Here are some 1823 Commerce Clause notes of the events of August 18th (edited for brevity) from John Taylor, Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
It was proposed to empower the legislature of the United States, . . . to establish institutions, rewards, and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures."
The propositions of August the 18th, seem to have been the last considerable struggle for a national government; but the residue of the journal is so concise and imperfect, that their rejection is only discoverable by a reference to the Constitution, in which not a single one of them is to be found.
Their rejection was a necessary consequence of substituting a federal for the national government zealously contended for, from the 29th of May to the 14th of September. It was obvious that powers to . . . bestow rewards and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, would certainly swallow up a federal, and introduce a national government. . . The same soothing but insidious argument is now addressed to the intelligence of the publick, to justify an exercise of the very powers which the intelligence of the convention withheld from a federal government.
Yet, whatever may have been their temporary effect, it is obvious that the enlightened framers of the constitution considered the condition of publick good, as an enlargement and not a restriction of power; and that it would defeat all the limitations of the constitution, by which a federal government could be formed or sustained. It was a pretext which would fit every encroachment or usurpation; and no powers could be more indefinite and sovereign than those of granting exclusive privileges, bestowing rewards and immunities upon the three comprehensive interests of society, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, and patronising capitalists, paupers, knowledge, and ignorance. Such a nest of powers, though exhibited as sleeping in the bed of publick good, bore so strong a resemblance to the old bed of justice in France, which was the repository of evil as well as good, that they were all rejected. It was evident that they would be sufficient to re-hatch the strangled national form of government; and the convention having finally preferred the federal form, thought that no good to the publick could result from such powers, which would recompense it for the evils it would sustain from the subversion of that form.
The convention saw, that if Congress could exercise such powers, for the publick good, it might, upon the same ground, usurp any powers whatsoever, and in rejecting the propositions, decided between investing that body with a general or a limited federal authority. Hence the power to regulate commerce was not intended to revive the rejected proposition to empower Congress to bestow rewards upon agriculture, commerce, and manufactures.
So, the Framers considered and rejected essentially unlimited powers over agriculture, manufactures and commerce. If I know this, why didnt Supreme Court justices back to FDR know as well?
The Court well knew all of this, but it didn’t suit the ambitions of the New Deal, so the judges, intimidated as they were, ignored all scholarship, history and precedent on this matter.
Today, we continue to pay the price for this intentional perfidy.
If I read John Eidsmoe (Christian Legal Advisor”correctly FDR appointed liberal judges to the Court replacing the Conservatives that retired. I suspect they knew of this but believed like all “progressives” that they knew better than the framers of what they considered an imperfect and outdated Constitution.
Good, and important remarks!
replies coming to me that aren’t meant for me
I’m getting numerous replies responding to “Journal of the Federal Convention August 17th 1787”. I’ve never done any postings on that subject.
that is where we get the court packing scandal where FDR was going to dilute the supreme court with FDR socialists until he had a majority.