I am wondering if President Trump has the constitutional authority to ban all remaining presidential primary elections in all the states in an effort to contain the Coronavirus outbreak?

  • @CDJB, I read that post, but it's a bit vague because it says that only Congress can postpone an election, however, it doesn't say anything about what the President may or may not be able to do in an emergency. One of the duties of the President is to do what is in the best interests of the citizens of the nation. – user255577 Mar 12 at 14:12
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    If it were to ban only primaries then this should quickly fall to a first amendment challenge, as it wouldn't be a content neutral impingement. Perhaps you mean your question to concern a more broadly construed ban? – zibadawa timmy Mar 12 at 14:45
  • @zibadawa timmy, I’m thinking that he may have the authority to include primary elections as part of a broad ban on public gatherings throughout the nation. – user255577 Mar 12 at 14:55
  • @user255577 you don't need to gather to have a primary election. Voting/campaigning can be done remotely. – bobsburner Mar 16 at 12:08

Probably not. The primaries are not under Federal jurisdiction (and in some states, they're actually run by the party and not the state).

In practical terms, the Trump line continues to be everything's fine and we'll be back to normal soon so it's hard to imagine him taking such a step (although this could change if he thought it would benefit him politically).

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