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In this paper, the author advances the debate on the original meaning, interpretation, and usage of the word "commerce" in the context of the Commerce Clause. First, he distinguishes between terms that are vague and those that are ambiguous. He contends that realizing the dispute is over the ambiguity rather than the vagueness of "commerce" helps resolve the conflict between interpretations. Second, he presents the results of new empirical research into the original public meaning of "commerce" that extends well beyond the sources immediately surrounding the Constitution. Finally, the author reports the results of a similar survey of the use of the terms "regulate" and "regulation."

Publication Citation

55 Ark. L. Rev. 847-899 (2003)