Topic: Legitimate Uses of the Federal Commerce Clause Power

Subject:Criminal justice

Volume: 3 pages

Type: Essay

Format: APA


LW3. Assignment: Legitimate Uses of the Federal Commerce Clause Power
Remember that the federal government is only permitted to act in certain circumstances that
are outlined very clearly in the U.S. Constitution. If they do not have the authority to act, the
states are responsible for acting instead. As you read this week, the Commerce Clause is one
mechanism by which the federal government can act. Using this clause as the basis of their
actions, the government can justify certain potentially intrusive measures that force states and
their citizens to comply.
Many interesting Supreme Court decisions address whether the federal government has the
authority to act using the Commerce Clause as its justification. Starting with the New Deal
legislation in the early 20th century, the court has generally deferred to Congress in
determining what is and is not within their scope of authority. This changed briefly in
the United States v. Lopez case in 1995, but has since reverted back to broad discretion.
The federal government has used its Commerce Clause authority to justify a broad range of
issues. You will select one of those issue areas this week and analyze it in the scope of
federalism and assess whether you believe it is a justifiable use of federal power.
To prepare for this Assignment:
• Review the Supreme Court cases listed in the Learning Resources this week. Also review
the video in the Learning Resources, Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce
Clause Made Congress All-Powerful. Consider the policy arguments of the Supreme Court
justices in these cases.
• Select one case from your own research on the Commerce Clause on federalism decided
from 1990 to the present.
• Review the majority and dissenting opinions in the case and consider the policy arguments
used to support the opinions on each side of the debate.
The Assignment: (3–4 pages)
• Briefly describe the case you selected and the issue that it addresses (i.e., immigration,
health care, foreign affairs).
• Explain the connection between the action taken by the federal government and the basis
for that action.
• Provide a reasoned analysis of whether the issue should be part of the federal regulatory
power, whether the court ruled correctly, and whether the Interstate Commerce Clause can
be connected to this action. Be sure to provide proper sources for your research, including
cases, statutes, and law or policy review articles.
Required Resources
Text: Vile, J. R. (2014). Essential Supreme Court decisions: Summaries of leading cases in U.S.
constitutional law (16th ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Chapter 1,
• Fandl, K. J. (2015). Putting states out of the immigration law enforcement
business. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 9, 529–552. Retrieved
• Fandl, K. J. (2016). States’ rights and refugee resettlement. Texas International Law
Journal, 52, 1–31. Retrieved
• Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824).
• Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. 419 (1827)
• West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937)
• Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)
• Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964)
• United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995)
• King v. Burwell, 576 U.S. ___ (2015).
• Bragg, A. (Producer). (2010). Wheat, weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause
made Congress all-powerful [Video file]. Retrieved

You Need a Professional Writer To Work On Your Paper?