Friday, July 24, 2009

The interstate commerce clause is a great cover for a lot of tyrannical decisions.

In 1942, FDR's pet Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could regulate farm production that was never intended to be sold across state lines, with the slim justification that, if Farmer Filburn grew his own wheat to feed his dairy cows, then he wasn't buying wheat from wheat-growers from out of state. Who probably lobbied for protectionism with campaign funds.

Alaska, Tennessee, and (I think) Montana have argued that the federal government has no business regulating firearms that are produced in-state, and sold only to residents of that state, to be used only within that state. Washington, D.C.'s anti-gun lobby--ahem, the Democrat-run federal government--has said "nope, hasn't worked that way since 1942."

Texas, Arizona, North Dakota, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wyoming claim that they will opt out of mandatory Medicaid. I suspect the same reasoning will be given for the federal government overriding these states' rights: that the private insurance they purchase will somehow be against the common good of those in other states who somehow should have had access to that money, just as Filburn cheated wheat-growers in other states out of his money by growing his own.

In any case, the federal government is stepping on individual rights, and using the interstate commerce clause--which is written in plain enough language that a normal person can understand what it means, but broadly enough that a lawyer can successfully use it to invent new powers--to do so.


  1. Opt out all you want--somebody will still have to pay the costs
    of indigent care in those states!

  2. Indigent care isn't quite the same thing, my friend, as putting everyone on the government plan, regardless of income or ability to insure themselves. That's at least part of what's FUBARed GB, AU, NZ, and Canada (who at least drives on the right side of the road).


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