The Interstate Commerce Clause impacts the general public in many ways. Any product that traveled on the interstate to reach us is called commerce. Anything that is transported across a state line and going to be sold has a tax on it. Interstate commerce makes up much of the money the government uses to spend on our roads. But the government has been stretching their power with this clause regulating things that are not related to commerce, like forcing Americans to buy Obamacare or pay a fine because you are putting yourself and others at risk. People of the U.S. have been trying to put a limit on what the government can do with this clause, but it is hard to reword something that is written in the Constitution.

The Interstate Commerce Clause states that the government has the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” If Congress can figure out how to relate something to commerce, they will put a tax or restriction on it if they need to, such as forcing Americans to either buy Obamacare or pay a fee. They relate this to the Commerce Clause because the health business is an interstate business such as there is constant flow of drugs, patients, doctors, donations, research money, health payments health reimbursements beyond state lines. Not only does Congress have the power to control just interstate transactions, it also manages the activities that influence the interstate industry.

We must reword this clause with a better definition that gives the people a better understanding of this clause and also sets a barrier on what this clause can actually do. Right now the Commerce Clause is really broad. It doesn’t really say what the government can do or what they can not do. The economic/non-economic line isn’t enough of a constraint on federal power. If the government can relate a product to interstate markets in some way, they will “combine” economic impact into it. That allows Congress an excessive amount of power.

The Commerce Clause is not just about commerce, it’s about Interstate Commerce. The Supreme Court could take a more prohibitive view of federal power than the existing common law reflects. But while the economic/non-economic line may not be enough of a limitation, it’s not accurate to say that it makes the Federal Government one of unlimited power. At this point in time, it’s important that we keep the Commerce Clause in place because our country wouldn’t operate correctly; however, even if it is going to be quite a challenge, we should still rein in some of the Commerce Clause’s power by amending the Constitution.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Interstate Commerce Clause by Carson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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