Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The award for worst reading comprehension by the Supreme Court

I just looked at the Wikipedia page on Gonzales v. Raich, the case where they ruled that the federal law banning marijuana trumped the state law. The degree with which the Supreme Court can use twisted logic to get around obvious truth is disturbing. Essentially they ruled that because of the Commerce Clause (The Congress shall have power . . . To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes) Congress can constitutionally ban marijuana use even if nothing ever crosses a state border. Therefore the California law is meaningless.

"The court held that Congress may regulate a non-economic good, which is intrastate, if it does so as part of a complete scheme of legislation designed to regulate interstate commerce."

Talk about a slippery slope, if you can regulate something that never crosses state border than all of a sudden you just crossed out the part of the constitution where they say "with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes" and replaced it with "The Congress shall have power . . . To regulate commerce. "Ignoring the fact the constitution never gave Congress the right to regulate intrastate commerce. The tenth amendment was made
for exactly such a law. Congress wasn't given the power, therefore the states have it. Oh well, at least some of the Supreme court agreed with me:

Justice Thomas:
"Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that "commerce" included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana."

"If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance to the people of New York that the "powers delegated" to the Federal Government are "few and defined", while those of the States are "numerous and indefinite.""

I really am not sure whether I agree with judges put in by conservatives, or liberals more. The only Justice to both support the expansion of habeas rights to Guantanamo prisoners, and over turning DC's gun case was Kennedy, who was put in by Reagan. He however was in the majority on the medical marijuana case. Clearly there is no one justice I can consistently agree with.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

That doesn't sound too much worse than Roe v. Wade, which bases the right to an abortion on a woman's right to privacy...