1. Has the Court's use of the commerce clause to pass legislation gotten out of control? Are there any limits to what Congress can do under the commerce clause? Are there any cases that are not legitimately commerce clause cases? What are a few cases that are landmark commerce clause decisions that vividly demonstrate the ingenuity and importance of using the commerce clause as a tool for making law? Why are these cases important? Name at least one issue that is currently in the news that has to do with the commerce power.
2. In evaluating Congress's powers under the spending clause, what difference does it make whether the Court prefers the Hamiltonian or Madisonian theory? In the United States v. Butler, did the Court rely on the Hamiltonian or Madisonian theory? Explain.
3. Is the decision in Granholm v. Heald (2005) consistent with the decision in Philadelphia v. New Jersey (1978)? Compare and contrast these two cases. Make sure that your response demonstrates an understanding of each case.
4. What are common examples of conditional spending today? To what degree are issues of conditional spending entangled with federalism? Explain.
1. The Supreme Court has interpreted commerce power as an enumerated power of Congress, which gives Congress an express grant of authority to use affirmative limitation on the rights of the states in regard to regulating commerce within their own borders. Although the Court has enabled broad ranging powers for Congress in regard to the regulation of commerce within their state's own borders, this doesn't apply absolute. One such case that wasn't a legitimate case for exercising the commerce clause was Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918) wherein in an attempt to regulate child labor in factories during the early 20th century Congress passed the Child Labor Act. The Court overturned this Act holding that Congress DID NOT have the power to regulate goods produced through child labor and transported in interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause. The opinion of the Court was that manufacturing of goods isn't considered commerce and the exclusion of goods under the Commerce Clause is only permitted when involving the nature of the goods as opposed to how the goods were made, such as in this case where child labor was used to make the goods.
An important case that highlights the importance of using the commerce clause as a tool for making laws is NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. (1937). This case was a result of Congress enacting the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 that was created to prohibit unfair labor practices that affected interstate commerce. The defendant's charged under the Act for suspicion of discriminating against union members were Jones & Laughlin Steel. The Court ruled in its opinion that Congress has a right to regulate manufacturing activities when compelling interests exist such as this case that had a significant effect on interstate commerce in which it burdened interstate ...
The following posting helps with problems involving commerce and spending clauses.