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Quote Author Cited
What do gentlemen mean by a strict construction? If they contend only against that enlarged construction which would extend words beyond their natural and obvious import, we might question the application of the term, but should not controvert the principle. If they contend for that narrow construction which, in support of some theory not to be found in the Constitution, would deny to the government those powers which the words of the grant, as usually understood, import, and which are consistent with the general views and objects of the instrument; for that narrow construction, which would cripple the government, and render it unequal to the objects for which it is declared to be instituted, and to which the powers given, as fairly understood, render it competent; then we cannot perceive the propriety of this strict construction, nor adopt it as the rule by which the Constitution is to be expounded. As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they in tend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said. John Marshall
The breadth and comprehensiveness of the words of the Constitution are nowhere more strikingly exhibited than in regard to the powers, over the subjects of revenue, finance, and currency Stephen J. Field
If any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act shall, directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback, or other device, charge, demand, collect, or receive from any person or persons a greater or less compensation for any service rendered … in the transportation of passengers or property, subject … than it charges, demands, collects, or receives from any other person or persons for doing for him or them a like and contemporaneous service in the transportation of a like kind of traffic under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, such common carrier shall be deemed guilty of unjust discrimination, which is hereby prohibited and declared to be unlawful. United States
Unfair methods of competition in commerce are hereby declared unlawful. The commission is hereby empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations, except banks, and common carriers subject to the Acts to regulate commerce, from using unfair methods of competition in commerce. United States Congress
The mere declaration by a legislature that a business is affected with a public interest is not conclusive of the question whether its attempted regulation on that ground is justified. William Howard Taft
We demand a strong national regulation of interstate corporations. We insist that [commercial power] shall be exercised openly, under public supervision and regulation of the most efficient sort .... To that end we urge the establishment of a strong federal administrative commission of high standing which shall maintain permanent active supervision over industrial corporations engaged in interstate commerce. Anonymous
In undertaking the regulation of inter-State commerce, Congress is entering upon a new and untried field. Shelby M. Cullom
Take the commerce of the states out of the hands of the states and place it under the superintendence of Congress. Thomas Jefferson
Other interests of high importance will claim attention, among which the improvement of our country by roads and canals, proceeding always with a constitutional sanction, holds a distinguished place. By thus facilitating the intercourse between the States we shall add much to the convenience and comfort of our fellow-citizens, much to the ornament of the country, and, what is of greater importance, we shall shorten distances, and, by making each part more accessible to and dependent on the other, we shall bind the Union more closely together. James Monroe
The institution of a bank has also a natural relation to the regulation of trade between the States, in so far as it is conducive to the creation of a convenient medium of exchange between them, and to the keeping up a full circulation, by preventing the frequent displacement of the metals in reciprocal remittances Money is the very hinge on which commerce turns. And this does not merely mean gold and silver; many other things have served the purpose, with different degrees of utility. Paper has been extensively employed. Alexander Hamilton
We want and command that all merchants of our lands, as well as merchants of other lands who are within our peace, together with their merchandise, who are coming to the said city, delaying there, or departing from there, shall have the liberty to come, remain and depart, both by water and bridges as by land, and that they shall be free in entering and exiting our land, without any impediment from our bailiffs or those of any other lord, as long as they shall hold to the required and correct customs. Henry III
Please tell the Attorney General that we have been cooling off for 350 years. If we cool off any more, we’ll be in the deep freeze. The Freedom Rides will go on. James Farmer
There is not an inn between Washington and Montgomery, a distance of over 1000 miles, that will accommodate me to a bed or a meal. Now then, is there a man on this floor who is so heartless, whose breast is so void of better feelings, as to say that this brutal custom needs no regulation. I hold that it does, and Congress is the body to regulate it. James T. Rapier
So much of the several laws of the state of New York as prohibits vessels, licensed according to the laws of the United States, from navigating the waters of the state of New York, by means of fire or steam, is repugnant to the said Constitution and void…. the acts of New York must yield to the law of Congress John Marshall
A power to regulate trade, is a power to make all needful rules and regulations concerning trade. Why may it not, then, include that of erecting a trading company, as well as, in other cases, to erect a government ? Alexander Hamilton
