Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

Read the Commerce Clause in the Light cast by the other Parts of our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

The parts of our federal Constitution are so interrelated that it is impossible to understand a single clause therein without considering all of the other provisions of our Constitution.

Article I, §8, clause 3, US Constitution, states:

“The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

The original intent of the power to regulate commerce “among the several States” is proved here: Does the “interstate commerce” clause authorize Congress to force us to buy health insurance? That paper proves that the primary purpose of the power is to prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.

But recently, some have asserted that since “foreign Nations”, “the several States”, and “the Indian Tribes” are grouped together in the same clause, it necessarily follows that Congress’ power to “regulate commerce” with each of them is identical. And since Congress has broad powers over foreign commerce, they conclude that Congress has those same broad powers over interstate commerce, and may lawfully, for example, ban the movement of physical goods [such as firearms] across state lines.

So let’s look at that clause in the Light cast by the rest of the Constitution.

Three totally different and separate entities

Three entities are listed in the same clause at Art. I, §8, cl. 3; but we may not properly conclude that the extent and nature of the regulation permitted over the three entities is the same. That’s because each entity has a distinctly different status, and is treated accordingly in the Constitution.

The several States

The States are the sovereign entities which created the federal government when they ratified the Constitution. At Art. I, §10, the States agreed that they would not individually exercise the power to make commercial and trade treaties with foreign Nations; but would exercise that power collectively by delegating to the “creature” of the Constitution – the national government – the power to make such Treaties (Art. II, §2, cl. 2).

The States have a high status: They are The Members of the Federation the States created when they ratified our Constitution. The federal government is merely the “creature” of the constitutional compact the States made with each other when they ratified the Constitution, and is completely subject to its terms.

Foreign Nations

Various provisions are relevant to the power the States delegated to Congress respecting commerce with foreign Nations:

◊ Pursuant to its treaty making power granted at Art. II, §2, cl. 2, the United States may make treaties with foreign nations addressing a great many commercial and trade matters, territorial and fishing waters [our ships won’t fish within X miles of your shoreline, etc.], inspections of products, mutual assistance to merchant ships in distress at sea, assistance to each Party’s sick merchant seamen, etc.

◊ Art. I, §8, cl. 1, grants to Congress the power to levy “Duties, Imposts [tariffs on imports] and Excises”. As they did with the infamous Tariff Act of 1828, Congress has the power to shut down imports from foreign Nations by imposing exorbitant tariffs.

◊ Art. I, §8, cl. 10, grants to Congress power to define Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations. Congress may ban or restrict commerce with foreign nations who fail to rein in their countrymen who are operating pirate ships or violate the Law of Nations.

◊ Art. I, §8, cl. 11, grants to Congress the power to declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water. Congress may restrict or ban commerce with warring foreign nations and their allies, and make rules about seizing their cargo (“bounty”).

◊ Imports and exports are unloaded and loaded at dockyards over which the federal government has (pursuant to Art. I, §8, next to last clause) exclusive legislative authority. Congress may make whatever inspection laws need to be made to protect us from contaminated imports – such as agricultural products infested with bugs or diseases, other contaminated products, etc. 1

So Congress’ power to “regulate commerce with foreign Nations” is exercised by means of Treaties the United States makes with foreign Nations, and by means of Laws made by Congress. In the course of exercising this delegated power, the Legislative and Executive Branches have broad authority to restrict or ban commerce with foreign Nations, and determine its parameters.

Congress has no such powers over the Member States.2

Indian Tribes

In Federalist No. 24 (10th & 11th paras), Hamilton speaks of the necessity of keeping small garrisons on our Western frontier which are necessary to protect “against the ravages and depredations of the Indians”; and that some of these posts (garrisons) “will be keys to the trade with the Indian nations.”

In Federalist No. 42 (11th para), Madison speaks of the unsettled status of Indians and says this has been a question of frequent perplexity and contention in the federal councils.

 

So! It is a clear misconstruction of Art. I, §8, cl. 3 to assert that Congress has the same power to regulate commerce between the Member States that it does to regulate commerce with foreign Nations and the Indian Tribes.

James Madison’s letter of February 13, 1829 to J.C. Cabell

In Madison’s letter of February 13, 1829 to J.C. Cabell, he warns that the claim that the power to regulate commerce with the three entities is identical, is superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

He then says, as to the power to “regulate Commerce among the States”:

“… it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse* of the power by the importing States, in taxing the non-importing; and was intended as a negative & preventive provision agst. injustice among the States themselves; rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Govt. in which alone however the remedial power could be lodged. And it will be safer to leave the power with this key to it, than to extend to it all the qualities & incidental means belonging to the power over foreign commerce…” [italics added]

*see the Federalist No 42.”

So Madison warns that we better stick with the original understanding; and not interpret the clause to mean that the federal government has the same broad power over interstate commerce that it has over commerce with the foreign Nations and with the Indian Tribes.

Endnotes:

1 The fed gov’t can’t lawfully ban imports of guns and arms because the 2nd Amendment prohibits the fed gov’t from infringing our right to keep and bear arms. Furthermore, a disarmed citizenry is inconsistent with Congress’ obligation, imposed by Art. I, §8, cls 15 & 16, to provide for the arming and training of the Militia of the several States. To see what it was like when we elected to Congress people who knew and obeyed our Constitution, read the Militia Act of 1792. But until We The People learn our Constitution, we will continue to elect ignoramuses to Congress. We cannot be ignorant and free – and you can’t see that a candidate is ignorant unless you are knowledgeable.

