Constitutional Law


The Supreme Court has gone through a long and cyclical relationship concerning the federal government’s use of the Commerce Clause. These cycles in the past have framed the constitutional controversy of today. In other words, at some points in history the Congress has had wide discretion in its use of the commerce power, while at others the Courts have restrained that congressional discretion.

Using the major cases that we have discussed in class, explain how the congressional power to control commerce has changed from Gibbons v. Ogden through Heart of Atlanta Motel. In particular, be sure to include a discussion of New Deal liberal definition of the commerce power differs from the prevailing conservative conception since the 1990s.

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