Will be argued tomorrow before the USSC – the decision won’t come down for awhile though.
I’m interested as to what positions people take on this issue?
Here’s some good background info:
Here is a link to a pro-plaintiff site’s summary of the proceedings thus far:
Excerpt from U of Wisc. law prof Ann Althouse (because I’m too lazy to re-summarize):
In the case at hand, California would like to be free to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Generally, judicial and political liberals have opposed the Supreme Court’s enforcement of constitutional federalism, which limits the reach of federal governmental power and leaves room for individual states to experiment with their own policies, suited to local conditions and local political preferences. But some state policy experiments are appealing to those who did not like it when the Supreme Court used ideas about federalism to strike down the Gun-Free School Zones Act and part of the Violence Against Women Act.
So it will be interesting to see the response of those who have harshly criticized the majority’s recent federalism decisions and have professed abject deference to Congress and the Executive branch about federalism matters. From a liberal perspective, one might want to think: I support the enforcement of federalism limits when federalism is really a stand-in for individual rights, and I support strong federal government power when the federal policy in question is really a stand-in for individual rights. But it is rather hard to translate that instinct into sound constitutional law.
Conservatives face a dilemma too, if their conservatism is the kind that puts great importance on strong anti-drug enforcement. But conservatives who take the libertarian position on drugs can happily seize a two-fold opportunity: they can demonstrate a principled fidelity to constitutional federalism and, at the same time, improve federalism’s reputation among liberals.
Here’s what one of the lawyers arguing for legalization, BC law prof Randy Barnett, has to say on the matter:
Final Push for Monday’s Argument:
My preparation for Monday’s Supreme Court argument in Ashcroft v. Raich continues this weekend. I learned a tremendous amount from moot courts at Georgetown, Oklahoma City University, and Harvard Law School. My thanks to all who served as judges for their invaluable feedback and to all those who attended for their support and encouragement.
Update:SCOTUS Blog reports that Acting Solicitor General Paul Clement will be arguing the case for the government. By all accounts, he is a brilliant attorney and most impressive oralist who had, at the time of his appointment in July, 18 previous arguments before the Court (and probably more since then)–as compared with my . . . none.
Update:Here is a detailed guide to Monday’s argument with pictures and extensive links from Drug War Rant ( http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2004/11/23/raichVAshcroftAGuideToTheS.html ). (Hat tip to Kiwi Pundit)