Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What it means to "regulate commerce"

by P.A. Madison (The Federalist Blog) - The federal government for years has claimed expansive powers under the authority to regulate commerce, so much, that the most innocent private activity can now come under federal control simply because it can be viewed as having an influence on "interstate commerce" (such as the wheat in your bread having come from another State). In the 1960s, Congress claimed the authority to ban discrimination in employment, public accommodations and more through the power to regulate commerce under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a press release in September of 2009 that read, in part: "[T]he Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce. Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life, from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."

Such an assertion ignores, as the evidence below will show, that the regulation of commerce by design deals solely with duties and imposts on the intercourse of trade between Nations or States, which in return had absolutely nothing to do with regulating internal industries, labor or transactions. As Thomas Jefferson put it: "To make a thing which may be bought and sold is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling. Besides, if this were an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every state, as to its external."

(Full article)

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