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Want to get rid of the 17th Amendment, maybe even McCain - have your state De-ratify it, it only will take 5 states

The only amendment to the Constitution that is not amendable is the 17th amendment due to the suffrage clause and equal representation. However, the ability to de-ratify the passing of the 17th amendment in your state is possible and it would take only 5 states to complete the task. Currenty 8 states never voted to ratify the 17th amendment, if 5 states vote to de-ratify then the minimum amount of states needed for ratification would not be met and the rules on Senate elections would default to the original rules of the Constitution, and each Senator would once again be elected by its state legislature.

There never was a time limit on the 17th Amendment like there was for the equal rights amendment of the 1970's.


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This would go a long way toward both restoring

state's rights, and our Constitutional bearings.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Revoke Consent

The 17th Amendment was adopted under a circumscribed Amendment power:

Article V

...Provided...that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate

For a State to have "its Suffrage in the Senate" requires its legislature chooses its Senators. Senators of any given State are today selected by popular ballot only because the respective State consents to be deprived of its suffrage by holding elections every cycle.

A State may at any time Act to restore its power to choose its Senators so as to revoke consent to be deprived of its suffrage in the Senate.

And if I read it

And if I read it correctly:

Any single state can start the process by just having its legislature chose a senator (different from the one chosen by the popular election, if one is even held) and demand he be seated.

On a more iffy basis:

Even if the the senate seats the popular-vote winner and rejects the state government's choice, and the courts refuse to get involved (on the theory that the Senate is the final authority on who it seats), the courts might then be dragged into it if a new law, passed by a single vote in the senate, is challenged by someone on whom it is being enforced (like maybe the same state's government, when it refuses to follow the law in question).

Lots of opportunity here to sew chaos if the government refuses to play by Constitutional rules.

= = = =
"Obama’s Economists: ‘Stimulus’ Has Cost $278,000 per Job."

That means: For each job "created or saved" about five were destroyed.

Just don't hold an election

I suppose the State legislature would have to cancel the next Senatorial election at the same time they choose their Senator. That way the Senate wouldn't have a choice between persons, only a choice between the person chosen by the State and no person at all.

Letting the Government choose your senator

sounds a little scary to me considering how they handle everything else. It would open the door to absolute corruption where and the seat would likely end up going to the highest bidder without the people of the sate having any say.

How is that better?

Is it really the same?

I might expect the State would choose a Senator they believe would represent the State as an independent sovereign and the established expression of its people. Saying the seat goes to the highest bidder, is it bad as long as the chosen Senator does so?

Consider the deliberate distinctions between the two houses of Congress in the unamended Constitution:

Senate: Chosen by State legislature
House: Chosen by popular vote

Senate term: 6 years
House term: 2 years

Senators: Two per State
House: By population of each State

Senate age requirement: 30 years
House age requirement: 25 years

Senate: Ratifies treaties, consents to appointment of judges, sole power to try impeachments.
House: Originates spending bills, sole power of impeachment

The Senate would break the tie in a Presidential election.
Apportionment for the Army may last for only two years (same as the House term).

Do these delineations even make sense if both houses are elected by popular vote? Why shouldn't the Senate be able to originate spending bills? Why shouldn't the House ratify treaties? Why should they have different terms? Or age requirements? Doesn't it change things rather fundamentally for Senators to be chosen by election? Are they really proper Senators at that point?

It's actually the other way

It's actually the other way around. Power is distributed down to smaller governments when those smaller governments are actually represented at the federal level. The 17th Amendment stole power from state governments and handed it to the federal government (which is no longer answerable to the states at all). This is where much of the corruption comes from.

Very succinct

You've managed to sum up what I took many paragraphs to say in my article on the 17th with just a few sentences. Nice job!


A state may not de-ratify an amendment to the Constitution.

Once a state has ratified an amendment to the constitution it is bound by that decision for all eternity. The only way to reverse the mistake is to ratify another amendment repealing the previous one like with the 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition and the 21st which repealed it.
Since states exercising the right to leave the Union will be met with violence, there are three other ways to get rid of the 16th and 17th Amendments.
1) Congress votes to send repeal amendments to the states and 3/4 ratify them.
2) An Article V convention is called at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures; The convention votes to send repeal amendments to the states and 3/4 of the states ratify them.
3) The government collapses, either in violence, or peacefully, and it is replaced, along with the Constitution.

