Roscoe Filburn and the Commerce Clause
1964: Civil Rights Act
Congress relied on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Commerce Clause in Wickard v. Filburn in passing the landmark anti-bias law, reasoning that motels serve interstate travelers.
1972: Clean Water Act
Congress used its expanded commerce powers under Filburn when it passed the environmental law barring the release of toxins in rivers and streams.
1995: Gun Possession
The court struck down a federal law restricting gun possession near schools, saying Filburn doesn't apply unless commercial activity is involved.
2005: Marijuana Possession
The high court relied on Filburn when it allowed prosecution of marijuana growers under federal drug laws, even though the drug was not sold across state lines.
2010: Health Reform
Filburn could be pivotal in determining whether the insurance mandate in President Obama's health reform law is constitutional.