17th Amendment weakened balance of power between states, federal government
Hans von Spakovsky
October 13, 2022
As we head toward the 2022 elections, it is a safe bet that few Americans can identify the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, even though it’s one of the most significant amendments. Ratified on April 8, 1913, it completely changed the balance of power in our federal system.
The amendment provided for the direct popular election of U.S. senators. That sounds non-controversial now, but it meant taking the power away from state legislatures that were originally given the authority to choose the senators representing their state in Section 3 of Article I of the Constitution.