Repeal the 17th Amendment
By Tracy L. Larger
Published: Monday, July 2, 2012, 8:48 p.m.
If the 17th Amendment were repealed, three things would happen.
First, the balance of powers between the states and federal government would be restored, which, in turn, limits the federal government's power.
Second, term limits would happen automatically with our U.S. senators.
And third, special interest groups and the unions would not have as much influence with our senators as they now do.
The balance of power between the federal government and the states would be restored because our senators would be appointed by the state legislatures.
Prior to 1912, when the 17th Amendment was ratified, the state legislatures appointed senators.Senators answered directly to the state legislatures and, therefore, passed legislation in the interest of the states rather than in the interest of growing the federal government.
This gave the states more say in the federal legislation and limited the federal government's power.
If you look at the growth of the federal government, the majority of that growth occurred after the 17th Amendment was ratified.
Because the state legislatures would appoint our U.S. senators, term limits would automatically be instituted. Think about it.
When a senator's six-year term was completed, and if there was a new makeup of the state's legislature, then more than likely the state legislators would appoint a new senator to represent their state at the federal level.
Therefore, senators would not have the opportunity to become career politicians.
If senators were appointed by the state legislatures, they wouldn't have to be concerned about running for re-election. And if a senator were not campaigning for re-election, then the unions and the other special interest groups would not be able to have as much influence as they now do.
And for those of you who are concerned about not having a vote for the senators representing the states at the federal level, please remember that this being a republic, you indirectly do have a vote.
You voted for the state legislature and its members in turn appointed the senator.
It's time to restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government by repealing the 17th Amendment. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution knew what they were doing when they limited the power of the federal government by having the state legislatures appoint senators.
Tracy L. Larger is a network sales representative for Trib Total Media. She lives in Brookline.
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