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The Commerce Clause

The Commerce Clause

Learn about Congress’s broad but controversial power to regulate interstate commerce, the authority Congress relies upon to enact statutes regulating everything from racial discrimination in places of public accommodation to minimum wages and maximum hours in most workplaces.

Transcript

Of all of Congress’s enumerated regulatory powers, perhaps the most important is its power, quote, “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes,” unquote. Known in shorthand as the Commerce Clause, it is actually three different powers. This lesson focuses on the middle provision, the Interstate Commerce Clause, which continues to be a subject of significant debate.

The Interstate Commerce Clause is the source of Congress’s power to...