The steady decline in States’ Rights under the Tenth Amendment and the loss of individual freedoms has been on an accelerating path since the 1930’s and the expansive use and abuse of Federal power by the Democratic party to control the entire social fabric and economic activity of the country. FDR and his cohorts declined to consider working with the States during the ’30’s because they didn’t think they could get their programs implemented in some of them and they wanted to control the puppet strings from the central location in Washington and then see the response in a uniform way throughout the nation for all their ideas. The only small victory for freedom lovers during this era was the rejection of his NRA program which literally nationalized the entire economy. Under that program there would have been no limit on the power of the Federal government to dictate wages, prices and economic policy throughout the country.
This rebuke by the Supreme Court led to his other defeat as a politician when he pushed very hard for a revamping of the Supreme Court so he could load it up with new justices who would be openly favorable to his interpretation of social and economic policy and allow the expansion of Federal government edicts. That effort to pack the court failed but the members were not immune to the pressures from the politicians in power. The new weapon of choice for the semi/socialists and outright socialists in the Roosevelt cabal was the Commerce Clause. This was used to expand the power of the Feds beyond all imagination.
As part of their numerous programs the Dems passed legislation controlling the output of our agricultural industry, right down to the level of the small farmer. Farmers were mandated as to the crops they could grow and how much of a crop and the prices they could get for their produce or livestock. The legislation was based on the powers of the Congress to regulate interstate commerce. There was a small farmer named Wickard who wanted to raise wheat on his farmland for his own use to feed his livestock and any personal consumption. The wheat was not going to be sold to any third party nor cross any State border. Sure enough the Feds came after him. The Department of Agriculture wanted him to plant no wheat at all. For the serious offense of bucking up to the Feds he was sued and fined. Some who believed in basic freedoms and States’ Rights took up his cause and handled the case for him all the way to the Supreme Court. By now a majority of the Court was cowered in a corner.
As ridiculous as it may seem the Court ruled that planting and using wheat for his own consumption was in violation of the law. Even though his product never crossed in State border and was not sold into any commercial market the Court by a majority of 5/4 decided that his activity on his own land was in deed subject to the interstate commerce clause because his activity might have some effect on the price of wheat nationally or internationally. You don’t have to be a lawyer or genius to see how ludicrous that reasoning was and is. There is no way the Founding Fathers meant that outcome when they drafted Article One, section 8 of the Constitution. Since they day the list of abuses under the alleged authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce has only grown. It is not hard for you to make your own list of activities of the Federal government engages in at the present times that have nothing to do with interstate commerce but they do and the courts have been conspirators with them to grow Federal authority.
A few years ago the Court finally put some halt to the ever-expanding growth of Federal authority with the gun case where they ruled that gun restrictions were a State matter and that carrying a gun near a school did not affect interstate commerce. Bad facts but great law. The States can make any restriction they deem appropriate but the Feds simply have no writ under the Constitution for such laws. Maybe the Court will take another look at the issue in the near future but it must be soon or all is likely lost because of the prospect of the Court becoming even more liberal in the near future.
“When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right” Debs, the labor leader. An example of the elitist attitude of the left, it never changes. They have no respect for those they allegedly represent. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com