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An Overview of the 17th Amendment

17th Amendment

What is the 17th Amendment?

“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.”

The 17th Amendment Defined

Date Proposed

The 17th Amendment was proposed on May 13th, 1912

Date Passed

The 17th Amendment was passed on April 8th, 1913

President of the United States

Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States during the ratification of the 17th Amendment

Stipulations of the 17th Amendment

· State Legislatures – once responsible for the appointment of Senators prior to the ratification of the 17th Amendment – would be responsible for the appointment of Senatorial candidates with regard to prospective, unoccupied Senatorial positions; the replacement of the temporary candidate is appointed subsequent to public polling

· The 17th Amendment is in direct response to the preexisting statutes conveyed within the United States Constitution; In lieu of the appointment of Senators resulting from elections polling state legislative bodies as stated within Article 1, Section 3, and Clause(s) 1 – 2, the 17th Amendment mandates that Senatorial election result from the polling of the popular vote:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.”(Article 1, Section 3, Section 1)

17th Amendment Facts

In 1919, Arizona was the first state that enacted the election of its respective Senators through popular vote – Arizona received its statehood in the year 1912

By default, states receiving statehood subsequent to the passing of the 17th Amendment have only undergone Senatorial appointment resulting from popular vote(s)

States Ratifying the 17th Amendment

1. Arizona

2. Arkansas

3. California

4. Colorado

5. Connecticut

6. Delaware

7. Idaho

8. Illinois

9. Indiana

10. Iowa

11. Kansas

12. Louisiana

13. Maine

14. Massachusetts

15. Michigan

16. Minnesota

17. Missouri

18. Montana

19. Nebraska

20. Nevada

21. New Hampshire

22. New Jersey

23. New Mexico

24. New York

25. North Carolina

26. North Dakota

27. Ohio

28. Oklahoma

29. Oregon

30. Pennsylvania

31. South Dakota

32. Tennessee

33. Texas

34. Vermont

35. Washington

36. West Virginia

37. Wisconsin

38. Wyoming

States Not Participatory in the Ratification of the 17th Amendment

1. Alabama

2. Florida

3. Georgia

4. Kentucky

5. Maryland

6. Mississippi

7. Rhode Island

8. South Carolina

9. Virginia

Statutes Associated with the 17th Amendment

The 20th Amendment mandates that Senatorial terms – including both legislative bodies that comprise Congress – were adjusted to end on January 3rd at noon; Congress is required to meet – at least one time – on an annual basis; this meeting time is expressed as sharing the same day as the ending of Congressional terms

NEXT: Eighteenth Amendment

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