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.
- Previously untouched 600BC palace discovered under shrine demolished by Isil in Mosul
- Slate reveals that despite our apology, nothing’s been done to help Guatemalans infected in an experiment worse than Tuskegee
- Russian government website notes that game maker has sent “Secret Hitler” to every US senator
- Scholars debate the future of NATO
- Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War
- James Oliver Horton remembered as a pioneer for African American research
- Theodore Lowi, Zealous Scholar of Presidents and Liberalism, Dies at 85
- What LT. Gen. H.R. McMaster will offer as new national security adviser
- Fareed Zakaria hails historian Nigel Hamilton’s series as the memoir FDR never had the opportunity to write
- French Historian Says He Was Threatened With Deportation at Houston Airport