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Commerce Clause

Issue:

Whether or not the denial of the request of the child center to conduct psychological examinations of the alleged victims prior to the hearing constitute a denial of procedural due process?

Rule:

Procedural due process which is basically anchored on the principle of “fundamental fairness” that is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution and mostly integrated under the Fourteenth Amendment to the States is the rule that governs in the case at bar. It serves as a restriction on actions of the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the government.

Analysis:

Procedural due process essentially requires that individuals and “legal persons” who get involved with the law must be notified of the charges and be given opportunity to be heard and present their case. In the case at bar, the child care center’s assertion that it was denied procedural due process cannot be sustained. The psychological examination that it requested is not a prerequisite to the holding of a valid hearing. It may still prove its case even without such examination.

Conclusion:

The child care center is wrong in saying that it was denied procedural due process when the Maryland Department of Human Resources turned down its request to conduct psychological examination on the alleged victims. There was due process in the case at bar since the child care center knew of the actions against it and a hearing was conducted prior to the revocation of its license.

 

Issue:

Whether or not it is within the Commerce Clause power of Congress to prohibit mere possession of home made machine guns?

Rule:

Commerce Clause is the provision found in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution which grants Congress the exclusive authority to manage trade activities between the states, with foreign nations and Indian tribes. It is often times used by Congress to rationalize over its legislative powers. Through this clause, Congress may only regulate the channels, instrumentalities and actions that substantially affect interstate commerce.

Analysis:

As stated above, the Congress, under the Commerce Clause may only regulate transactions or activities that involve commerce. There is no showing that the mere transfer or possession of a machine gun would affect interstate commerce. Robert’s argument, therefore, should be given credence since his possession of the home made machine guns did not really substantially affected interstate commerce.

Conclusion:

Although Congress is given wide range of legislative power, it does not mean that it is unlimited. There is no direct proof that the mere possession of homemade machine guns massively affected the economy. The federal statute, then, that makes it unlawful to “transfer of possess a machine gun” should be held invalid.

Issue:

Whether or not the family farm measure denied MSM farms equal protection since the same is not logically related to achieving any legitimate state purpose?

Rule:

The equal protection clause is embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides that “no state shall …deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This means that in making legislations, all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and to responsibilities imposed. The equal protection clause is based on the concept that “all men are created equal.”

Analysis:

The equal protection clause is violated whenever a piece of legislation treats persons or corporations, who are similarly situated, differently. MSM Farms and the other corporations who are regarded as family farm corporations are similarly situated in that they both are corporations operating farms over Nebraska. Prohibiting non family farm corporations from owning and operating farm lands would cause undue deprivation of the property rights of these corporations. Family farm corporations and non-family farm corporations must be treated alike.

Conclusion:

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 The measure prohibiting nonfamily farm corporations from owning and operating Nebraska farm land violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. The prohibition has no reasonable and distinct relation to the purpose of the law. The measure indeed was not rationally related to achieving any legitimate state purpose.

Source:

Personalizing the Impersonal:
Corporations and the Bill of Rights

By Carl J. Mayer
As Published by Hastings Law Journal,
Hastings College of Law at University of California,
March, 1990; Volume 41, No. 3

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