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The Commerce Clause, The Federal Judiciary, and Tyranny (or How Scalia Helped Screw America)
self | 10/15/09 | Huck

Posted on 10/16/2009 8:29:12 AM PDT by Huck

Introduction

In this essay I will attempt to show that the powers granted to the Federal Judiciary were excessive, that the creation of an all-powerful, unaccountable Supreme Court was a grave error that made the expansion of Federal power inevitable, and virtually limitless. I will then provide a brief investigation into the original meaning of the Commerce Clause. Last, I will argue that the harm created through Commerce Clause jurisprudence appears irreversible, having been upheld and applied by Justice Scalia and the liberal wing of the Court as recently as 2005. If Justice Scalia not only unwilling to overturn past Commerce Clause jurisprudence, but rather is willing to AFFIRM it, then there simply is no hope for repair.

1. Federal Judicial Power

Among the many errors in the Constitution, none has been as harmful as Article 3, Sec 2:

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

Anti-federalists, such as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, George Mason, opposed the ratification of the Constitution. In a series of essays known as the Anti-Federalist Papers, they warned that the myriad errors in the Constitution would lead to tyranny. Under the name “Brutus”, several of these papers addressed the dire consequences of the powers granted by Article 3, Sec.2:

The supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and subject to no control…I question whether the world ever saw, in any period of it, a court of justice invested with such immense powers, and yet placed in a situation so little responsible. Certain it is, that in England, and in the several states, where we have been taught to believe the courts of law are put upon the most prudent establishment, they are on a very different footing.

Antifederalist #78

The power of this court is in many cases superior to that of the legislature. I have showed, in a former paper, that this court will be authorised to decide upon the meaning of the constitution; and that, not only according to the natural and obvious meaning of the words, but also according to the spirit and intention of it.

Antifederalist #78

[I]t is easy to see, that in their adjudication they may establish certain principles, which being received by the legislature will enlarge the sphere of their power beyond all bounds.

Antifederalist #81

2. The Commerce Clause

There has probably been no more insidious and far-reaching example of the Supreme court’s ability to “enlarge the sphere” of Federal power than their rulings on the meaning of “The Commerce Clause”. It turned out to be the most gaping loophole in the entire Constitution, what law school professors refer to as “The Everything Clause.” It is so broad a power, that it now grants to the Federal Government the power to regulate activity that is neither interstate nor commerce. But what did it mean originally? Let us examine this question, beginning with the clause itself, from Article 1, Section 8:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

At the time the Constitution was drafted, the power to regulate interstate commerce was understood to mean the right to impose tariffs on imports and exports. That’s it. Nothing more. The Framers gave this power to the Federal Legislature in order to promote harmony among the states by preventing interstate trade wars. James Madison summed it up in Federalist #42:

A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity…

… The necessity of a superintending authority over the reciprocal trade of confederated States, has been illustrated by other examples as well as our own. In Switzerland, where the Union is so very slight, each canton is obliged to allow to merchandises a passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons, without an augmentation of the tolls. In Germany it is a law of the empire, that the princes and states shall not lay tolls or customs on bridges, rivers, or passages, without the consent of the emperor and the diet; though it appears from a quotation in an antecedent paper, that the practice in this, as in many other instances in that confederacy, has not followed the law, and has produced there the mischiefs which have been foreseen here. Among the restraints imposed by the Union of the Netherlands on its members, one is, that they shall not establish imposts disadvantageous to their neighbors, without the general permission.

The Commerce Clause, then, had one distinct purpose—to prevent states from imposing tariffs on imports and exports from other states, in order to “provide for the harmony and proper intercourse among the States,” as Madison characterized it. It was basically a free trade agreement among the states.

The Commerce Clause today, after nearly two centuries of Federal Judicial interpretation, goes far beyond its original meaning and intent. It now includes the power to prevent interstate tariffs and trade wars, it includes the power to regulate any activity, commercial or not, interstate or intrastate. It doesn’t even have to have a “substantial effect on interstate commerce.” The court merely has to decide that there is a “rational basis” for thinking that an activity has a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce, for that activity to fall under the power granted by the Commerce Clause. It is, indeed, the Everything Clause.

How did we get so far from its original, limited meaning? By the powers granted to the Federal Judiciary in Article 3, Section 2. As predicted in Anti-Federalist Paper 82:

They will be able to extend the limits of the general government gradually, and by insensible degrees, and to accommodate themselves to the temper of the people. Their decisions on the meaning of the constitution will commonly take place in cases which arise between individuals, with which the public will not be generally acquainted. One adjudication will form a precedent to the next, and this to a following one.

