Thursday, September 15, 2005

Boy, am I disappointed.

I got very discouraged listening to John Roberts answer Chuck Schumer's questions regarding the Commerce Clause and congressional power.

When asked by Schumer whether the Congress is entitled to great deference with respect to its findings of fact that a purely local activity, even when it is not dealing in commercial activity, has a substantial impact on interstate commerce, Roberts said <yes!

I hate that!

Congress has been given way too much deference over the years in legislating where the Constitution gives it no power. The whole point behind Lopez and Morrison is that Congress cannot simply cannot stack a pile of paper a mile high showing how having a gun within 1000 feet of school has an effect on students' ability to learn which affects their ability to get a job later on which has a cumulative effect on interestate commerce, or how rape, forever a local mattter, affects women and that affects their ability to earn and spend, ad infinitum, and that has a cumulative effect on interstate commerce, blah blah blah, and that that gives Congress the right to intrude in local matters.

And then Schumer brings up Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), and both smile and nod to each other about how solid a case that was. Oh, yes, Roberts says, the cumulative effects test in a commercial activity is cool.

Twaddle. That case marked the starting line of Congress' further entanglement into virtually every area of people's lives. And for what? "Oh, we need national solutions for national problems." Horsenuts! To the extent that that if what the Founders believed that, they certainly wouldn't have agreed to the Leviathan that the national government has become thanks to this Silly Putty view of the Commerce Clause.

I don't necessarily think we need to go back to the Lochner era, but Lopez and Morrison were the first attempts to put the brakes on the ever-expanding (and unconstitutionally expanding) national government. I do not get a sense that Roberts gets this.

And so it goes so frustratingly on.

1 comment:

SWLiP said...

Agreed, indeed.