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Checks and Balances?:
State Sovereignty and the 17th Amendment
In this town hall, Dr. John C. Eastman, Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the Equal Justice Coalition's Jay Feinberg, and Trent England of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs for a tele-town hall discuss the history and future of the 17th Amendment.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution created an elegant system of checks and balances in order to limit the power of the federal government. Key to their design was the division of Congress into two houses: a lower house, elected directly by the people, and an upper house, with its members selected by the state legislatures. But in 1913, the 17th Amendment turned this system on its head by providing for the direct election of senators and disenfranchising the sovereign states. Today, with Congress's approval at record lows and a central government that grows larger by the day, perhaps it is time to ask if this experiment has run its course. Perhaps it is time to consider repealing the 17th Amendment.