Founding-Era Socialism: The Original Meaning of the Constitution's Postal Clause

British Journal of American Legal Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2018

74 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2017 Last revised: 16 Jun 2018

See all articles by Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

Independence & Montana Policy Institutes

Date Written: February 28, 2018

Abstract

The Constitution’s Postal Clause granted Congress power to “establish Post Offices and post Roads.” This Article examines founding-era legal and historical materials to determine the original meaning and scope of the Postal Clause. It concludes that the Clause authorized Congress to pass all legislation necessary to create, operate, and regulate a unified transportation, freight, and courier system, although it also limited congressional authority in some respects. The founding-era reasons for the postal system were revenue, promotion of commerce, and political control. The Article also corrects some inaccurate claims about the Clause previously advanced by commentators..

Keywords: Constitution, Post Office Clause, Postal Clause, post roads, Original Meaning, Original Understanding, Original Intent

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19, K29, K39

Suggested Citation

Natelson, Robert G., Founding-Era Socialism: The Original Meaning of the Constitution's Postal Clause (February 28, 2018). British Journal of American Legal Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2916948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2916948

Robert G. Natelson (Contact Author)

Independence & Montana Policy Institutes ( email )

727 E. 16th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
United States
303-279-6536 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://robnatelson.com

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