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Constitutional interpretation

Constitutional Law

2010

Michigan Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin Jan 2010

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

This Article applies the method of text and principle to an important problem in constitutional interpretation: the constitutional legitimacy of the modem regulatory state and its expansive definition of federal commerce power Some originalists argue that the modem state cannot be justified, while others accept existing precedents as a "pragmatic exception" to originalism. Nonoriginalists, in turn, point to these difficulties as a refutation of originalist premises. Contemporary originalist readings have tended to view the commerce power through modem eyes. Originalists defending narrow readings offederal power have identified "commerce" with the trade of commodities; originalists defending broad readings of federal power …