Perhaps at no other time since the New Deal has the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution held so much political relevance, and mainly for the same reason. Once again we have an administration mired in economic crisis attempting to massively expand federal power and jurisdiction, although there are differences. When FDR did it, he was at least attempting to create work for Americans struggling through the Great Depression. In this case, while Barack Obama spends hundreds of billions of dollars on ineffective Keynesianism, the expansion of government power is focused on everything but jobs — health care, energy production, Wall Street, and so on. Reason TV looks at the loophole that FDR created and Obama exploits today for that massive expansion, and marvels at the mischief created by the strange interpretation of sixteen words in a document explicitly designed and created to restrain expansion of government power:
The heart of this debate is whether we accept that the Constitution exists to limit the power of the federal government. It’s that basic. If so, then Wickard has to be overturned at some point. Otherwise, there are no limits on Congress, and the states have no sovereignty whatsoever. Erwin Chemerinsky is fooling himself if he thinks that ObamaCare won’t go to the Supreme Court and that Wickard won’t be part of that discussion; John Eastman is right when he says that the implications are far too broad to have the decision limited to a circuit court of appeal.
By the way, Eastman and Chemerinsky appear regularly on the Hugh Hewitt Show to debate issues just like these. Those segments are well worth following.