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High court's Calif. pot ruling also outlaws homemade machine guns
modbee ^ | 7/1/6 | paul elias

Posted on 07/01/2006 7:19:16 AM PDT by LouAvul

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A recent Supreme Court ruling that Congress can ban homegrown marijuana for medical use in California led Friday to the reinstatement of an Arizona man's overturned conviction for having homemade machine guns.

Prosecutors in both cases invoked the Constitution's interstate commerce clause, despite the fact that the cases centered on items that were homemade, or homegrown, and didn't involve commerce or crossing state lines. The courts ruled, however, that the items still can affect interstate commerce and therefore can be regulated by federal law.

In the machine gun case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated the convictions of Robert Wilson Stewart, 67, of Mesa, Ariz. The three-judge panel reversed its own previous decision to overturn the convictions because he never tried to sell his weapons or transport them over state lines.

Federal agents raided Stewart's house in June 2000 and found five machine guns, which Stewart argued did not violate the congressionally mandated ban on certain assault weapons because they were homemade and not for sale. The appellate court initially agreed with Stewart and overturned his convictions in 2003, ruling the interstate commerce clause did not apply.

The three-judge panel, however, was ordered by the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision after the justices ruled in 2005 that the federal government could prosecute medical marijuana users and their suppliers even if their activity was confined to California.

In the marijuana case, brought by Oakland resident Angel Raich, the majority of Supreme Court justices ruled that the interstate commerce clause makes California's medical marijuana law illegal. The court said homegrown marijuana confined to the state still can affect the entire national market for the drug, allowing for federal regulation.

The same rationale was applied by the appeals court in the homemade machine gun case.

(Excerpt) Read more at modbee.com ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitutionlist; govwatch; libertarians; mrleroybait; scotus; warondrugs; wod; wodlist
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1 posted on 07/01/2006 7:19:19 AM PDT by LouAvul
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To: LouAvul

The Republic is dead. Government is now legitimated and pursued via the Commerce clause. The remainder of the Constitution is subordinate and immaterial.


2 posted on 07/01/2006 7:23:10 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: LouAvul

Once again, gun bans and marijuana prohibiton are found bound together. The law banning the posession of a machine gun without having a virtually unobtainable tax stamp was the model for the Marijuana Tax Act back in the '30's.


3 posted on 07/01/2006 7:28:07 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: LouAvul
The court said homegrown marijuana confined to the state still can affect the entire national market for the drug, allowing for federal regulation.

The $22 in my pocket can still affect the entire national economy, too. I guess I'm subject to the commerce clause, too.

4 posted on 07/01/2006 7:29:42 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill never fails)
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To: LouAvul

I think it is the Interstate Commerce clause that also insists we have to import garbage from other states into PA and from Canada into the USA. Maybe it is time to repeal that sucker.


5 posted on 07/01/2006 7:35:18 AM PDT by finnsheep
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To: 300winmag

Yes, even if you didn't want that job in NYC, you could still go there and take it at any time, thus opening the door to regulation of your every move.


6 posted on 07/01/2006 7:37:06 AM PDT by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: finnsheep

I propose that an amendment to restrict the silly application of interstate commerce rules to intrastate commerce would be a much better use of time for the Congress than a "Marriage" amendment.


7 posted on 07/01/2006 7:38:43 AM PDT by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: donmeaker
I propose that an amendment to restrict the silly application of interstate commerce rules to intrastate commerce would be a much better use of time for the Congress than a "Marriage" amendment.

That's going to put the jobs of a lot of beltway bureaucrats at risk, and they have better access to your representatives than you do.

8 posted on 07/01/2006 7:40:28 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: LouAvul
High court's Calif. pot ruling also outlaws homemade machine gun

Not sure I'm making that connection. But, this is CA, the center of the universe for the loony left.
9 posted on 07/01/2006 7:43:15 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: tacticalogic

That's a feature, not a bug.


10 posted on 07/01/2006 7:43:25 AM PDT by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: donmeaker
That's a feature, not a bug.

And RTM as soon as it'll compile.

11 posted on 07/01/2006 7:47:51 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: DustyMoment

"But, this is CA, the center of the universe for the loony left."

You don't get the connnection? Well, two items produced and consumed locally (the guns were never for sale, the pot was smoked where it was grown) are found subject to laws that regulate state - to - state transactions. I hope that helps.

