Late last week, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is currently campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ), told a Republican gathering in Payson, Arizona that he supports abolishing the Seventeenth Amendment’s guarantee that voters elect their own senators.
Flake, however, is not alone in his desire to make America less democratic. Indeed, at least two other GOP senate candidates, one GOP governor, one Republican senator and a Supreme Court justice all have indicated agreement with Flake’s ambition to return the Constitution to the halcyon days of the Nineteenth Century:
If Pete Hoekstra had his way, he wouldn’t have to campaign for a seat in the Senate right now. Instead, he would simply be chosen by the state legislature to represent Michigan.
The 17th amendment gives the public the right to directly elect its senators. Hoekstra has repeatedly said he would like to see this amendment repealed.
“I think that would be a positive thing,” Hoekstra said regarding repeal during a January debate.
If the public lost the ability to choose its own senators, each state’s delegation would most likely line up with the partisan make-up of the state legislature.
Democrats were quick to criticize Hoekstra’s views, saying that any move to repeal the 17th amendment would ultimately lead to voter disenfranchisement.
Hoekstra has joined a growing number of Republicans demanding the 17th amendment be struck down, with many arguing the law infringes on fundamentalist views of state’s rights.