Skip to comments.Georgia state House seeks to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment
Posted on 02/26/2013 7:20:37 AM PST by FatMax
One hundred years ago, the United States ratified an amendment to the Constitution that changed the way America chose its senators. The amendment's supporters said that senators directly elected by the people would not only be more democratic, but also less corrupt and less susceptible to special interest influence.
Instead of reducing corruption, however, changing the method of Senate selection provided entirely new avenues of political exploitation by fundamentally transforming our federal government. Most importantly, the amendment destroyed the federalist structure that the Founding Fathers installed to protect state sovereignty.
Today, members of the Georgia House of Representatives seek to restore state representation to the federal government by reviving the Founders' original intent. The goal of House Bill 273 is to protect the sovereignty of the states from the federal government and to give each individual state government representation in the federal legislative branch of government by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.
Of course, this resolution would not necessitate any action or response from the federal government should it pass, but it could spark a national debate on the concept of federalism, unconstitutional government, and the Founders' original intent.
Why was the Seventeenth Amendment ratified?
As the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they understood that free and independent states, fresh from a long and costly war with England, would not approve of a charter that required them to totally surrender their sovereignty to a new federal government. To balance the legitimate concerns of the states with the need to preserve the union and form a national government for mutual protection and prosperity, the Founders chose a federalist system of divided powers between the states and the proposed federal government.
They also passed a Bill of Rights, ensuring that any power not specifically granted to the federal government rested with the states or the people themselves. The Founders clearly wanted a limited federal government balanced by the state governments.
Prior to 1913, state legislatures appointed members to represent their state in the federal government, while the people directly elected members of the House of Representatives. The House represented the people and the Senate represented the states. This clever design balanced the will of the people and the sovereignty of the states, and the federal government was largely restrained from growing beyond its constitutional limits.
The federalist system was not understood by the people 100 years ago, and certainly isn't understood today. The Founders sought to craft a system ruled by law the Constitution and not a rule of man. That is why the United States is a constitutional republic and not a pure democracy. They knew that just government must have consent of the people, but that total democracy would inevitably lead to a tyranny of majority, which could strip state and individual liberty as easily as a monarch.
The Constitution does not protect the sovereignty of the States for the benefit of the States or state governments as abstract political entities, wrote Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, To the contrary, the Constitution divides authority between federal and state governments for the protection of individuals. State sovereignty is not just an end to itself.
(Excerpt) Read more at theusreport.com ...
As much as I would like to see it happen, we can’t trust our current congress with the constitution.
Personally something I would like to see instead of an out right repeal would be to stop electing senators by popular vote. (Give them a certain number of votes per district)
Seems kind of funny that we can change how we vote for president within the states but we’re stuck with the current situation when it comes to senators.
There is a lot of support for going proportional in presidential races in Michigan.
This is a double-edged sword. Not sure about this one.
I would HATE to have the New Jersey Legislature choose our Senators.
On the other hand, considering the blathering idiots (Corzine, Menendez, Lautenberg, “Dollar Bill” Bradley) the majority of New Jersey voters have sent to the Senate, maybe it would make no difference here but might improve the picture in sane places like Georgia.
I would donate my last dollar to this cause, if I thought it stood a snowball’s chance in hell of passing.
Does anyone with a brain think those 100 bastards in the Senate would allow it? Even 60 of them? 20? 10? 5? Maybe two.
The Seventeenth is a disaster for Original Intent. It emasculates the states legislatures and needs to go. Unfortunately it is probably with us forever.
The 17th was singularly the most damaging hit to the Constitution.
Progressives NEEDED to yank control away from the states. The Senate was established to put the brakes on the “rabble” in the house, where “mob rule” was known to prevail.
Repeal of the 17th should be the highest priority of all state legislatures.
Think this isn’t an important issue? The RATZ and other illegals and criminals will scream and holler and fight like demons with a lightning bolt up their butts. You think voter ID fight is big, wait till you see this one.
The Senate is supposed to represent the states, so I would like to see this pass.
Yeah I’m sure Harry Reid’s senate would be nothing but honest and forthright while rooting around in the constitution.
While were in there fixing up the USC can we get rid of the 16th amendment also?
I would say it is neck & neck with the 16th as to the most damaging. Hard call.
Interesting how the sky is the limit as far as the Left is concerned, but there seems to be nothing but defeatism when it comes to anything difficult for the Right. And they don’t even have the Constitution on their side!
Of course the repeal won’t move forward right away. The Seventeenth Amendment wasn’t introduced and ratified overnight, either. What has to happen is a national discussion on state sovereignty and the original intent of the Constitution. The only reason this amendment worked was because they did so under the veil of democracy (we are a republic, not a democracy) and the public knew little of federalism or the effect such an amendment would have on state sovereignty and individual liberty.
I'm as serious as a heart attack,folks.If Quebec can do it (they came close a few years back) and if Scotland can do it (they have a referendum coming up) we can do it.
Things that are, are. I am not saying that we should not try. But it will be exceedingly difficult. We will have the MSM and the government working together against us the whole way.
