Leslie Ann Iams


Constitutional federalism is the basis on which the United States government was created. However, the concept of constitutional federalism has not yet been clearly defined, and as a consequence, conflicting viewpoints on federalism have arisen. These conflicting viewpoints are best illustrated by the law concerning the commerce clause.

With the recent expansion of the commerce clause, the United States Supreme Court was faced with defining constitutional federalism, in order to evaluate the legitimacy of commerce clause legislation. The task of defining constitutional federalism, however, only served to create a dispute over federalism among the Supreme Court Justices. In 1985, the Supreme Court renewed the continuing debate over the definition of constitutional federalism in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority.