Background: The U.S. Constitution gives the U.S. Congress the right to regulate "Interstate Commerce" between the states. 20th Century courts have held that "Interstate" Commerce is the same as anything that one's imagination can creatively connect in any way with "Interstate" Commerce is also the same as Interstate Commerce and can therefore be regulated by Congress. This is in clear violation of the 10th Amendment, and has been boiling the blood of Federalists since the 1930s.
Synopsis: In 1999, the Purcells [,owners of 216 acres of local Austin property which includes several caves,] and their partners sued [the Federal Wildlife Service (FWS) over its application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)], contending that application of the ESA to the Texas cave bugs violated the Commerce Clause in much the same way that a federal law banning guns on school yards had been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Lopez in 1995. In 2001, a Texas federal district court ruled for the FWS, holding that application of the ESA to Texas cave bugs was “substantially related” to interstate commerce. In 2003, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that, because “takes” of cave bugs threaten the “interdependent web” of all species, the cave bug’s habitat may be regulated, under the Commerce Clause, by the ESA. In the panel’s view, although the “takings” of cave bugs do not themselves affect interstate commerce, the takings of all ESA-listed species, when viewed in the aggregate, affect interstate commerce.