Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's bedtime, but before I hit the hay, I just have to direct you to this piece by Cafe Hayek on the government regulation of school lunches:

I'm aware that what I'm about to ask is the intellectual equivalent of taking your date to a monster-truck rally -- that is, sure evidence of low-brow benightednes and crude sensibilities -- but on what Constitutional basis does the national government in the United States regulate the contents of school lunches?

That Uncle Sam does regulate school-lunch contents is beyond question. See this report in today's New York Times informing us that "A bipartisan group in Congress plans to introduce legislation today that would prohibit the sale in school not only of French fries but also of other fatty or sugary foods, including soft drinks."

Put aside all questions of the desirability of such legislation and ask "Is this legislation Constitutional?"

I've read the U.S. Constitution several times, and nowhere -- not remotely, not even as a penumbra emanating from its text -- [if you don't get the joke, you should --Ed.] does it give to the national government the power to regulate the contents of school lunches. And yet, such a fact inspires no apparent hesitation in the typical member of Congress to regulate in this way.

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