Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama will "require" voluntary service?


is now planning to require students to perform unpaid community service every year. “Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.” Community organizers will welcome all the unpaid labor this makes available to them.

It is unclear if any federal power authorizes such a requirement: the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Lopez (1995), which struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act as unconstitutional, made clear that private citizens and education are not inherently commercial enterprises subject to federal regulation under the Commerce Clause. (That decision was reaffirmed in United States v. Morrison (2000), which dismissed a federal lawsuit alleging violence between college students, as beyond federal jurisdiction).