Zell Miller

Maryland lawmakers want — finally — to ratify the 17th Amendment

Two Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis want to spur a debate about the influence of money in politics and send a rebuke to tea party leaders by having the General Assembly ratify the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which required that U.S. senators be elected directly by voters instead of by state legislatures.

The amendment became the law of the land in 1913 after three-quarters of the states approved it. Maryland was not one of them.

Attacking the amendment has become a cause among some conservatives who believe it transferred too much influence from the states to Washington.

It is the only constitutional amendment that Maryland has not approved — though...