A state cannot say "No" after it said "Yes."

This article says 5 states are needed to de-ratify. That is wrong. States can't say "just kidding" after voting to ratify an amendment to the Constitution.

I believe, if I remember right, only three more states are needed to get an Article V convention called. There is a question on whether a state can say "just kidding" after it adds its voice to a call for an Article V convention. If it can, then more states will be needed to call for a convention to propose amendments.

The writer of the article says "The problem with the second method (an Article V convention) is the lack of control that might be exhibited by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. A group intent on radically changing our Constitution could do away with many protections we enjoy today or grant certain offices or persons in government additional powers and authority never intended. Even though any proposed amendment proceeding forth would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of all the states to become part of the constitution, the danger to this republic is unknown."

I think, given the current state and trajectory of "this republic," this is a risk worth taking.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

when I have reference to the article

it was reference only, the SCOTUS have never taken up de-ratifying an amendment. but it's really no different than congress, no one congress can bind another congress to a promise, rule or even law. No past state legislature can bind another. If a state legislature decides to de-ratify the 17th amendment and if enough states do that and I can see about 22 that have possibilities, the 17th amendment creates illegitimacy in the law and the Senate selection process, but getting 5 states to de-ratify would make a major statement and maybe a court challenge. The Constitution does not have a clause that deals with states de-ratifying amendments and that's because when the Constitution was written it was based on states rights, not Federal rights.

There is no "temporal" limit on "consent" in Article V.

With ANY amendment, but particularly, this one.

If ANY single State does not "consent" then it cannot be denied - at any time.

Effectively, the 17th is null and void for this reason.

No such amendment could EVER be ratified because it's "life span" could never be assured. It would be pointless.

If at ANY time a State did not "consent" to any scheme OTHER than what is in the original Constitution, then the scheme is illegal because the amendment is not a part of the Constitution.

Apparently you've never read my article on this subject.

The original poster is correct with only one caveat. Only 1 state is needed to get the ball rolling. His post was lacking in enough detail to point you to the exact the clause he was referring to. It is the last clause of article 5 which reads: "and that NO state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate." This clause appears after the words "provided that no amendment which may be made" meaning this particular change (a change in the states suffrage) could not be forced upon ANY state by a majority or even a supermajority of the others. Article 5 deals with the methods for amending the constitution and there were 2 exceptions to amendments that could be made. These exceptions were confirmed by Madison in federalist #43 and by a US supreme court decision Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921):

The pertinent part reads: " An examination of article 5 discloses that it is intended to invest Congress with a wide range of power in proposing amendments. Passing a provision long since expired, it subjects this power to only two restrictions: one that the proposal shall have the approval of two-thirds of both houses, and the other excluding any amendment which will deprive any state, without
its consent, of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

This part of the decision can be found starting in [Page 256 U.S. 368, 373] and continuing into [Page 256 U.S. 368, 374]. Although this case concerned a challenge to the prohibition amendment and isn't exactly on point, the above argument was used in that decision and reflects the thoughts of the best legal minds in the country at that time. It is also the ONLY comment on article 5 last clause that I'm aware of in ANY Supreme Court decision. So, the only time its commented on, the comment the court made fully supports the original poster and the entire premise of my article on the subject. Here is a link to that article:


The article also appears here (with comments from Dwayne Stovall and many others below the article):


There were at least 10 states (and possibly 11, not just 8 as the original poster stated) that never ratified the 17th. Therefore they were deprived of their equal suffrage without their consent, thus making the 17th amendment invalid on its face. The 10 states were: FL, MS, DE, KY, UT, MD, RI, AL, IA and GA.

Read the article carefully please. I've been refining it since 1994.


Paul C. Hanson

Dwayne Stovall, Senate

Dwayne Stovall, Senate candidate in Texas is pushing for its abolishment too.

Southern Agrarian

This is an issue for the people

Candidates for office should drop it from their speeches as it will only cause them trouble. Ken Buck from Colorado also wanted to restore the election of senators by returning the power to the states. The democrats of course used it as an opportunity to vilify him. Commercials began running saying that Ken wanted to take away your right to vote! Untrue but very effective.

This issue needs to brought by us. A grass roots campaign gives candidates like Dwayne Stovall cover. btw, Ken Buck has once again thrown his hat into the ring for U.S. Senate.

Great idea. +1 Bump!

Great idea. +1 Bump!

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that." — Alan Greenspan