Big Log See-SawParty flip in the federal courts

Since the inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009, eight U.S. courts of appeals have flipped parties, The New York Times reported.

Now nine of the 13 federal appeals courts — almost 70 percent — have more active judges who received their appointments from Democratic Presidents than colleagues

Does the taxing power of Congress extend federal authority beyond the reach of the commerce clause — does it let Congress do more than it could under its power to regulate commerce? Or does it just provide a way to enforce proper exercises of the commerce power (or some other source of federal power)?