17th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
The Constitution of the United States was drafted in 1787 while the judicial, executive and legislative elements of the government came into effect later in 1789. Its core purpose is to establish the basic rights and privileges of all American citizens. The Constitution of the United States has been amended 27 times since it was drafted and it was originally ratified by only nine states. The 17th amendment of the Constitution of the United States is quite essential among the 27 widely acknowledged amendments of the Constitution of the United States.
The 17th amendment to the U.S States constitution is one of a kind and established direct election of the United States senators by popular vote. It is an amendment that also alters the process for occupying vacancies in the senate and it allows the state legislatures to permit their governors to easily make temporary appointments until proper election is held. During such scenario when there is a vacant seat in the senate, a lot of things may arise.
Following the policies set by the U.S constitution, senators were elected by state legislatures and this was a great strategy to prevent the federal government from indirectly escaping with power and funds of the states. Other issues like corruption, lack of proper representation and electoral dreadlocks may arise once a seat becomes vacant. The first proposal for the need to amend the U.S constitution and be able to elect senators at peace by popular vote was presented in the U.S House of Representatives in 1826. Nevertheless, the idea did not go well as many house representatives did not support it.
The 19th century brought a lot of transformation as such problems were solved, more so those related to senate elections. During the 1890s, the House of Representatives passed several resolutions proposing an amendment to the constitution seeking direct election of senators. The motion was opposed several times and each time the senate refused to take a vote. Many states opposed the move to amend the constitution, but the congress finally acted right.
In 1911, the House of Representatives passed a joint house resolution 39 proposing a constitutional amendment for direct election of senators. Three-quarters of the states approved the proposed amendment and it was officially included as the 17th amendment to the constitution. The amendment texts included in the constitution had three clauses and they are;
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Customs have made the United States constitution flexible. The 17 amendment to the constitution has made it easy for governors to elect senators of their choice. Senators have been able to represent the states to the federal union and member of the house have been able to represent the local voters in their district. Ever since, senators can be elected by the people directly.
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