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Clause-Federalist No. 51

In this case, the Supreme Court found that Congress only regulates interstate commerce when: “It regulates the channels of interstate commerce; it regulates the instrumentalities of interstate commerce; the regulation has a substantial relation to interstate commerce, found through: explicit congressional findings to that effect; the presence of a jurisdictional element in the law; or where the law specifically regulates a commercial activity” (Commerce 2).

One of the problems of the Constitution is that its terms and definitions are often broad in scope and cannot possibly apply to modern America because of the founder’s inability to foresee such a complex, developed society. This often leaves the Constitution as a basic guidebook by which legislators on the highest court must interpret the law based on their impression and understanding of what the original framers intended. This is why different courts in different eras have ruled differently, some expanding the scope of federal power and some limiting it. The Tenth Amendment is also relative to this discussion because it adds to the complexity of the relationship between state governments and the federal government, “The powers not delegated to the Unites State buy the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” (Ciglar and Loomis A-13). However, one of the problems with United States v. Lopez is that the decision greatly expanded the scope and definition of what equates to interstate commerce. In a way, the decision makes it clear that just about everything which affects the economy can be considered interstate commerce. Lopez also gave to the nation the standard test that must be met for any law that invokes the Commerce Clause or power granted to the federal government. For the decision defined that interstate commerce should be defined as “any activity which held a substantial relation to...

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Clause-Federalist No. 51. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:41, July 27, 2017, from
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