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Página 169 - We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the government are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we think the sound construction of the constitution must allow to the national legislature that discretion, with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution, which will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people.
Página 166 - If they contend for that narrow construction which, in support of some theory not to be found in the constitution, would deny to the government those powers which the words of the grant, as usually understood, import, and which are consistent with the general views and objects of the instrument ; for that narrow construction, which would cripple the government, and render it unequal to the objects for which it is declared to be instituted, and to which the powers given, as fairly understood, render...
Página 163 - It was further said that by the general police power of a state 'persons and property are subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the state; of the perfect right of the legislature to do which no question ever was, or upon acknowledged general principles ever can be, made, so far as natural persons are concerned.
Página 168 - If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of Congress, though limited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations and among the several States is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the Constitution of the United States.
Página 169 - That a power to destroy, if wielded by a different hand, is hostile to and incompatible with these powers to create and to preserve. 3d. That, where this repugnancy exists, that authority which is supreme must control, not yield to that over which it is supreme.
Página 164 - While we unhesitatingly admit that a State may pass sanitary laws, and laws for the protection of life, liberty, health, or property within its borders; while it may prevent persons and animals suffering under contagious or infectious diseases, or convicts...
Página 168 - States, made for the regulation of commerce, congress, in that spirit of harmony and conciliation, which ought always to characterize the conduct of governments standing in the relation which that of the Union and those of the States bear to each other, has directed its officers to aid in the execution of these laws ; and has, in some measure, adapted its own legislation to this object, by making provisions in aid of those of the States.
Página 167 - It is the power to regulate ; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution.
Página 171 - It is not doubted that Congress has the power to go beyond the general regulations of commerce which it is accustomed to establish, and to descend to the most minute directions, if it shall be deemed advisable ; and that to whatever extent ground shall be covered by those directions, the exercise of State power is excluded. Congress may establish police regulations, as well as the States ; confining their operation to the subjects over which it is given control by the Constitution.