Law students could rattle off the landmark cases: Gibbons v Ogden, Swift v United States, Wickard v Fillburn. Case by case, precedent by precedent, the meaning was stretched like silly putty. Meatpackers fell under Commerce Clause power, because “although their activity was geographically "local," they had an important effect on the "current of commerce". Stockyards were subject to federal regulation, because they were “a throat through which the current [of commerce] flows.”

The climax of this expansion of Federal power was Wickard v Fillburn, a New Deal era case which proclaimed:

But even if appellee's activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.”

In Wickard, the government was asserting its power to restrict the production of wheat. They were trying to raise wheat prices by reducing the supply by fiat. They asserted that even if someone was growing wheat to feed their own animals—it was not moving across state lines, it was not being sold—it still fell under the Commerce Clause regulatory power because it had a “substantial effect” on wheat supply generally.

And so there you have it. Not only had we drifted from the original meaning of the clause—that trade should flow freely between states. Wickard established that the power to regulate interstate commerce included activity that was not interstate, and that was not commerce. It only had to have a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce, whatever that means. More recently, even that was found to be too limited a power. Presently, the Court doesn’t even have to find a “substantial effect”, but merely a “rational basis” for thinking there is a “substantial effect.

3. Justice Scalia and Gonzalez v Raich

Which brings us to Justice Scalia, and Gonzalez v Raich. This case pitted the Justice Department of George W Bush against Angel Raich, and indirectly, the State of California. Raich was a resident of California, and under California state law, was legally permitted to cultivate marijuana for personal medical use. DEA agents intervened, destroyed the 6 marijuana plants, as part of an overall attempt to break up Calfornia’s marijuana co-ops and assert Federal marijuana laws. Raich sued.

The Justice Department argued that it had the power to regulate home-grown marijuana plants, even if they were not involved in any interstate commerce, indeed, even if they were not involved in any commerce. They based their argument on that old New Deal case, Wickard v Fillburn.

Here was a chance, one might have hoped, for the conservative justices to overturn Wickard! How can anyone serious about originalism support this absurd construction of federal power? Right? Wrong.

Not only did the court fail to overturn Wickard. It based its decision on Wickard, thus affirming it, and making it that much more unlikely that it will EVER be overturned. The decision was 6-3. The three dissenters— Rehnquist, Thomas, and O’Connor. The majority opinion was written by Justice Stevens, and joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, and a concurring opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia’s explained his reason for writing a separate opinion:

I agree with the Court’s holding that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) may validly be applied to respondents’ cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana for personal, medicinal use. I write separately because my understanding of the doctrinal foundation on which that holding rests is, if not inconsistent with that of the Court, at least more nuanced.

And what was this nuanced difference?

Since Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146 (1971), our cases have mechanically recited that the Commerce Clause permits congressional regulation of three categories: (1) the channels of interstate commerce; (2) the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, and persons or things in interstate commerce; and (3) activities that “substantially affect” interstate commerce. …

The first two categories are self-evident, since they are the ingredients of interstate commerce itself. See Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 189—190 (1824). The third category, however, is different in kind, and its recitation without explanation is misleading and incomplete.

It is misleading because, unlike the channels, instrumentalities, and agents of interstate commerce, activities that substantially affect interstate commerce are not themselves part of interstate commerce, and thus the power to regulate them cannot come from the Commerce Clause alone. Rather, as this Court has acknowledged since at least United States v. Coombs, 12 Pet. 72 (1838), Congress’s regulatory authority over intrastate activities that are not themselves part of interstate commerce (including activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce) derives from the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Basically, he just thought they should toss in the “necessary and proper” clause. Other than that, he was in agreement. A nuanced difference, indeed.

Raich affirmed not just Wickard, but the long trail of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, which has “extend[ed] the limits of the general government gradually, and by insensible degrees.” Each case that formed “a precedent to the next, and this to a following.”

So if you can’t trust Justice Scalia, the most famous “originalist” of the last several decades, who can you trust? It appears you can trust Justice Thomas, who stated in his dissent:

One searches the Court’s opinion in vain for any hint of what aspect of American life is reserved to the States.

Conclusion

From this brief examination of the powers of the Federal Judiciary, the history of the Commerce Clause, and the willingness of even Justice Scalia (Et tu, Nino?) to adopt the most liberal constructions to reach a desired end, it appears to me that the Constitution will never return to any semblance of limited power. It is terminally ill, and will not recover. The fatal flaw was the awesome power granted to the Federal Judiciary. I will attempt in the future to explore what alternative to this Federal power could be devised in a future Constitution to avoid this fatal error.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: chat; commerceclause; federalism; federalistpapers; scalia; supremecourt; tyranny; vanity
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To: Mojave
Just as the federal government can allow it or disallow it under federal law, as they choose.

