|MONETARY POWERS AND DISABILITIES||119|
2. THE POWER TO * * * REGULATE * * * VALUE
As with the power To coin Money, the allied power in Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 To * * * regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin traces its ancestry to linguistically similarand operatively identicallanguage in the Articles of Confederation, later successively modified in the Federal Convention of 1787.532 Of no little significance is the Framers consistent association, throughout its evolution, of the power To * * * regulate * * * Value with the cognate power To * * * fix the Standard of Weights and Measures, which also appears in Clause 5.533 Again, as with the power To coin, nowhere in the Constitution or in any of its antecedents does or did another explicit power exist to regulate the Value of currency, bills of credit, securities, notes, paper money, or anything other than United States and foreign coin. Therefore, on its face, the second and third phrases of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 grant to Congress a power To * * * regulate * * * Value that that body can constitutionally exercise only on the Money it, or a foreign nation, coins. The verb regulate thus refers to a particular, specific activity relating only to coinage, rather than granting general powers of legislation to declare what shall have Value, and to what degree, as Money.534
This is not because the Founding Fathers were economic illiterates, unconversant with what some people may flatter themselves are modern ideas about managed paper currencies. To the contrary: From their own experiences and their knowledge of Colonial history, they were well aware that legislatures and courts had often attempted to manage paper money, by setting rates of exchange for bills of credit, and revaluing (scaling) contracts expressed in paper money, using
532 Arts. of Confed'n art. IX: The united states in congress assembled shall * * * have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states-fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the united states * * * .
The records of the Committee of Detail contain two versions of the power: viz., S. & H.D. in C. ass. shall have the exclusive Right of coining Moneyregulating its Alloy & Valuefixing the Standard of Weights and Measures throughout the U.S.; and to coin Money; to regulate the [Alloy and] Value of foreign Coin; to fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. 2 Records of the Federal Convention, ante note 128, at 136, 167 (words in brackets crossed out in original version). The Reports of the Committee of Detail and the Committee of Style and Arrangement both contain the language: To coin money; To regulate the value of foreign coin; To fix the standard of weights and measures. Id. at 182, 569. The final Report of the Committee of Style adopted the constitutional text. Id. at 595.
533 This, of course, reflected the conjunction in English common law, which located both powers within the King's prerogative. See 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries, ante note 172, at 274-78.
534 See Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 440 (1857).