Trashing the 12th Amendment with the National Popular Vote

Trashing the 12th Amendment with the National Popular Vote

 

By Publius Huldah

12th amendment

The compact for a National Popular Vote (NPV) is a destructive scheme. Yet it’s been approved by several States; and is pending in others. Since the text of the compact no longer seems to be set forth on the NPV website, we’ll look at the NPV bill now pending in Tennessee.

In a nutshell, the compact seeks to evade the 12th Amendment to our Constitution (where the States elect the President); and substitutes a national popular vote where inhabitants of major metropolitan areas elect the President.

The Constitution our Framers gave us

The federal government created by our Constitution is a Federation of Sovereign States united under a federal government for those limited purposes itemized in the Constitution; with all other powers reserved by the States or the People.

So that The States – The Members of the Federation – could maintain their independence and sovereignty, our Framers wrote these provisions into our Constitution:

  • State Legislatures were to choose the U.S. Senators for their State (Art. I, §3, cl. 1); and,
  • The States, as separate political entities, were to elect the President (Art. II, §1, cls. 2 & 3).

The People were to elect only their Representatives to the House (Art. I, § 2, cl.1).

James Madison explains in Federalist No. 45 (7th para), why this ensured that The States would maintain control over the federal government:

“The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government …Without the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment, and will, perhaps, in most cases, of themselves determine it. The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. …Thus, each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments …” [boldface mine]

The result of State Legislatures choosing the U.S. Senators and controlling the election of the President [via the selection of Electors], was that the States would be able to control the federal government.

The 17th Amendment

But we threw away one of these safeguards when we foolishly ratified the 17th Amendment with the popular election of U.S. Senators. This is how The States – The Members of the Federation – lost their representation in Congress and their control of the Senate.

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