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Key Excerpt: Kaufman and Sotomayor on Congressional Regulatory Authority

Courtesy of CQ Transcriptions

SEN. KAUFMAN: Do you believe the Congress has the constitutional authority to regulate financial markets?

JUDGE: SOTOMAYOR: You've just raised the very first question that will come up when Congress passes an act. Because I can assure you, knowing every time Congress passes an act, there's a challenge by somebody.

KAUFMAN: Right.

SOTOMAYOR: As soon as it's applied to someone and in a way that they don't like, they're going to come into court. So I -- I can't answer that question.


KAUFMAN
: I'm sympathetic to that. And I really should have phrased it -- I mean, just in general, not with regard to any case, anything at all, about Congress's constitutional authority to regulate financial markets?

SOTOMAYOR: Well, I can't answer that question, because it invites an answer to a potential challenge. What I can say to you is that Congress has certain constitutional powers. One of them is to -- to pass laws affecting interstate commerce.

And so the question will be the nature of whatever statute Congress passes, what facts it relies upon, and the remedy that it -- that it institutes. And so each -- the question would depend on the nature of the statute and what it's doing.

Read more of the exchange between Sen. Kaufman and Judge Sotomayor here.

By Washington Post editors  |  July 15, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Hearings , Supreme Court , Topics: Congressional Authority  
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