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Response or Comment

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The marvelous possibilities for collision between State and Nation involved in our dual form of government are nowhere better or more often exhibited than in commerce regulation. We have long been learning the definition of the commerce which the constitution gives Congress power to regulate. It is only recently that we are finding how this power reaches over into purely intrastate business done by a carrier also engaged in interstate commerce. That nearly all rail carriers are now engaged in such business, even when their lines are wholly intrastate, has been often illustrated under the Second Employer's Liability Act. In Employers' Liability Cases, 207 U. S. 463, Congress was warned off the State preserves, only to prove that the First Act was wrong, not in its sweep, but in its failure to save to the states in words what seems lost to them in fact. The Second Act stands, Second Employers' Liability Cases, 223 U. S. 1, and seems to reach practically every railway employee, because however much of his time is devoted to purely intrastate business, some at least is almost sure to touch interstate traffic, and this is enough to bring him under control of Federal law. See the very recent case of Cholerton v. D. J. and C. Ry. (Mich., 1917), 165 N. W. 606, holding that a track hand of a railroad wholly in the State of Michigan is under Federal Act.