Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

More on the SCOTUS' Raich decision

What I meant when I said
The federal government is basically saying that should the farmer have a personal demand for wheat, he is required to purchase it from the pool of available supply that is subject to interstate commerce regulation. But how is the case of a farmer who doesn't want wheat at all (and therefore doesn't add any demand for the available supply) and isn't forced to buy any different from the case of a farmer who grows his own (and therefore doesn't add any demand for the available supply)?
Monday in this space was more clearly articulated by Jonathan Adler in yesterday's NRO:
Yet if any privately produced item that can substitute for a commercially produced good is subject to federal control, then Congressional power knows few limits. Federal regulation of commercial day care services could justify regulating child care in the home; regulation of restaurants could justify regulating domestic food preparation; and so on.
D.T. Armentano also had some good analysis of the drift of the understanding of the meaning of the Commerce Clause (or should I say the twisting of it?) in his LRC column today:
But even more fundamentally, the Commerce Clause itself was never meant by the Founders to be a blank check for "command and control" economic regulation. Indeed, the economic purpose of Article one Section 8 was almost precisely the opposite of the conventional explanation accepted by the majority in this case.

The original intent of the Commerce Clause was to make "normal" or "regular" commerce between the states; thus it was designed to promote trade and exchange not restrict it. Further, it was specifically aimed at preventing the states from enacting impediments to the free flow of "commerce" such as tariffs, quotas and taxes. And since the explicit language of the CSA, like all economic regulation, interferes with the free flow of commerce, it is inherently antithetical to the original intent of the Commerce Clause. (Whether the law could be legitimized by reference to the "police powers" of the state is another matter).


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