Another chink in the New Deal Wall
Posted by aogFriday, 14 November 2003 at 09:19 TrackBack Ping URL

Via Instantman and Larry Solum is a report that the Ninth Circut Court has held that the federal government can’t ban home made automatic weapons under the Commerce Clause.

In my opinion this is common sensical. The idea that the Commerce Clause gives the federal government the power to regulate basically anything is probably the singles worst legacy of the New Deal. Some apologists may claim that the courts have only applied this holding to economic activity, but that’s a semantic game. There is basically no human activity that cannot (or has not) been commercialized or doesn’t impact economic activity. This is the locus of the libertarian view that personal liberty must encompass economic liberty to be meaningful. A government that can regulate all economic activity is a totalitarian government, that is, one that has the power to regulate the totality of society. While that is what most on the Left want, it’s good to see some retreat from that position.