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Interstate Commerce Clause
connecting current events to a course topic.
The research question you are answering How the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.
Using the following Refeneces:

Constitutional Foundations of the Commerce Power
Gibbons v. Ogden [Required]
Defining Interstate Commerce
United States v. E. C. Knight Co. [Required]
Stafford v. Wallace [Required]

Interstate Commerce Clause
Congress has the power to control and regulate commerce between the U.S and foreign nations, trade between states and as well as with Indian Tribes. It regulates foreign and interstate commerce with the interest of managing and handling politics and controversies that may arise. The power to regulate interstate commerce has given Congress the power and authority over everything that crosses state lines. Equally important, the Commerce Clause gives Congress the positive authority and further gives implied prohibition of state laws and regulations that discriminate and interfere with interstate commerce. The commerce clause is viewed as the foundation of the U.S government to have regulatory power over its subjects (Klass, & Rossi, 2015). The purpose of the clause was to enhance regulation of trade, enhances government exclusivity and supremacy. The question and the issue of interstate commerce regulation by the can be evaluated and answered through evaluation of various cases such as the Gibbons v. Ogden, Stafford v. Wallace and the United States v. E. C. Knight Co.
Gibbons v. Ogden case
To begin with, the Gibbons v. Ogden case displays and demonstrate the constitutional foundations of Congress Power over interstate commerce (Klass and Rossi, 2015). The case was a landmark case that established the power of the federal government to control interstate commerce. Initially, Robert Fulton and Robert Livingstone were given a monopoly over all navigations routes in New York by the state of New York. The two businessmen used the franchise to sell other businessmen the rights to operate on other routes (Otterness, Struve, Trommler, McVeigh, & Shore, 2015). Gibbons and Ogden bought the permission to operate their ships between New York and Elizabethtown from Livingstone and Fulton. Later, Gibbons went against the agreement they had with Ogden and operated his two ships on the same route and Gibbons justified his action from a separate federal license he had gotten. The Supreme Court argued that states were not in a position to interfere with the power of Congress in regulating commerce (Otterness et al., 2015). The court ruled in favor of Gibbons and further dismantled the navigation monopoly control.
In recent times, the mandate of the Congress has been emphasized through the control of interstate commerce and the mandate supersedes the state law. In this respect, the case of United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 of 2000 showed the overemphasized mandate of Congress power over the state and regional laws. Brzonkala sued Crawford, Morrison and Virginia Tech in the Federal District Court arguing that Crawford and Morrison’s rape attacked was against the 42 USC section 13981 part of VAWA. The Act provided a remedy for victims of gender violence. The defendants argue that the civil, in this case, was unconstitutional and Congress lacked the authority to enact section 13971 under the Fourteenth Amendment or Commercial Clause which are the source of Congress authority.
The supreme court overturned the defense based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The Act created a civil obligation for commission violent crime on gender basis without considering the jurisdictional requirement of a connection to interstate commercial activity. The court was making a decision on congressional contempt to make a local traditional criminal act a crime. Despite the act being a non-economic activity the Congress mandate prevailed over the local law by criminalizing the gender-based violence. In this case, brought a connection between interstate commerce and the criminalized activity even without much consideration of the jurisdictional element.