2 Domestically, Congress has the power to impose excise taxes on specific articles in commerce. For a discussion of “imposts”, “excises” and the Whiskey Rebellion, see The Plot to Impose a National Sales Tax or Value Added Tax.

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September 10, 2019 Posted by | Commerce clause, Creature of the Compact, Interstate Commerce Clause | , , , , | 13 Comments

We Don’t Need an Article V Convention to “Clarify” Our Constitution!

By Publius Huldah

Those pushing for the so-called “convention of states” 1 say we must amend the Constitution because the people in Washington “don’t understand it”.

Rubbish!

Our Constitution is so simple that Alexander Hamilton expected us to be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority”; and he said the people are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).

Well then, if our Constitution is something The People are expected to know and enforce; is it plausible to assert that the Representatives we send to Washington – and even supreme Court Justices – are incapable of understanding it?

Justices on the supreme Court have been perverting our Constitution for a long time. Do they do this because they are so stupid they don’t understand our Constitution? Of course not! They violate our Constitution because they claim the right to impose their own personal views on the rest of us.

As every American over the age of 10 should know, the powers our federal Constitution delegates to Congress and the President are limited & defined – they are “enumerated”.

So! Progressives on the supreme Court had to find a way to get around the limitations imposed by the enumerated powers. And they did it by perverting three clauses: the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses.

However, a quick look in The Federalist Papers shows the original intents of these clauses. We don’t need a convention to draft amendments showing what these clauses mean – just look it up in The Federalist! But! You don’t have to – I’ve already done it – and here it is: 2

The “interstate commerce” clause (Art. I, §8, cl. 3)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “commerce” is the buying and selling of goods.

In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (9th & 10th paras), Hamilton and Madison explain the primary purpose of the clause: To prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.

The “general welfare” clause (Preamble & Art. I, §8, cl. 1)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “welfare” as:

“2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.”

It has nothing to do with handouts, public relief, or the feds doing whatever they think is a good idea.

In Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras), Madison points out that Art. I, § 8, employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the “general phrase”. It is “error” to focus on “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; thus, to argue that the general expression provides an unlimited power is “an absurdity”.

So yes! The powers of Congress over the Country at Large really are limited primarily to those few listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 3-16.

Our Framers understood that “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a federal government of strictly limited powers. [Let that sink in.]

The “necessary and proper” clause (Art. I, §8, last clause)

This clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article”; a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power, and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  “tautology or redundancy” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd & 3rd paras). Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, under his discussion of the SIXTH class of powers).

So the clause permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the Constitution.  No additional substantive powers are granted by the clause.

Learn the enumerated powers delegated to Congress & to the President. With our Votes & Nullification of unconstitutional acts, let’s enforce the Constitution we already have. Don’t let others change or replace it! PH

Endnotes:

1 The term, “convention of states”, is deliberately deceptive. The only convention for proposing amendments is the one at Article V of our Constitution – and Congress has the power to “call” it. And since Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, vests in Congress all powers “necessary and proper” to carry out its power to “call” the convention, Congress decides all organizational issues, such as, the number and selection process for delegates.

But once the delegates (whoever they turn out to be) are seated, neither Congress nor the States have any control over them. The delegates can do whatever they want. They can propose a new Constitution with a new method of ratification. Here are two Constitutions already waiting in the wings: The “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America”, which you can read about from their own website HERE and from JBS HERE; or the “Constitution for the Newstates of America”, which you can read HERE. Do you think that any of the delegates (remember, you have no idea who they will be), can be bribed to introduce and vote for one of these proposed constitutions?

Disabuse yourself of the false notion that “the States have to ratify anything the convention does”. That is the second biggest lie ever told: The proposed “Constitution for the Newstates of America” is ratified by a Referendum called by the President. The States, as political bodies, never get the opportunity to reject it – they are dissolved and replaced by regions answerable directly to the new national government.

The ONLY precedent we have for an “amendments convention” is the federal convention of 1787 which drafted & proposed our existing Constitution.

HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

The delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress (and from their respective States) and wrote an entirely new Constitution – the one we now have. Furthermore, whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation (LINK) required all of the then 13 States to ratify Amendments to the Articles; Article VII of the new Constitution required only 9 of the 13 States to ratify the new Constitution.

Do you see?

2 Our People don’t have a clue about what these 3 clauses mean. So YOU learn the original intent. On social media, start teaching that original intent to The People. Help turn on the lights in their minds. PH

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September 21, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, General Welfare Clause, Guardians of the Constitution, Interstate Commerce Clause, Necessary and Proper clause | , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Why Congress May Lawfully Require Citizens to Buy Guns & Ammunition, But Not To Submit To Obamacare.

By Publius Huldah.

Harvard Law School was embarrassed recently when one of its graduates, the putative President of the United States, demonstrated that he was unaware that the supreme Court has constitutional authority to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional.1

And after reading a recent paper by Harvard law professor Einer Elhauge, one wonders whether the academic standards (or is it the moral standards?) of that once great school have collapsed.

