Tennessee’s Senate is calling for the state to have more control over its own commerce. The legislators passed a bill Tuesday declaring the 20th century view of the federal Commerce Clause to be unfair to Tennessee.
The ‘Commerce Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution was originally supposed to keep the 13 ex-colonies from charging each other customs duties.
Senator Mae Beavers says that, beginning with New Deal legislation, Congress has used the Commerce clause to impose its will on the states. Her resolution tells Congress to back off.
“Congress now regulates commerce occurring entirely within a state, to the detriment of each state and the country. The enactment of the federal health care reform is justified by some with invocations of the Commerce Clause. “
Democrats argued that the resolution should have been addressed to the Supreme Court, not Congress.
The resolution had already passed the House. The Senate concurred, by a vote of 17 to 11.
The resolution is HJR 614 Elam.
The Commerce clause began with making sure trade was unimpeded among the past colonies.
It grew to cover any business or activity that was multi-state.
In the 1960s, federal Civil Rights legislation was based on the Commerce clause.