An Amendment to Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and Re-link the States to the Federal Political Process.
Section One. The Seventeenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section Two. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, selected by the legislature of each State. Each Senator shall serve a six-year term and may be re-appointed. Each Senator shall have one vote.
Comment: This section is intended to place the power of selection back in the hands of the state legislature.
Section Three. Among the duties of each Senator is the primary duty to represent the government of their State, and in particular, their State's Legislature, in the Senate. For the purpose of maintaining communications with its Senators, each State Legislature shall establish a liaison committee and shall specify the duties, procedures, and method of appointment of that committee. This committee shall work with its United States Senators in evaluating the impact of federal legislation on their State. All legislation proposed by Congress, and all treaties proposed, shall be submitted to each State's liaison committee.
Comment: This section describes a Senator's general responsibility for representing their state government and state legislature. This section also requires that each state establish a liaison committee. This committee is intended as a communications link and advisory body to the state legislature and not as a decision-maker for the state legislature. It should function during periods when the state legislature is not in session so those legislators can be alerted when critical federal action is taking place. Depending on the state, the committee may be made up of state legislators alone or, if so desired, could also be made up of legislators, members of the state's executive and judicial branches, and non-governmental members. Another objective of this provision is to allow each state legislature to define the relationship with their appointed senators. It also requires the committee to be given notice of proposed federal legislation and treaties. Thus, it addresses the holding of South Carolina v. Baker, 485 U.S. 505 (1988), in which the Supreme Court held that in order in invalidate an act of Congress the states would have to show that the federal political process operated in a defective manner. Thus, a failure to submit proposed legislation and treaties to a state's liaison committee constitutes a failure in the political process.
Section Four. Senators are subject to removal by the State Legislature. Removal of a Senator requires a majority of each House of the State Legislature.
Comment: This section allows the state legislature to compel accountability from Senators. A voting majority is specified in order to preclude a federal court's imposition of a super-majority.
Section Five. Congress is precluded from enacting any legislation affecting the senatorial selection process. Each State Legislature shall enact rules and procedures, consistent with this amendment, related to the selection and removal of Senators. A State Legislature may implement a selection procedure whereby the State Legislature selects a Senator by a plurality vote rather than a majority. If a State Legislature fails to enact a selection procedure, then the State Legislature shall sit as a single body and shall select a Senator by a plurality vote. Irrespective of the procedures followed by the State Legislature, if the State Legislature does not choose a Senator within thirty days after a vacancy, the Governor of the State shall select the Senator.
Comment: This section gives each state the power to prescribe their own procedures and enact rules or legislation if other problems arise in the selection process. This would allow each state to solve its own procedural problems as they occurred. It also provides a default procedure in the event that a state does not choose a method. In the event of a deadlock, the Governor can break the deadlock. This would avoid all of the problems that occurred in the original concept. The plurality power is specified to assure that a federal court does not impose a majority vote. This section is not intended to lock a particular method in place, except as a default. For instance, a state legislature may choose to keep popular election and then validate the results of the election. Additionally, the state could choose a merit selection method by which a slate of names are submitted to the governor for selection. Alternatively, each house of the state legislature could choose a Senator, each by a different means. Successive elections until a majority is achieved could be implemented. Again, it is intended by this section to allow variability in the selection process limited only by the requirement that the selection be completed within thirty days. This should eliminate the deadlock issue.
Section Six. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. All state legislative proceedings, including, but not limited to, those concerning the liaison committee, procedural issues, and the selection and removal of a Senator are open to the public. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures.
Comment: This section allows for the phase-out of popular election. It also provides for open meetings as to any procedural and selection proceedings to promote public involvement in the process. This amendment is not intended to impact elector issues.
Comment: Rather than moving toward socialism as Feingold and McCain would have our nation do as a vacancy emerges for a particular Senate seat, John MacMullin, and many others, astutely recommend moving back to our "republican" (1) roots, and returning to the states their rightful representative authority in the US Senate, while at the same time increasing the authority of the state legislators to recall their Senator when he or she acts in a manner that is illegal or not in the best interest of their represented state, as many have done in recent years. This would solve many of the problems we have faced in this country from war mongering imperialism, to inappropriate behavior in men’s room stalls, to decapitation of our national economy, all of which resulted from popular elected US Senators shirking their constitutional oaths.
The US Senate is out of control, as is Washington DC, and we the people need to reel in this corrupt institution and fix the problem. Please pass on John’s site at Article V and his recommended legislation to your local state legislator. The time is now for the people act and through the states to take back Washington before it’s too late.
(1) Republicanism in the United States; Wikipedia.