Professor Elhauge says in “If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back Them?” (The New Republic, April 13, 2012), that Congress may force us to buy health insurance   because in 1792, our Framers required all male citizens to buy guns; and in 1798 required ship owners using U.S. ports (dock-Yards) to pay a fee to the federal government in order to fund hospitals for sick or disabled seamen at the U.S. ports.

Oh! What tangled webs are woven when law professors write about Our Constitution!

I have already proved that Art. I, Sec. 8, next to last clause (which grants to Congress “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over dock-Yards and the other federal enclaves) is what authorizes Congress to assess the fee from ship owners who use the federal dock-Yards. See: Merchant Seamen in 1798, Health Care on Federal Enclaves, and Really Silly Journalists.

Now I will show you where the Constitution grants authority to Congress to require adult citizens to get armed!

The Constitution Authorizes Congress To Require Citizens to Buy Guns and Ammunition.

In 1792, Congress passed “An Act more effectually to provide for the National Defense by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States”.2 This Act required all able-bodied male citizens (except for federal officers and employees) between the ages of 18 and under 45 to enroll in their State Militia, get a gun and ammunition, and train.

Does Congress have authority in the Constitution to require this?  Yes!  Article I, Sec. 8, clause 16 says Congress has the Power:

“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;” [boldface mine]

That is what authorizes Congress to require adult male citizens to buy guns and ammunition.

As Section 1 of the Militia Act of 1792 reflects, the “Militia” is the citizenry!  Our Framers thought it such a fine idea that The People be armed, that they required it by law!  See, e.g., the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46 where James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, speaks of how wonderful it is that the American People are armed – and why they need to be. 3

So!  In the case of Congress’ requiring adult citizens to buy guns and ammunition, Congress has specific authority under Art. I, Sec. 8, cl.16.

In the case of Congress’ requiring ship owners who use the federal dock-Yards to pay the fees to fund the marine hospitals at the dock-Yards, Congress is granted by Art. I, Sec.8, next to last clause, a general legislative power over the federal enclaves, such as dock-Yards.4

But for the country at large, Congress has no broad grant of legislative powers. There, Congress’ powers are few, limited, and strictly defined.  See: Congress’ Enumerated Powers.

Now, let us look at obamacare.

What Clause in The Constitution Authorizes Congress to Force Us into Obamacare?

Nothing! Over the Country at large (as opposed to the federal enclaves), Congress has only enumerated powers.  These enumerated powers are listed in Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 1-16 and in the Amendments addressing civil and voting rights. No enumerated power authorizes the federal government to force us into obamacare.

So, Professor Elhauge introduces a nasty bit of poison.  He says:

“Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases.”

Do you see what he is doing? Surely he knows that obamacare is not authorized by any enumerated power.  So!  He asserts that nothing in the commerce clause says Congress can’t force us into obamacare.  He thus seeks to pervert Our Constitution from one of enumerated powers only, to an abomination which says the federal government can do whatever it pleases as long as the commerce clause doesn’t forbid it.

Furthermore, what he says is demonstrably false.  The Federalist Papers & Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention show that the purpose of the interstate commerce clause is to prevent the States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling. For actual quotes from Our Framers and irrefutable Proof that this is the purpose of the interstate commerce clause, see: “Does the Interstate Commerce Clause Authorize Congress to Force Us to Buy Health Insurance?”.

Obamacare is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted to Congress by Our Constitution. And it does much more than force us to buy medical insurance. Obamacare turns medical care over to the federal government to control. Bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services will decide who gets medical treatment and what treatment they will get; and who will be denied medical treatment. If you think the federal government is doing a great job feeling up old ladies and little children at airports, wait until they are deciding whether you get medical care or “the painkiller”.

Folks! The Time has come that we must recognize that social security and Medicare are also unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted to Congress by Our Constitution. We must confess that it is wicked to seek to live at other peoples’ expense! And when a People renounce Personal Responsibility – as we did when we embraced social security & Medicare – the federal government takes control.

Social security and Medicare are fiscally bankrupt. Obamacare, which will prevent old people from getting medical care, is the progressives’ way of dealing with the unfunded liabilities in these programs: Kill off old people by preventing them from getting medical care!

The Piper will be paid. Shall we pay him by killing off old people?

Or, shall we return to Personal Responsibility and dismantle (in an orderly fashion) the wicked, unconstitutional, and fiscally unworkable social security and Medicare programs?

Endnotes:

1 Our Framers gave us an elegant system of Checks & Balances: Each branch of the federal government has a “check” on the other two branches.  This is expressed primarily in the Oath of Office (Art. VI, cl. 3 & Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause) which requires each branch to obey the Constitution and not the other branches! The supreme Court’s check on Congress is to declare their Acts unconstitutional:   See (in addition to the Oath) Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1; Federalist No. 78 (8th -15th paras); and Marbury v. Madison (1803).

Congress’ check on the judicial branch is to impeach and remove federal judges who usurp power (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).

2 Here is the URL for the Militia Act of 1792:  Read it! And note how short it is.  http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=394

3 In “The Patriot”, Mel Gibson’s character commanded a South Carolina Militia – civilians who took up arms against the British. Everyone knew that “the Militia” was the armed citizenry – farmers, trappers, shopkeepers, clergy, etc.  It still is.

