Does Congress Have Too Much Power over Commerce? Essay

2373 Words May 7th, 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…
Any power, not granted to the United States, are reserved to the States or the people. In the end, this case proves that Congress is granted the whole power to regulate commerce and whatever affects it. The reversal of the granted injunction demonstrates the power extended to Congress, given by the Framers of the Constitution, acting through the Commerce Clause. The moment a product enters the stream of commerce, it can be regulated.
Commerce is what Congress is to regulate, but what constitutes being within the confines of it? This question has been an ongoing argument that can only be answered depending on the circumstances. For the most part, the court frequently expresses that commerce has a broader meaning than the Constitution has given it. In United States v. Lopez, the court upheld Congress' delegated power "to regulate activities in and affecting commerce" (www.cornell.edu). On March 10, 1992, respondent, a 12th grade student at the time, carried a concealed .38 caliber handgun and five bullets into Edison High School in San Antonio, Texas. State charges were brought against him, but later dropped when respondent was charged with violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. This act forbids "any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that [he] knows…is a school zone," 18 U.S.C. Section 922(q)(1)(A). He was sentenced to six months in jail and two years supervised release. Respondent appealed on

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