Federalism and the Constitution

Gonzales v. Raich (2005)

Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Gonzales v. Raich. Dealing with the Commerce Clause and the government’s regulatory powers, this lesson asks students to trace and evaluate the evolution of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Congress’s commerce power in light of the principle of federalism.

Founding Principles

Federalism image

Federalism

The people delegate certain powers to the national government, while the states retain other powers; and the people, who authorize the states and national government, retain all freedoms not delegated to the governing bodies.

Inalienable / Natural Rights image

Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

Limited Government image

Limited Government

Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.

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