Friday, May 27, 2005
Power Of The People
The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document. It has led us through over 200 years of our republic even with some minor adjustments along the way. But, I've long wondered about the change brought on by the 17th amendment which changed the way Senators are elected. Prior its passage, the Senate was elected by state legislatures which gave a balance in Congress with state and people's concerns being addressed. The 17th amendment was passed in 1913 to end problems they had since 1787 with states being deadlocked in their electing a Senator. But, essentially made them another Representative with a bit more voice (each state with 2 members.) Growing up, I always heard that there were 3 branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial which each had checks and balances. But, when you think about it, the executive and legislative branches are hired by popular vote. Seems a little weighted. The judicial branch is made up of people put forward by the executive branch and voted on (or sometimes not) by the legislative branch. So, popular vote seems to take away from some of the checks that were in place by our Forefathers which included state legislature's power to appoint or remove a U.S. Senator. I just find it interesting to be aware of such things but there are actually some people that would like to repeal the amendment. I can't say I'm there yet but the concept does make my head hurt. That's sometimes good.