Chief Sponsor: Alvin B. Jackson

House Sponsor: Ken Ivory


9     General Description:
10          This joint resolution of the Legislature requests that the United States Congress propose
11     an amendment to the United States Constitution to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment
12     to the United States Constitution.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     urges Utah's congressional delegation and all the members of the United States
16     Congress to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to repeal the
17     Seventeenth Amendment; and
18          ▸     provides language for the proposed amendment.
19     Special Clauses:
20          None

22     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
23          WHEREAS, before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States
24     Constitution, upon a vacancy in the office of a senator, the governor of a state was empowered
25     under the United States Constitution Article I, Section 3, Clause 2 to fill the vacancy with a
26     temporary appointment until such time as the state legislature convened and selected a
27     replacement;
28          WHEREAS, upon ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States
29     Constitution in 1913, the power to elect senators from each state was passed to the people of

30     each state;
31          WHEREAS, upon ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States
32     Constitution in 1913, when a vacancy occurred in the office of a senator, the governor of the
33     state was directed to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy provided, although the state
34     legislature could empower the governor to appoint a temporary successor until the next
35     election;
36          WHEREAS, the founders of our republic and the framers of the constitution recognized
37     that in a republican form of government, the legislative authority should necessarily be
38     predominant;
39          WHEREAS, the founders intended that legislative authority be divided into two
40     different branches composed by different modes of election, creating different principles of
41     action, and be as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and
42     their common dependencies on society would admit;
43          WHEREAS, James Madison explained the reason for bicameralism in Federalist Papers
44     No. 10: "Before taking effect, legislation would have to be ratified by two independent power
45     sources: the people's representatives in the House and the state legislatures' agents in the
46     Senate";
47          WHEREAS, James Madison argued in Federalist Papers No. 62 that, "The appointment
48     of senators by state legislatures gives the state governments such an agency in the formation of
49     the federal government as must secure the authority of the former";
50          WHEREAS, Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Papers No. 10, concluded that because
51     the legislatures were selected bodies of men, the choice of United States senators would
52     "generally be made with peculiar care and judgment by the legislatures";
53          WHEREAS, the founders of the constitution created an ingenious template of checks
54     and balances, with divisions and distributions of power to provide for and protect the highest
55     sovereignty - that of each individual citizen;
56          WHEREAS, the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution disrupts
57     that balance of power by providing for the selection of senators by popular vote in the same

58     manner representatives are selected by popular vote; and
59          WHEREAS, popular election of senators has diluted the power of the separate states,
60     diminished federalism, and resulted in the increased power of the federal government over the
61     individual states:
62          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
63     urges Utah's congressional delegation and all the members of the United States Congress to
64     propose an amendment to the United States Constitution repealing the Seventeenth
65     Amendment that reads as follows:
66          "Section 1. The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United
67     States is hereby repealed.
68          Section 2. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from
69     each State, selected by the legislature of each State. Each Senator shall serve a six-year term
70     and may be reappointed. Each Senator shall have one vote in the Senate.
71          Section 3. Among the duties of each Senator is the primary duty to represent the
72     government of his or her State, and in particular the State's legislature, in the Senate. For the
73     purpose of maintaining communications with its Senators, each State legislature shall establish
74     a liaison committee and shall specify the duties, procedures, and method of appointment of that
75     committee. A liaison committee shall work with its United States Senators in evaluating the
76     impact of federal legislation on its state. All legislation proposed by Congress, and all treaties
77     proposed, shall be submitted to each State's liaison committee.
78          Section 4. The salary and benefits for a Senator shall be provided by the Senator's State.
79          Section 5. Senators are subject to removal by the State legislature. Removal of a
80     Senator requires a majority of each house of the State legislature, or in the case of a unicameral
81     legislature, a simple majority.
82          Section 6. Congress is precluded from enacting any legislation affecting the senatorial
83     selection process. Each State legislature shall enact rules and procedures, consistent with this
84     amendment, related to the selection and removal of Senators.
85          Section 7. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any

86     Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. The electors in each State
87     shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State
88     legislatures."
89          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of
90     the United States, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United
91     States House of Representatives, and the members of Utah's congressional delegation.