Constitutional Law 2: The Federal Legislative Power
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What are Congress's THREE big powers?
What are the FOUR exception where Congress has a POLICE POWER?
District of Columbia
What does Article 1 Section 8 say?
Congress can adopt all laws that are NECESSARY and PROPER to exercise its authority.
Does Congress have a general welfare power?
No. Congress may TAX and SPEND for the general welfare, but there is no "general welfare power" (i.e., police power).
What is the COMMERCE POWER?
Congress can regulate commerce with foreign nations, Indian tribes, and amont the states.
What are the THREE situations in which the Supreme Court has said that Congress could act under the Commerce Clause?
1. Regulate CHANNELS of interstate commerce.
2. Regulate the INSTRUMENTALITIES of interstate commerce and PERSONS and THINGS in interstate commerce.
3. Regulate economic activities that have a SUBSTANTIAL EFFECT on interstate commerce.
What are "CHANNELS" of interstate commerce?
Places where commerce occurs. This includes highways, waterways, internet, or even walking across state lines.
May Congress regulate NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce?
Yes, but the substantial effect cannot be based on CUMULATIVE IMPACT.
What does the TENTH Amendment say in regards to the Legislative Power?
It states that all powers not granted to the United States, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people.
May Congress COMPEL state regulatory or legislative action?
NO. However, Congress can INDUCE state government action by putting strings on grants, so long as the conditions are EXPRESSLY STATED and relate to the purpose of the spending program.
What type of state government activity may Congress prohibit?
Harmful COMMERCIAL activity (e.g., selling DMV lists)
What is the limit on Congress' ability to delegate powers?
NO LIMIT on its ability to delegate LEGISLATIVE powers.
Congress may NOT DELEGATE EXECUTIVE POWER to itself ot its officers.
Are VETOES constitutional?
Legislative vetoes (when Congress vetoes acts by the Executive) and line-item vetoes are unconstitutional.
What are the requirements for Congress to act?
BICAMERALISM (passage by both the house and the senate)
PRESENTMENT (giving the bill to the president to sign or veto)
What would you like to do?
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