Re: Commerce Clause

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Karen: It’s even worse than that. In the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn, the Supreme Court rationalized the use of the commerce clause to regulate a wheat farmer growing wheat on his own land to be used on his own land. In what has emerged as one of the broadest extensions of commerce clause powers, the court ruled that “the stimulation of commerce is a use of the regulatory function quite as definitely as prohibitions or restrictions thereon.” It went even further to say “that an activity is of local character may help in a doubtful case to determine whether Congress intended to reach it.” (Translation: Congress is the judge of its own powers under the Constitution!)

This is but one example of how the courts have given expansive interpretations to governmental powers, and very restrictive definitions of individual liberties. A quick check of the Ninth Amendment — that “catch-all” part of the so-called “Bill of Rights” — illustrates the government’s preference for its own powers over the liberties of people. It’s a problem that inheres in creating a constitution and then giving to the government the power to interpret its meaning!

10:14 am on October 31, 2009