Debating Repeal of the 17th Amendment

The Federalist Society has published an exchange between co-blogger Todd Zywicki and myself on the question of whether the 17th Amendment should be repealed. Todd argues that repeal would help reestablish necessary limits on federal power. I contend that it would have little effect, and especially would not lead to a net reduction in federal spending and regulation.

The debate is timely because some conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party leaders have advocated repeal of the amendment over the last year. For my previous posts criticizing such arguments, see here and here.

UPDATE: It’s perhaps worth noting that this is the first-ever debate over the 17th Amendment between participants who are both Volokh Conspiracy bloggers, George Mason professors, editors of the Supreme Court Economic Review, and former clerks of Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry E. Smith.