ON-Lion Letter

A March white paper from The Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., addresses the U.S. Congress' ability to use the Commerce Clause to preempt discriminatory state or local taxes. 

"The genius of the United States Constitution lies in its separation of power:  first, between the three branches of Federal Government, and second, between the States and the Federal Government," according to the paper, by Erin M. Hawley, an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law.  "Uniquely designed, the checks and balances of our federal system reside not only in the three separate federal branches but also in the different spheres of federal and state authority.

"The Founders' experience under the Articles of Confederation convinced them that the regulation of interstate commerce was a proper -- indeed, vital -- exercise of federal power," Hawley writes.

"[W]hen Congress acts to preempt local laws that discriminate against interstate commerce," she concludes, "it is on strong constitutional footing -- indeed, such legislation gives effect to the Framer's vision of a fair and uniform national economic market."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports The Federalist Society.

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