Book Review Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate and Foreign Commerce: Boris 1. Bittker, With the Collaboration of Brannon P. Denning. Aspen Law & Business, Aspen Publishers, Inc. (gaithersburg, New York), 1999, 669 Pp. $195.00

JurisdictionUnited States,Federal
Publication year2021
CitationVol. 74 Pg. 338
Pages338
Connecticut Bar Journal
Volume 74.

74 CBJ 338. BOOK REVIEW BITTKER ON THE REGULATION OF INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE: Boris 1. Bittker, with the collaboration of Brannon P. Denning. Aspen Law & Business, Aspen Publishers, Inc. (Gaithersburg, New York), 1999, 669 pp. $195.00




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BOOK REVIEW BITTKER ON THE REGULATION OF INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE: Boris 1. Bittker, with the collaboration of Brannon P. Denning. Aspen Law & Business, Aspen Publishers, Inc. (Gaithersburg, New York), 1999, 669 pp $195.00

EMANUEL MARGOLIS (fn*)

Professor Bittker's scholarly study (fn1) is the first treatise to examine "the entire tangle of judicial opinions enunciating, refining, applying, and occasionally rejecting" the Commerce Clause. As such, it is a valuable tool for practitioner and scholar alike. The reader is provided a tome covering the constitutional implications of the Interstate, Foreign and Indian Commerce Clauses (fn2) from their genesis through dormancy, extensive federalization, and revisitation during the past decade.

Professor Bittker describes a vast panorama of constitutional interpretation with the meticulousness of a Peter Bruegel. The broad-brush stroke is rare. And interspersed among the always informative pages are the gems of humor that endeared Professor Bittker to his Yale Law School students and colleagues alike. Thus, for example, in the context of describing the high tide of judicial recognition of the seemingly limitless Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate an infinite number of state and local economic activities, the author writes:

If a Martian scholar had consulted an interstellar electronic data base in 1998, he/she/it might have concluded from Wickard v. Filbum, Katzenbach v. McClung, and their progeny that Congress could, if it wished, regulate the prices, hours, and sanitary conditions of a 10-year-old child's lemonade stand in Illinois on proof that the lemons came from




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California and that purchasers of the homemade beverage might drink less Coca-Cola and Gatorade.(fn3)

Bittker sounds an appropriate alert concerning the issue of constitutional federalism. An alarm would have served his readers better. His "Martian scholar" needs to look again. The corpse of state sovereignty, interred by Commerce Clause interpretation over a period of half a century, began to stir noticeably in 1995. Then, in United States v. Lopez, for the first time...

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