Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, legal scholar William Watkins digs into the meaning of “interstate commerce” for the drafters of the Constitution. Read his piece here. In short, they wanted Congress to protect the free flow of goods.

Through word play, our authoritarian rulers want to stretch “regulate interstate commerce” to cover a federal mandate to purchase something. That’s sheer deception. If the drafters had meant for Congress to have such power, they’d have included it in Article I, Section 8. Nothing in that section, listing the powers of Congress, suggests in the least that it was supposed to have the power to compel people to make certain purchases. Can you imagine the reaction if someone had said to James Madison in 1789, “This phrase about regulating interstate commerce — it means that Congress can pass a law to make us buy government-approved candles, right?”