As far as being from the loony left, the loony left in CA voted to legalize this use of marijuana. So it would be a case of misapplication of the Commerce clause by the US Supreme court, or as you succinctly put it, the loony right.


12 posted on 07/01/2006 7:58:28 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: tacticalogic
Once again, gun bans and marijuana prohibiton are found bound together.



13 posted on 07/01/2006 8:04:38 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: gcruse
It's called an Oligarchy
14 posted on 07/01/2006 8:28:53 AM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK ( have long feared that my sins would return to visit me and the cost would be more than I could bear)
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To: philman_36

It's sort of a triad now. The islamofascists, gun grabbers, and drug warriors each pursue their own 'death to America.'


15 posted on 07/01/2006 8:30:02 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: LouAvul
The judges unanimously ruled Friday that Stewart's guns "might bleed into the interstate market and affect supply and demand" and that such items can be federally regulated "especially in an area where Congress regulates comprehensively."

But there is no market in newly-manufactured machine guns.
16 posted on 07/01/2006 8:55:35 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: tacticalogic

The point is, we need to win this one despite the bureaucrats, in an "in your face" manner, to make sure the bureaucrats and fellow travelers know that Civil Servant is not "Civil Master".

Bob Heinlein would smile. If we can't win that one,


17 posted on 07/01/2006 9:28:18 AM PDT by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: LouAvul
I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone. In the Medical Marijuana case the court actually decided to protect organized crime from unfair competition by an honest citizen.

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department argued to the Supreme Court that home grown marijuana represented interstate commerce, because the home grown weed would affect overall production of the weed, much of it imported across American borders by well financed, often violent drug gangs.

Think about it...They actually argued that home grown weed would affect the inter state commerce of "violent drug gangs"...It would reduce their commerce! So the feds are claiming purview over home grown weed because it would unfairly reduce the inter state trade of violent drug gangs!

Will the court need to prohibit guns to protect the violent drug gangs from armed citizens?
.
18 posted on 07/01/2006 9:36:32 AM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: andyk

I guess I would argue this point. In my mind there is a hugh market for new machine guns. Unfortunately congress in their attempts to destroy the constitution, have made it illegal for citizens to own "new" machine guns, old ones pre-1986 are OK, later ones are not.

All those who have the power and mandate to hinder your ownership and possession of such weapons, are not restricted in any way as to their use, and possession, as you the citizen are, but I guess in reality their ownership is also restricted.

IOW's government is not restricted in it's ownership, but you the citizen are, and yet, it seems to me the individual right enumerated in the Bill of Rights, vis-a-vis the second amendment, though challenged by many, has never been denied, except when government steps in to do so.

IMHO, when facing it's own citizens, the government has a mandate to be undergunned, and when facing the enemies of it's citizens, just the opposite applies. At present, the opposite seems to be the standard, where the citizens are concerned. Hence...


19 posted on 07/01/2006 10:07:27 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: mugs99
Will the court need to prohibit guns...

Congress has done it already, in the case of certain guns so the court doesn't have to.

20 posted on 07/01/2006 10:10:52 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: gcruse
The Republic is dead.

Just another nail in the coffin.

21 posted on 07/01/2006 10:31:10 AM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† |Iran Azadi| SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d - N0t Y0urs | NYT: The Jihadis' Journal)
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To: LouAvul

What is the logic behind applying the interstate commerce clause? Seems like a majority of federal overreaching comes from misapplying this.


22 posted on 07/01/2006 11:42:21 AM PDT by Mount Athos
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To: DustyMoment

DustyMoment wrote:

Not sure I'm making that connection.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The connection was explained here:


FR Poll Thread: Does the Interstate Commerce Clause authorize prohibition of drugs and firearms?

Address:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/1515174/posts


--- Not that a lot of those here 'got it'.


23 posted on 07/01/2006 12:05:37 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: Mount Athos
What is the logic behind applying the interstate commerce clause? Seems like a majority of federal overreaching comes from misapplying this.

