The Commerce Clause – What the Supreme Court Has Done to It

The Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution has been interpreted in such bizarre ways over the years, that it no longer looks the way it was written.  Therefore, I humbly suggest for the Court’s consideration, the following press release, in the spirit of intellectual honesty.


We Justices of the Supreme Court, and speaking for our brethren going all the way back to our holding in the Wickard case in 1942, hereby state that we really don’t like the so called Interstate Commerce Clause the way it is plainly written, and we apologize for all the confusion over the years caused by our trashing of the English language in trying to make the Clause what we really want it to be.  Therefore, the word “commerce,” in Article 1 Sect 8, paragraph 3 is hereby deleted and is replaced by the following phrase: “whatever Congress or its vast army of delegates in countless federal agencies would like to regulate.”  Therefore, the Commerce Clause (whoever named it the Commerce Clause anyway?) shall now read: “Congress shall have the power…To regulate whatever Congress or its vast army of delegates in countless federal agencies would like to regulate.”  We realize that the United States Constitution is pretty specific as to how it can be amended.  Article 5 includes all those nettlesome details  about two thirds of the state legislators making a proposal, then you need a convention, then you need three fourths of the states to ratify – All very bothersome stuff.  So therefore we have decided to amend it on our own – Hell, we’ve been doing it for over seventy years with word games.  This

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amendment will do away with all that endless yackety-yak about enumerated powers, federal system, rights reserved and such.  We realize that some Neanderthal strict constructionists with their hang-ups about textualism might object to this method of amendment.  So what.  In the words of former House Speaker Pelosi: “We have the votes.”

This article has been excerpted from the book Justice in America: How it Works – How it Fails.


About Russ

Russ Moran is an author, lawyer, and blogger. He writes on a wide variety of topics, including recreational themes such as boating, how-to articles, law and business. He is the author of Justice in America: How it Works - How it Fails, published in 2011. Kirkus Reviews calls the book: "A lively,brash,illuminating insider look at the law,by a compelling expert." Russ has recently finished The APT Principle: The Business Plan that you Carry in Your Head, It was published in June 2012. His blog is The Moran Report at Russ lives on Long Island with his wife Lynda. They have a five year old shih tzu that they are still trying to house train.
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