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Founders / Framers: Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1

Hamilton averred that this would also be a protection against a state acting contrary to federal interests:

Founders / Framers: Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1

Founders / Framers Minute 13:
Article 1, Section 4, 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 the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.”

by Cornel Rasor

The main concern revolved around the idea that if the states were in charge of the federal election process, disgruntled states might withhold or massively alter an election in order to hamstring congress. Opponents were concerned about several things.

First, congress, having what seems to be the final say, might occasion laws that kept favored members in office. Second, congress might make such onerous regulations as to make it very difficult to vote. In anti-federalist #4, Brutus alleged that this clause transferred the right of election itself from the people to their “rulers”.

In Federalist 59, Alexander Hamilton acknowledges that giving the state legislatures such power might be a problem but it is better in the long run in framing a federalist relationship:

“So far as that construction may expose the Union to the possibility of injury from the State legislatures, it is an evil; but it is an evil which could not have been avoided without excluding the States, in their political capacities, wholly from a place in the organization of the national government. If this had been done, it would doubtless have been interpreted into an entire dereliction of the federal principle; and would certainly have deprived the State governments of that absolute safeguard which they will enjoy under this provision.”

Further, in the same paper, with the Senate chosen by state legislatures, Hamilton averred that this would also be a protection against a state acting contrary to federal interests:

“I shall not deny, that there is a degree of weight in the observation, that the interests of each State, to be represented in the federal councils, will be a security against the abuse of a power over its elections in the hands of the State legislatures.”

Unfortunately the 17th amendment, which ended the state legislatures appointing their Senators and gave the choice to the popular vote, vexed this system and moved the country closer to a democracy, a form of government the founders hated.

Still concerned about the possibility of the Congress interfering in elections, an amendment was introduced in August, 1789. Debate was lively but the measure failed 23 ayes to 28 noes. The wording of the amendment would have given the states much more influence in this area of elections:

“Congress shall not alter, modify, or interfere in the times, places, or manner of holding elections of Senators, or Representatives, except when any State shall refuse or neglect, or be unable, by invasion or rebellion, to make such election.”

Upon the failure of the amendment the wording of the clause was finalized as we have it today.

Founders / Framers Minute 1: Article I, Section 1   Congressional Powers

Founders / Framers Minute 2: Article I, Section 2, Clause 1-2   Composing the House of Representatives

Founders / Framers Minute 3: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a   Representation vs. Taxation

Founders / Framers Minute 4: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3b   Representation a Function of Population

Founders / Framers Minute 5: Article I, Section 2, Clause 4   Filling Vacancies

Founders / Framers Minute 6: Article I, Section 2, Clause 5   Power of Impeachment

Founders / Framers Minute 7: Article I, Section 3, Clause 1   Composing the Senate

Founders / Framers Minute 8: Article I, Section 3, Clause 2   Senate Terms

Founders / Framers Minute 9: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 3   Age of Senators

Founders / Framers Minute 10: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 4   President of the Senate

Founders / Framers Minute 11: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 5   Senate Officers

Founders / Framers Minute 12: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6-7   Impeachment


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2 Comments on Founders / Framers: Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1

  1. “Unfortunately the 17th amendment, which ended the state legislatures appointing their Senators and gave the choice to the popular vote, vexed this system and moved the country closer to a democracy, a form of government the founders hated.”

    The “Founders” who supposedly “hated” democracy were the Nationalists, like Hamilton, who hid behind a federalist label, a false label, because they were Nationalists, and they were not Federalists. Nationalists wanted absolute power over all the people, meaning the Nationalists wanted dictatorial power over and above the whole people. Nationalists were therefore not republicans, they were, in a word, Aristocrats, or to use a modern term: Elite.

