Founding-Era Socialism: The Original Meaning of the Constitution's Postal Clause
British Journal of American Legal Studies, Forthcoming
102 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2017 Last revised: 10 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 9, 2017
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 incorrect claims about the Clause previously advanced by legal scholars.
Keywords: Constitution, Post Office Clause, Postal Clause, post roads, Original Meaning, Original Understanding, Original Intent
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K19, K29, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation