Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

17th Amendment

On this day, the 17th Amendment is ratified

April 8, 2019 by NCC Staff

On April 8, 1913, Connecticut became the 36th state to ratify the Constitution’s 17th Amendment. Learn about the only amendment to change the structure of Congress from National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution and scholars David N. Schleicher and Todd J. Zywicki.

Interactive Constitution: The Seventeenth Amendment

July 13, 2018 by NCC Staff

David N. Schleicher and Todd J. Zywicki look at how the Seventeenth Amendment removed from state legislatures the power to choose U.S. Senators and gave that power directly to voters in each state – an important change in the balance of power between the federal government and states.

The Interactive Constitution: The 17th Amendment

May 31, 2018 by NCC Staff

On May 31, 1913, the 17th Amendment went into effect, changing how Senators are elected. In this essay from our Interactive Constitition, David N. Schleicher and Todd J. Zywicki explain the only major change to the structure of Congress. 

Repealing the 17th Amendment would be no small task

May 31, 2018 by Scott Bomboy

Back on this day in 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect, ending indirect elections to the U.S. Senate. To this day, some folks want that amendment repealed on the theory it curtails states’ rights as envisioned by the Founders.

What would the Senate look like today without the 17th Amendment?

April 8, 2018 by Scott Bomboy

It’s the 105th anniversary of the 17th Amendment, leading us to consider what today’s U.S. Senate would look like if its members weren’t directly elected by voters.

Senators should serve for life, and other election ideas from the Founders

November 7, 2017 by Scott Bomboy

Today, Americans will vote in elections around the country. But did you know if alternative ideas from the Founders were used today, there would be 6,000 seats up for re-election in the House, and Senators would be serving for life?

Can a Senator serve in Congress after a conviction in court?

October 20, 2017 by Scott Bomboy

As the Robert Menendez trial winds down, the New Jersey congressional caucus faces an odd scenario if the Senator is convicted of political corruption charges. Should Menendez remain in office if he is found guilty and he then appeals the case?

The controversy over the direct election of Senators

April 8, 2016 by Jonathan Stahl

The 17th amendment, which was ratified 103 years ago today, profoundly changed how Senators were chosen to serve in Congress. The amendment remains controversial in the context of how the Founders viewed that process.

Constitution Check: What is the answer to political “rancor and suspicion”?

January 14, 2016 by Lyle Denniston

Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, looks at references made in President Obama’s State of the Union speech, and their relation to a long-held debate about gerrymandering.

Happy birthday, 17th Amendment!

April 8, 2015 by NCC Staff

The 17th Amendment, which was ratified this day in 1913, allowed senators to be directly elected by the people rather than by state legislatures.

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