Very interesting post from Todd Zywicki at the Volokh Conspiracy. He examines Alan Dershowitz’ claim that the Senate just really isn’t up to the job of advising and consenting on Supreme Court judges. Some interesting points from Dershowitz and Zywicki, including this from the latter:
One also needs to keep in mind that the Seventeenth Amendment has dramatically reshaped the structure of the Senate in such a manner that I would argue it has made the Senate even less-equipped to effectively carry out the sort of inquiry that Professor Dershowitz advocates. The indirect election of Senators under the original constitution was designed to give Senators a degree of quality and independence from politics that is absent today.
Yeah, that’s a big pet peeve of mine too. Before the 17th Amendment was passed in 1913, Senators were elected by each states’ legislators. It really screws things up (and removes a natural protection from unfunded mandates) by having U.S. Senators directly elected by the people.
Can’t imagine that amendment ever being repealed, though.