but of course anytime you speak of what if and the judgment of men there is always a big question.
While I admit that a senate seat then like now could be effectively bought. Such buying then like now depended heavily upon the candidates in question generally reflecting what the electorate in question desired.
This means if a candidate did completely rejected his state's power interest the cost of buying the seat would have to be much more. Because it would correspondingly deprive State leglsators of their own lobbing value as it deprives them of power. Thus more leglsators would have to be bought to offset said loss. This of course makes that particular candidate all that more less cost effective compared to his competitors who might accomplish the same or competeting ends while protecting the power of the State.
Business including lobbing does not take the path of most resistance. As no business can stay afloat if is always spend the maximum amount of money on every product.
The other issue of course is the states ideological interest which should be regarded in this equation as a bit of a wild card. But one that nonetheless controls a great many of the "non-corrupt" votes. This interest however could just as easily sway toward giving up right as toward retaining them.
It's a cruelty corrupt equation(like most equations of competing power interest upon which a Good Constitutional system is built) but it is nonetheless a real equation that produces a result that helps keep Power in the hands of the people.
I love the idea, and I hope that it can eventually happen, but right now, I wouldn’t trust some of these legisl00tures to pick their own noses, much less U.S. Senators.
Besides the David Dewhurst problem, as Impy pointed out, there could also be Senator KARL ROVE! And don’t forget, we have Maryland, California, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and other liberal-infested holes, whose legislatures would probably pick Senators-for-Life Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo and so on.
Even if the legisl00tures shape up, there would need to be a few other reforms in place for repealing the 17th to really work.
1. Repeal the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve and put us back on a gold standard, so Senators couldn’t bribe the state legislatures as much with taxpayer- and debt-financed handouts.
2. Overturn Reynolds vs. Sims, so state Senates can once again be divided by geography, not demography (1 man, 1 vote). This would reduce the influence of liberal urban politics somewhat in choosing the Senators.
3. Make the House of Representatives much more numerous, say, 1 representative per every 50,000 people. Sure, there would be over 6,000 Congresspricks, but at least there’s a better chance they would actually represent people, rather than special interests and ideologies, since individual campaigns wouldn’t cost so much. Campaigning for a much smaller district would presumably cost much less, making special interest and party money less of a necessity.