Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Spirit of Jefferson Lives in Virginia
The ability of states to judge the Constitutionality of an act of Congress originally lay in the authority of state legislatures to appoint Senators who would restrain the House from passing unconstitutional legislation. (Though nullification was discussed even before the Constitution became law, once the Senate was properly in place, Senators worked to preserve decentralization while still fighting for good ideas, such as abolition, etc., with nullification being just a threat. Yes, it's an oversimplification.) Repealing the 17th Amendment would make the threat of nullification unnecessary because states would nullify unconstitutional acts before they ever became law. Repealing the 17th Amendment now would also create a Senate which would, over time, work to gradually reduce unconstitutional infringements on our liberty. This would be so because Senators who did not fight for their states would not be reappointed by the state legislature. As it is, ridiculous personalities and party theatrics are how Senators get elected and re-elected now. And their single-minded purpose is to preserve power for their party and perpetuate the party system.
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center