San Diego Law Review


Ralph A. Rossum

Library of Congress Authority File

http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n79122466.html http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n80034037.html

Document Type



The thesis of this Article can be stated briefly: The founding generation clearly understood that federalism would be protected primarily by the mode of electing the United States Senate. The adoption and ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, providing for direct election of the Senate,' changed all that. The Seventeenth Amendment was ultimately approved by the United States Congress and ratified by the states to make the Constitution more democratic. Progressives argued forcefully, persistently, and successfully that the democratic principle required the Senate to be elected directly by the people rather than indirectly through their state legislatures. The consequences of the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment on federalism, however, went completely unexplored, and the people, in their desire to make the Constitution more democratic, inattentively abandoned what the Founders regarded as the crucial constitutional means for protecting the federal/state balance and the interests of the states as states.2