Why do we care about the Commerce Clause in the Constitution? A simple explanation from Bloomberg’s Greg Stohr that appears in Newsweek explains how the clause could settle next month’s Supreme Court decision on health care.
If you read Stohr’s brief history of the clause and its key role in the health-care decision, it’s obvious that the Supreme Court decision is about a lot more than health care: It’s about how much power Congress can use in regulating national economic matters.
The court’s interpretation of the clause next month will center on the ability of Congress to tell consumers to buy a product (if you side with states who reject the health care act) or the need for Congress to regulate a big portion of the national economy (the pro-health care act camp).
The irony is that this Friday marks the 225th anniversary of the opening of the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia.
Back then, the delegates didn’t widely discuss the Commerce Clause because it was a fundamental reason why the group met at the State House in Philadelphia.
The post-Colonial economy was in shambles because of the inability of the central government to regulate the trade between states and other matters related to interstate commerce.
On June 6, Jack Balkin of Yale and Randy Barnett of Georgetown will be live at the National Constitution Center to explore the commerce clause and the upcoming Supreme Court decision on health care. Click here for event details. Moderator: John Hockenberry.