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Assuming for the sake of argument that a national referendum could take place regarding the enactment of a Federal law, the result of the referendum would have no real effect on approving or disapproving such legislation since the Constitution under Article I, §1 provides that: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." Only Congress has the power to enact legislation and to approve and disapprove of legislation under our republican form of government since all legislative powers are vested in it. In Phillips v. Payne, 92 U.S. 130 (1875), the United States Supreme Court suggested that, absent a constitutional amendment, a Congressional effort to place proposed legislation before the people for their approval through a referenduin would constitute an unlawful delegation of power.


Legislative Attorney,
American Law Division.

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