It’s the 100th anniversary of the 17th Amendment, leading us to consider what today’s U.S. Senate would look like if its members weren’t directly elected by voters.
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The 17th amendment, which was ratified 103 years ago today, profoundly changed how Senators were chosen to serve in Congress. The amendment remains controversial in the context of how the Founders viewed that process.
Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, looks at references made in President Obama’s State of the Union speech, and their relation to a long-held debate about gerrymandering.
The 17th Amendment, which was ratified this day in 1913, allowed senators to be directly elected by the people rather than by state legislatures.
This amendment provides for senators to be elected the way members of the House are—by direct election of the people.