In late 2012, I found myself interested in the 17th Amendment a few months before its hundred year anniversary in April 2013.
Having earlier read James Madison’s often sketchy notes to the federal convention debates of 1787, I recalled a vibrant series of deliberations over the nature of the senate. Suffice to say that the convention almost dissolved over the question of whether the senate would reflect proportional representation like the House, or provide for equality of representation among the republic’s member states. On this, the equality of states in the republic of their creation combined with the consent of the people in the House, would the new government implement the tenets of the American Revolution.
Readers of this blog wouldn’t be readers if they, like me in 2012, didn’t have some interest in the foundational institutions of our nation. As I’ve reviewed in detail in several previous blog posts, as long as our umbrella government acts on the states, the states must have a place at the legislative table. If they don’t, as is our existing situation, the umbrella government exerts arbitrary authority over the states. Arbitrary authority is tyranny.
So, republican theory, straightforward reason and experience demand the 17th Amendment must go. How to get rid of it and restore the states the to the senate?
While I support and have made the case for an immediate convention of as few as two states, there is another approach in the works by some incredibly wise, talented, and experienced guys and gals.
I encourage the reader to check out Convention of States (COS), which is recruiting a grassroots community of activists to promote a state sponsored Article V convention. Through education of fellow citizens and state legislators, COS leads the charge to save the American Republic.
Founded by Mark Meckler and Michael P. Farris, organized COS volunteers encourage state legislatures to make applications to congress for the “purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”
Under this application by 34 states, an Article V convention could consider:
• A balanced budget amendment.
• A redefinition of the General Welfare Clause (the original view was the federal government could not spend money on any topic within the jurisdiction of the states).
• A redefinition of the Commerce Clause (the original view was that Congress was granted a narrow and exclusive power to regulate shipments across state lines–not all the economic activity of the nation).
• A prohibition of using international treaties and law to govern the domestic law of the United States.
• A limitation on using Executive Orders and federal regulations to enact laws (since Congress is supposed to be the exclusive agency to enact laws).
• Imposing term limits on Congress and the Supreme Court.
• Placing an upper limit on federal taxation.
• Requiring the sunset of all existing federal taxes and a super-majority vote to replace them with new, fairer taxes.
While COS does not yet promote repeal of the 17th Amendment, I am hopeful that it will one day. Change to republican governing systems is best done incrementally; the good of a convention as envisioned by COS, even if it fails to submit any of the above proposed amendments, is that the ice surrounding our moribund reluctance to face our problems head-on will be broken. The Uniparty, especially the ayatollahs on scotus will be put on notice that the people are willing to exercise their God-given individual and societal rights to reform our supreme earthly law.
Elections alone cannot save our republic. Please do as I have; join COS and get ACTIVE!