Essay on Does Congress Have Too Much Power over Commerce?

2350 Words May 8th, 2002 10 Pages
Narrow construction is not found in the Constitution, but the powers granted to Congress to regulate commerce are found. Exactly stated, "Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes." This clause has no definite interpretation, but has included many aspects of regulating. The word "commerce" is defined as the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place (Webster 264). Congress has exercised this delegated power in many cases. The nature and basic guidelines of Congress' power over commerce is first laid out in the case of Gibbons v. Ogden. In addition, the case United States v. Lopez is a …show more content…
This article, "The Necessary and Proper Clause" also known as "The Elastic Clause," gives Congress the power to broaden its powers and keep Federal balance. Supreme Court Justice Marshall presents an argument that supports Congress' regulation over all commerce. He clearly says, "It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution." Where the Constitution states, "Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, and with the Indian tribes," the word "among" means intermixed with. Commerce may concern more than one state, therefore Congress needs to act "within the territorial jurisdiction of the several states" The Supreme Court held that the power of Congress includes navigation within its limits in every State. Any state activity that attempts to regulate interstate commerce is completely unconstitutional because in dealing with interstate commerce, it can be inferred from the Constitution that the Federal government must regulate interstate commerce. The Constitution did not provide states with the power to regulate commerce between states so it is imperative that the federal government intercedes. Although the only
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