Garrett and the Spending Clause
emaltz at CRAB.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Aug 21 00:26:16 PDT 2001
This post seems to me to confuse two analytically separate issues. The
available evidence clearly suggests that sll of the sitting justices with
the exception of Justice Thomas (and perhaps Justice Scalia) believe in a
federal government with broad authority to regulate economic affairs.
Indeed, Rehnquist and O'Connor in particular have consistently voted to
uphold economic regulations that infringe on traditional areas of local
concern. See, for example, Hodel and FERC v. Mississippi. Lopez and
Morrison limit the power of the feds in this regard only very marginally.
What the conservatives are committed to is the concept of states as
quasi-sovereign entities. They argue that if the operations of state
government itself can be regulated by the feds, then this status will be
lost. I don;t agree with thier view on this point; however, it is far
different from a broad-ranging atttack on the power of the national
government a la pre 1937 law.
At 06:01 PM 8/20/01 -0700, you wrote:
>THis thread--and, indeed many liike it concerning the "new
>Federalism"--makes me wonder--why have a National government at all on the
>view of an admittedly slim majority of the Court? The "powers" are so
>limited, or could be so limited, that the states become sovereign and the
>US a chimera.
>I am stating this strongly because I really do wonder why bother with a
>nation at all if tradition, the Civil War Amendments, etc. do not support a
>strong national government (I of course disagree, but I want to know why
>state sovereignty remains such a fetish for the Justices)
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