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  •  I was fascinated... (none)
    by the dissenting Justices.  Thomas, O'Connor and Rehnquist??

    I don't know if Rehnquist "saw the light" after undergoing cancer treatment; perhaps he has.

    O'Connor always struck me as much more conservative on issues such as these (cultural, i.e. War on Drugs).

    The one I truly can't figure out is Thomas's.  He's seemed to be in bed with the righties more than anyone; I'd love to know what "Focus on the Family" has to be thinking of his vote...

    YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

    by molls on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:58:25 PM PDT

    •  He's an absolutist (4.00)
      He wants the states to run everything except what the Constitution gives to the Feds (copyright, national defense, etc.).

      The Constitution doesn't give the feds power to regulate narcotics, hence it's the states' call.

      He's consistent to a fault.

      •  Quite true... (none)
        I guess I have to give him some credit for sticking to what he believes in.  

        But he's still a strange one to me; out of all the justices, what made him such a stickler for "states' rights"?  I must admit I don't know his biography at all; could be quite interesting.

        What do you make of O'Connor's ruling?  Another one I attributed to being part of the 'conservative gang'...

        YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

        by molls on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 12:14:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OConner (none)
          OConner and Rehnquist aren't surprising if you look back at the precedent at issue in the case.  Rehnquist authored the majority opinion in two landmark Commerce Clause cases that restricted federal authority, one striking down a gun possession statute and the other striking down part of the Violence Against Women Act.  OConner and Rehnquist were just applying those precedents.  Under the logic of those cases, at the least the Court should have held that regulating simple marijuana possession was outside federal commerce power.    

          As for their policy preferences, at the end of her dissent OConner had a brief section in which she said that she would not have voted for the medical marijuana initiative if she had been a California citizen but that a Justice's policy preferences should not dictate the limits of federalism.  Interestingly, Thomas and Rehnquist did not join that brief section of OConner's dissent.  It could mean either that they felt it was inappropriate to state how they would have voted on the initiative  or that they are supportive of medical marijuana as a policy matter.  The Crime and Federalism blog has a good post on this.

    •  Thomas (none)
      has been pretty consistent throughout his time on the Court with respect to his intepretation of the Commerce Clause.  His concurrence in the Arizona gun case comes to mind -- though I can neither remember the facts of the case nor the specifics of his "opinion".  

      I thought a lot of the "New Federalism" that we had been seeing from the Court since about 1990 was in anticipation of cutting back on the Federales authority in the 'war on drugs' -- I seem to have been wrong.  Unfortunately, others will pay the price.

      •  I do have to give him credit... (none)
        on the Commerce Clause part of the argument.  If a 'product' is not crossing state lines, it's a pretty good indication that said 'product' is not for mass distribution, but rather for personal use.  

        It seems like most of the neo-cons want to reject any law or line of reasoning unless it matches with their 'moral ethics'; I guess I assumed that the conservatives on the bench would follow suit in all cases.  That's why I was pretty confused when I saw who wrote the dissenting opinion on this case.

        And I'm completely with you on your hopes that we might have been seeing an eventual sign of sanity in regards to the 'war on drugs'.  I had been hoping that this 'war' had finally run its course - but the modern day 'Bush Moral Police' must have too much vested in it...

        YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

        by molls on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 12:01:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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