The editorial board of The New York Times:
We take very seriously the court's concern about protecting the Commerce Clause, the vital constitutional principle that has allowed the federal government to thwart evils like child labor and segregation.
The dissenters in the 6-to-3 decision, Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice William Rehnquist, opened the door for conservatives who want to sharply reduce Congress's use of its power to regulate and protect interstate commerce. These conservatives want to turn the clock back to before the New Deal, when workers were exploited, factories polluted at will and the elderly faced insecure retirements.

The editorial board of The Wasington Post:
The true importance of Raich has nothing to do with drugs; A Supreme Court decision disallowing federal authority in this area would have been a disaster in areas ranging from civil rights enforcement to environmental protection.
The Constitution's commerce clause, which provided the foundation for the court's ruling in this case, is the foundation of the modern regulatory state, underpinning since the New Deal huge swaths of federal law: worker protections, just about all federal environmental law, laws prohibiting racial discrimination in private-sector employment.

The editorial board of The New Republic:
This week, in the most important federalism decision of the year, the Supreme Court upheld Congress's power to ban the local cultivation and use of medical marijuana. The Supreme Court's deference to Congress's broad power to regulate the economy is an occasion to celebrate.
Had the Court ruled otherwise, as a group of libertarian judicial activists urged, it would have encouraged a radical assault on Congress's power to regulate a host of issues, including crime and workplace safety. But the news was not all good: An unusual coalition of three justices--Sandra Day O'Connor, William Rehnquist, and Clarence Thomas--dissented from the ruling, suggesting that anti-regulatory forces on the Court remain strong.
.
24 posted on 07/01/2006 12:42:10 PM PDT by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: gcruse

Proposed: Ammendment XXVIII; 1.The commerce clause and general welfare clauses are hereby stricken from the Constitution. 2. All laws, regulations, government bodies, commissions and entities relying in whole or in part on these striken clauses are here null and void and rescinded.


25 posted on 07/01/2006 1:06:40 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: PaxMacian; WindMinstrel; philman_36; headsonpikes; cryptical; vikzilla; Crotalus72901; Quick1; ...

Chickens meet Roost ping.


26 posted on 07/01/2006 1:09:00 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: andyk

You have to understand the tortured logic of Raich. Because this guy built his own machine gun, he won't have to buy one (even a legal pre-ban version). Therefore, interstate commerce is affected, and the Commerce Clause applied.


27 posted on 07/01/2006 1:12:28 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie; robertpaulsen
Speaking of chicken roosts, --- where is bobbie and his defense of ~any~ level of government having the power to prohibit most ~any~thing?
28 posted on 07/01/2006 1:34:50 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: Mount Athos
"Seems like a majority of federal overreaching comes from misapplying this."

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

You are correct. There's nothing wrong with the Commerce Clause -- it's working exactly how it was intended. What's wrong is a Congress that wants to use it to regulate everything from the minimum wage to spousal abuse.

Fortunately, we the people have control over that -- every two years we elect the people who write these laws. We can simply elect those who will write the laws the way we want them. (By "we" I mean "we the majority", whoever that is. It may not be "us" if you get my drift).

Those who want and expect five activist justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to do their work for them are acting like helpless juveniles. Get out the vote and throw out the lawmakers that are writing this overreaching legislation. Now, that may be a little more work than sitting at a keyboard typing "But that's unconstitutional" every time a new law is passed, but that is the way to solve the problem.

29 posted on 07/01/2006 3:03:36 PM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Jack Black

Great idea.


30 posted on 07/01/2006 3:44:20 PM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: Jack Black

Amen.


31 posted on 07/01/2006 4:28:54 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: LouAvul

>>SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A recent Supreme Court ruling that Congress can ban homegrown marijuana for medical use in California led Friday to the reinstatement of an Arizona man's overturned conviction for having homemade machine guns.<<

Well sure - if the interstate commerce clause give the federal government over personal issues even when there is no interstate commerce it would apply to lots of things.... and be nutty.


32 posted on 07/01/2006 4:30:52 PM PDT by gondramB (Unity of freedom has never relied upon uniformity of opinion.)
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To: gondramB
"Well sure - if the interstate commerce clause give the federal government over personal issues even when there is no interstate commerce it would apply to lots of things.... and be nutty."

Congress (via the FAA) regulates the interstate airlines -- cruising altitudes, speeds, air corridors, landing patterns, etc. Are you saying they may not regulate the purely intrastate flight of a private pilot when his flying has a substantial effect on the interstate commerce Congress is regulating?

