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Amendments To The US Constitution

17th Amendment to the US Constitution
Direct Election of Senators, 1913

By Congress
May 5, 2011, 11:29am


XVII Amendment to the Constitution

William Maclay (1st elected Senator)
The 17th Amendment to the Constitution (1913) established direct election of senators, as well as a means of filling vacant Senate seats. If a vacancy occurs due to a senator's death, resignation, or expulsion, the 17th Amendment allows state legislatures to empower the governor to appoint a replacement to complete the term or to hold office until a special election can take place. (The only exception to this rule is Arizona, which requires a special election to fill all vacancies and does not allow for temporary appointments.) Typically, a replacement holds office until the next scheduled statewide election.

Source: US Senate

Amendment XVII

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.

Source: LLI - Cornell Law School






Student Resources for Studying the 17th Amendment

A href="http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Direct_Election_Senators.htm">Direct Election of Senators
Source: United States Senate


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