seems to have produced much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the blogosphere. I don't exactly get why except that folks want to be able to smoke dope. Which I totally get. However this wasn't a case about smoking dope, medicinal or not. Read the damn thing people.
And you, my leftist friends, want a strong and healthy commerce clause. Because the commerce clause is what allows us to buy birth control and have our meat inspected and all that other good stuff that the government does for us. I, personally, like having the federal government making the decisions about what medications are safe instead of having my state do it and your state do it and on and on. It is also what allows black folks to eat in restaurants and on and on. Yes, I'll stop now. The horse is dead.
I think Landru's explanation is instructive:
Federalism is what ensures that you have the right to choose how to exercise your reproductive freedom, and that you have the right to choose meat that didn't come from an Upton Sinclair novel even when you're eating it at Clarence Thomas' church picnic, and that you have the right to enter Utah, although Lord knows why you'd want to. Federalism is what makes each state, in the broad sense, a McDonald's; you know, fundamentally, what you're getting, except possibly in Louisiana, which still hasn't quite come to grips with being sold off by the French. Federalism is what makes us My Local Nation, rather than a bunch of vaguely geographically affiliated yokels whose territorial names end in "stan."
That first is why Your Local Executive Branch hates Federalism. That and the fact that it has to distribute money to the 'Stans in some formula that reeks of enough equitability so that it will pass the de Tocqueville test (216 years and still bribing ourselves, Alex, you effing Commie).
The War on Terror is, of course, why Your Local Executive Branch loves Federalism.
Hey, let's play a quick game called Liberals and Fascists look at the Constitution! I'll pick a sentence totally at random, okay?
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
So, M. Fascist Person, what's that sentence say?
"The States have rights."
Bzzzzt! Sorry, you're reading that selectively, you fucktard. Go roll around in John C. Calhoun's grave and thank your lucky stars that literacy tests were abolished.
So, M. Liberal Person, what's that sentence say?
"The Federal government, embodying as it does by definition in this Constitution 'the people', i.e., this Constitution's transparent and oft-invoked euphemism for the House of Representatives, can do whatever the hell it wants, except for things this Constitution specifically prohibits by delegating to the states."
Thank you for playing. Please feel free to sneer into the late Senator Calhoun's rather crowded grave."
(There's more where that came from.)
So remember, people, when you are complaining that the Supremes won't let you smoke dope, that what you need to do is elect new Congresscritters. Ones who will worry about things that matter instead of restructuring the dictionary. You may even remember them or have noticed a few left about. They are somewhere slightly to the left of Attila the Hun and slightly less insane than Rick Santorum. And 2006 is sooner than you think.
There is this ray of hope for those of you who are furious with me and mourning about the hopelessness of all this. On page 27 of the majority opinion there is this footnote.
37 We acknowledge that evidence proffered by respondents in this case regarding the effective medical uses for marijuana, if found credible after trial, would cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the findings that require marijuana to be listed in Schedule I. See, e.g., Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base 179 (J. Joy, S. Watson, & J. Benson eds. 1999) (recognizing that “[s]cientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol] for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation”); see also Conant v. Walters, 309 F. 3d 629, 640–643 (CA9 2002) (Kozinski, J., concurring) (chronicling
medical studies recognizing valid medical uses for marijuana and its derivatives). But the possibility that the drug may be reclassified in the future has no relevance to the question whether Congress now has the power to regulate its production and distribution. Respondents’ submission, if accepted, would place all homegrown medical substances beyond the reach of Congress’ regulatory jurisdiction.