Commerce Clause


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cwo2lt
May 9, 2013, 12:43 PM
If the Commerce Clause allows Congress to ban a gun/magazine/anything, why did they pass the 18th Amendment? Could they not have just passed a law banning booze?

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tyeo098
May 9, 2013, 12:46 PM
Because they cannot regulate anything that goes on within a state.

The commerce clause ONLY applies to inter-state commerce. Banning booze that was made within a state for consumption within a state required a lot more governmental OOMPH, a Constitutional Amendment.

Its the same reason that the original GFSZA was rejected by the courts. They don't have the power to regulate stuff inside a state.

Which is why the current GFSZA reads:

ITS ILLEGAL TO POSSESS A GUN that has been in inter-state or foreign commerce ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
Actual text: (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
Because they do not have the power to regulate items that have never been in inter-state or foreign commerce.

cwo2lt
May 9, 2013, 01:26 PM
Because they cannot regulate anything that goes on within a state.

The commerce clause ONLY applies to inter-state commerce.
Because they do not have the power to regulate items that have never been in inter-state or foreign commerce.

OK. How does that explain Federal laws against MJ?

Sam1911
May 9, 2013, 01:42 PM
Actually, we've had some pretty deep conversations about this very issue that would bear reading, rather than try to reprint it all here. Here's one: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=703189

Then do a search for any thread that mentions "Wickard v. Filburn".

General Geoff
May 9, 2013, 01:55 PM
Because the FDR-packed statist supreme court didn't give the commerce clause essentially-unlimited applicability until after prohibition.


Had Wickard v. Filburn been ruled before prohibition, they needn't have bothered with a constitutional amendment.


edit; Gonzalez v. Reich (2005) was another nail in that coffin, with the caveat IIRC that if a product is made in a state and does not leave the state, AND has an easily noticeable feature identifying it as a product of that state alone, it might be beyond the purview of the commerce clause. So far the executive branch of the federal government does not see it that way. Only the USSC can really sort out whether such a product would be immune to federal law, so long as it does not leave its state of origin.

BaltimoreBoy
May 10, 2013, 07:31 PM
A twisted interpretation of the commerce clause is used to award power to the federal government that it was never intended to have. The reason they passed prohibition as an amendment was that in 1920 even Joe Schmoe knew what the constitution was supposed to mean. Today, for similar items like Obamacare, the political caste simply does what it wants.

Back when I was a kid in the 60's there was a New Deal retread named Rexford Guy Tugwell working on a project called "A new Constitution for a New Republic". Nothing ever came of it because the political class began to perfect the technique of 're-interpreting' the constitution out of existence without the need for messy processes like passing amendments.

"The U.S. Supreme Court, in recent cases, has attempted to define limits on the Congress's power to regulate commerce among the several states. While Justice Thomas has maintained that the original meaning of "commerce" was limited to the "trade and exchange" of goods and transportation for this purpose, some have argued that he is mistaken and that "commerce" originally included any "gainful activity." Having examined every appearance of the word "commerce" in the records of the Constitutional Convention, the ratification debates, and the Federalist Papers, Professor Barnett finds no surviving example of this term being used in this broader sense. In every appearance where the context suggests a specific usage, the narrow meaning is always employed. "

http://www.bu.edu/rbarnett/Original.htm

Claymore1500
May 10, 2013, 08:28 PM
Here is the part that I personally cannot seem to wrap my head around.

When you read the "Commerce clause" referring to "Article 1, section 8, paragraph 3. Which as far as I know, Is "The clause". It gives the feds the power to regulate "commerce" (A verb) describing "The act of commerce"or "Trade", It grants NO power to regulate "Goods" (A noun) describing "Products" manufactured, grown, mined,or refined.

It does not (as far as I know) give the gov't any power to tell anyone what they can or cannot do with these products, or which products we MUST buy, or for that matter, which products we cannot buy (Legal to own products).

Admittedly, I may not be up to speed on all of the court cases from the passed, but "The clause" says what it says, period, liberal interpretations be ******.

The Constitution of these United states, Is not "Burger king, you can't just have it your way.

Cosmoline
May 10, 2013, 08:47 PM
why did they pass the 18th Amendment?

Because the Supreme Court at that time would have blocked an ordinary federal law attempting to ban the sale of alcohol. It was far more conservative in the teens and 20's than it was after FDR got through with it. Now the feds operate under a completely different set of court decisions permitting them virtually limitless leeway to pass laws under the CC. States, in contrast, are not restricted by enumerated powers but have general police powers the feds have never been officially given. And many had already banned booze prior to the 18th. But of course just as with gun control if you don't like one state you can move to another pretty easily.

beatledog7
May 10, 2013, 08:48 PM
If the commerce clause, in loose conjunction with the general welfare clause, was meant to give Congress the kinds of powers it and SCOTUS now claim it does, the drafting of the rest of the Constitution would have been utterly unnecessary. The broad powers "allowed" by these two phrases would have rendered any enumeration of specific powers moot, since the powers the enumerations grant would have already been covered by the two clauses. There would have been no reason to write anything more than, "Congress can do anything it wants."

Since the specific powers are enumerated, we must conclude that the two clauses were definitely not meant to be read so broadly.

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