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.
- A New Target for Old Spies: Congress
- Antigua and Barbuda Asks Harvard University for Slavery Reparations
- Historian: Nixon DID contest the 1960 election
- Killer took selfie after stabbing historian over rare ‘Wind in the Willows’ book
- VW fires corporate historian who drew attention to wartime ties to Nazis
- British historian Sheila Lecoeur is on trial for defamation
- Jim Downs laments that Americans still aren’t being taught LGBT history
- Historian Jeremy Kuzmarov calls on Obama to pardon Ethel Rosenberg
- Garry Wills says there’s one human test we can use to decide who’s the better candidate: Trump or Clinton
- Get to Know the Semifinalists for the National Book Award