Skip to comments.R.I. House finally Ratifies 17th U.S. Constitutional Amendment: direct election of U.S. senators
Posted on 06/05/2014 7:41:43 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.
Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.
The ceremonial resolution approved by the House doesnt change anything, Keable acknowledged, but he said it does send a message ``that Rhode Island values democracy.
Rhode Island never ratified the 17th Amendment, but the states inaction was moot because the necessary three fourths of states approved it. Rhode Island in that era was controlled by Protestant Republicans but immigration from Roman Catholic countries of Europe brought many to the state who became Democrats.
A 1905 state census showed that Rhode Island was the first state to have a Roman Catholic majority. Republicans did not want citizens to vote because they were much more likely to elect Democrats to the Senate than was the GOP-controlled General Assembly. Since direction election of senators and particularly since the Great Depression if the 1930s, Rhode Island voters have sent more Democrats to the senate than Republicans. Since World War II, the only two Republicans elected to the senate from Rhode Island were John Chafee and his son, Lincoln Chafee, the state's current governor.
Rhode Island's current two senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, are both Democrats.
Most historians cite the Progressive Era and the government changes it ushered in with leading the drive for direct election of senators. In recent some in the Tea Party and fringe conservatives in the Republican Party nationally, but not in Rhode Island, have lobbied for repeal of the 17th Amendment.
Some conservatives believe that having voters elect senators has diluted states rights. Among those upset with the 17 Amendment are Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah and such tea party favorites as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Todd Akin, the unsuccessful Missouri 2012 Republican senate candidate.
``The right to choose ones own elected representatives is held very dear by Americans, said Keable in a statement. ``This a chance to rectify our inaction on this matter a century ago.
I work with a guy who likes to say, “Help me understand what you’re saying ... I only have a Rhode Island public school education ... and I’m just not sure what you mean ...”
I admit I couldn’t understand why Mark Levin hammers this issue frequently but now it makes total sense.
A very big nail in the coffin of the rights of the sovereign states.
Rhode Island values democracy more than the original framers ever did.
at this point, other then voting less often, how are senators different from house members?
Thank goodness they fixed that corruption problem.
“democracy” is not something I value as highly as say being a “Constitutional Republic”
Repeal the 17th!!!!
They are still apportioned equally amongst the states.
Would like to see a good handful of states RETRACT their previous ratification. At least symbolicallly, bring the current ‘RATifications of the 17th below the number required.
The absolute most corrupt state in the union, most of the employed are employed by the State. They are running out of Union pension money because the entire state is dependent on tax dollars and think they deserve it.
Now becoming the new “Martha’s Vineyard”.
The Elites own the shore and the dopes own Providence and environs.
I fear for my friends there!
The 17th amendment is why Michigan is a GOP controlled state with 2 democrat senators and it sucks.
I think you meant the 18th Amendment (Prohibition), which was repealed by the 21st Amendment.
As for the Rhode Island House's vote, it's meaningless symbolism. As for the 17th Amendment, check my user name.
The 17th and the 16th need to be repealed.
Federal taxes should be allocated on a per representative and per senator basis. The tax bill then handed to the state and each state then decided how to fund that tax liability. I call it “representative apportionment”.
After the 17th is recognized as failed idea.