Ch04-SG - Constitutional Authority toRegulateBusiness...

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Chapter 4: Constitutional Authority  to Regulate Business W HAT   THIS  C HAPTER  I S  A BOUT This chapter  emphasizes  that  the Constitution  is the supreme  law  in this coun try and  discusses some of the  constitutional  limits on the law. Neither  Congress nor any state may  pass a law that  conflicts with  the Constitution.   To sustain  a federal law  or action, a specific federal power  must  be found  in the Constitution.  A state has inherent   power  to enact laws that have a reasonable relationship  to the welfare of its citizens. C HAPTER  O UTLINE I. THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS OF GOVERNMENT A. A F EDERAL  F ORM   OF  G OVERNMENT In a federal form  of government  (the United  States), the states form a union  and  sovereign  power  is di- vided  between  a central authority and  the states. B. T HE  S EPARATION   OF  P OWERS Under  the Constitution,  the legislative  branch  makes  the laws; the executive  branch  enforces the  laws;  and  the judicial branch interprets the laws.  Each branch has some power  to limit the actions of the other  two. C. T HE  C OMMERCE  C LAUSE The Constitution  (Article I, Section 8) gives Congress the power  to regulate commerce among  the states. 1. The Commerce Power Today The national government  can regulate every commercial enterprise in the United  States. The United   States  Supreme  Court  has  held,  however,  that  this  does  not  justify  regulation  of areas  that  have  “nothing  to do with commerce.” 2. The Regulatory Powers of the States States possess police powers  (the right to regulate private  activities to protect or promote  the pub lic  order, health, safety, morals, and  general welfare). Statutes covering almost every aspect of life have   been enacted under  the police powers. 3. The “Dormant” Commerce Clause When  state laws impinge  on interstate  commerce, courts balance the state’s interest  in regulating  a  certain  matter  against  the burden  on interstate  commerce. State laws that   substantially  interfere with  interstate commerce violate the commerce clause. D. T HE  S UPREMACY  C LAUSE The Constitution  (Article IV) provides  that  the Constitution,  laws, and  treaties of the United  States are   the supreme  law of the land. 1. When Federal and State Laws Are in Direct Conflict 25
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26 UNIT 2: THE PUBLIC ENVIRONMENT The state law is rendered  invalid. 2.
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Ch04-SG - Constitutional Authority toRegulateBusiness...

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