June 06, 2005

Orin Kerr on the Raich Decision

Orin Kerr has the first lengthy review I've seen of today's decision in Raich (the medical marijuana/federalism case). The vote was 6-3 to reverse the 9th Circuit and uphold the federal government's power to regulate marijuana - and in the process to apparently nullify the right of states to pass their own "medical marijuana" laws (as 10 have done). So the Republicans (with the support of plenty of less than compassionate Democrats) in DC will be able to continue to enforce laws that hurt suffering Americans in pain, and trample on what many conservatives see as the doctrine of federalism.

Upholding these federal government powers were the 4 justices (Stevens, Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg) who've consistently opposed Chief Justice Rehnquist's attempts to strength federalism in decisions like Lopez and Morrison, plus Justices Scalia and Kennedy. Dissenting were Rehnquist, O'Connor and Thomas. For details on the opinions issued in this case (by Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia and Thomas) read Kerr's post.

Jack Balkin is also worth reading on this, particularly regarding the opinion written by Scalia.

UPDATE: SCOTUSBlog did a phenomenal job of blogging this case yesterday with a host of insightful people posting on it. If you are interested in this case, or the Court's federalism jurisprudence, or the role of individual justices on the Court I strongly recommend you give their June 6 posts a look.

Posted by armand at June 6, 2005 12:51 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Law and the Courts

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