The Framers Had Doctors, Too: Judge Andrew Napolitano Explains The Commerce ClauseMay 24, 2010
The Congress shall have the Power To . . . regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian tribes. ...
Article I, Section 8, United States Constitution: "The Commerce Clause"
Many in Congress admit they don't know where in the U.S. Constitution (the document they swear to uphold) it says Congress has the power to takeover health care or interfere in any aspect of the economy. Others, ignorantly, say it's in the Commerce Clause. Still others know they don't have the authority, but live a lie in order to consolidate power in government, rather than the people, to further their statist aims (See U.S. Rep. Phil Hare). A very few, unfortunately, know that the power is nowhere to be found in the document.
Above is the Commerce Clause verbatim. It clearly means that the federal government's only role is to ensure the equal treatment of commerce across borders, whether with other countries, native tribes or "among the several States." That's right! States! Notice the equal footing the Framers gave states with "foreign Nations" — both are capitalized. The Framers did not want New Jersey, for example, taxing goods coming into it from New York differently than it did goods coming into it from Virginia. Similarly, New Jersey and Virginia couldn't impose different tariffs on goods from England; the central government would referee that and put a uniform tariff on imports coming into the country at any port.
The Commerce Clause, then, had nothing to do with individuals conducting their own transactions, much less conducting the personal business of seeking treatment or medical advice. It means just what it says. Pretty simple.
Clarifying it further is former Judge Andrew Napolitano, seen on the Fox News Channel as its senior judicial analyst and heard on his own Fox News Radio program. Here is a telling excerpt from a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal last September:
I asked South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care. He replied: "There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do."
Rep. Clyburn, like many of his colleagues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers. He also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress's powers only to those granted in the Constitution.
One of those powers — the power "to regulate" interstate commerce — is the favorite hook on which Congress hangs its hat in order to justify the regulation of anything it wants to control. ...
James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison's understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept "regular."
In the video below, Judge Napolitano, the youngest Superior Court Judge in New Jersey history, expounds on the original intent of James Madison and the Framers as well as the evils of an all-powerful, big-government. (The Framers had doctors, too, and saw no need to mention "health care" in the Constitution!) Look no further than what the 18th century definition of "regulate" meant to know today's government is out of control. The article, linked above, and the video, are well worth the big education you will get for such a short expenditure of your time.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: If the Framers thought health was a constitutional power, they would've mentioned it. After all, people got sick, then, too.