The Corner

On Repealing the 17th Amendment, Ctd.

Reader A. J. W. writes:

I agree 100% with your take on the perennial (and perennially ill-conceived) call to repeal the 17th Amendment.  Let me add two more points:

1.  State legislatures already wield great power over one of the two houses of Congress: the House of Representatives!  Thanks to gerrymandering, state legislatures get to effectively pick which party will control the state’s House delegation, and by how much.  Which is why conservatives are all the more fortunate to have won big in 2010.

2.  In the same vein as points 1a and 1b in your blog post, Zywicki reveals the sheer implausibility of his proposal when he observes that after the 17th Amendment is repealed, “much work would remain to be done to restore the public’s understanding of the difference between a direct democracy and a democratic constitutional republic.”  How Zywicki thinks that we could repeal the 17th Amendment before convincing the public of the difference between direct democracy and federal republican government is a mystery to me.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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