Another of my basic research projects is to read all of the Annual Messages/State of the Union Addresses of the Presidents. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson broke with precedent by delivering his Annual Message as a speech to a Joint Session of Congress (as opposed to a written statement). Here is a fascinating section of that speech:
I turn to a subject which I hope can be handled promptly and without serious controversy of any kind. I mean the method of selecting nominees for the Presidency of the United States. I feel confident that I do not misinterpret the wishes or the expectations of the country when I urge the prompt enactment of legislation which will provide for primary elections throughout the country at which the voters of the several parties may choose their nominees for the Presidency without the intervention of nominating conventions. I venture the suggestion that this legislation should provide for the retention of party conventions, but only for the purpose of declaring and accepting the verdict of the primaries and formulating the platforms of the parties; and I suggest that these conventions should consist not of delegates chosen for this single purpose, but of the nominees for Congress, the nominees for vacant seats in the Senate of the United States, the Senators whose terms have not yet closed, the national committees, and the candidates for the Presidency themselves, in order that platforms may be framed by those responsible to the people for carrying them into effect.
My main question about this is whether Wilson’s proposal would be constitutional. Could Congress enact a law dictating who the delegates to the party conventions would be? Could Congress require states to hold presidential primaries instead of caucuses?