Constitution Club

Direct Election of Senators

Our founding fathers waned to create a Constitutional Republic where the rights of individuals would forever be protected. One the ways they sought to guarantee the sovereignty of the states and the people was have the legislatures of the states select the senators who would represent them in the senate of the united States.

The founders created a bicameral legislature with one house to represent the people and one house to represent the legislatures of the several states. The indirect election of senators  prevented the tyranny of the majority.

In Article V, the founders mandated that Congress could not propose any amendment that would deprive the states of their equal representation in the senate without their consent.

When Congress proposed the 17th amendment they violated the amendment protection clause in Article V. Thirty Six of the forty eight states gave their consent to lose their representation of their state legislatures in the senate. 

Having been passed by Congress, the amendment was sent to the states for ratification and was ratified by:

Ratification of the 17th Amendment

Having been passed by Congress, the amendment was sent to the states for ratification and was ratified by

  1. Massachusetts — May 22, 1912
  2. Arizona — June 3, 1912
  3. Minnesota — June 10, 1912
  4. New York — January 15, 1913
  5. Kansas — January 17, 1913
  6. Oregon — January 23, 1913
  7. North Carolina — January 25, 1913
  8. California — January 28, 1913
  9. Michigan — January 28, 1913
  10. Iowa — January 30, 1913
  11. Montana — January 30, 1913
  12. Idaho — January 31, 1913
  13. West Virginia — February 4, 1913
  14. Colorado — February 5, 1913
  15. Nevada — February 6, 1913
  16. Texas — February 7, 1913
  17. Washington — February 7, 1913
  18. Wyoming — February 8, 1913
  19. Arkansas — February 11, 1913
  20. Maine — February 11, 1913
  21. Illinois — February 13, 1913
  22. North Dakota — February 14, 1913
  23. Wisconsin — February 18, 1913
  24. Indiana — February 19, 1913
  25. New Hampshire — February 19, 1913
  26. Vermont — February 19, 1913
  27. South Dakota — February 19, 1913
  28. Oklahoma — February 24, 1913
  29. Ohio — February 25, 1913
  30. Missouri — March 7, 1913
  31. New Mexico — March 13, 1913
  32. Nebraska — March 14, 1913
  33. New Jersey — March 17, 1913
  34. Tennessee — April 1, 1913
  35. Pennsylvania — April 2, 1913
  36. Connecticut — April 8, 1913
    With 36 states having ratified the Seventeenth Amendment, it was certified by Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan on May 31, 1913, as part of the Constitution. The amendment has subsequently been ratified by:
  37. Louisiana — June 11, 1914
  38. Alabama — April 11, 2002
  39. Delaware — July 1, 2010 (After rejecting the amendment on March 18, 1913)
  40. Maryland — April 1, 2012
  41. Rhode Island — June 20, 2014

If six states that have previously ratified the amendment rescind their ratification vote there would only be 35 states that have ratified the amendment. This would leave the amendment one vote short of being a lawful ratified amendment.

The Utah legislature rejected the amendment on February 26, 1913. No action on the amendment has been completed by: Florida,  Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, or Virginia.

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