The Modern Commerce Clause

The Commerce Clause has evolved from a minor clause with a narrow interpretation to a major clause with a broad application. Today, Congress and the Supreme Court cooperate in a broad application of the Commerce Clause. Congress uses the Commerce Clause generously, while the Supreme Court vigorously defends its application. Even the smallest connections to interstate commerce will be interpreted by the Supreme Court as constitutional. Why do these two branches cooperate so willingly on this clause?

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Chapter 5, §5.3 in your course text, Constitutional Law: National Power and Federalism. Reflect on the Supreme Court’s evolving view of the Commerce Clause since 1787. Consider why the Court would increase or decrease the power of the Commerce Clause.

Review the article, “The Original Meaning of the Commerce Clause.” Think about if the meaning of the Commerce Clause has drifted far from its original intent. Consider why that might be.

Consider the broad application of the Commerce Clause today.


Due by Thursday January 28, 2016 a 300-400 argument for or against the broad application of the Commerce Clause today. Justify your argument by referencing this week’s Learning Resources. Then, explain at least one insight you had or one conclusion you drew as a result of completing this assignment.

Support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources. You are allowed to draw from additional sources to support your argument, but you must cite using APA standards. All quoted material must be identified, cited, and referenced per APA standards.

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