Substitute Amendment to House Joint Resolution 39, May 15, 1911

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. U.S. Senate

When the House passed proposed amendments for the direct election of senators in 1910 and 1911, they included a "race rider" meant to bar Federal intervention in cases of racial discrimination among voters. This would be done by vesting complete control of Senate elections in state governments. This substitute amendment by Senator Joseph L. Bristow of Kansas provided for the direct election of senators without the "race rider." It was adopted by the Senate on a close vote before the proposed constitutional amendment itself passed the Senate. Over a year later the House accepted the change, and on April 8, 1913, the resolution became the 17th Amendment.