Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment


Why has the Federal Government grown so big since the turn of the 20th Century and why have we not been able to stop it.  I will contend here that the reason is three things:

1. The change in the way we elect Senators

2. The failure to change the number of Congressmen in the House

3.  The failure of States to say no to Federal Un-constitutional Laws.

Let us address the first one.

In 1917 we passed the Federal Income tax law – the Sixteenth Amendment and we passed the Seventeenth Amendment, which calls for direct election of U.S. Senators. It's a change that has in fact proved anything but democratic. And it is a change whose aftermath may haunt the Twenty-first Century.  Prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, Senators were selected by the State Legislators.

The Framers created the House of Representatives as the lower chamber, whose members would be selected directly by the people. And with almost unanimous agreement, they determined that members of the upper chamber, the Senate, would be selected by not directly, but by the legislatures of the states. Each state would have two Senators, while Representatives would be apportioned based on population.

James Madison was not only involved in structuring the system, but was also a keeper of its contemporaneous record. He explained in Federalist No. 10 the reason for bicameralism:

"Before taking effect, legislation would have to be ratified by two independent power sources: the people's representatives in the House and the state legislatures' agents in the Senate."

The need for two powers to concur would, in turn, thwart the influence of special interests, and by satisfying two very different constituencies, would assure the enactment was for the greatest public good. Madison summed up the concept nicely in Federalist No 51:

“In republican government, the legislative authority, necessarily predominate. The remedy for this inconveniency is, to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them by different modes of election, and different principles of action, as little connected with each other, as the nature of their common functions and their common dependencies on the society, will admit.”

The system as designed by the Framers was in place for a century and a quarter, from 1789 until 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment was adopted. As originally designed, the Framers' system both protected federalism and ensured that relatively few benefits would be provided to special interests.

Before the Seventeenth Amendment the federal government remained stable and small. Following the Amendment's adoption it has grown dramatically.

The conventional wisdom is that it was FDR's New Deal that radically increased the size and power of federal government. But scholars make a convincing case that this conventional wisdom is wrong, and that instead, it was the Seventeenth Amendment (along with the Sixteenth Amendment, which created federal income tax and was also adopted in 1913) that was the driving force behind federal expansion.

Repealing the Seventeenth Amendment

Today if a Senator wants to be elected he must have a war chest of campaign money and in some case too much to get from his state. This is what made the two parties so powerful, and what made special interests so influential.  No Senator can be elected without money from the Party and money from the likes of Big Business, Big Banks and Big Unions.  Most of this money comes from outside the State he is supposed to represent. 

In order to be re-elected he must satisfy his party and the special interests. An example of special interests is this.  For every dollar a special interest spends on a Senator they get back or save from the government 10,000% more.   Senators average getting richer by millions per year and no one knows how.

Repeal of the amendment would have a dramatic and positive effect on campaign spending. Senate races are currently among the most expensive. But if state legislatures were the focus of campaigns, more candidates might get more access with less money - decidedly a good thing because the people have more influence on local governments.   

Elections in the House of Representative

The members of the House are elected directly by the people of the districts where they live.  In the beginning these districts were so small that people could know those running for office on a personal basis and they could drive around their districts in a few minutes or hours. 

However, today we have the same number of Representatives in the House as we did a hundred years ago and yet the population has gone up by hundreds of millions.

The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the House says: "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand."[3] Congress regularly increased the size of the House to account for population growth until it fixed the number of voting House members at 435 in 1911.[1] The number was temporarily increased to 437 in 1959 upon the admission of Alaska and Hawaii (seating one representative from each of those states without changing existing apportionment), and returned to 435 four years later, after the reapportionment consequent to the 1960 census.

Lets see, there are now 304,000,000 people in America and we have 435 Representatives, who were supposed to represent no more than 30,000 people.  If we divide 304,000,000 by 435 what do we get.  304,000,000 divided by 435=almost 700,000. If we divide 700,000 by the 30,000 we were told not to exceed what do we get?  700,000 divided by 30,000 = about 23.

That means that the House should have 23 times more members than it has today, or about 10,000 members.

If we had the 10,000 members in House that the constitution requires instead of the 435, these members would not have great power and we would know them personally and they would be more accountable to us instead of big business and big unions.  It is harder to corrupt 10,000 people than 435 people.  We need to go back to the constitution and have reps over only 30,000 people.  My representative has an office 70 miles from me and there is no way I will ever meet him.  But if this was changed I would have one in my own town of 30,000 people.

Federal Un-constitutional Laws

If the Senators were appointed by the State Legislators and if the House only represented 30,000 people each, the Federal Government would never have grown so big and they did so because they got away with un-constitutional programs. Special Interests, even communists from foreign governments, can influence 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen.  But if they could not influence any Senator and had to reach 10,000 Representatives it would be harder.  If we as people only had to send 30,000 letters or emails to our Representative regarding a bill, or he only had to mail or email 10,000 families to get our backing on bills, we would truly have a real representative democracy.  Our States and Counties would again have power and we could overturn all these un-constitutional branches of the Federal Government and say “No” to Federal Mandates that States have to pay for.



Federalism - the allocation and balancing of power between state and federal government - has emerged as a central concern of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Slowly, but steadily, the Rehnquist Court has been cutting back federal powers, and protecting state's rights.

Many have wondered what the Court is doing. Why are the Court's five conservatives - the Chief Justice himself, along with Associate Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas - creating this new jurisprudence of federalism?

That is why I believe we can bring the above ideas to the courts and win.

If we don’t we will be a world government by Executive Order by our President.