Commerce Clause, plain and simple
The Constitutional controversy initiated by the Health Care Bill has brought the Commerce Clause in the Constitution back into public view. It simply states:
The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and. among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”- U.S. Constitution, Art. I, § 8, cl. 3
While those 16 words seems simple enough, the people we have elected to represent us seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding them. As far as our founders were concerned, this was a very practical clause that gave the central government the ability to keep trade flowing throughout the new nation. They wanted to guard against unrealistic regulations imposed by any state that could impair the flow of trade throughout the nation.
Alexander Hamilton explains the Commerce Clause
To explain the proposed Constitution in particular to the ratifying convention in New York, whose governor opposed it, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison wrote a series of 85 articles that were published in New York City newspapers under the pseudonym of Publius. These essays became known as the Federalist Papers.
Federalist No. 11 by Alexander Hamilton explains the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. It is entitled: “The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy.” In this essay he stated:
An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each by an interchange of their respective productions, not only for the supply of reciprocal wants at home, buy for the exportation to foreign markets…Commercial enterprise will have much greater scope from the diversity in the productions of different States. When the staple of one fails from a bad harvest or unproductive crop, it can call to its aid the staple of another.
Hamilton went on to explain that without a union between the States that trade would be less successful; would be fettered and interrupted and narrowed by many causes.
The 16 words of the clause and the intentions of the founders would hardly seem like an appropriate subject for a present-day article. The words in the clause are clear and the essay by Hamilton makes the intention of the clause abundantly clear. Unfortunately, it is an appropriate subject matter when you have a group of nine elite judges deciding whether or not the Commerce Clause can be used to justify Obamacare.
The Commerce Clause could fix Obamacare
Here’s the question: Can the Commerce Clause force people to buy something?
Here’s the irony: The Commerce Clause can correct one of the problems with healthcare – the problem of not being able to buy something across state lines. More irony – that is not one of the objectives within Obamacare. Here in New Jersey where healthcare premiums soar to unprecedented heights, buying across state lines would provide competition between carriers and allow citizens to buy or not to buy the product of their choice. That choice doesn’t exist; healthcare as written does not address the issue as it could with proper reliance on the Commerce Clause; and the clause is being perverted to accommodate the man now occupying the White House’s personal agenda.
- Question: What will the United States Supreme Court decide?
- Answer: Whatever their ideology dictates.
Once again, monumental decisions that will affect the lives and prosperity of many of our citizens will not be rooted in the Rule of Law prescribed in our founding documents, nor will those decisions be based on the clear intentions of our founders. They will be based on political ideologies that have morphed this nation into something that would be unrecognizable to our founders. As a wise old friend often says,
The law means whatever the judges say it means when they say it.
Silly me; I always thought the law was based on our Constitution.
[amazon_carousel widget_type=”ASINList” width=”500″ height=”250″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”True” show_border=”False” asin=”B00375LOEG, 0451947673, 0800733940, 0062073303, 1595230734, 1936218003, 0981559662, 1935071874, 1932172378, 1936488299″ /]