THE WESTERNER sez:
Our Founding Fathers believed in checks and balances - not only between the Executive, Legislative & Judicial branches of the federal government, but also between the feds and the states. They instituted a system of dual sovereignty whereby certain enumerated powers were ceded to the feds and all other powers were retained by the states. With the state legislatures electing the Senate, the Electoral College electing the President and the 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights they thought they had locked in the appropriate checks and balances on the feds...and they were wrong. The history of our Country has been the continual acquisition of power by the feds at the expense of the states and the individual.
I concur with Wilmeth's opinion on the 17th amendment, but at least it was adopted according to the procedures of our Constitution. With the rise of the "living Constitution" changes are being adopted by five or more politically connected lawyers (otherwise referred to as the Supreme Court) without the approval of the national legislature, the states or the people. Furthermore, we have a curious situation where one branch of the federal government referees disagreements between the feds and the states; i.e. the feds have claimed a monopoly on determining any limitations on their power. You can see how that has worked out.
Some states are now resurrecting the concept of Nullification, which was introduced by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and which challenges the fed's monopoly on interpreting the constitutionality of laws. I wrote about this in the May issue of the New Mexico Stockman and I include that column in the next post.