US Constitution Series, Amendment XVII

Amendment XVII. Popular Election of Senators

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Among libertarian circles, there is a move afoot to advocate for the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment. Why? Popular election of senators has upset the balance of power delicately created by the Constitution. When the Senators were appointed by the state legislatures, the Senators were careful to protect state interests. With the Seventeenth Amendment, that balance has been lost.


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