TQ 3.2: In light of Lopez, provide an example of a type of law that Congress could enact pursuant to its Commerce Clause authority, and an example of a law that Congress could not enact pursuant to that authority.
TQ 3.3: In U.S. v. Morrison (found in the Chemerinsky book), what was the government’s argument as to why the Violence Against Women’s Act should be upheld as a legitimate use of the commerce clause? What did the Court hold and what are the implications of this holding for Congress’ ability to regulate “non-economic” activity?
TQ 3.5: How does the 10th Amendment limit Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause? Given these limits, why did the Court side with Congress in Gonzalez v. Raich (and in Wickard v. Fillburn)?
DQ 3.1: Do you agree with the Court’s decision in Lopez, limiting the reach of Congress’ commerce power? Should the federal government have a broader reach when regulating commerce, or narrower?
DQ 3.2: In 2012, a deeply divided Supreme Court decided NFIB v. Sebelius (more commonly known as the Obamacare decision) upholding the individual mandate—requiring U.S. citizens to have or purchase healthcare—as a constitutional exercise of Congress’ authority to tax and spend. However, a majority of the justices found that the mandate could not be justified under Congress’ commerce clause power. Do you think the majority was correct in its ruling on the commerce clause issue?
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