Voters in Tenn. may be stripped of deciding US Senate nominees

Tennessee State Capitol
Tennessee State Capitol

A bill is advancing in the Tennessee General Assembly that would strip primary voters from deciding who their U.S. Senate nominees would be and give that power to the state’s respective Republican and Democratic party caucuses.

Voters still would be able to decide in the general election between party candidates.

The bills sponsor, Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plain, said it would return the state closer to the system used before 1913, when state lawmakers directly appointed U.S. senators, as reported by The Daily Herald.

A process that was replaced with the passage of the 17th amendment, which Niceley referred to as a “mad rush of progressive movement.” Although, more than half the states provided for popular election of senators by referendum prior to the amendment.

Interestingly, the the 17th amendment says U.S. Senators must be “elected by the people,” but does not specify that a primary election must be held.

In the one known case where a primary was not held and was challenged, in Pennsylvania following the death of Senator H. John Heinz III, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the 17th amendment does not require primaries.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Tom Tillison


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles