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Conservative radio host Mark Levin fired back on “Hannity” Thursday at governors who claim they have the sole power to decide what businesses they can close and what restrictions they can put on their populations.
“The governors have shut down the economy, not the president — the governors have put people out of work, not the president,” Levin said. “The governors have shut businesses, not the president, and several of them are dragging their feet. … These states do not have plenary police power when they affect interstate commerce — $2.2 trillion in federal spending to deal with what they’ve done. 22 million people filing for unemployment compensation: This has a national ‘interstate’ effect.”
The “Life, Liberty & Levin” host explained that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the power to “regulate commerce … among the several States” and added that the New Deal era saw Supreme Court rulings that further strengthened the federal executive’s authority over the states.
“The debate about federalism was a fake debate and I’ve given this a lot of thought,” Levin said. “This has nothing to do with federalism. The president has more power to order governors, if he chooses, to open up their economies than people think.
“States have the power to regulate commerce within their boundaries, but the Congress under the federal Constitution is the only body that has the power to regulate interstate commerce,” Levin went on. “Governors, through their dictates and their fiats of what’s essential and not essential, shutting down businesses — that’s the ultimate regulation. If it affects interstate commerce in a very negative way, the president can in fact enfore the interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution, where governors do not have the power to control interstate commerce.
“The state’s police powers do not extend to interfering with interstate commerce,” Levin continued. “The clause was explicitly put in the federal Constitution to promote commerce nationwide.”
“It’s absurd to say the president has no power,” the host of the “Mark Levin Show” on radio emphasized.
Levin concluded his point by accusing governors of practicing “one-way federalism.”
“These governors are a little confused,” he said. “They think federalism means they have all the power and no accountability, that they can make whatever decisions they want and the rest of us have to pay for it. That’s one-way federalism. No such thing exists.”