The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. That's it. If a local activity has a substantial effect on the interstate commerce that Congress is currently regulating, then Congress has the power, under the Necessary and Proper Clause to write legislation controlling that activity. Without that ability, states or individuals could undermine and subvert Congress' authority. Why even give Congress the power?

The Commerce Clause was meant to be powerful. The problem lies with a Congress abusing that power. The solution is for the people to send a message to Congress that we will not tolerate these intrusions.

33 posted on 07/02/2006 4:50:06 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

The solution is for the people to send a message to Congress that we will not tolerate these intrusions.

And that message would be what ?


34 posted on 07/02/2006 5:02:13 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: LouAvul
So, apparently this new and supposedly more originalist Court intends to continue allowing the the commerce clause to be grossly misused to falsely "legitimize" anything the feds want to do to control every aspect of our lives. I guess the right and proper Court decision of a few years ago which overturned a federal law concerning guns in school zones that depended on the commerce clause for it's legitimacy was just an anomaly handed down of an off day for the Court.

Now it's back to business as usual for the Court, IOW further stripping away the protections of our liberties that the authors designed into our Constitution.

35 posted on 07/02/2006 5:06:08 AM PDT by epow
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To: Wolfie
That's an argument that could have been used in Raich but it wasn't.

Justice Stevens wrote for the majority, "Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity ... if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."

Justice Scalia wrote in his concurrence, "... the commerce power permits Congress ... to facilitate interstate commerce by eliminating potential obstructions, and to restrict it by eliminating potential stimulants."

36 posted on 07/02/2006 5:06:43 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: tet68
"And that message would be what ?"

We will vote for your opponent in the next election because he more truly represents our interests.

37 posted on 07/02/2006 5:09:13 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: LouAvul

Given this sort of ruling, I'd like to know exactly what sort of act or product does not, in some tortuous way, effect interstat commerce...

For instance, I suppose that having a "homemade machine gun" effects interstate commerce by not having to buy an illegal machinegun from out of state.

And having homegrown pot depresses the economy of another state, or even another country, like Mexico, since you don't have to buy the pot from out of state...

Mark


38 posted on 07/02/2006 5:13:57 AM PDT by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: Mount Athos
What is the logic behind applying the interstate commerce clause? Seems like a majority of federal overreaching comes from misapplying this.

That IS the "logic." The Constitution is a set of rules that strictly defines what the government is and is not allowed to do. The overly broad interpretation of the ICC allows the federal government to intervene in areas of life where the Consitution doesn't allow the federal government to do so. It's sort of like "a living Constitution," where the Constitution means what ever the person interpreting it wants it to mean: And they've got the deadly force to back up that meaning.

Mark

39 posted on 07/02/2006 5:19:36 AM PDT by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: robertpaulsen

Wordy prose, to be sure, but no different from what I said.


40 posted on 07/02/2006 6:49:41 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: robertpaulsen
There's nothing wrong with the Commerce Clause -- it's working exactly how it was intended.
Fortunately, we the people have control over that -- every two years we elect the people who write these laws. We can simply elect those who will write the laws the way we want them. (By "we" I mean "we the majority", whoever that is. It may not be "us" if you get my drift).

Ready for the big one? California can ban all guns if they so chose. There's nothing in the state constitution (one of six states, I believe) about the right to keep and bear arms.
129 posted on 11/20/2003 1:30 PM PST by robertpaulsen

Lets hear it for majority rule democracy!! --- As advocated by robertpaulsen!!!
-- Its working just as intended, -- to take away your rights...

41 posted on 07/02/2006 7:12:12 AM PDT by tpaine
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To: MarkL
"I'd like to know exactly what sort of act or product does not, in some tortuous way, effect interstat commerce..."

Probably everything does. But that's beside the point.

What's at issue are those intrastate acts or products that a) substantially affect the interstate commerce that Congress b) is currently regulating.

Congress is controlling these intrastate acts or products using the power of the Necessary and Proper Clause in conjunction with the Commerce Clause. The Necessary and Proper Clause cannot be used standalone -- it must be used in conjunction with another power.

The Necessary and Proper Clause (listed at the end of Congress' other powers) gives Congress the power to write laws that are both necessary and proper "for carrying into execution the foregoing powers". Without this, Congress would not be able to stop states or individuals from undermining and subverting their interstate efforts.

