Firing Line Debate: The Direct Election of Senators
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About the Event
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The 17th Amendment established the direct, or popular, election of United States Senators. Prior to the passage of the amendment, senators were elected to six-year terms by their respective state legislatures. Our guests will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to the election of senators. Is direct election a necessary feature of a democratic American republic? Or does direct election encourage populism and hinder the Senate's ability to function?
Todd Zywicki is George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law, Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, and former Executive Director of the GMU Law and Economics Center.
David Schleicher is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School and is an expert in election law, land use, local government law, federalism, state and local finance, municipal bankruptcy, and urban development.