A lesson for Sean Hannity on the 17th amendment
A recent exchange between Sean Hannity and one of his listeners provides an opportunity to educate the public on the 17th amendment of the United States Constitution. Sean, defending the 10th amendment - which grants those powers not specifically delegated to the United States to the States respectively - did not agree with the caller's wish to see the 17th amendment repealed, and seemed confused as to the amendment's implications.
The 17th amendment, for the edification of Sean, was enacted in the magical year, 1913 - the year that gave us the income tax and the Fed! - and stripped the power of state legislatures to elect Senators, delegating this duty to the people of each state, respectfully.
This damaged states' rights and weakened the 10th amendment. As I stated in an e-mail:
Concerning the 17th amendment, the argument for its repeal absolutely centers around states' rights. If Senators are elected by elected reps and senators, they are more likely to defend their state against federal encroachments (upholding the 10th amendment), than they are if elected by the general population. Any federal program - ObamaCare, the financial reform bill, etc., - which increases burdens on state budgets would not sit well with Senators answerable to congressional bodies in their state.
So, yes, the 17th amendment lacked foresight. As unprincipled Senators in all 50 states swagger about the Capitol, schmoozing with lobbyists and expanding government, it's important to know why. On November 2, 2010, the People voted to defend the Constitution. But while all men are equal, all amendments are not.
Greg Halvorson is the founder of Soldiers Without Boots, and hosts Freedom Warrior Radio on Blog Talk Radio.