You are here


State Legislatures Elect U.S. Senators


The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution requiring the direct election of Senators shall be repealed.

State Legislatures Elect U.S. Senators: Proposed Language

The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution is repealed.


The Constitution as originally established provided that “The sum of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years, and each Senator shall have one vote.” In 1913 the Seventeenth Amendment was adopted to provide for the direct election of Senators by the People. The result was that the States lost their influence over national policy, became similar to bureaucratic agencies so far as the Congress was concerned, and provided a platform for U.S. Senators to spend their time trying to become the President. 

Unfortunately, fraud and corruption in state legislatures at the turn of the twentieth century gave rise to the progressive era which presumed that the People were better qualified to decide on who their U.S. Senators should be than their legislators. The result was the Seventeenth Amendment which was passed in 1913. Over the years, persons elected to the U.S. Senate came to envision themselves as future presidents and rarely consulted their state legislatures with respect to material legislation.

Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment will increase the power of State legislatures, enhance the accountability of the federal government, improve the quality of leaders in the United States Senate, and allow State leaders to contribute to national policy.

The advantage of returning to the original constitutional intent would be to energize State legislatures and the members thereof, minimize campaigns for the U. S. Senate, minimize the cost of campaigns for the U. S. Senate, familiarize State legislatures with federal issues during the campaign of different persons to seek election from those legislatures, provide incentive to voters to pay more attention to who their State legislators are, and generate persons who will be recognized for their leadership and soundness of policy rather than their rhetoric and media appeal.

Voice Your Vote

Do you support the proposed State Legislatures Elect U.S. Senators amendment?

How much "Importance" does this proposal hold for you?