    Nationalists hate something, and as is true with all the deceptive words used by deceptive people, the term “democracy” is also twisted into a counterfeit, opposite, meaning. They, the Nationalists, the Aristocrats, the Elite, they, as a small segment of a population, a “Special Interest,” hate the loss of their absolute power over the whole body of people, and therefore they hate the law of the land, which is the common law, which includes independent grand jury investigations investigating Nationalists, Aristocrats, the Elite, and “Special Interests,” so as to put those suspected of “bad behavior,” “prosecutorial misconduct,” “human trafficking,” “treason,” and other disturbances of the peace, on trial by the whole people as one, which is the law of the land, which is trial by jury, which is trial by the country, which is expressly not trial by the government, trial by the Nationalists, trial by the Aristocrats, trial by the Elite, and trial by Special Interests.

    That power to hold everyone, including the Nationalists, to account, through due process due everyone without exception, is what the so-called Elite hate, and so they call what they hate by a different name, they call the law of the land, due process, trial by jury, the real common law, a name that divides so as to conquer, a deceptive name, a counterfeit name, and that false meaning, deceptive name chosen by the Nationalists is “democracy.”

    The Conviction Factory, The Collapse of America’s Criminal Courts, by Roger Roots
    Page 40
    Private Prosecutors
    “For decades before and after the Revolution, the adjudication of criminals in America was governed primarily by the rule of private prosecution: (1) victims of serious crimes approached a community grand jury, (2) the grand jury investigated the matter and issued an indictment only if it concluded that a crime should be charged, and (3) the victim himself or his representative (generally an attorney but sometimes a state attorney general) prosecuted the defendant before a petit jury of twelve men. Criminal actions were only a step away from civil actions – the only material difference being that criminal claims ostensibly involved an interest of the public at large as well as the victim. Private prosecutors acted under authority of the people and in the name of the state – but for their own vindication. The very term “prosecutor” meant criminal plaintiff and implied a private person. A government prosecutor was referred to as an attorney general and was a rare phenomenon in criminal cases at the time of the nation’s founding. When a private individual prosecuted an action in the name of the state, the attorney general was required to allow the prosecutor to use his name – even if the attorney general himself did not approve of the action.
    Private prosecution meant that criminal cases were for the most part limited by the need of crime victims for vindication. Crime victims held the keys to a potential defendant’s fate and often negotiated the settlement of criminal cases. After a case was initiated in the name of the people, however, private prosecutors were prohibited from withdrawing the action pursuant to private agreement with the defendant. Court intervention was occasionally required to compel injured crime victims to appear against offenders in court and “not to make bargains to allow [defendants] to escape conviction, if they…repair the injury.”

    That is what the Nationalists hated, they did not hate democracy, in fact the Nationalists employ the so-called Angry Mob as a tool to keep people fighting against each other, and they do so by expending the loot they steal by spreading false information, now known as fake news, so as to misinform, misdirect, propagandize, and ultimately control the so-called Angry Mob.

    To the citizens of the United States by Thomas Paine
    November 15, 1802

    “But a faction, acting in disguise, was rising in America; they had lost sight of first principles. They were beginning to contemplate government as a profitable monopoly, and the people as hereditary property. It is, therefore, no wonder that the “Rights of Man” was attacked by that faction, and its author continually abused. But let them go on; give them rope enough and they will put an end to their own insignificance. There is too much common sense and independence in America to be long the dupe of any faction, foreign or domestic.
    But, in the midst of the freedom we enjoy, the licentiousness of the papers called Federal (and I know not why they are called so, for they are in their principles anti-federal and despotic), is a dishonor to the character of the country, and an injury to its reputation and importance abroad. They represent the whole people of America as destitute of public principle and private manners.”

    That Special Interest Group, hiding behind the name Federalist, used specific forms of deception, in order to remove the law of the land, trial by jury, the common law, due process, that afforded the people as a whole the power to indict, and try, those members of those Special Interest Groups.

    Your ancestors were fooled, why do you keep on fooling yourselves now?

  2. The “Founders” here in this report were not the people behind the 1789 crime of usurpation. If that is not clear to anyone, then they are demonstrably ignorant. I don’t want to be anything but accurate when engaging in equitable information exchanges on a public forum: but I am often too something or other.

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