We don’t need the Senate to agree with it. It can be done by Constitutional Convention, if 33 State Legislatures vote for it. The proposed amendment will be presented to all 50 states to vote on. Then, if 38 states approve it, goodbye 17th Amendment.
It is going to be difficult the progressives knew what they were doing when they passes the 16th and 17th amendments, they have the pure democracy now.
Can you even imagine what any Constitution that came from a modern constitution convention would look like?
By the time it was finished, this country would be ruled by a class of people that makes this bunch today look like small letter democrats. It would be much closer to Germany or Russia in 1939. Probably even worse.
Bad, bad, bad.
Both elected by the people does not.
This has about as much chance of happening as Karl Rove becoming an FR moderator.
‘Cause we know that the legislators of our states won’t suck more pork from Uncle Samantha than the rest of us would (bad as the rest of us are). [Little irony and sarcasm there.]
If the 17th were repealed, we would be taxed more than we earned and shot for trying to do so much as building a storage shed. We would be even more subject to the tyranny of a few favored constituents controlling politicians from the shadows.
More clearly, it’s a desire to give local/state politicians even more control over the flow of federal pork to further “empower” themselves to watch, control and rob us. Most such folks in our country lean extremely to the left on getting federal money to their accounts and preventing others from having traditional families (federally funded social programs) and producing truly useful items in small shops (federally instigated and funded local regulations demanding fees/bribes, government-linked NGOs, government-dependent services, etc.).
When states appointed Senators, whom to appoint was an issue in every state assemblymans campaign. Not atypical were the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, in which the candidates hoped to convince listeners to elect supportive State legislators. Voters were necessarily more circumspect of the candidate Assemblymans opinions and positions on the spectrum of state and federal issues. By this, State appointments encouraged a higher level of competence and judgment in state legislators. They would, for instance, have to have an opinion on treaties in work by the President and SecState. Imagine asking your state rep for his or her opinion on the Law of the Sea Treaty, or Agenda 21 floating through the UN, or if they would support a preemptive attack on Iran.
Todays State Assemblymen rightly receive far less respect than their pre-17th ancestors because less is asked of them.
Would State legislators really turn a blind eye toward certain federal court nominees? It wasnt long after the 17th, that FDRs judges, for all practical purposes, did away with the 10th Amendment. Would radical Leftists like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, lead attorney for the ACLU, have sailed through Senate confirmation? Probably every democrat judicial nominee since at least the days of Jimmy Carter was hostile to the 9th and 10th Amendments. For no other reason, would the States have just rolled over and accepted these hostile jurists?
Ping to #28.
Who cast votes in 1858 ?
I don’t know the answer to your question. To every state with rational, patriotic, informed Americans like Georgia, there are states like New Jersey and Massachusetts and Maryland and New York and California and Illinois who have large urban populations of uniformed, uneducated, mindless government subsidized drones.
Would the balance of Senators overall be any diffferent than the balance today? I don’t know.
Also, I was under the impression that back then, most politicians were like Cincinnatus. Their political careers were brief interludes to a relatively normal like, unlike the plethora of long term, “professional” politicians who plague us today.
I just can’t tell which system today would be better.
We'll never know for sure the ramifications of the 17th, but if Senators had not been beholding to the whims of the people just as Congressmen are, had not been charged with spreading the wealth these past 100 years, I think it is fair to say our nation would be far different. The mindless urbanites would probably be fewer in number, for there would have been less money for democrats to breed them for the past several generations.
Under the federal system, there was feedback between the States and Senators. With the 17th, the feedback moved to between the mob and Senators. I just don't think the FDR, LBJ, Obama programs of spreading the plunder would have had a chance without the 17th.
Nor would anything which stripped state sovereignty. One could argue that the entire Twentieth Century would have turned out much differently regarding domestic policy and the effect it had on economics.
Only the repeal of the 19th can save America, and that won’t happen.
To FatMax, I agree.
As Senators got used to independence from the States and could ignore the effect of their legislation upon them, Scotus lent a helping hand in 1941 when its FDR appointed judges termed the 10th Amendment to be tautologous, a needless repetition of the obvious.
The Progressive Scotus decision was an insult to the Framers, delegates to the State ratifying conventions and the first Constitutional Congress that sent what became the 10th Amendment to the States for ratification.
This meant that federalism was a political question to be handled by a political process devoid of federalism!
Absent federalism, the states rapidly watched wholesale elimination of their legitimate and historic control over internal commerce, general police powers and had to accept conditional spending by the national government.
Congress discovered it could use the states to achieve its progressive ends without being held accountable for the results.
Very interesting, just not sure what I think about this.
Agreed. IMHO, it appears to be the most viable answer to save at least a portion of Our Republic.
Good point. They both came from the same deranged progressive mindset
My ancestors in grey would be proud of you.
Good for Georgia! Let it roll nationwide!
Who would be denying anyone the vote? If anything their votes in their individual State elections become more valuable and consequential.
Getting them to understand that is the issue.
See 43. JMO
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.