This Chapter examines Congress’ power to “regulate commerce … among the several states.” This is the “commerce power.” The most important concepts in this Chapter are:
A. Introduction: Article I, §8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”
1. Foreign and Indian regulation: Congress’ power to regulate foreign trade and trade with Indian tribes is not of great interest to us here. It is sufficient to note that since the adoption of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has always recognized full power on Congress’ part to regulate these matters, since there is no countervailing interest in them on the part of the states. See N&R, pp. 133-134.
2. Commerce among the states: Congress’ power to regulate commerce among the states, by contrast, is of paramount importance — it is upon the commerce power that many, perhaps most, congressional activities are based.