Amendment to Restore Commerce   Leave a comment

Randy Barnett, constitutional law professor at Georgetown University suggests a list of 10 proposed amendments to the United States Constitution that would constitutionally enshrine certain ideas based on states’ rights and free market libertarianism.

We’ve already looked at some of his proposed amendments. Restrictions on the Congressional power to tax, Congressional term limits, and the “repeal amendment” are examples.

Amendment 2 of his bill of federalism would limit the Commerce Clause, by overruling the current interpretation, making it clear that commercial activities that occur wholly within a state are not subject to Congressional legislation.

It would restore the original intent of the Commerce Clause and leave intrastate activity to be prohibited or regulated by the states, or be left completely free of any regulations as states may choose.

If the regulations of any state become too oppressive, it is much easier for citizens or businesses to move to a friendlier state than to leave the country.

The proposed amendment would expressly permit Congress the power to regulate interstate pollution and to address such national security matters as the possession of weapons of mass destruction.. It would also leave untouched the delegated powers of Congress to regulate wholly intrastate activities to enforce civil rights as authorized by the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th amendments.

It only restricts the improper interpretation of the Commerce and Necessary-and-Proper clauses that have been applied to wholly intrastate activity.

It’s a great idea, but ….

Doesn’t the 10th amendment already make clear that the federal government may not stick its fingers into intrastate commerce? If they’re ignoring the 10th, how does adding another amendment make them any more likely to obey it?

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