17th Amendment Repeal - Issue Summary

Should the 17th Amendment be repealed?

Repeal 17th Amendment?By: LFDA Editor

The 17th Amendment provides for the direct election of U.S. senators by popular vote.


Before the amendment's adoption in 1913, state legislatures elected their senators, according to the original creation of government by the founding fathers.

There is a growing sentiment against the amendment to return to what the founding fathers intended.

Much of the activism against the 17th Amendment comes from the tea party movement, whose advocates argue for government that holds more strictly to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Repeal proponents say the amendment upsets the founding fathers' balance between national and state governments. They argue that returning to the Constitution's original blueprint would give states the ability to kill federal legislation they don't like by recalling their senators, thus diluting the power of the federal government in favor or states’ rights.

Opponents counter that direct election of senators, long a goal of the Progressive movement of the early 1900s, expanded democracy.

None of the current and incoming members of the New Hampshire delegation to Congress has advocated for the repeal of the 17th Amendment.

Congress would first have to agree to an amendment to repeal the 17th, then voters in each state would have to ratify the new amendment by popular vote.

2014 Legislation

Rep. Timothy Horrigan (D-Durham) sponsored HCR 11, a 2014 resolution commemorating the ratification of the 17th Amendment.  The House killed that bill in March 2014.

Previous Legislation

In Concord in January 2012 Rep. Robert Kingsbury (R-Laconia) sponsored HB 1126, which would require the Legislature to nominate U.S. Senators from New Hampshire. The bill died in the House.

Should the Congress take up the repeal of the 17th Amendment? Should NH's Representatives and Senators vote to create an amendment to repeal the 17th? And, if it came to a vote, would you vote to repeal it by voting for the new amendment?



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If you are interested in repealing the 17th Amendment and want to take action here are some choices:

  • If you are new to contacting your government, please visit our page on  How to Take Action.
  • Contact one of the organizations listed in Learn More. These groups represent the pro or con positions of issues.
  • Contact a government official as follows:

1. Contact members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives or the New Hampshire Senate.

2. Give your opinion to Governor Maggie Hassan

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Do you think New Hampshire should support a repeal of the 17th Amendment? Whatever your thoughts are, we urge you to make your voice heard. See the "Learn More/Take Action" section on this page for more information.

Issue Status

Rep. Timothy Horrigan (D-Durham) sponsored HCR 11, a 2014 resolution commemorating the ratification of the 17th Amendment.  The House killed that bill in March 2014.

News

There are no 2014 articles on this topic.

August 22, 2013
Nashua Telegraph: Repeal the 17th amendment (editorial)
February 6, 2012

Nashua Telegraph: Several goofy bills a waste of time (opinion)
January 16, 2012
NewsWithViews.com: 36 states did not ratify 17th Amendment; what will states do? (opinion)