[Fwd: Re: Bridge to a little more than nowhere]
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Fri Nov 11 13:05:47 PST 2005
In the California Railroad Cases, 127 U.S. 1 (1888), the Court, through Justice Bradley, relied on the commerce clause in upholding legislation that provided partial federal financing for interstate railroads. "It cannot at the present day be doubted that Congress, under the power to regulate commerce among the several States, as well as to provide for postal accommodations and military exigencies, had authority to pass these laws.... Without authority in Congress to establish and maintain such highways and bridges, it would be without authority to regulate one of the most important adjuncts of commerce..... Congress has plenary power over the whole subject.
One could, presumably, say that the Alaskan bridge was not "interstate" in the way that the railroads were, but that, of course, is irrelevant in today's world. I wonder if even Thomas, J., would rely on the patent fact that the Alaskan bridge only "affects" interstate commerce.
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