4 Attorney Hal Rounds provides fascinating additional information on this issue: “Ships will dump sick sailors wherever they may make landfall, and the locals have the burden of dealing with the victim. Their care then raises the legal right to compensation for their services, which the law of nations allows to be levied against the nation, not just the owners, of the ship.” For Mr. Round’s full comment see the Postscript of April 7, 2012 here. PH

May 3, 2012
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May 3, 2012 Posted by | Einer Elhauge, federal enclaves, Health Care, Interstate Commerce Clause, Medicare, Merchant Seamen healthcare, Militia, obamacare, Personal Responsibility, social security | , , , , | 26 Comments

A Progressive Perverts the Commerce Clause; but O’Reilly Gets it Right!

By Publius Huldah.

Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) made our Framers proud when, on March 26, 2012, he correctly explained [probably for the first time ever on TV] the genuine meaning of the interstate commerce clause.  O’Reilly’s guest was Big Government Progressive Caroline Fredrickson, Esq., of the inaptly named “American Constitution Society”.  In trying to defend obamacare, she said that our Framers intended to grant to Congress extensive powers over the “national economy”:

“When the Founding Fathers adopted the Constitution, they put in the commerce clause ah specifically so that Congress could actually regulate interstate commerce.  They envisioned a national economy, and we really have one now, and to the tune of over two trillion dollars, health care makes up a big big part of that and so it’s completely within the power of ah Congress to pass this legislation [obamacare] and to attempt to provide some reasonable regulation…”

But what she said is not true! Accordingly, O’Reilly responded:

“The interstate commerce clause was put in so individual States could not charge tariffs [for] going from one state to another.  So, for example, Pennsylvania would say to New Jersey, ‘Hey, you can’t bring in anything here from New Jersey unless you pay us 2% on it.’ ”

Bravo, O’Reilly!  That is precisely the purpose of the interstate commerce clause.  James Madison, Father of our Constitution, wrote in Federalist No. 42 (9th para):

“… A very material object of this power [to regulate interstate commerce] was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State … ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former…”

And Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 22 (4th para):

“…’ The commerce of the German empire … is in continual trammels from the multiplicity of … duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories, by means of which the … navigable rivers [of] … Germany … are rendered almost useless.’ Though the … people of this country might never permit this … to be … applicable to us, yet we may … expect, from the … conflicts of State regulations, that the citizens of each would … come to be … treated by the others in no better light …”

So!  What our Framers  said was that the purpose of the interstate commerce clause is to authorize Congress to prevent the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.1 

But Fredrickson apparently has no idea what our Framers said.  She dug deeper:

“Actually this was a major issue at stake in the adoption of the Constitution was the ability of our national government to deal with national issues and, let’s look a little bit at what’s happened in the 20th century…”

What?  Our Framers made a “major issue” of their determination to grant to Congress power over whatever it might in the future deem to be a “national issue”?

Rubbish!   What Fredrickson said is demonstrably false.  Our Framers said the exact opposite of what she represented. In Federalist No. 45 (9th para), Madison identified the “national issues” Congress would be dealing with:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people….” [boldface mine]

In Federalist No. 39 (3rd para from end):

“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects.” [boldface mine]

and in Federalist No. 14 (8th para):

“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects.…” [boldface mine]

Do you see?  Our Framers drafted a Constitution which established a Federation of Sovereign States united only for the limited purposes enumerated in the Constitution. The powers of each of the three branches of the federal government are carefully limited and defined.  See:  Congress’ enumerated powers, the President’s enumerated powers, and the Judicial Branch’s enumerated powers.  Our Constitution does not delegate general legislative powers over the Country at large to Congress!  Ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers only.  And nothing – nothing – in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to control the provision – or denial – of medical care to The People.  Thus, obamacare is altogether unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers delegated to Congress by Our Constitution.

Folks! Do not believe what you hear people saying about Our Constitution on TV or the Radio.  Most of them don’t know what they are talking about, or they are lying. Only rarely does anyone get it right as O’Reilly did. So you must check things out for yourself. And always demand Proof! PH

End Note:

1 For a more definitive explanation of the genuine meaning of the interstate commerce clause, and more irrefutable proof from primary sources, see: Does The Interstate Commerce Clause Authorize Congress To Force Us To Buy Health Insurance?  Progressives!  Read it and rebut it, if you can. PH

April 17, 2012

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April 17, 2012 Posted by | Health Care, Interstate Commerce Clause, obamacare | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Model Nullification Resolutions for State Legislatures.

The Proposed Tennessee Resolutions of 2012

PLEASE NOTE:  I have revised these model resolutions.  The revised version is better organized and reads better.   You can find the revised resolutions by clicking on the following hyperlink:

Now, How Do We Get Rid Of Obamacare?  Nullify It!

Do use the revised model for your study, instead of the one below.

The revised version – which you can find at the link – sets forth in a nutshell all one needs for a basic understanding of our Constitution – and how the supreme Court destroyed it.

As always, feel free to post your questions.  PH

Proposed by Publius Huldah.

1. Resolved, That the States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the federal government; but that, with the Constitution for the United States, they established a federal government for limited purposes only.  That they delegated to this federal government only limited and enumerated powers; and reserved, each State to itself, all remaining powers, along with the right to their own self-government.

That whenever the federal government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.

That to these Principles, each State agreed as a State, and as the Parties to the Constitution.

That the federal government is not a party to the Constitution, but is merely the creature of the Constitution; and as the mere creature, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; since that would have made the creature’s will, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers.  That as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each State has an equal right to judge for itself as to whether the creature has committed infractions, and as to the mode and measure of redress.

