(The 17th Amendment, direct election of senators, [like the 14th and 16th] was a constitutional heresy that caused America to stray from its founding vision and into the era of democratic mob rule as Amerika. This dealt the death blow to States’ Rights and our existence as a limited republic… – DD)
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(The Hill) – The 17th Amendment to our constitution changed the way Senators are chosen to serve in the Congress. As ratified in the original constitution, Senators were chosen by state legislatures to serve for a term of six years, while Representatives in the House were to be chosen by direct vote of the people. This is the principle behind “Bicameralism” – two branches of the legislative body answering to two separate constituencies, the Senate to the elected state governments and the House directly to the people. The 17th Amendment changed this to provide for Senators being elected by the popular vote.
There were two major arguments to justifying the ratification of the 17th Amendment. The first presumed the election process for Senators had become too corrupt. The second hinged on state legislature voting deadlocks resulting in delays for state representation in the Senate. A third minor factor presumed state legislatures were consumed with selecting a Senator.
Todd Zywicki in his outstanding review of the 17th Amendment for the Cleveland State Law Review echoes the current analysis challenging the validity of these arguments. He summarized the majority of evidence concluding: “…there is no indication that the shift to direct elections did anything to eliminate or even reduce corruption in Senate elections.” “…Deadlocks were exceptional…the great majority of Senate elections were conducted…