Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

September 7, 2006

What Amendment Would You Repeal?

by Brad Warbiany

One of those questions that I think can give a clue into how people view government is to ask which Constitutional Amendment they would repeal, if given the chance. To most people, the first step would be the 16th Amendment, allowing an income tax. That’s a fair answer, but since it’s such a common answer, I tend to usually phrase the question as which amendment other than the 16th someone would choose to repeal.

For me, the answer is clear. The 17th Amendment, providing for the direct election of Senators, would be the first to go. There are a lot of problems with governments in general growing power, but the 17th Amendment eliminated one of the crucial constraints on the federal government’s growth. As we can see now, with the federal government being the primary governmental entity in our lives, rather than the state governments, it has completely destroyed the intent of “federalism” our government was built on.

All the ins and outs were well explained by Dale Franks over at QandO, to the extent that I wish I had written it myself. Head over and check it out.

How about you, readers? What amendment would you repeal, and why?

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Permalink || Comments (6) || Categories: Constitution
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  • VRB

    Right on, and if we could just get congressmen to see legistlating as a part time job and work like the rest of us.

  • John Newman

    Interesting question. It seems like 16 & 17 are the only ones that hold water now that the first ten have been scrapped.

  • Jonathan Harline

    Interesting you should ask this question today of all days. My college freshman class, along with the senior class, is having a simulation where we are congress and we’re deciding whether or not to repeal the 17th amendment. I have been assigned to be the representitive of missouri with the republican party, with the view of being for repealing the 17th amendment. Trough my research, I would have to say the 17th amendment is not a prudent article and should be removed.

  • Eric

    Every amendment after the 10th.

  • mike

    You know, that reminds me of a principle that I’ve heard of. Fed…feder…federal…hell, I can’t really remember it. Something like that. Haven’t really heard or seen it in awhile.

  • Chris

    I agree 100%. One of the original intentions of the Senate was to give the states themselves representation in the federal gov’t. That was completely eliminated by the 17th Amendment.

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