Overshadowed by HJR 3 concerning marriage equality, I had not noticed SJR 3 filed by Sen. James Smith which would rescind Indiana’s ratification of the 17th Amendment. The Seventeenth Amendment is the one that provides for direct election of United States Senators by the citizens. It used to be that state legislatures decided who would be Senator. The text of the Seventeenth is as follows:
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 such 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.
I’m pretty sure ratification is a “no take backs” situation. Rather, the way to repeal an amendment to the United States Constitution is by means of another amendment to the United States Constitution. Article Five of the U.S. Constitution sets forth that process, and this isn’t it. The Seventeenth Amendment was adopted because of a widespread perception that most state legislatures were corrupt in the way they appointed senators. I don’t think we should return to those days.