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Topic Title: ArtI.S4.C1.3 Congress and Elections Clause
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Created On: 12/05/2022 05:18 AM
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 12/05/2022 05:18 AM
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dingpatch

Posts: 18180
Joined Forum: 07/24/2003

The Supremes are about to take a look at a new elections case and lots and lots of folks have their panties on tightly. AP article


ArtI.S4.C1.3 Congress and Elections Clause https://constitution.congress....S4-C1-3/ALDE_00013640/

Article I, Section 4, Clause 1:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Known as the Elections Clause, Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 provides for Congress and state legislatures to regulate the Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives.1 Under the Elections Clause, each state establishes how it will hold congressional elections, subject to Congress adopting or altering the state requirements (except as to the place of choosing Senators).2 The Elections Clause's Times, Places and Manner encompasses a complete code for congressional elections, not only as to times and places, but in relation to notices, registration, supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, duties of inspectors and canvassers, and making and publication of election returns.3 States and Congress may also establish sanctions for violating election laws4 and procedures for recounts5 and primaries.6 The Elections Clause however, does not permit states or Congress to set voter qualifications for congressional elections, which, under the Constitution, must be the same qualifications necessary to vote for the most numerous branch of the state legislature.7 Likewise, the Elections Clause does not allow states or Congress to change the qualifications to be a Member of the House of Representatives or the Senate, which are stipulated at Article I, Section 2, Clause 2 for the House and Article I, Section 3, Clause 3 for the Senate.8

By providing Congress power to preempt state election procedures, the Framers sought to prevent states from thwarting the Federal Government's operation by using state law to manipulate or preclude elections for the House of Representatives.9 For example, during the Constitutional Convention Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania expressed concern that the States might make false returns and then make no provision for new elections,10 while Alexander Hamilton observed in the Federalist Papers that Nothing can be more evident than that an exclusive power of regulating elections for the national government, in the hands of the State legislatures, would leave the existence of the Union entirely at their mercy.11 Despite the Elections Clause providing Congress power to preempt state law governing elections, Congress did not exercise this power until 1842 when it passed a law requiring that Representatives be elected on a district basis.12 Congress subsequently added contiguity, compactness, and substantial equality of population to districting requirements.13

In the Court's 1997 decision, Foster v. Love, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that, under the Elections Clause, federal law preempted a Louisiana statute governing congressional elections.14 The Foster Court noted that while states can prescribe regulations governing the Times, Places and Manner of holding elections, Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations.15 The Court stated:

The [Elections] Clause is a default provision; it invests the States with responsibility for the mechanics of congressional elections but only so far as Congress declines to pre-empt state legislative choices. Thus, it is well settled that the Elections Clause grants Congress 'the power to override state regulations' by establishing uniform rules for federal elections, binding on the States. 'The regulations made by Congress are paramount to those made by the State legislature; and if they conflict therewith, the latter so far as the conflict extends, ceases to be operative.'16
Under its Elections Clause authority, Congress has passed laws that govern how state election systems may operate.17 For example, in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the Court held that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which required states to use a specific federal form to register voters for federal elections, preempted an Arizona law that imposed an additional evidence-of-citizenship requirement.18 The Arizona Court further noted that state authority to regulate congressional elections is less than its general police powers because the Constitution provides expressly for state law governing elections to be preempted by federal law. The Court stated: Unlike the States' 'historic police powers,' the States' role in regulating congressional elections - while weighty and worthy of respect - has always existed subject to the express qualification that 'it terminates according to federal law.'19

The Court has also held that where a primary election is an integral part of choosing a Member of Congress, the right to vote in that primary election is subject to congressional protection20 and includes the opportunity to cast a ballot and to have it counted honestly.21 Congress may secure elections from personal violence and intimidation as well as from failures to count ballots lawfully cast22 or the stuffing of ballot boxes with fraudulent ballots.23 Congress may also enforce election laws by imposing sanctions24 or punish state election officers for violating legal duties relating to congressional elections.25 But the Court has held that bribing voters, although within Congress's power under other clauses of the Constitution, does not implicate the Elections Clause.26 Finally, the Court has recognized that because the Elections Clause specifically vests Congress and the states with authority over the Time, Places and Manner of congressional elections, the Court's authority over such matters is limited.27

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 12/05/2022 06:34 AM
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johnnyboy

Posts: 22761
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Georgia? Georgia? Georgia on my mind.

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"One of the reasons why propaganda tries to get you to hate government is because it's the one existing institution in which people can participate to some extent and constrain tyrannical unaccountable power." Noam Chomsky.

 12/06/2022 04:42 AM
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Cole

Posts: 60901
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Unfortunately for Republicans, many states are turning Blue. The biased SCOTUS will know this too.

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I was right.
 12/06/2022 04:46 AM
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Fish Killer

Posts: 63773
Joined Forum: 10/09/2005

Unfortunately for Democrats, many states are turning Red. The biased SCOTUS will know this too.
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