Friday, April 09, 2010
Justice Stevens Announces Retirement
The original Constitutional design of the Senate helped to limit the ability of politicians to place their party before their duty. State legislatures could oversee their representatives far better than the electorate, and they ensured that their senators would prevent as much as possible the centralization of power in Washington. Confirmation processes were less partisan and less prone to political grandstanding because they were concerned with the nominees' actual record rather than scoring political points. They also wanted to make sure that any appointees at least understood that the federal government was limited.
The 17th Amendment changed all that. Now the Senate is full of grandstanding politicians who care more about their party than anything. That won't change regardless of what party is in power. The only way to change that is to repeal the 17th Amendment.