Federal Centralization: A Study and Criticism of the Expanding Scope of Congressional Legislation

By Walter Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE FEDERAL TAXING POWER

WHILE the commerce clause has been the principal basis for federal legislation which partakes of the nature of police regulations, there are some other provisions in the Constitution which merit consideration in this connection. These are the provisions dealing with the power of Congress to levy taxes, the treaty power, and the congressional power to establish and maintain a postal system. In time of war, the war powers of the federal government have been exercised in such a manner as to conflict with the jurisdiction of the states. This, however, has taken place only under unusual conditions and has furnished comparatively little litigation over conflicting jurisdictions. In the previous chapter it was noted how, through its power to regulate interstate commerce, the federal government has frequently come into conflict with the states in the exercise of their police powers. The taxing power, treaty power, and power to regulate the mails have not so frequently brought about such a conflict, but nevertheless have been of great importance in extending the jurisdiction of the central government into the domain of the states. Together with the commerce clause, the constitutional provisions for the exercise of these powers have been practically the only basis for what, for the lack of a better term, might be called the national police power. It is the purpose of the present and the two following chapters to examine

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