Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If You're Not Into The Whole Brevity Thing

US Constitution: Article 1 §8.3:
[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
 Though it's come to mean that the Congress has the requisite jurisdiction to establish agencies to oversee industry, the intent of the Commerce Clause (prior to the asinine, execrable decision in Schecter anyway) was to prevent petty trade wars across state lines. New Jersey's elite commercial interests should not be able to ply favors from the Governor's office that infringe on a New York firm's commerce across the bridge. The commerce clause is the trust-busting power in the constitution: it breaks the natural propensity for wealthy, powerful interests to collude in restraint of trade.

In a nation filled with artisan yeomen, it was a pretty good idea. In an industrial nation, it just means that the collusion happens at the national rather than the state level. Hm.

Anyway, some of the squawking over the recently-passed Indiana RFRA includes CT Governor Dan Malloy has "banned" state-funded travel to Indiana. Obviously, it's not a ban in the sense that he's shut down the borders or anything. He's merely directed that tax funds not subsidize travel to Indiana.

Put aside how this will imperil Connecticutters traveling to Indiana who must now drive from Chicago to Indianapolis rather than flying directly. Put aside the hypocrisy of the head of a state with a more robust religious freedom statute on the books trying to scold Democracy in Action™. Consider instead whether or not this sort of interference with another state's dominion will engage the old Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

The greatest triumph of the oxcart era occurred when ruff-ringed commoner merchants amicably divorced their interests from those of the foppish, dilettante aristocracy. Exeunt politics from trade. The greatest shame of the modern era is to gaze upon this great achievement—the achievement that brought with is the greatest surge in material plenty that humanity has ever known—shrug its shoulders and bleat "meh." Politics mars commerce, tarnishes our ability to work towards mutual, peaceful cooperation. Punish iniquity if it so suits your tastes, but micturate upon the rug of Enlightenment constitutional jurisprudence at your peril. It really ties the country together, man.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?