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The united States Constitution - Essay Example

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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 time make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing senators (“CRS Annotated…
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The united States Constitution
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17 September Annotation of the US Constitution Legislative department The Legislative department covers the election rules and procedures for the senators and representatives and is found in section 4 clause1of the US Constitution. It states that:
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 time make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing senators (“CRS Annotated Constitution,” cornell.edu).
The Annotation
This section of the constitution was until 1842, when the congress regulated the time, place and manner electing senators and the representatives. In 1842, it passed a law that required the representatives to be elected by districts. The first federal statute on elections was approved in 1870 to enforce the amendment to guarantee against racial discrimination when granting suffrage rights. Following this amendment, bribery, false registration, false returns of votes and interference of voting processes were made illegal. The amendment also provided for the appointment of judges who would be present at the poling registration places. Their role would be to challenge a person who unlawfully registers or votes.
The legislation to protect the right to vote in all elections whether state, federal or local has since been enacted (“CRS Annotated Constitution,” cornell.edu). In 1907, the congress passed a law referred to as the Tillman Act. This enactment prohibited the national banks from making any contributions towards federal elections. Another act that was put in place was the 1910 corrupt practice act; it was later replaced in 1925. These laws regulated contributions towards elections and other expenditures towards federal elections.
Section 2, clause 1 of the legislation act vests the responsibility of the congress towards the establishment of voter qualification for the purpose of congress elections. Despite this, the Supreme Court held that the right for the members of the congress to vote is adopted from federal constitution. The court further expounded that the congress has the right to protect the suffrage against official and private abridgment (“CRS Annotated Constitution,” cornell.edu). The congress is mandated to provide protection to the right of an individual, in a case where a primary election is fundamental to the procedure of choice. The freedom from violence and intimidation is secured, but the bribery made to the voters, even though within the limit of the congressional power is taken not to be an interference of the rights provided by this section of the constitution.
Under this clause, the congress may claim the statutes; it has the ability to punish election officials for violation of election under the state law governing the congressional elections (“CRS Annotated Constitution,” cornell.edu). In other words, the congress is provided with the powers to regulate the time, place and means of electing members of the congress. This way, it is able to safeguard the integrity of the process. Its only limitation is the inability to provide different qualifications to an elector, other than the one offered by the states. The court has played a major role in interpreting these laws. It has gone a mile to uphold a variety of state laws adopted to ensure that all elections are orderly, free and of great honesty.
Conclusion
Constitutional annotations offer a great opportunity for easier understanding of the constitution. This is especially because of its intensive nature. Constitutional annotations provide explanations to the often short and compacted articles and clauses. Furthermore, the Supreme Court comes in place to act as a guide to the interpretation of the Constitution. This is majorly important to ensure justice to all.
Work Cited
“CRS Annotated Constitution.” cornell.edu. n.d. Web. 17 September 2014. Read More
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