2. Resolved, That Art. I, Sec. 2, of the Constitution of The State of Tennessee acknowledges the Principle that the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

3. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States ordained and established a Federation of Sovereign States which united only for THE LIMITED PURPOSES enumerated in the Constitution: national defense, international commerce and relations; and domestically the creation of an uniform commercial system:  Weights & measures, patents & copyrights, a monetary system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, and mail delivery.  That the 10th  Amendment to the Constitution also declares that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

That nowhere in the Constitution of the United States was any power granted to Congress to make laws respecting agriculture, farming operations, labor and employment, or children and families; and that nowhere in the Constitution are powers over these matters prohibited to the States. These matters are altogether outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government. Therefore, power over these matters is reserved solely and exclusively to the respective States and THE PEOPLE, each within its or their own territory.

4. Resolved, That Art. I, Sec. 1 of the Constitution of the United States provides that all legislative Powers granted by that Constitution are vested in CONGRESS; therefore, Departments within the Executive Branch are forbidden to make any “rules” or “laws” of general application whatsoever.  That administrative rules promulgated by the Department of Labor, one of the Executive Departments of the federal government, set forth at 29 CFR Part 570, and which pretend to regulate child labor throughout the several States; are altogether void, and of no force,  as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, of the federal Constitution.

5. Resolved, That child laborers, including agricultural workers and children who work on family and other farms, are under the jurisdiction and protection of the Constitution and laws of the State wherein they are; that no power over them has been delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the individual States. And it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; the rules of the federal Department of Labor set forth at 29 CFR Part 570, which assume powers not delegated by the federal Constitution over child laborers, including agricultural workers and children who work on family and other farms, is not “law”, but is altogether void, and of no force.

6. Resolved, That since children and their parents or employers are under the protection of the State Constitution and laws of the State where they are; in cases of any violations of the Laws of such State, they are entitled to have their cases handled by the duly convened Courts of such State.  That transferring power of defining, prosecuting, and judging any such violations from the three branches of the State Governments to bureaucrats within one of the federal executive departments, is altogether unlawful and an intolerable usurpation of power.

7. Resolved, That the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government to the so-called “taxing”, “general welfare”, “interstate commerce”, and “necessary and proper” clauses, to the effect that these clauses bestow unlimited powers on the federal government, goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their powers by the federal Constitution. That the true and genuine meaning of those clauses is as follows:

a) The “taxing” and “general welfare” clauses:  Art. I, Sec. 8, cl.1, employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the general terms. It is “error” to focus on the “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; thus, to argue that the general expression provides “an unlimited power” is “an absurdity” (Federalist Paper No. 41, last 4 paras).

The federal Constitution declares that “the power of Congress…shall extend to certain enumerated cases.  This specification of particulars…excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended…” (Federalist No. 83, 7th para).

b) The “interstate commerce” clause: “Commerce” is the buying and selling of goods – only that and nothing more. Webster’s American Dictionary (1828) says “commerce” is:

“an interchange or mutual change of goods, wares, productions, or property of any kind, between nations or individuals… by barter, or by purchase and sale; trade; traffick… inland commerce…is the trade in the exchange of commodities between citizens of the same nation or state.”

Federalist No. 22 (4th para), Federalist No. 42 (9th  &10th  paras), Federalist No. 44 (at 2.), and Federalist No. 56  (5th & 6th paras), explain the two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause: (1) to prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling; and (2) to permit the federal government to impose duties on imports and exports, both inland and abroad.

Article I, Sec. 8, cl.1; Art. I, Sec. 9, cls. 5 & 6; and Art. I, Sec.10, cls. 2 & 3, of the federal Constitution give express effect to these two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause.

c) The “necessary and proper” clause:  This clause merely delegates to Congress the power to pass laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 3rd para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  tautology or redundancy” (No. 33, 3rd para).  Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, at 1.).

The clause merely permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the federal Constitution.  No additional substantive powers are granted by this clause.

That contrary to the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government, the federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers only:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.  The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”  (Federalist No. 45 , 9th para)

“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects….” (Federalist No. 39, 3rd para from end)

“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...” (Federalist No. 14, 8th para)

“…It merits particular attention … that the laws of the Confederacy [those made by Congress], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land…Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members [the States], will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…”[caps are Hamilton’s] (Federalist No. 27, last para).

That The Federalist Papers – and not the U.S. supreme Court – is the highest authority and evidence “of the general opinion of those who framed, and of those who accepted the Constitution of the US. on questions as to it’s genuine meaning”. The supreme Court is merely a creature of the Constitution and is completely subject to its terms; and when judges on that and lower federal courts – who serve during “good Behaviour” only (Art. III, Sec. 1, cl. 1) – usurp powers, they must be impeached and removed from office (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).

8. Resolved, That to take from the States all the powers of self-government and to transfer all powers to a general and consolidated national government, in defiance of the Constitution which was ordained and established by THE PEOPLE, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of THE PEOPLE.

Therefore this State is determined to refuse to submit to undelegated powers exercised over them by the federal government; and rejects altogether the notion that the federal government may exercise unlimited powers over them.

That in cases of an abuse of the delegated (enumerated) powers, the members of the federal government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy.

But, where powers are usurped which have not been delegated to the federal government – when the federal government acts outside of, and in defiance of, the federal Constitution by exercising powers not delegated to it by that Constitution; then a nullification of the unlawful act is the rightful remedy.

