Commerce Clause Question
"The Congress shall have Power ... To regulate Commerce ... among the several States....
I know it's been interpreted that way since about 1808 (not 1789), but why? Does the text actually support that interpretation and no other? Not according to William Crosskey's detailed study of word usage in the late eighteenth century (Politics and the Constitution in the History of the Unites States).
It's not as if the framers of the Constitution were unable to write, "between Citizens of different States." They used that phrase in defining the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Maybe the Antifederalists were right. Maybe the Constitution did grant the national government plenary power over commerce and much else.
comments powered by Disqus
Paul Moreno - 5/14/2009
I think their principal goal was to prevent the state obstructions and local discriminations that they experienced under the Articles of Confederation. Epstein's article is very good--"The Proper Scope of the Commerce Power," Virginia Law Review 73 (1987), 1387.
David T. Beito - 5/11/2009
The Anti-Feds were right about so many things. The Constitution framers (for all their virtues) were seeking to establish a strong national government. It makes perfect sense to trust Hamilton's interpretation, rather than those who either didn't participate in the process or had political reasons for later opposing the Federalists such as Jefferson and Madison.
- Trump Holds Wide Lead in South Carolina
- An All-or-Nothing Fight for the Supreme Court
- Did Trump Really Lose the Debate?
- Scalia’s Death Sets Off Epic Battle
- Democrats See Gift in GOP Blocking Court Nominee
- Quote of the Day
- The Nastiest GOP Debate
- Reaction to the Republican Debate
- The GOP Presidential Debate
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- Ben Carson used an apparently fake Joseph Stalin quote — and the Internet loved it
- Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges