The fundamental law of the land plays a vital role in regulating the activities of businesses. Being a backbone of economy, it is also essential that these businesses be protected and regulated in accordance with law. Section 8, Article 1 of the US Constitution specifically provides the Congress rights to regulate business (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008).
The said provision provides, in part, that “The Congress shall have power to Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof” (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008).
The said provision has also been interpreted that international commerce can be regulated only by the federal government (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008). In addition, under the said Constitutional provision, the Congress may regulate commercial activities across state boundaries and states may regulate
Other Constitutional provisions that regulate the activities of commerce are Bill of Rights and the Equal Protection Clause (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008). The regulation power that has been constitutionally granted to the federal government includes the power to prescribe rules by which commerce is to be governed (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008). It also includes police power because they have been bestowed with right to forbid and punish those acts of evil and immorality in commerce which would likely affect the public (FindLaw for Legal Professionals, 2008).
The business, as well, are protected with rights that it may claim in the conduct of its business. The regulation of the business has been brought about by noble purposes. One of which is to ensure that the prices of the products or commodities are reasonable and uniform. Through the regulation of business, price abuse and unjustifiable price hikes will be hindered by the federal government. Measures that will determine the prices will be provided considering other factors such as demand and calamities.
Moreover, the quality and safety of the consumers will be ensured because the products, consumable or non- consumable, have to pass a certain requirement meeting the needs of the consumers. The regulation of business will also open an opportunity for other small business entrepreneurs because the market would not just be limited to big companies. The monopoly of commerce will be avoided. Furthermore, regulation will lead to healthy competition in the market. The regulation will also curtail illegal commerce such as commercializing those products that will be detrimental to the health of the people like illegal drugs.
Unfair commercial acts will also be restricted. Most importantly, through regulation of commerce, all business will be equally reviewed and verified whether they are honestly paying their taxes. However, despite the constitutional provisions, laws and the legal system, there are still certain cases where businesses were not acting according to the laws governing them. There are also cases where the jurisdiction of regulation has been subjected to questions. An example of upholding the federal states’ right to regulate business is the airline passenger’s rights law issue which was passed by state of New York (Reuters, 2008).
The said law mandates among others airlines to provide basic necessities such as food, drinking water, and clean bathrooms while they are stranded in airports (Reuters, 2008). However, the court declared such law as void on the ground that the state is with no capacity to pass such law because air travels is already regulated by the federal government (Reuters, 2008). In the said case, the effect of the airlines’ misstep or errors was regulated by the state. It just happened that the state was declared as the inappropriate entity to regulate.
However, the court acknowledged the constitutional mandate that the federal government has jurisdiction on the regulation of international and interstate commerce. The state may only have jurisdiction to regulate domestic commerce. As has been said, the power to regulate also includes the power to pass law to ensure that business policies are in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the land. Such power to regulate involves the suppression of the discriminatory practices. This can be shown by the recent act of Congress in passing the Employment Non- Discrimination Act (Creators.
com, 2008). According to said Act, business owners should decline employment by reason of race or gender. Gays shall be given equal right to be employed as well as blacks or minorities. Furthermore, the said Act, limits the freedom of the business owners to choose while it boost up equality of the citizens in accordance with the equal protection provision. In a free world where people partly depend on commerce and being an essential part of the world’s existence, it is but just that commerce shall be regulated.
The Constitution and the legal system, as well, play a vital role in the regulation of business for being the ultimate source of law and the legal process of correcting activities. Without the regulation power, without the mandate of the Constitution, and without process by which regulation is made, the world would be shaky and the lee privilege will be deprived of their rights. Many abuses in commerce will likely occur that would possibly lead to the death of many. It is indeed, necessary that the business be legally regulated.
Creators. com A Syndicate of Talent. (2008). Freedom vs. Equality. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www. creators. com/opinion/pat-buchanan/freedom-vs-equality. html FindLaw For Legal Professionals. (2008). Power to Regulate Commerce. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://caselaw. lp. findlaw. com/data/constitution/article01/28. html Reuters. (2008). U. S. court rejects airline passengers rights law. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www. reuters. com/article/companyNews/idUSN2539533620080325? pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0