The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures. It also alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. Under the original provisions of the Constitution, senators were elected by state legislatures; this was intended to ensure that the Federal government contained representatives of the states, and also to provide a body not dependent on popular support that could afford to 'take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress.'
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