The “Judicial Activism” Ploy

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If the meaning of “interstate commerce” could be stretched and twisted to cover things that never entered any commerce, then “interstate commerce” became just a magic phrase that could make the Tenth Amendment disappear into thin air.

For more than half a century, courts let Congress do whatever it wanted to do, so long as the politicians said that they were regulating interstate commerce.

But there was consternation among politicians and the media in 1995, when the Supreme Court said that carrying a gun near a school was not interstate commerce, so that Congress had no power to regulate it— even though states had that power.

Howls of protest went up from politicians and the media because the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 in favor of an ordinary common-sense reading of the Constitution, instead of the clever word games that had been used for so long to circumvent the Tenth Amendment.

ObamaCare is another piece of Congressional legislation for which there is no federal authority in the Constitution. But when someone asked Nancy Pelosi where in the Constitution there was any authority for passing such a law, her reply was “Are you kidding?”

Two federal courts have now said that they are not kidding.

The ultimate question is whether the Supreme Court of the United States will back them up. That may depend on how soon the case reaches the Supreme court.

If the issue wends its way slowly up through the Circuit Courts of Appeal, by the time it reaches the Supreme Court, Obama may have put more of his appointees there— and, if so, they will probably rubberstamp anything he does. He would therefore have done a complete end-run around the Constitution and be well on his way to becoming the Hugo Chavez of North America.

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  • scum

    Gee, I didn't see the wealthy complaining when the U.S. gov't handed out millions of acres to RR's in the 19th century. I didn't see the wealthy complain when the government agreed to send in troops to stop striking workers. I didn't see the wealthy complain when the gov't started doling out the big $ to corporations doing business overseas. I didn't see the wealthy complain when Obama handed out billions to begging CEO's as he saved capitalism from the idiocy of the Bush years. The 10th amendment is dead, dude, and you know it. It's a catch-all canard that's tossed about anytime time someone doesn't like what the government does.

    • coyote3

      Then it needs to be repealed not ignored and violated. Also, the 10th amendment is very much alive in quite a few recent Supreme Court decision, that stated specifically, that the federal government's power had been exceeded, and the statute at issue was dead.

    • coyote3

      Sometimes this gets so easy that it is hard to stop. Federal land grants are part of the power delegated to the federal government by the constitution. Likewise, in the cases where federal troops were actually used (most of the time it was the state national guard under the direction of the respective governors), it was at the request of the governor of the respective states, and that, likewise is a power delegated by the constitution to the federal government. The $ you are talking about to corporations were in the form of tax incentives, etc., on the federal level, another delegated power, to the federal government. If you mean the damage to the U.S. economy done, by bailouts, that is being challenged, and the result is yet to be known.

  • So Cal Mike

    Scum and the rest of the Great Unwashed Brainwashed need to stop worshiping the government.
    At best the Guv is a necessary evil; at worst…you know the rest except Scum and the Great Rest.
    Guv is a false god. The sooner you stop worshiping it, the sooner the Guv won’t feel the need or expectation to be worshiped.
    Pelosi and Obama are beyond arrogant control freaks who expect to be worshiped.