42 posted on 07/02/2006 7:22:12 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen

Even if one grants the legitimacy of the "substantial effects" clause (which I think is a crock), there is no way that someone's backyard pot plant or homemade machine gun can have "substantial effects" on interstate commerce. The justices so holding are being intellectually dishonest.

The federal government simply has no legitimate authority to regulate such matters. These sorts of things were wisely left to the states to regulate, and there frankly is nothing stopping the states from doing so.

The other option is to amend the constitution to authorize the federal government to do so. But the current dishonest method of simply inventing authority out of whole cloth tends to undermine the legitimacy of our government.


43 posted on 07/02/2006 7:24:40 AM PDT by B Knotts (Newt '08!)
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To: MarkL
"where the Consitution doesn't allow the federal government to do so."

Well, I don't see where the Commerce Clause says, "Congress may regulate commerce among the several states except in the following areas:".

44 posted on 07/02/2006 7:28:39 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: LouAvul; gcruse
The court said homegrown marijuana confined to the state still can affect the entire national market for the drug

I defy anyone to show me how the Commerce Clause cannot be invoked for absolutely anything, given this ruling.

Our Republic has, in fact, died.

45 posted on 07/02/2006 7:30:38 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999 !!!)
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To: robertpaulsen
What's at issue are those intrastate acts or products that a) substantially affect the interstate commerce that Congress b) is currently regulating.

Congress is controlling these intrastate acts or products using the power of the Necessary and Proper Clause in conjunction with the Commerce Clause. The Necessary and Proper Clause cannot be used standalone -- it must be used in conjunction with another power.

The Necessary and Proper Clause (listed at the end of Congress' other powers) gives Congress the power to write laws that are both necessary and proper "for carrying into execution the foregoing powers". Without this, Congress would not be able to stop states or individuals from undermining and subverting their interstate efforts.

Except it's all defined so subjectively that it's cumulatively meaningless. Bob Stewart couldn't build enough rifles to have a "substantial effect" on the interstate commerce in firearms. You've said it yourself - it's a tactic, not an objective.

46 posted on 07/02/2006 7:32:24 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: robertpaulsen
"I'd like to know exactly what sort of act or product does not, in some tortuous way, effect interstat commerce..."

Probably everything does.

And thusly, the FedGuv can now regulate and interfere with and dictate anything whatsoever.

And you're cool with that.

Isn't there a nice Soviet-Union-type country you could go to so you could pursue your Central Planning dreams without whining from freedom lovers like me?

47 posted on 07/02/2006 7:33:08 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999 !!!)
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To: robertpaulsen
Congress (via the FAA) regulates the interstate airlines -- cruising altitudes, speeds, air corridors, landing patterns, etc. Are you saying they may not regulate the purely intrastate flight of a private pilot when his flying has a substantial effect on the interstate commerce Congress is regulating?

We delegated the power to Congress (via the FAA) to regulate air traffic. We did not grant them the power to prohibit flying.

The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. That's it.

Exactly. They are not granted the power to prohibit commerce.

If a local activity has a substantial effect on the interstate commerce that Congress is currently regulating, then Congress has the power, under the Necessary and Proper Clause to write legislation controlling that activity.

And under the due process clause, the legislation must not unreasonably deprive people of life, liberty, or property.

Without that ability, states or individuals could undermine and subvert Congress' authority. Why even give Congress the power?

Read the preamble on why we give government power, paulsen. Pay particular attention to "securing the Blessings of Liberty".

The Commerce Clause was meant to be powerful.

But only under Constitutional restraints.

The problem lies with a Congress abusing that power.

Yet you advocate such abuses by supporting prohibitions.

The solution is for the people to send a message to Congress that we will not tolerate these intrusions.

Which is hardly accomplished by your toleration of their prohibitionary abuses.

48 posted on 07/02/2006 7:45:14 AM PDT by tpaine
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To: Lazamataz

Yup. It's dead, Jim.


49 posted on 07/02/2006 7:55:16 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: gcruse
It was fun but now it's gone.
America's dead out on the lawn.
50 posted on 07/02/2006 8:14:20 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Proudly Posting Without Reading the Article Since 1999 !!!)
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