Monday, August 21, 2006

Localitarian goal: repeal the 17th!

I think it's time for another goal explanation.

*The repeal of the 17th amendment (state popular vote of federal senators)
and the return of state legislature appointed senators.

Well, what is the 17th amendment and what's the big deal?

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State,
elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the
most numerous branch of the State legislatures.


When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate,
the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies:

Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make
temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature
may direct.


This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any
Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Most people (hopefully) know about how the senate was meant to favor
smaller, less populous states and that the House is in the pocket of the
larger, heavily populated states.

That is only one half of the story, however.

House representatives are elected by popular vote, representing the
people, while the senators were elected by the legislatures of the states,
thus making the senate the states rights wing. That balance has been
lost with the 17th amendment, which makes the senate another House
in that regard. Also, the senate lost its ambassadorial elements,
becoming just another battleground between the two parties instead
of a voice for the state governments.

Let's disect the second paragraph for more discussion.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate,
the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies:

Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make
temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature
may direct.


The main problem here is that this amendment sets the rules for the
states. The states and people of the states are left no freedom to
"personalize" the rules in the way that they like best. Thus not only is
this a usurping of their power to decide, this paragraph also opens a
door for federal intervention and enforcement.

If a state became "stubborn", the federal government "needs" troops
and an army of judges to "put them in their place".

Thus this amendment is directly in the way of our goals and needs to
be replaced. Here is a possible alternate amendment:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State,
elected by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the
most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

Each State can, by State Constitution, change the method in which
Senators are chosen, and the choice of method shall not be tampered with by
the federal government, including the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any
Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.


Any comments or suggestions?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting idea for an amendment.

However, you may wish to clarify paragraph 2:

"Each State can, by State Constitution, change the method in which
Senators are chosen"

Into:

Each State can, by State Constitution, change the method in which the afore mentioned state's Senators are chosen

Mon Oct 09, 07:29:00 PM  

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