In 1942, one of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Supreme Courts ruled that an Ohio farmer named Filburn was NOT permitted to raise the amount of wheat he wished on his own farm, for the purpose of feeding his own family. And for 70 years this and a handful of similar, overreaching decisions by the Court have resulted in the wholesale abuse of a power granted Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, namely the “Commerce Clause.”

In the Wickard v Filburn case, the Court opened to Congress the nearly unlimited power to exercise legislative authority relating to virtually ANYTHING Congress may define as “commerce among the several states.” The Ohio farmer had been fined $117 because he grew winter wheat in excess of the quantity permitted by quota in the Agricultural Adjustment Act.

And even though it was for use on his own farm, the Court decided that Filburn had violated the law, ruling that  through the Act, Congress had the power to create quotas which “…not only embrace all that may be sold without penalty but also what may be consumed on the premises.”  (my italics) The Court considered such sweeping authority to regulate a “…‘necessary and proper’ implementation of the power of Congress over interstate commerce.”

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