Specifically, why did it need to be a Constitutional Amendment instead of a regular law?

The Constitution, under Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1, states that:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Wouldn’t this allow Congress to have required the direct election of Senators without having to Ratify an Amendment?

2 Answers 2


No because clause 1 of section 3 originally said:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

The legislature could have required a vote (of the legislature) and that could have been regulated. However, if the legislature decided that a committee could appoint senators that couldn’t have been, for example.


It is my opinion, that the only reason to have Senators is to ensure that the procedures of constitutional rules and wisdom are followed by each state and that for each state, each county, etc. to act as wardens of the Constitution, so to speak, keeping three branches of government, etc. They could also act as guides to ensure that the Constitutional Rights aren't trampled upon within Legislative lawmaking -- having a voice, but without a vote. If you wanted, you could see them as the proofreaders of the law (perfecting the wording to be accessible to the people and that rights aren't being neglected), rather than lawmakers themselves.

The Constitution writes it opposite of what I say: that Senators should come from below to serve upwards, but that's what representatives already do. There is no other reason to ensure Senators. Having two bodies of legislators is confusing at best and debilitating and inefficient at worse.

You can already see the failure within cities and counties of the US: some counties make a committee of the elected official (commissioner), and some cities do not have a Judge at all, so that citizens issued tickets by city police must have a car to fight a case at the county court.

The Constitution leaves it ambiguous, but cities should have one appointed Judge, while county courts should have a single courtroom with two Judges, four for the state, doubling upwards to the national court, which should, but this reasoning, have eight Justices.

  • There is absolutely nothing in this response that addresses the question, and all of it is opinionation on what you think should be, not what the facts and laws actually are.
    – user4657
    Dec 29, 2017 at 5:28

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