Federalism And COVID-19 Recovery: Constitutional Oversight And Regulation Of Commerce In The Face Of The Shutdown

By: Jason Brown | Gulag Bound

The US Constitution gave birth to a unique form of government, that of a constitutional republic. For the first time in the history of the world, a country’s founding document set out to restrict the actions and authority of the government rather than attempt to control the citizenry. I felt the need to write this article to explain the reason why Trump is declaring that he has executive authority to reopen the national economy.

First of all, during one of his task force briefings when questioned about this authority by the press, he said that he allowed the governors to implement restrictions for their state as they see fit to accommodate their own people during this so-called outbreak. The keyword here is “allowed”. He did this knowing that ultra-liberal governors would impose draconian limits on individual liberty and use the virus as an excuse to do it. He also knew that the more conservative governors would act appropriately while observing constitutional boundaries. He has exposed the dictatorial nature of those that thirst for god-like authority over the masses.

Yes, states have the sovereign right to regulate the intrastate commerce within their own border while interstate commerce is left to congress. However, when the governors decide to shut down businesses on a mass scale across the board this becomes an interstate commerce issue, because actions that shut down most of a state’s economy, the enormity of the situation created, has a much broader effect on the national economy, therefore affecting the country as a whole.

Interstate commerce is subject to congressional regulation, but in this case, there is no regulation needed, only the assurance that private businesses are allowed to be open and thrive. I ask that you refer to two specific cases to illustrate my point here; United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941) and Wickard v Filburn 317 US 111 (1942). Both of these cases are relevant because they dive deep into the subject of federal regulation of commerce. The shutdown that has taken place here is a violation of private citizens’ rights, therefor the state governments are violating the law. Congress makes law and the president sees to it that the laws are enforced, this includes constitutional laws. The president is only seeing to it that constitutional law is adhered to.

Now that he sees a window to reopen our once-thriving economy, he has declared that he can do this on his own executive authority. Trump is correct. Our God-given liberties that are acknowledged in the Bill of Rights, have a “hands-off” warning to the government and strictly prohibits infringement of these rights. This is our supreme law of the land, imposed on government, not the people.

By Trump reopening the economy, he is recognizing and protecting the rights of the people to assemble, attend church to worship God, and to own private property (small businesses), if he/she so chooses. This shutdown has taken these essential liberties away from Americans, and President Trump is seeing to it that these liberties remain, thus assuring that the law is executed as it should be. State sovereignty does not include violating one’s constitutional rights. During the course of last week’s briefings, President Trump was asked to reference the Constitution to justify this authority to reopen America.

Article II Section 3 states that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” President Trump is merely restoring the rights that have been taken away by overzealous, power-hungry state officials. The President is protecting the rule of law, and the lazy media should be ashamed for refusing to grab a copy on the Constitution and actually read it for once, instead of concocting another gotcha question to throw at the President.

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