Tuesday, December 27, 2005

1946 The Road to Kelo is paved with wheat

"Beginning with its 1938 term, the Court actively promoted broad national authority over economic and social affairs, at the expense of state power. The justices relied on novel and expansive interpretations of the spending and taxing power, the general welfare clause, and, above all, congressional power over interstate commerce. The high point (or low, depending on your perspective) occurred in Wickard v. Filburn (1942), where the Court decided that even wheat grown by a farmer for his own consumption was nevertheless in interstate commerce and therefore subject to federal control. After Wickard, it was hard to see how any activity, no matter how small or remote from national interest, could escape potential federal regulation. The idea that the federal government was a government of limited powers gradually disappeared, with the approbation of the federal judiciary."

As we move toward the Alito hearings, this is an interesting summary of the 2005 Supreme Court and how we got here. "John Roberts will be an improvement, but one vote is still only one vote—which is why the battle over the next vacancy will be so bloody."

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