Importance Of Commerce Clause

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Exam 1 Essay: the Commerce Clause
Since it was first established in the Constitution, the commerce clause found in Article I, Section 8 has “permit[ted] Congress ‘[t]o regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes’” (Miller and Jentz 33). The real meaning of this, however, has over time, and through numerous cases changed. The one part which importance has probably changed the most, is the effects doctrine. According to Roger LeRoy Miller and Gaylord A. Jentz, the commerce clause has had a greater impact on business than any other provision in the Constitution (33). Throughout this report, the changes of the significance of the effects doctrine to the commerce clause will be discussed, as will
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Filburn (1942). The Court reasoned that local production, which in this case was wheat, intended for home consumption “reduced the market demand… and thus could have a substantial effect on interstate commerce;” (Miller and Jentz 35). This resulted in the local production falling subject to the commerce clause and Congress’ right to regulate it because it, although far stretched, was thought to, in aggregate, substantially change demand and thus change the outcome interstate commerce. Wickard v. Filburn (1942) was another case in which Congress yielded more powers over commerce, the states, and the American citizens. Obviously, Congress was pleased with the ruling since it increased their powers. Local farmers and producers on the other hand, fell subject to government regulations and thus suffered both economically and lost part of their …show more content…
Although not constantly, since the Constitution was written and until the 1990s, the effects doctrine seemed to expand Congress’ regulatory powers through the commerce clause. This meant that Congress could theoretically interfere and regulate all activities that could be linked to any kind of business that had an effect on interstate commerce. Congress was, until the 1990s, not afraid to use this effects doctrine. However, starting with the ruling of United States v. Lopez the courts began to narrow the effects doctrine so that government could not, constitutionally, regulate activities that did not directly relate to commerce. By narrowing the doctrine and thus limiting the powers of Congress, the judicial branch exercised its checks to restore balance between the branches and keeping the legislative branch from becoming too

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