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Comment Re:Commerce Clause (Score 1) 514

Your statement, while logical on it's face, contradicts supreme court doctrine (which I would probably agree with you should be overturned). Look for "substantial effect", in particular

The cumulative effect argument discussed above was firmly established by the Court in Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942). 7 U.S.C.S. 1281 and 1340 (the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938) established production quotas for wheat farmers and imposed a penalty on excess production. Filburn, a farmer in Montgomery County, Ohio, was not engaged in growing wheat for commercial purposes on a large scale. Instead, he grew wheat “to sell a portion of the crop; to feed part to poultry and livestock on the farm, some of which is sold; to use some in making flour for home consumption; and to keep the rest for the following seeding.” Wickard at 114. Under the Act, Filburn’s 1941 allotment was 11.1 acres of wheat, for a total of approximately 223 bushels. But Filburn harvested 23 acres in total, which yielded 239 bushels in excess of his quota. In accordance with the Act he was subject to a penalty of 49 cents per bushel, which he refused to pay. Wickard is important because while Filburn harvested more than double his quota it is nonetheless clear that his extra 239 bushels of wheat could not, of itself, have any significant impact on interstate commerce. Furthermore, the excess wheat in question was not intended to be placed into the stream of commerce, but rather was to be used primarily for home consumption. The rationale for finding Congressional authority to regulate this activity pursuant to the Commerce Clause comes from cumulative effect that many similar farmers raising wheat for their personal use would have on the demand for wheat purchased in the marketplace. “Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce [and] would have a substantial effect in defeating and obstructing the purpose of the Act". Wickard at 128-129. So even if an activity in itself does not have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, Congress may still regulate the activity if there is a substantial cumulative economic effect on interstate commerce.

See: http://nationalparalegal.edu/conlawcrimproc_public/CongressionalPowers/SubstantialEffect.asp

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