Monday, January 30, 2006

The Commerce Clause Is Not A Smoke Screen

Being a law student in the process of writing a journal article on the unconstitutionality of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the lonely libertarian is very familiar with the intricacies of the Commerce Clause. Listening to talk radio on the way into school this morning I heard a caller urge that Judge Alito should be filibustered. The reasoning of this caller was that Alito was in favor of unchecked executive power and didn't support the individual freedoms that our Constitution stood for. According to this caller, discussions about the Commerce Clause was a smoke screen.

Glossing over the Commerce Clause is a sure sign in the lonely libertarian's mind of a disregard or misunderstanding of the Constitution and the law. Anyone who claims to be a supporter of the Constitution can not ignore the fact that our national government is one of limited enumerated powers. Many laws are passed under the auspices of the Commerce Clause, regardless of whether or not they actually are passed to "regulate commerce amongst the several states."

Far too many Americans are fearful of the over reach of the executive branch, while at the same time remaining blissfully ignorant or unconcerned with the legislative over reach of Congress in the name of the Commerce Clause.

There are no easy answers to any Constitutional question. Take for example the 4th Amendment provisions against "unreasonable search and seizure." The lonely libertarian tends to find fault with those who take absolute positions on such a term, even when the underlying issue is international terrorism and national security, while at the same time having no problem with the twisting and bending of the term commerce to allow for virtually any federal regulation imaginable.


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