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One of the most important powers held by the United States Congress is the power to regulate interstate commerce. But what is commerce and what is Congress allowed to regulate under Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution?
This three-session course with Dr. Timothy Johnson, a nationally recognized expert on US Supreme Court oral arguments and decision making, traces the Court's jurisprudence in this area of law and places the major cases in political and economic contexts.
Participants will read several key cases, from Gibbons v. Ogden (decided in 1824, this landmark ruling stated the Commerce Clause included the power to regulate navigation) to the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (decided in 2012, this ruling upheld Congress's power to enact most provisions of the Patient and Affordable Health Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare).
Throughout the course, lectures and discussions will emphasize how the scope of federal power has waxed and waned over the past 200 years.
Timothy R. Johnson, PhD, Washington University, is Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law who, in 2018, received the American Political Science Association's Distinguished Teaching Award and was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Robert F. Cherry Award for Great Teaching Award. His University honors include the Red Motley Award for Exemplary Teaching, the Horace T. Morse-Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, and the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The former coeditor of Law and Society Review, Johnson’s most recent book project is The Court at Conference, which uses the justices' private papers to examine how their private conference discussions help mold the decisions they make.