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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Good Old Fashioned Federalism

Here's a question for all the students of federalism out there (there are a few left,aren't there?).

What would be the effect of this addition to state law?
(1) A political party may elect to include a provision in its bylaws that permits the political party to submit the names of two recommended candidates for the office of United States Senator to those members of the Legislature that are members of the political party.

(2) The provision in the political party's bylaws may permit those members of the Legislature that are members of the political party to select, by a majority vote, one of the two candidates submitted under Subsection (1) to be the party's candidate for the office of United States Senator.
See the full text of SB 156 here.

Senator Howard Stephenson will post a blog later this morning. In the meantime, you can read Burr and Bernick.

You may also want to dust off your copy of the Federalist Papers.


Blogger Kevin said...

I may be stupid, but weren't the Federalist Papers that little dealio written by Madison, Hamilton, et al. to justify a new Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation and that the primary

It is very interesting that you link to Article 51 of the Federalist Papers. The second paragraph of which reads:

"it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others. Were this principle rigorously adhered to, it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority, the people,"

This page specifically states that the fountain of authority should be the people and that the government should minimize any dependence of one one body on the will of another.

I would have to do more research here, but I seem to recall that the decision to have the senators elected by the state houses was more of a compromise with the anti-federalists than it was a manifestation of the ideals of Federalism.

Regardless, your post to justify creating a dependency between UTah's US Senators and the Utah legislature links directly to an article in the Federalist paper that argues against such dependencies. It seems more in line with the thinking of anti-Federalists than federalist.

1/26/2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't knock the Anti-Federalists - they're the reason we have The Bill Of Rights.

1/26/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I wasn't knocking the anti-federalists. I was just pointing out that that is it doubtful that Federalists would have favored SB156 as the Senate Site post seemed to suggest.

I agree that there were good reasons for having the Senate elected by legislatures. However, I think Amendment 17 (direct elections) was a big improvement to the Constitution. Dependencies between branches of government lead to corruption.

Quite frankly, the Senate Primaries are often the best source of statewide debate on important issues facing Utah. IMHO, The people of Utah lose out with SB156.

1/27/2006 12:49 PM  

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