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TO REGULATE COMMERCE‚^ņ¶

By Carl F. Worden


 The most federally abused clause in the United States Constitution is
the ‚^ņ^‹Commerce Clause‚^ņ^›, which is found in Section 8, paragraph
3.¬† Its intent was clearly spelled out by the Framers, to wit:¬†‚^ņ^‹The
Congress shall have the power ‚^ņ¶ to regulate commerce with foreign
nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian
Tribes‚^ņ^›¬†To those of us who learned to read plain English before
1960, ‚^ņ^‹to regulate‚^ņ^› does not imply the Congress has the power to
ban any form of commerce among or within the several states.  It in no
way implies that Congress has the power to interfere with tort claims in
any way related to such commerce among or within the several
states. Because the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the power to
ban any form of commerce among, and certainly not within the several
states, but only to regulate it, the federal government needed a
constitutional amendment giving it the power to enforce federal laws
banning the manufacture and distribution of alcohol during Prohibition. 
When the bitter lessons of Prohibition had fully manifested themselves,
Prohibition was canceled and the associated constitutional amendment was
repealed. Under the laws of our Constitution, that was as it should
be. But today, the Commerce Clause is being outrageously abused as the
‚^ņ^‹authority‚^ņ^› to give the federal government the power to prosecute
the War On Drugs within the several states, as well as to allow the
federal government to pass laws forbidding tort claims by individuals,
cities, counties and states, that are deemed ‚^ņ^‹frivolous‚^ņ^›.¬†
¬†Pending legislation to prohibit such ‚^ņ^‹frivolous‚^ņ^› lawsuits
against gun manufacturers has been vigorously opposed by strict
constitutionalist and pro-gun Representative Ron Paul.  Paul sees this
as a states' rights issue under Article X of the Bill of Rights, and I
for one applaud him for it. The federal government has no such power
given it by the Commerce Clause.  They just took that power, blithely
claiming that authority, and nobody cared ‚^ņ^” usually because each test
incursion was for a ‚^ņ^‹good thing‚^ņ^›.¬†Beware of that.¬†In point of
fact, there is no constitutional difference between the interstate and
intrastate commerce that occurs when one stops by the liquor store to by
a bottle of Jack Daniels, or when one stops by the street corner to buy
heroin.  Both are forms of commerce, and almost all those retail sales
take place within the state, and not among the states, and it is only the
substances that differ. I have often observed that those who now admit
that Prohibition was a mistake, will still staunchly insist the War On
Drugs isn‚^ņ^Ŕt.¬† There‚^ņ^Ŕs not a damn bit of difference between the
two, and we are experiencing the exact same problems now as those our
forefathers experienced back then. It never ceases to amaze me just how
stupid some people can be. The Commerce Clause allows federal regulation
among the several states, and not within them, so how come the federal
government is prosecuting the War On Drugs without being required to pass
the same kind of constitutional amendment they knew they needed when they
wanted to prosecute the War On Booze?  Hmm?? Answer:  They just did
it, and that is one reason why we have a Constitution that is in tatters
today. In a Capitalist economy, virtually everything that takes place
has a basis in commerce.  When you buy a house, a dog, a gun, or even an
abortion, you are engaging in commerce.  If we accept the notion that
the Commerce Clause gives the Congress the right, not only to regulate
commerce among the several states, but to ban certain forms of commerce,
both among and within the several states, then the Congress has the right
to regulate or ban any form of commerce taking place anywhere in America
in any form.¬† Do you see where I‚^ņ^Ŕm going with this?¬† Heck, this
should concern even the pro-choice crowd!¬† Think about it‚^ņ¶¬†The
Commerce Clause has only begun to be abused, and it is high time for a
constitutional challenge to be brought before the United States Supreme
Court to rein in these federal incursions.¬† If we don‚^ņ^Ŕt, the
Commerce Clause will eventually be used as the excuse to
‚^ņ^‹regulate‚^ņ^› every aspect of our lives that can possibly be
connected to a form of commerce ‚^ņ^” and that means almost everything we
do. Food for thought, for the truly thoughtful. 





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