One popular idea making the rounds among some conservatives and Tea Partiers is a call for the repeal of the 17th Amendment. From the LA Times:
A common theme among those in the “tea party” movement is that ordinary citizens ought to participate more in the business of government. Yet some tea party activists — and likeminded politicians and commentators — are espousing a return to the election of U.S. senators by state legislatures rather than the people. That would require repealing the 17th Amendment, which was ratified in 1913.
The “Repeal the 17th” campaign is rooted in a nostalgia for an era in which state governments exercised as much influence as the federal government — or more.
Here is what James Madison had to say about the matter (during congressional discussion of the Bill of Rights in 1789):
[T]he State Legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal Government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.