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 Congress may at any time make or alte...
Clause 1. Congressional Power to Regulate
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 Congress may at any time make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of chusing Senators.
Legislation protecting Electoral Process
By its terms, Art. I, § 4, cl. 1 empowers both Congress and state legislatures to regulate the "times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives." Not until 1842, when it passed a law requiring the election of Representatives by districts,
In 1866 Congress was more successful in legislating to remedy a situation under which deadlocks in state legislatures over the election of Senators were creating vacancies in the office. The act required the two houses of each legislature to meet in joint session on a specified day and to meet every day thereafter until a Senator was selected.
The first comprehensive federal statute dealing with elections was adopted in 1870 as a means of enforcing the Fifteenth Amend-ment's guarantee against racial discrimination in granting suffrage rights.
Another chapter was begun in 1907 when Congress passed the Tillman Act, prohibiting national banks and corporations from making contributions in federal elections.
As we have noted above, although § 2, cl. 1, of this Article vests in the States the responsibility, now limited, to establish voter qualifications for congressional elections, the Court has held that the right to vote for Members of Congress is derived from the Federal Constitution,
To accomplish the ends under this clause, Congress may adopt the statutes of the States and enforce them by its own sanctions.
State authority to regulate the "times, places, and manner" of holding congressional elections has also been tested, and has been described by the Court as "embrac[ing] authority to provide a complete code for congressional elections . . . ; in short, to enact the numerous requirements as to procedure and safeguards which experience shows are necessary in order to enforce the fundamental right involved."
Clause 2. Time of Assembling
Clause 2. [The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different Day].
This Clause was superseded by the Twentieth Amendment.
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