Skip to comments.Utah Lawmakers Call for Seventeenth Amendment Repeal
Posted on 05/20/2016 8:04:53 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Utah lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling on Congress to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.
Ratified in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote. Before the amendments ratification, senators were elected by state legislatures.
The resolution, approved by the House of Representatives and sent to the states lieutenant governor for filing in March, was sponsored by state Sen. Alvin Jackson (R-Highland).
A Formal Check
Todd Zywicki, a professor of law at George Mason University, says the Seventeenth Amendment removed a necessary safeguard against lobbyists and governments own nature.
The framers understood that, in order for the states to be protected from federal government overreach it was necessary to give the states a formal check, Zywicki said. That check was by allowing the states in their corporate political capacity, the state legislatures, to choose senators.
The second aspect was that the Senate was to be a check on special-interest activity, Zywicki said. By having the Senate chosen by a different constituency than the House, that was designed to raise the level of consensus to enact legislation, making it more difficult for special interests to capture the government.
Zywicki says repealing the Seventeenth Amendment is unlikely to happen, though.
First, the tide of democracy is very strong and hard to stop, much less roll back. Zywicki said. Second, it would require a degree of understanding of the importance of constitutional structure that virtually none of the public or elected officials today could or would be willing to understand.
Worth The Effort?
Ilya Somin, who is also a professor of law at George Mason University, says he disagrees with Zywicki.
I am not opposed to repeal on principle, but I don't think its worth the vast investment of political capital it would take, if it can be done at all, Somin said. Our efforts would be far better expended elsewhere.
Somin says convincing people to support repealing the amendment is too difficult to be worth the effort and expense.
The odds against almost any constitutional amendment are stacked, in the modern environment where the political system is highly polarized, and assembling an overwhelming supermajority, are very, very high, Somin said. In this case, you also have to overcome the widespread perception that repealing the amendment would be undemocratic.
Somin says American partisan politics also prevents a successful repeal effort.
The passage of any amendment requires bipartisan support. Repeal of the 17th Amendment, so far, has attracted support almost exclusively among Republicans, and not even a strong majority of them. Unless and until it gets substantial Democratic support, as well, it has no chance of success.
Yes! Repeal the 17th!
Not second - first, by a long margin. Most people these days can't even work a shopping cart properly, and think "tripartite" is a kind of pizza.
Thanks for posting. Very interesting.
The passing of the 17th amendment was a huge mistake.
I did not know this. Thanks for sharing.
I’m inclined to favor return to first principles.
>> the tide of democRATcy is very strong and hard to stop, much less roll back.
I’m with him.
Senate positions were originally created to represent the individual States.
I’ve advocated this for years.
And on another positive note, the Oklahoma Legislature just passed a Resolution directing their US Representatives to submit Articles of Impeachment against Obama and several other high ranking officials.
Hear, hear - remove the 17th!!!
**Ratified in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote. Before the amendments ratification, senators were elected by state legislatures. **
Maybe some people don’t want the will of the people. I understand that it might need some refining.
I have never been totally for or against repealing the 17th. I have not been convinced that State legislators are less dishonest than the local citizenry, but as it stands recently, the local citizenry is becoming more and more likely to vote for “free stuff”, so there might be a benefit to repealing the 17th NOW, as opposed to previously.
"Utah lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling on Congress to ratify [??? emphasis added] an amendment to the U.S. Constitution repealing the Seventeenth Amendment."
The above statement is so badly worded that I wonder if Utah lawmakers are pulling an election year stunt.
More specifically, Congress has no constitutional authority to ratify proposed amendments to the Constitution. Congress has the authority only to propose amendments to the states for ratification which the states can choose not to ratify.
Also, the 17th Amendment (17A) is the basis for the tsunami of unconstitutional federal taxes which low-information taxpayers have been paying for decades imo, taxes which corrupt Congress cannot justify under its constitutional, Article I, Section 8-limited powers.
Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. Justice John Marshall, Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.
Part of the reason that the Founding States had established the Senate was so that the Senate could kill unconstitutional House appropriations bills, bills that steal not only 10th Amendment-protected state powers, but also state revenues uniquely associated with those powers.
But thanks to the ill-conceived 17th Amendment, low-information voters now elect politicians on the basis of promises of establishing federal spending programs which voters dont understand the feds have no constitutional authority to establish.
So the corrupt Washington cartel will probably fight tooth and nail to preserve 17A. But maybe Trump will see the problems with 17A and help us to get rid of it.
God bless Oklahoma- maybe Texas can learn something, but I will have to say that TX now has the best Governor that I have ever seen- Greg Abbott. (I’ve been here since 1964 less one year.)
Prayers are being at least considered, if not fully answered. The fact the state is at least making an attempt to repeal this amendment tells me Someone is listening to prayers and perhaps working to bring them to fruition. He has already answered one and for that blessing I give thanks.
Thank you OP for posting this article. It gives hope that things might turn for the better.
When McConnell was running for re-election, in addition to contributing to him, Trump tweeted out that the people of KY should vote for him as he can bring in a lot of federal money to their State.