The Constitution for the United States of America
Section 3 - Paragraph 1
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.
This provision was changed by the 17th Amendment to where the people from each State elect the Senators.
On the surface this change does not appear to be of much real significance. But, we need to understand that during the Federal Convention of 1787 the biggest "bone of contention" was States rights. The smaller States were terrified that the Legislature was going to be dominated by the large States. After a very protracted length of time a compromise was reached where the smaller States felt they were protected. Changing the method of selecting a Senator to a popular makes the Senator subject to the political winds, whereas, having them appointed by the State Legislature serves to insulate them from a lot of the political stress.
If the Senators are appointed by the States, they may be arbitrarily removed by the States. This means the Senators are more concerned about the needs of their States, than they are the political trends of the people within the State. The Senate then becomes a check against the raw politics that results from a popular election by the people. The 17th Amendment destroyed the check and balance system within the Legislature. Appointment of Senators by the State Legislature needs to be reinstated in order to restore the checks and balances built by our Founding Fathers.
Previous Page | Next Page
Return to the top of the page
Return to the Constitution Index
Constitutional Quiz | Truth | Index to Historical Documents | Basic Concepts
Return to Home Page
Other Comments of Interest
Please direct all comments to: