The Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution

In this module/week, you will learn and come to understand “The Commerce Clause of The Constitution of the United States.” The Clause is an “enumerated power” listed in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. It states that the United States Congress shall have power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Originally, the clause functioned primarily as a constraint upon state interference in interstate commerce. You will come to learn that this is perhaps the most powerful tool the national government has to impose its will on its citizens. Today, this clause grants virtually unlimited regulatory power over the economy to the federal government, coming from a series of Supreme Court decisions in the 1930s.

Explain The Commerce Clause of the Constitution
Define “enumerated power”
Describe how regulatory power is derived from the Commerce Clause

Explore how the national government changed from the beginning of the nation through the many court decisions of the 1930s and answer the question:

How has the policy/law landscape of the country changed philosophically from what was intended, “original intent,” as a result of amendment, interpretation, and court decisions?


The Steamboat Case – Gibbons v. Ogden

The Charles River Bridge Case – Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge

The Case of the Unscrupulous Warehouseman – Munn v. Illinois

Garraty, J. A., (editor). (2009). Quarrels That Have Shaped The Constitution. New York: Harper- Perennial. ISBN: 9780061320842.

• Citations from at least 7 scholarly sources and all required readings and presentations
• 10-12 pages of double-spaced content, not counting the title page or references
• Double-spaced
• Turabian Format