Repeal the 17th Amendment
March 25, 2010 by Bob Livingston
If not for the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913, Obamacare would probably never have passed. That’s because the Senate would have been more attuned to the will of the public that disapproved of Obamacare by a large margin.
As Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States says: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
During the Constitutional ratifying convention, John Jay, co-author of The Federalist Papers, said “The Senate is to be composed of men appointed by the state legislatures… I presume they will also instruct them, that there will be a constant correspondence between the senators and the state executives.”
As historian and author Thomas J. DiLorenzo writes in The Lunatic Left is Getting Desperate on Lewrockwell.com: “The legislative appointment of U.S. senators was responsible for the most famous declarations of the states’ rights philosophy of the founders, the nullification philosophy as expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves of 1798 (authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison respectively).
“John Quincy Adams resigned from the Senate in 1809 because he disagreed with the Massachusetts state legislature’s instructions to him to oppose President James Madison’s trade embargo. Senator David Stone of North Carolina resigned in 1814 after his state legislature disapproved of his collaboration with the New England Federalists on several legislative issues. Senator Peleg Sprague of Maine resigned in 1835 after opposing his state legislatures’ instructions to oppose the re-chartering of the Second Bank of the United States. When the U.S. Senate censured President Andrew Jackson for having vetoed the re-chartering of the Bank, seven U.S. Senators resigned rather than carry out their state legislatures’ instructions to vote to have Jackson’s censure expunged. One of them was Senator John Tyler of Virginia, who would become President of the United States in 1841.
“In other words, the original system of state legislative appointment of U.S. Senators did exactly what it was designed to do: limit the tyrannical proclivities of the central government. As Professor Todd Zywicki of George Mason University Law School has written, ‘the Senate played an active role in preserving the sovereignty and independent sphere of action of state governments’ in the pre-17th Amendment era prior to 1913. ‘Rather than delegating lawmaking authority to Washington, state legislators insisted on keeping authority close to home…. As a result, the long-term size of the federal government remained fairly stable and relatively small during the pre-Seventeenth-Amendment era’ (emphasis added).”
When the 17th Amendment was ratified it changed the way senators were selected from appointment to popular election. Therefore senators are now more influenced by lobbyists and payoffs than they are by the constituents they are supposed to serve. Hence, the passage of Obamacare and other noxious bills.
It’s clear once again that the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. Yet the group of socialists, and central bankers controlling government in 1913 saw a way to further strip the Constitution of its safeguards and an unwitting public went along.
It’s time to repeal the 17th Amendment. It’s not going to be easy—those senators are now entrenched and will not be amenable to relinquishing their power. But if we’re to take our country back it’s got to happen.
Because, as Madison wrote in Federalist No. 48, “The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.”