Thus every State has a natural right – which pre-dates & pre-exists the federal Constitution – to nullify of their own authority all such lawless assumptions of power within the boundaries of their State.  That without this pre-existing natural and original right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whoever in the federal government chooses to exercise tyrannical powers over them.

The States alone are The Parties to the compact; and thus are solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it.  Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch are not parties to the contract; but are merely the creatures of the compact (Federalist No. 33, 5th para).  As mere creatures, they may exercise no powers other than those enumerated powers specifically delegated to them.

9. Resolved, That matters pertaining to “labor”, “employment”, “farms”, “children” and their employers or parents, are nowhere delegated to the federal government by the federal Constitution; but are among the countless multitudes of matters reserved to the States or THE PEOPLE.

Therefore, the federal Department of Labor is itself an unlawful department, and its mere existence an affront to the Constitution; and all of the powers it exercises are usurped powers as outside the scope of the powers delegated to the federal government by our Constitution.

That if the pretended “rules” of this spurious federal Department of Labor should stand, these conclusions would flow from them; that unelected bureaucrats within the Executive Branch of the federal government may force upon The States and THE PEOPLE their own ideas of what children and their employers or parents may and may not do; that they may place any act they think proper on a list of prohibited activities, that they will send out swarms of officers to trespass upon private farms and places of business, to harass employers, children and their parents;  and then prosecute and punish violations of their pretended “rules” in their own pretended “administrative courts” with their own pretended “administrative judges”.

That the federal departments within the Executive Branch of the federal government have established a pattern of unlawfully functioning as legislators, when they write “agency rules”; as executives, when they investigate and prosecute violations of “agency rules”; and as judges and juries when they decide whether violations of their “agency rules” have occurred.  Thus the Executive Branch unlawfully functions as legislator, accuser, judge & jury, in violation of the Constitution and of the Principles of Separation of Power and of Checks and Balances.

To this abomination is added the additional affront that the objects of these pretended “rules” are altogether outside the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government in our Constitution.

That in this way, those within the Executive Branch of the federal government are sweeping away all the barriers of our Constitution; and that no ramparts now remain between their unbridled and insatiable lust for power over THE PEOPLE except for the several States.

10. Resolved, That if the States do not now resist all such blatantly unlawful usurpations of power, THE PEOPLE of their States will be delivered into abject slavery subject to the unbridled control of whosoever occupies the office of President.  Our Representatives in Congress have shirked their constitutional obligation to support the Constitution (Art. VI, cl. 3), by acquiescing in the blatant usurpations by the Executive Branch; and  have failed in their duty to impeach and remove those within the Executive Branch who usurp powers (Federalist No. 66, 2nd para, and No. 77, last para).  That the supreme Court long ago took the side of those who seek to exercise unlimited control over the States and THE PEOPLE; and that Congress has failed in their duty to impeach and remove federal judges who usurp powers (Federalist No. 81, 8th para).

That pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3 of our federal Constitution, all State legislators, State Officers and State Judges take a solemn Oath to support our federal Constitution. Therefore, they are bound to protect THE PEOPLE of their States from the usurpations of the federal government whose clear object is the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the States and the People.

That our Framers anticipated the dangers we now face and provided wise counsel for such a time as this.  Federalist No. 28 (last 5 paras) states that when “the representatives of the people betray their constituents”, the people have no recourse but to exert “that original right of self-defense” [The Declaration of Independence, 2nd para], against “the usurpations of the national rulers” (5th para from end).

That in a Federation of States united under a federal government for only limited purposes,

“…the people… are…the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general [federal] government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress…” (4th para from end)

Thus, THE STATE LEGISLATURES are the ultimate bulwark of The People and The Ultimate Human Protectors of our Constitutional Republic:

“It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men, as of the people at large. The legislatures will have better means of information. They can discover the danger at a distance; and possessing all the organs of civil power, and the confidence of the people, they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community. They can readily communicate with each other in the different States, and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.”  (3rd para from end)

The last paragraph of Federalist No. 28 recognizes that when the federal government seeks

“… a despotism over the great body of the people … [the people] are in a situation, through the medium of their State governments, to take measures for their own defense…”

11. Resolved, That because men may not be trusted with power, the federal Constitution fixed the limits to which, and no further, the federal government may go.  Would we be wise if we permit the federal government to destroy the limits the Constitution places upon its powers? Would we be wise if we permit unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Departments of the federal government to regulate every aspect of our lives?

That if those who administer the federal government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by the federal Constitution, by disregarding the limits on its powers set forth therein, then annihilation of the State Governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated  government, will be the inevitable consequence.

That the several States, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of infractions to the federal Constitution; and that nullification by those sovereign States of all unauthorized acts of the federal government is the rightful remedy.

THEREFORE, this State, recurring to its natural rights in matters outside the scope of the powers delegated to the federal government, declares these acts void, and of no force, and will take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the federal government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shalt be exercised within this State.

Notes:

1. The above is patterned on the relevant portions of The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, written by Thomas Jefferson in response to the alien and sedition acts passed by Congress which purported to grant to the President tyrannical powers with respect to aliens & “seditious” words.

