Commerce clause and spending clause

1. Has the Court’s use of the commerce clause to pass legislation gotten out of control? Are there any limits to what Congress can do under the commerce clause? Are there any cases that are not legitimately commerce clause cases? What are a few cases that are landmark commerce clause decisions that vividly demonstrate the ingenuity and importance of using the commerce clause as a tool for making law? Why are these cases important? Name at least one issue that is currently in the news that has to do with the commerce power.

2. In evaluating Congress’s powers under the spending clause, what difference does it make whether the Court prefers the Hamiltonian or Madisonian theory? In the United States v. Butler, did the Court rely on the Hamiltonian or Madisonian theory? Explain.

3. Is the decision in Granholm v. Heald (2005) consistent with the decision in Philadelphia v. New Jersey (1978)? Compare and contrast these two cases. Make sure that your response demonstrates an understanding of each case.

4. What are common examples of conditional spending today? To what degree are issues of conditional spending entangled with federalism? Explain.

5. How has the Supreme Court interpreted the power to tax to enhance congressional power? Refer to leading cases to illustrate your points. Provide detailed case examples to support your reasoning.


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