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Can the Federal Government regulate interstate commerce in a way that does not encompass every state, or is it all or nothing?

Boston, MA |

The federal government has the right to regulate interstate commerce. However, MUST these regulations impact trade between every state? For example, could a Federal Government Ban be created that prohibited the import, or sale of Jelly beans into Florida from any other state? Or can the Federal government only ban the interstate sale of jellybeans period. If interstate commerce regulations can be state specific, can you give me an example?

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Filed under: Transportation law
Attorney answers 1

Posted

Dear Boston - you ask a good questions, but one that has several layers of possible answers. As has been shown in the last 20 years, the short answer is that the federal government is limited by the constitution. However, in reality, it finds a way to regulate anything that it wants, absent a challenge. That is my ode to the rhetoric aspect o your question. Regarding the specifics of your question, principles of interstate commerce, safety, and other issues provide the feds with vast powers. More specific facts are needed to address a specific issue.

Asker

Posted

Sure thing, in 2008 under the Lacey Act , US fish and wildlife placed a ban on the interstate trade of several kinds of big snakes. SO, not a new law, a ban under an old one. This ban was put in place in large part because of the problems these snakes are causing in the FL everglades. in 2013 a suit was brought against the US Dept of fish and wildlife to lift this ban, saying it's overly prohibitive. my question is, was it an option for the US dept of Wildlife to limit it's ban to sales and imports with Florida? Or did using the Lacey act mean they HAD to ban all sales of these snakes?

Asker

Posted

and by ban sale I mean interstate sales

Mark Steven Paullin

Mark Steven Paullin

Posted

Dear Boston - I think you are smart enough to realize that even if the government was/is wrong and even if you would likely win, the cost and paralyzing effort required to fight the ban would not be worth it. Also recognize that federal judges are appointed by the President and come with certain backgrounds and points of view. We know that they would never rule in any given case except for what is correct - but the fact that appeals courts never run out of cases to decide shows that every coin has two sides. So - it is permissible until a court says that it is not. Take care.

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