The institution of a bank has also a natural relation to the regulation of trade between the States, in so far as it is conducive to the creation of a convenient medium of exchange between them, and to the keeping up a full circulation, by preventing the frequent displacement of the metals in reciprocal remittances Money is the very hinge on which commerce turns. And this does not merely mean gold and silver; many other things have served the purpose, with different degrees of utility. Paper has been extensively employed. Alexander Hamilton
An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each. Alexander Hamilton
Although the power to regulate commerce does not give a power to build piers, wharves, open ports, clear the beds of rivers, dig canals, build warehouses, build manufacturing machines, set up manufactories, cultivate the earth, to all of which the power would go if it went to the first, yet a power to provide and maintain a navy is a power to provide receptacles for it, and places to cover and preserve it Thomas Jefferson
… strong national regulation of interstate corporations Theodore Roosevelt
The citizens of the several States composing the Union are entitled, of right, to buy goods in the State where they are manufactured, or in any other State, without being confronted by an illegal combination whose business extends throughout the whole country, which by the law everywhere is an enemy to the public interests, and which prevents such buying, except at prices arbitrarily fixed by it. I insist that the free course of trade among the States cannot coexist with such combinations. John Marshall Harlan
If the States cannot live together in harmony, under the auspices of such a Government as exists, and in the midst of blessings, such as have been the fruits of it, what is the prospect threatened by the abolition of a Common Government, with all the rivalships collisions and animosities, inseparable from such an event. James Madison
What right to 49 states have to punish the citizens of one state by dumping their garbage in that state without their consent. Ronald E. Paul
The power to regulate commerce does not look to the principle by which boats were moved. That power was left to individual discretion. The act demonstrates the opinion of Congress that steamboats may be enrolled and licensed in common with vessels using sails. They are, of course, entitled to the same privileges and can no more be restrained from navigating waters and entering ports, which are free to such vessels, than if they were wafted on their voyage by the winds instead of being propelled by the agency of fire. The one element may be as legitimately used as the other, for every commercial purpose authorized by the laws of the river, and the act of a State inhibiting the use of either to any vessel, having a license under the act of Congress, comes, we think, in direct collision with that act. The acts of the Legislature of the State of New York, granting to Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton the exclusive navigation of all the waters within the jurisdiction of that State, with boats moved by fire or steam, for a term of years, are repugnant to that clause of the constitution of the United States, which authorizes Congress to regulate commerce, so far as the said acts prohibit vessels licensed, according to the laws of the United States, for carrying on the coasting trade, from navigating the said waters by means of fire or steam. John Marshall
To hinder, besides, the farmer from selling his goods at all times to the best market, is evidently to sacrifice the ordinary laws of justice to an idea of public utility, to a sort of reasons of state; an act of legislative authority which ought to be exercised only, which can be pardoned only in cases of the most urgent necessity. Adam Smith
Are we going to take the hands of the federal government completely off any effort to adjust the growing of national crops, and go right straight back to the old principle that every farmer is a lord of his own farm and can do anything he wants, raise anything, any old time, in any quantity, and sell any time he wants? Franklin D. Roosevelt
Rigid regulation of inter-State commerce is needed. James Baird Weaver
American peace is not due to the fact that we have a common executive, a Congress, and a Supreme Court, useful as all of these instruments may be. It exists because any citizen of the United States equally with any other citizen has a right in perfect freedom to pass state borders with all his family and property; to import and export from place to place within the limits of the United States any sort of property he pleases without hindrance from any state authority; to gain access to and from the seas without any local interference whatsoever. Jackson H. Ralston
The leading factor in the building of business America has been the ready means of communication between the states of the Union, unhampered, for one hundred and fifty years, by artificial barriers to trade. This has enabled us to build up the greatest home market the world has ever known. Oscar Wilder Underwood
The large corporations, commonly called trusts, though organized in one State, always do business in many States, often doing very little business in the State where they are incorporated. There is utter lack of uniformity in the State laws about them; and as no State has any exclusive interest in or power over their acts, it has in practice proved impossible to get adequate regulation through State action. Therefore, in the interest of the whole people, the Nation should, without interfering with the power of the States in the matter itself, also assume power of supervision and regulation over all corporations doing an interstate business. Theodore Roosevelt
We will throw the highways of commerce open on equal terms to all who use them. Theodore Roosevelt