The Original Scope of the Congressional Power to Regulate Elections
Robert G. Natelson
The Independence Institute; Montana Policy Institute
University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2010
Courts testing the constitutionality of federal campaign finance laws usually focus on First Amendment issues. More fundamental, however, is the question of whether campaign finance laws are within Congress's enumerated power to regulate the "Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections." This Article is an objective examination into the intended scope of this congressional power, using numerous sources overlooked by other legal writers. The Article concludes that the intended scope of the power was wide enough to authorize most modern congressional election statutes, but not wide enough to support modern federal campaign finance laws.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: constitution, constitutional law, election law, elections, campaign finance, campaign regulation, original intent, original understanding, original meaning, founders
JEL Classification: k1, K10, K29, K30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 31, 2011 ; Last revised: January 4, 2012
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