About a year and I half ago, I wrote about the 17th Amendment. I was talking to some friends on Saturday after Radio Star 4 about the 17th amendment. I wanted to expand on it some more today.
The Founding Fathers of the United States created a Separation of Powers and a system of Checks and Balances in the US Constitution. One of the separations from the beginning was the members of the US House of Representatives were elected by the People, the US Senate by the State Legislators, and the US President & Vice President by the Electoral College. The 17th Amendment, ratified in 1913, caused the US Senators to be directly elected by the people, instead of by the State Legislators. The problem with this, however, is it took away from the states the voice that they had in the Federal government. Why, for example, does the Constitution say that treaties have to be ratified by the Senate? Why do Federal Judges have to be approved by the Senate? The “advice and consent” powers of the Constitution were given to the Senate. Why? It is all part of our Federalist system that our country started with. Each State, were setup to be somewhat independent, with the Federal Government regulating activates between the states and with foreign countries. So, why then did the inspired founding fathers have the Senate elected by the State legislatures? Because actions the States needed a voice on actions that effected them! When the United States of America signs a treaty, that treaty applies to each of the individual states. They way they could vote on it was via their US Senators. That is part of the Republic that was setup! Since Federal Judges can hear cases that come from the States, the States need a say on who is appointed. So they give “advice and consent” on these potential justices. And, in the inspired Founding Fathers wisdom, the Federal Government budget did not come from the Senate. They had that come from the people’s elected House of Representatives. If someone was to be removed from office, the House of Representatives would try them.
The 17th Amendment, I believe, is one of the direct causes for the death of our Republic and why the US Constitution is being torn to pieces by an ever growing and strengthening Central Government. It is also why the States have to spend billions of dollars a year in Lobbyists. They have lost their voice in Washington and have removed a critical check and their balance of power. The 17th Amendment needs to be repealed.