Monday, June 6, 2016

Repeal the 17th

A month or so ago I wrote a few posts about the Constitution, constitutional amendments and states’ rights. My position was and is that the 17th Amendment to our Constitution was a mistake. One of many missteps we have taken to circumvent the founders. Many of my readers are not familiar with all the amendments, so I will provide some background on the 17th amendment.

The Constitution, Article I, Section 3, clauses 1 & 2 describes how U. S. Senators get into office.  The founders of this country were much against a strong Federal Government. They expected a true federal system of government which limited the Federal Government to the enumerated and implied powers granted by the Constitution. All other lawmaking was to belong to the states and states’ legislatures. The founders provided that U.S. Senators would be appointed by state legislatures. The senators would then come home on weekends and get direction from the states on how to vote on any particular piece of legislation.

This all changed in 1913 with the passage of the 17th Amendment. The 17th Amendment voids the Constitution, Article I, Section 3, clauses 1 & 2. This amendment changed election of U. S. Senators from legislative appointments to a popular vote by the people.

Since that time Senators in Washington have been led by special interests and not guided by the states or their constituents. In other words, they follow the money. Now the country is at the mercy of big donors who pump money into the coffers of sitting Senators. Their constituents have ceased to be the people of the states they represent and their constituents have become the wealthiest among us and the corporation that have their own interests in mind.

This results in bureaucracies created by Congress that infringe on states’ rights on a daily basis with the EPA being one of the more egregious agencies. We also have the TSA, the Justice Department and IRS stomping on states’ and individual rights.

Finally, another government entity has discovered the problem. The state senate in Utah just passed SRJ2 asking the United States Congress to repeal the 17th amendment. The Utah senate voted 20-6 to pass the bill.

The following is a quotation from Utah state senator Alvin Jackson arguing for the repeal of the 17th Amendment. “States are supposed to protect the people from a runaway Federal Government.” Jackson continues, “We need to make sure states are represented in Washington, D. C. We think they are, but they are not.”

I agree with the senator from Utah. Washington does not represent me and my peers. We complain about the same people getting re-elected all the time. We would like to see new faces in Congress. Repeal of the 17th Amendment could solve this problem. It could solve a lot of problems in this country. The people need their voices heard. The Tea Parties found out the hard way that power in Washington does not come from the people – a lesson most people learned in other ways.

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