Posts Tagged ‘lopez’


Supreme Court Decisions Every American Should Know About #2: U.S. v. Lopez

August 10, 2009

Today I continue my series of posts on Supreme Court decisions that, in my opinion, greatly redefined how a particular provision of the Constitution is interpreted or had a long-lasting impact on some area of public policy in the United States, for better or for worse.

This installment features the case United States v. Lopez, a 1995 case on the Commerce Clause which may have actually saved federalism in America from near-certain demise.


United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995) put an end to the ridiculous expansion of Congressional power through the Commerce Clause that had occurred for the 50 years following the decision in Wickard v. Filburn (see my post on Wickard for more info). Justice Rehnquist, writing the opinion, put his foot down and said that there is a clear limit to what constitutes economic activity in interstate commerce within the meaning of the Commerce Clause.

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