2. These proposed Resolutions focus on administrative “rules” made by a Department within the Executive Branch of the federal government. This Model may be easily adapted to address acts of Congress which are outside the scope of its enumerated powers; Executive Orders which are outside the scope of the President’s enumerated powers; and supreme Court opinions which exceed their enumerated powersand disregard the federal Constitution, such as their lawless rulings banning public expressions of the Faith of Our Fathers and misapplying Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment in order to undermine the morals of the People and to destroy the residuary sovereignity of The States.

3. Several attorneys, historians, and others who claim special knowledge on this subject have asserted that States have no right to nullify anything the federal government does; that the States and The People must submit to the federal government no matter what it does; that only the federal government may question the federal government; thatthe federal government created by the Constitution is the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; and the opinion of five supreme Court judges, not the Constitution, is the sole measure of its powers.

Such people may not understand the distinction between abuses of delegated powers (e.g., unwise bankruptcy laws – Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 4), for which election of better Representatives is the answer; and usurpations of powers which have not been delegated and are thus outside the lawful reach of the federal government (e.g., obamacare), for which nullification is the proper answer. When any branch of the federal government steps outside of the Constitution to make laws or “rules” or issue “opinions” which exceed their delegated powers; the States must resort to those original rights which pre-date & pre-exist Our Constitution to nullify such usurpations by the federal government of undelegated powers.

Such people also do not seem to understand our Founding Principles: Our Declaration of Independence says:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …”  (2nd para)

In that one paragraph, we learn the five foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic:

  • Our Rights are unalienableand come from God;
  • The purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given Rights;
  • Civil government gets its powers from THE PEOPLE;
  • Civil government is legitimate only when it stays within the powers WE delegated to it; and
  • When civil government becomes destructive of the purposes for which WE created it, WE may throw it off.

The Constitution is the formal expression of our Consent for the federal government to exist; and it is our formal statement of which specific powers WE agreed to delegate to the three branches of that government. Look atthe opening words:

“WE THE PEOPLE … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The federal government operates with our consent only when it restricts itself to the powers WE delegated to it – when it obeys the Constitution. When it exercises usurped powers which have not been delegated to it, it becomes illegitimate. 

When the federal government loses its legitimacy – as it now has – it is the sworn duty of the States, pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3, of our Constitution, to resist.

4. Others who claim special knowledge on this subject insist that a single State may not nullify any act of the federal government; that only a majority of the States acting in concert may do so.

But they overlook the nature of the laws protested in the Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions. Those Resolutions addressed laws made by Congress which purported to grant to the President certain dictatorial powers and jurisdiction over “aliens” and “seditious words”. The States have no means of stopping the President from enforcing such laws since the President has the raw power to send out armed thugs to arrest people by night; and then to prosecute, convict, & execute them in secret tribunals and chambers. The States may object – but they can’t stop it. The supreme Court may denounce it, but can’t stop it. Only Congress can put an end to it by impeaching & removing such a usurping President (Federalist No. 66, 2nd para & No. 77, last para).

But when Congress by means of a law (which is outside the scope of its delegated powers); or the President by means of an executive order (which is outside the scope of his delegated powers); or federal executive departments by means of administrative rules (which they are altogether prohibited by Art. I, Sec. 1 from making); or the supreme Court by means of opinions which contradict Our Constitution; purport to require THE STATES to do something, or stop doing something, then of course THE STATES – on an individual basis – have both the POWER and the DUTY (imposed by their Art. VI, cl. 3 Oaths of Office) to nullify such usurpatious acts within the boundaries of their States.   The proper battle cry in such events is, “Not in my state!”

Do you see? PH
Posted March 13, 2012

Postscript Added March 15, 2012:

The federal government is not God.  It is merely our “creature”. We The People created the federal government when We ordained and established Our Constitution. And when We enumerated the powers We delegated to each branch of the federal government, We told the federal government what We were giving it permission to do.

But we have now come to believe that the federal government may do whatever it wants; and we must obey it.  And because we have believed this for so long, a totalitarian fascist dictatorship is right now being imposed on us.

So what should we do?  Revolution and bloodshed? No!  There is a better way, and our Framers show us:  On behalf of The People of their States, The State Legislatures must now resort to that original right of self-defense which pre-exists & pre-dates The Constitution; and must nullify those acts of the federal government which are outside the scope of the powers We delegated to it in Our Constitution.

The Model Resolutions  set forth the Authorities on which they are based, so that State Legislators may propose them in their State Legislatures with complete confidence that Our Framers “have their backs”. PH

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March 13, 2012 Posted by | 10th Amendment, Administrative Law, Checks and Balances, Declaration of Independence, Department of Labor, Elastic clause, General Welfare Clause, Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Necessary and Proper clause, Nullification, Oath of Office, Resistance to tyranny, Rulemaking by Executive Agencies, separation of powers, States Retained Powers, States Rights, Tennessee Constitution, Tenth Amendment, The Tennessee Resolutions, Usurpations of power | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

DOES THE “INTERSTATE COMMERCE” CLAUSE AUTHORIZE CONGRESS TO FORCE US TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE?

By Publius Huldah

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News recently asked attorneys Megyn Kelly and Lis Wiehl whether Congress has authority under the Constitution to require us to buy health insurance. Wiehl said Congress has the power under the “interstate commerce” clause; but Kelly said it would take “days and weeks of research” to answer the question.

Let us see if we can walk through this question to the answer in five minutes. Article I, §8, clause 3, U.S. Constitution, says,

“The Congress shall have Power…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

What does “regulate Commerce among the several States” mean?

