Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2015)
johnpierce14
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 12:32 am

Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

Postby johnpierce14 » Sat May 11, 2013 12:35 am

Could the federal government pass a law pursuant to the commerce power requiring that states preserve DNA evidence for X amount of years?

I know that's brief, and I'm not expecting a long essay, but any thoughts would be appreciated.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22773
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat May 11, 2013 12:58 am

My gut reaction is that preservation of DNA evidence really doesn't have anything to do with commerce, even under the broadest definitions of commerce, but it's been a long time since I took con law and I may just have a limited imagination. (I would think it would be much easier to make such a requirement a condition of receiving federal funds in support of investigating/prosecuting crime, but again, just a gut reaction.)

User avatar
encore1101
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

Re: Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

Postby encore1101 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:32 pm

I'd say no. If you look at US v. Lopez:
1. DNA evidence, or the preservation of DNA evidence, is not a channel of interstate commerce.
2. "" does not involve protecting or regulating an instrumentality of interstate commerce.
3. "" does not have a substantial relationship to interstate commerce.

DNA does not involve a fungible good, like marijuana did in Gonzales v. Raich, that is part of an overall valid legislation. To the contrary, you don't get any more unique than DNA. And there is no reason why the federal government can alone effectively control DNA evidence/preservation like in Wickard v. Fillburn.

I think the only possible argument you could make is that both unsolved crimes and repeat offenders have an impact on interstate commerce, but its a pretty attenuated link that, in my view, brings it outside commerce clause. Like Anon said, there may be some other basis for it, but not the commerce clause.

Jchance
Posts: 588
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 am

Re: Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

Postby Jchance » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:36 pm

What about the tools used to collect DNA evidence? those travel in commerce, thus DNA collection substantially relates to commerce?

User avatar
encore1101
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

Re: Con Law Question - Commerce Clause, Help

Postby encore1101 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:43 pm

Jchance wrote:What about the tools used to collect DNA evidence? those travel in commerce, thus DNA collection substantially relates to commerce?


Guns travel in commerce, but regulation prohibiting guns within school zones wasn't a valid application of commerce clause.




Return to “TLS Class of 2015 Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest