Often used over the last century as justification and Constitutional authority for Congress to regulate and control essentially any economic activity, the Commerce Clause is in fact, not what most believe. It’s primary purpose was to prevent the States from enacting taxes, tariffs or other policies that hindered trade between States. This was a problem under the Articles of Confederation and was one of the failings that the Founders intended to correct when they drafted the Constitution.
According to the man that is credited with being the “Father of the Consitution”, it “was intended as a negative and preventative provision against injustice amongst the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government.” (James Madison ~ February 13, 1829)
Below is a short video that provides a simple explanation of what the Founders intended when they included the Commerce Clause in the nation’s new Constitution.
Photo credit: geralt