First: What is “commerce”? Because words change meaning throughout time [“gay” once meant “jovial & lighthearted”], we must consult an old dictionary. Webster’s American Dictionary (1828) defines commerce as:

“…an interchange or mutual change of goods, wares, productions, or property of any kind, between nations or individuals… by barter, or by purchase and sale; trade; traffick… inland commerce…is the trade in the exchange of commodities between citizens of the same nation or state.”

So!  “Commerce” is the buying and selling of goods.

Now, we must find out what “regulate Commerce among the several States” means. Two readily available authorities tell us:  The Federalist Papers, written during 1787-1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, in order to explain the Constitution to the People and induce them to ratify it; and The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 kept by James Madison.

These authorities prove that the purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause are (1) to prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling; and (2) to permit the federal government to impose duties on imports and exports, both inland and abroad.

In Federalist No. 22 (4th  para), Hamilton says:

“The interfering…regulations of some States…have… given just cause of…complaint to others, and…if not restrained by a national control, would be multiplied… till they became… serious sources of animosity and… impediments to the intercourse between the different parts of the Confederacy. ‘The commerce of the German empire…is in continual trammels from the multiplicity of…duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories, by means of which the…navigable rivers [of]…Germany…are rendered almost useless.’  Though the…people of this country might never permit this…to be… applicable to us, yet we may…expect, from the…conflicts of State regulations, that the citizens of each would…come to be…treated by the others in no better light…”

In Federalist No. 42 (9th para), Madison says:

“…A very material object of this power [to regulate commerce] was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State…ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former…”

See also Federalist No. 44 (8th para) and Federalist No. 56 (6th para), to the same effect.

Madison’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 show:

Thursday, August 16, 1787:

“…Mr. Madison. 1. the power of taxing exports is proper in itself, and as the States cannot with propriety exercise it separately, it ought to be vested in them collectively…3. it would be unjust to the States whose produce was exported by their neighbours, to leave it subject to be taxed by the latter. This was a grievance which had already filled [New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and N. Carolina] with loud complaints, as it related to imports, and they would be equally authorized by taxes by the States on exports…”

See also Tuesday, August 21, 1787 for Mr. Ellsworth’s comment that the power of regulating trade between the States will protect them against each other, and Tuesday, August 28, 1787 for Gouverneur Morris’ comment that the power to regulate trade between the States was necessary to prevent the Atlantic States from taxing the Western States.

So! The evidence is ample, clear and unambiguous!  Furthermore, five clauses in the Constitution: Art. I, §8, cl.1; Art. I, § 9, cl.5; Art. I, § 9, cl.6; Art. I, §10, cl.2; & Art. I, §10, cl.3, give express effect to these two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause.

The clause is not a blank check for Congress to fill out any way it wants! In Federalist No. 45 (last para), Madison said the regulation of commerce was a power not held under the Articles of Confederation, but was an addition “from which no apprehensions are entertained”.   Ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers only!

But today, the clause is cited as authority for federal takeover of medical care! This redefinition of the clause resulted from a radical transformation in judicial philosophy. Two cases illustrate this transformation:

In Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (1922), the Supreme Court reviewed a federal excise tax on profits from sales of child-made products. The Court said “the so-called tax is a penalty to coerce people of a State to act as Congress wishes them to act in respect of a matter completely the business of the state government under the Federal Constitution” (p 39), and:

“…Grant the validity of this law, and all that Congress would need to do, hereafter, in seeking to take over to its control any one of the great number of subjects of public interest, jurisdiction of which the States have never parted with, and which are reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment, would be to enact a detailed measure of complete regulation of the subject and enforce it by a so-called tax upon departures from it. …such…would…break down all constitutional limitation of the powers of Congress and completely wipe out the sovereignty of the States…” (p 38)

But in Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the Court said the “commerce clause” extends to local intrastate activities which “affect” interstate commerce, even if the activities aren’t “commerce”!  The Court also asserted that Congress has power to regulate prices of commodities and the practices which affect such prices!

Thus, if you have tomato plants in your back yard for use solely in your own kitchen,  you are “affecting” “interstate commerce” and are subject to regulation by Congress. The court’s reasoning is this: If you weren’t growing tomatoes in your back yard, you’d be buying them on the market. If you were buying them on the market, some of what you bought might come from another State.   So!  By not buying them on the market, you are “affecting” “interstate commerce” because you didn’t buy something you otherwise would have bought.   See?   And we have to stand up when these people walk into a room!

Charles Evans Hughes (Chief Justice,1930-1941) said the Constitution is “what the judges say it is.”

This is how the concept of a Constitution with an objective meaning easily learned from an old American dictionary, The Federalist Papers, & Madison’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, was taken away from us; and replaced with the judges’ claim that the Constitution is an evolutionary document which means whatever they say it means.

The reason it would take Megyn Kelly “days and weeks of research” to answer the question – instead of the five minutes it took us, is because she would search Supreme Court opinions to analyze the evolution of their “commerce clause jurisprudence” to try to figure out how they would answer the question.

They have taken our Constitution away from us. Let us demand its Restoration.

October 7, 2009; revised Nov. 14, 2014
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October 7, 2009 Posted by | Commerce clause, Health Care, Interstate Commerce Clause, obamacare | , , , | 94 Comments

   

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