Thursday, January 26, 2006

17th Amendment

Okay, the dust has kind of settled around SB156, the "soft repeal" of the 17th Amendment. Some think it's a bad idea: Utah State Democratic Party Statement Utah Centralist Others think it's a great idea: State Senator Howard Stephenson Some notable features of this debate: State Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland has come out strongly against the bill calling it a Republican "end run around the constitution". The bill is co- sponsored by Chairman Holland's fellow Union leader Democrat Senator Ed Mayne. Senator Orrin Hatch was said to be nervous about the bill and Senator Stephenson has removed it for re-tooling following a conversation with Senator Hatch. Considering he is very unpopular at the legislature, and he hasn't had a real job in thirty years, I can see why Senator Hatch is freaking out.


Blogger Reach Upward said...

I think Sen. Bennett is probably right about this when he says that the voters, particularly the delegates to the state Republican convention, won't like it. They will feel that it disenfranchises them to a certain extent.

The 17th Amendment resolved some problems while creating others. I think the bill is trying to solve the created problems without returning to the old ones. It's an interesting bit of fence-straddling, but I don't know that it's the right tool for the job.

Even if it will do the trick, it really won't help a whole lot until a lot of states do the same thing.

1/26/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

One of the more interesting comments on Senator Stephenson's recent posting discusses the 'vertical separation of power.'

"DB" wrote:

Here's what is refreshing in Senator Stephenson's Bill: It brings back the "vertical" separation of powers intended by our Founders. We are all familiar with the checks and balances at the national level of government between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. The separatation of powers among these three branches at the national level can be termed "horizontal". While most of us would agree that the Founder's showed historical foresight in implementing the horizontal separation of powers, few seem to be excited about the originally intended "vertical" separation of powers at the national level. Before the 17th Amendment established direct election of Senators by the people, the various state legislatures were able to appoint their respective Senators, thus giving voice to the states at a national level. The pre-17th Amendment Constitution let a competititive and rigid federalism foster by giving lower political sub-units a voice at the upper levels of government, hence the term "vertical" separation of powers.

Food for thought.

1/26/2006 08:34:00 PM  

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