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The Supreme Court has never doubted that there are limits upon the power of Congress to override state sovereignty, even when exercising its otherwise plenary powers to tax or to regulate commerce which are conferred by Art. I of the Constitution. In Wirtz, for example, the Court took care to assure the appellants that it had 'ample power to prevent . . . the utter destruction of the State as a sovereign political entity,'' which they feared. 392 U.S. at 392 U. S. 196. Our federal system of government imposes definite limits upon the authority of Congress to regulate the activities of the States as States by means of the commerce power. In Fry, the Court recognized that an express declaration of this limitation is found in the Tenth Amendment: 'While the Tenth Amendment has been characterized as a 'truism,' stating merely that 'all is retained which has not been surrendered,' 312 U. S. 124 (1941), it is not without significance. The Amendment expressly declares the constitutional policy that Congress may not exercise power in a fashion that impairs the States' integrity or their ability to function effectively in a federal system.' 421 U.S. ...

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