United States v. E. C. Knight Co.
The American Sugar Refining Company (America) and Knight Co bought four refineries in Philadelphia placing it in a position to have a monopoly on sugar refining (Otterness et al., 2015). In this respect, the federal government sued the American Sugar Refining Co. for engaging in a combination in restraint of trade. The issue of contention or the rule of law up for determination was the implementation of the commerce power cannot destroy the police power retained by the state (Case Briefs, n.d.). The government argued by the companies entering into a contract to buy sugar refineries was a ploy to restrain trade and commerce in various states. The court held that business activities such as manufacturing, refining are not the same as interstate commerce and thus the companies were not in violation of the Act. The court, therefore, brought a distinction between commerce and manufacturing thus overturning the case.
In recent times, there have been court rulings that have distinguished the mandate of the Congress under the commerce clause. In this respect, the case of Virginia v. Sebelius clearly defines the scope within which Congress should operate by differentiating between commercial and economic activities. The plaintiff challenges PPACA on accounts of the inclusion of individual health insurance as a mandatory requirement. The plaintiff argues that in cases where a Virginian buys health insurance or not is not a concern of the interstate commerce and Congress has no mandate of having a regulation as per the commerce clause.
The court was making a decision on whether the purchase of health insurance can be considered an economic activity that has an impact on interstate commerce. Judge Henry Hudson overturned the law arguing that failure to buy a health insurance cover was not an economic activity and thus Congress had no mandate in controlling it. The decisions, in this case, drew a line on the duty and obligations of the Congress as well as defining the scope of the Congress in exercising its constitutional authority under the commercial clause.
Stafford v. Wallace
The Stafford V. Wallace case is of great significance in understanding the interstate commerce clause (Otterness et al., 2015). Congress was involved in enacting the Packers and Stockyard Act so as to control activities of meat packers that were deemed to be deceptive, unfair, discriminatory and further enhanced the creation of monopolies. Stafford requested an injunction to prevent the enforcement of the Act (justia, n.d.). His application was denied prompting him to seek the interpretation by the Supreme Court. The court rejected the argument on the basis that the Act was part of the intrastate commerce under Congress. Additionally, the court argued that Congress did not have to wait scrupulous economic monopolies had been formed to regulate the industries (justia, n.d.). Therefore, the business done by the stockyards was a vital part of interstate commerce and thus subject to the federal government. The ruling gave a more expansive view of the interstate commerce authority.
In recent times, the case of Gonzales v. Raich showed that Congress can stop any activity deemed to be illegal despite it being allowed by the state laws under the commerce clause. Initially, the voters of California had passed the Compassionate Use Act that that made it legal to consume marijuana for medical reasons. The Compassionate Use Act was in conflict with the federal Controlled Substance Act that criminalized the possession and use of marijuana. Later on, the Drug Administration (DEA) confiscated doctor-prescribed marijuana from a patient prompting the medical marijuana users to sue the U.S. Attorney General and the DEA.
In this regard, the U.S supreme court made a ruling under the Commerce Clause by criminalizing the homegrown and production of marijuana despite the state laws allowing its medicinal production. The medical marijuana users argue that Congress could not regulate the consumption of marijuana as it was an interstate affair. In this case, Congress argued that the use of cannabis would have adverse effects in the future and thus it was right to counter the production and growing of marijuana. The court, on the other hand, reinstated the mandate of Congress in regulating intrastate consumption of marijuana has a substantial impact on interstate commerce.
Different court rulings based on the Interstate Commerce power by Congress have various operations in law. The Gibbon v. Ogden case showed that federal laws were more powerful than state law in regard to regulating interstate business operations. Consequently, United States v. E. C. Knight Co. differentiated the roles and responsibilities played by the Congress in relation to the commerce clause. The ruling showed that business and commercial activities were different from interstate commerce. Finally, Stafford v. Wallace showed that the operation of the Interstate Clause was far-reaching and covered activities that have effects on intrastate commerce. All the stated cases can be connected to the rulings in recent times as they are used in determining cases.

Case Briefs (n.d.), United States v. E. C. Knight Co. Retrieved from: https://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/constitutional-law/constitutional-law-keyed-to-chemerinsky/the-federal-legislative-power/united-states-v-e-c-knight-co/
justia (n.d.), Stafford v. Wallace, 258 U.S. 495 (1922). Retrieved from: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/258/495/
Klass, A. B., & Rossi, J. (2015). Revitalizing Dormant Commerce Clause Review for Interstate Coordination. Minn. L. Rev., 100, 129.
Otterness, P., Struve, W., Trommler, F., McVeigh, J., & Shore, E. (2015). Gibbons v. Ogden. The Early Republic and Antebellum America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, 438.

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