Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



[W]e can think of no better example of the police power, which the Founders denied the National Government and reposed in the States, than the suppression of violent crime and vindication of its victims. Suppose that a Manhattan mafia boss contacts a hit man located in the Bronx and asks him to kill a police informant. Suppose further that the hit man commits the murder at the informant's apartment in Queens. Should the federal government care that the mafia boss contacted the hit man using a cellular telephone rather than a hand-delivered letter? Should it matter that the cellular signal was transmitted by a cellular tower located in Newark, New Jersey rather than Nyack, New York? Should the federal government care that the mafia boss pays the hit man by wiring money through Western Union rather than by handing him a bag full of cash? Finally, should it matter that the Western Union transmission was routed through a service center in Nashua, New Hampshire rather than Nanuet, New York?