Friday, May 30, 2008

Repeal Amendment XVII, US Constitution

Repeal the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Passage of this rule in 1913 was intended to prevent problems experienced earlier, when each state's legislatures appointed Senators, whose sole responsibility in that national office was to represent the interests of that state.

But due to partisan arguments in some state legislatures in the late 19th century, some states failed to appoint anyone to the Senate. What's wrong with that??!

In addition to that repeal, restrict all Senators to offices ONLY in their states' capitols. Let them conduct the business remaining to them by telephone, video conferences and facsimile machines.

Pros: John Kerry, for example, could advocate only for laws affecting Massachusetts exclusively, not the other 49 of us- only his state. ( Imagine being free from the stupidity of Senators Feinstein, McCain, Shumer or Graham, in places other than California, Arizona, New York or Florida. )
Each state would have the Federal representation and power originally envisioned by the framers of our Constitution.
Moreover, the trouble with lobbyists and other special interest groups would evaporate instantly. Their concentration in Washington, D.C. is too great.


Cons: Lower taxes and Federal regulations on regional businesses, fewer irrelevant blanket laws. More dreaded oil and gas exploration in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Montana and Alaska.

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If America must have a taxpayer funded American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), then America ought to have a counter-balancing, taxpayer funded American Constitutional Test Union (ACTU), whose function would be to challenge every law passed for it's complete compatibility with that document.
(OR) Disband the ACLU, by defunding it yesterday. Install 50 state versions, with state funding instead.


Pros: Same sex marriage, abortion, welfare, universal health care, other entitlement programs, laws and implied "rights" become issues for individual states to deal with, where citizens interaction with lawmakers is more intense.

Cons: [crickets]

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Your thoughts??

5 comments:

theotherryan said...

Interesting idea. I see few down sides.

Abouna said...

I love those ideas. The congressional system we have now has developed into something that I do not believe our founding fathers would even recognize.

The will of the American citizens is completely ignored by the people whom we elect to represent us because they are more interested in satisfying special interest groups so that they can pad their own bank accounts. That is why I keep calling for a revolution.

The Localmalcontent said...

Thank you both, guys. The idea of the state capitol offices for Senators would have another "benefit", in the smaller carbon footprints generated by all of them going to and fro and around the world, as well.

Actually, you prompted this Abouna. Know how? Your prior suggestion that some states could secceed and form another country.

Ken said...

Ever wonder why the Federal Government has grown so large, why we have Federal Departments that duplicate States Agencies, like the $66 Billion annual budget of the Department of Education? Have you ever wondered why small States have disproportionate representation -of one person one vote? Why Wyoming has two Senators and California has two Senators? Why do states have unfunded mandates?

When this country was founded it was no coincidence that is was named The United States of America. It was not named the People's Republic of America. The States were to provide for the laws and services required of government and the Federal Government was required to provide the necessary laws to protect the States (common defense), regulate commerce and trade between States, and provide for a consistent and standardized basic set of rights for all people of all these United States. So why then has this changed and do we look to Washington D.C. to solve not only our national but also our local problems? States Rights were so important that we even fought a Civil War over them. Just when did the States finally lose their battle to be an integral part of this nation's guiding force and be an equal partner with the Federal Government?

Well, it was 1913! In 1913, the States abdicated their role as an equal partner with the Federal Government by ratifying the Seventeenth Amendment. This Amendment replaced a provision in Article 1, Section 3, which stated: "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,for six years; and each Senator shall have one Vote..."

Upon ratification in 1913, the Senate of the United States was now responsible only to the people by direct election and no longer were they responsible to the Legislature of their respective States. The direct pandering to the people had begun. No longer was the Senate the so called upper house with responsibility to the States. It was now on a par with the people's house, The House of Representatives, and with all the requisite pandering and special interests, but with the exception that they were in office for six years instead of two and one third of the Senate was up for election every two years.

In 1913, the people of this nation lost a valuable check and balance which inhibited the Federal Government from growing out of control. If you carefully look at the Constitution, you will find that the founders set up checks and balances over three branches of the Federal Government for the States.

* The Senate must provide advice and consent on all Executive appointees and this includes Judicial appointees, notably the Supreme Court and Federal inferior Courts - circuit courts, etc.
* The Senate must ratify all treaties submitted by the Executive Branch, giving the States some control over foreign affairs.
* The Senate must agree with the House to pass legislation and sits as the jury in matters of impeachment.

The Seventeenth Amendment effectively neutralized the power of the States to control the Federal Government. Read more on why some think the Seventeenth Amendment should be repealed at http://www.liberty-ca.org/friendsforamerica.org.htm. (Not an endorsement of their site, just an opportunity to read what they have to say on the matter.)

Was the Seventeenth Amendment a good thing - I don't believe so. Let me give one example. Today Congress regularly provides mandates for the States, called unfunded mandates, to spend money on education initiatives, managing illegal alien populations, or supporting medical care for those with no medical coverage, at local hospitals, etc. Now that the Senate is not responsible to the States, it regularly agrees with the House on these mandates, as the alternative would be Federally funded programs requiring an increase in taxes. Instead an unfunded mandate requires the States to increase taxes and your Congressional Representative can say that they have not increased taxes. This ill advised Amendment has fostered an uncontrolled, unchecked runaway Federal Government in size and power.

If you want real change from your Congress, push for repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment.
http://brokengovernment.wordpress.com

Col. B. Bunny said...

Wow. What a great example of erudite blogging and commentary!

I first heard the implications of the 17th A. discussed by Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. Senators were protectors of state interests before it, a counterweight to the federal judiciary who have been hyperenergized to vindicate all and any federal interests. It may have been he who pointed out that the federal courts routinely invalidate state legislation. The vast majority of their decisions do this, with only the ocassionalllllll invalidation of an act of Congress.

The 17th Amendment was a disaster for limited government.

This is a time of absolute confusion about the underlying philosophy of our (original) constitution and complete and massive ignorance of the lessons of the ghastly 20th century taught by the leftist monsters (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro). Huge numbers of Americans do not appreciate the scheme of the now-defunct Constitution, which was all about granting only the most limited and absolutely necessary powers to the central government and dividing up power to force the political zealots and time servers to fight each other rather then gang up on the people (the current reality). And press any "moderate" democrat or crazed liberal and the real monsters of the 20th century were Franco, Pinochet, Nixon, and Reagan.

Many, many first principles need to be hauled out and reexamined in this time of philosophical "splay." The negative consequences of the 17th Amendment are underappreciated and should be on the short version of our national "to do" list.

It's sad that constitutional law is such an arcane subject. It's become something that, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, that now requires the High Priests of the organized bar to interpret for us mere drones, rubes, and rednecks.