The recent campaigns have brought a Constitutional Amendment to our attention that most of us probably haven't given much thought to since our high school government classes. That amendment is the 17th Amendment.
Prior to the amendment’s ratification in 1913, Senators were chosen by state legislators. The amendment changed this, and now the Senators are elected directly by the people.
On the surface, it may seem that the 17th Amendment benefits us, the people, as we get to have more say in who governs us. However, this helped undermine one of the important checks and balances in our government. That is the balance of power between the states and the national government.
Prior to the 17th Amendment, a Senator would know that his position would depend on how well he would protect the rights of the states guaranteed by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Unfortunately, under the current system, the Senators do not have to be concerned about how their actions infringe upon the rights of the states.
What this means for the people is that more and more aspects of our lives are directly affected by the Federal government. This results in much less freedom, and in the almost 100 years since the amendment’s ratification, has helped lead to our ever-expanding government.
Repealing the 17th Amendment would help restore one of the critical checks in our government that were created by the Constitution, and would actually result in the people’s ability to have greater say in the decisions that affect our lives directly. We would be wise to support those who are willing to help us repeal the 17th Amendment and restore our Constitution.