Begging the question. They cannot "chose" to do what they are not authorized to do.

101 posted on 10/16/2009 11:10:47 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

You’re wasting your time. Some people can’t get past the fact that Raich concerned “the devil’s weed.” Therefore, the outcome had to be correct! The fact that every single left wing judge decided the same way doesn’t raise any suspicion whatsoever. It’s the devil’s weed. The end justifies the means.


102 posted on 10/16/2009 11:12:58 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Bigun
When, if ever, has the congress exercised it's prerogatives granted by "with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."?

It's rare.

"By the Act of February 5, 1867, Sec. 1, 14 Stat. 386, Congress had authorized appeals to the Supreme Court from circuit court decisions denying habeas corpus. Previous to this statute, the Court's jurisdiction to review habeas corpus decisions, based in Sec. 14 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 81, was somewhat fuzzily conceived."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article03/20.html#f1067

103 posted on 10/16/2009 11:14:58 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave
So if Congress foreclosed an activist court from legalizing pot by judicial decree

In this case it was the people of California through their legislature and governor who legalized pot. They expected a non-activist court to uphold the will of the people and the sovereignty of the state because the federal government was reaching beyond its authority to prosecute people for things that were perfectly legal in that state.

104 posted on 10/16/2009 11:15:56 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: tacticalogic
Begging the question. They cannot "chose" to do what they are not authorized to do.

Yes. You are begging the question by assuming, with no basis in law, that Congress may not regulate the massive marijuana trade among the states.

105 posted on 10/16/2009 11:18:07 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave

Thanks!

I could not find a single instance.


106 posted on 10/16/2009 11:18:08 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: Bigun

I vaguely recall that there were a couple of others. In any case, it’s very rare.


107 posted on 10/16/2009 11:19:17 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
In this case it was the people of California through their legislature and governor who legalized pot.

Actually not. They removed some of the state restrictions. State pot arrests are still commonplace.

Neither Proposition 215 (which contained explicit ballot disclaimers that it did NOT apply to federal laws) nor subsequent legislation purported to nullify concurrent federal regulations.

108 posted on 10/16/2009 11:23:42 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Huck
However, that bolded section appears to only apply to appellate jurisdiction.

True. And the Court enjoys NO original jurisdiction over marijuana cases.

Score one for the Constitution.

109 posted on 10/16/2009 11:25:18 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Huck
the history of the Commerce Clause, and the willingness of even Justice Scalia (Et tu, Nino?) to adopt the most liberal constructions to reach a desired end, it appears to me that the Constitution will never return to any semblance of limited power

The Constitution gives Congress the power to tax, spend, borrow, and regulate, which they will continue to expand as much as they can. It will probably require some new amendments to limit it.

110 posted on 10/16/2009 11:34:16 AM PDT by mjp (pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, independence, limited government, capitalism})
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To: Mojave
Marijuana has nothing to do with federal judicial jurisdiction one way or the other. You seem hung up on the wacky weed.

I believe in the case of Raich, the SCOTUS had original jurisdiction, if I am correctly interpreting the Attorney General, who was the defendant, to be a "public consul."

It went directly to the Supreme Court. Pot has nothing to do with jurisdiction. It has to do with who or what is a party to the case.

111 posted on 10/16/2009 11:41:30 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Bigun

Technically, you could say the original judiciary act was such an act.


112 posted on 10/16/2009 11:42:22 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Huck

The federal judiciary has accrued power because the federal government has accrued power. Do not think that the edge of the sword operates apart from the bulk of the sword and the arm and mind that wields it.


113 posted on 10/16/2009 11:44:22 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Huck
Marijuana has nothing to do with federal judicial jurisdiction one way or the other

I'm really disappointed by your lack of knowledge. The Constitution explicitly limits the Court's original jurisdiction as follows:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

Good luck finding a marijuana emanation of a penumbra in there.

114 posted on 10/16/2009 11:46:37 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Huck

Once again, a very thought-provoking and interesting piece of writing.


115 posted on 10/16/2009 11:50:55 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Darkness has no response to light, except to flee.)
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To: Mojave
Yes. You are begging the question by assuming, with no basis in law, that Congress may not regulate the massive marijuana trade among the states.

That begs the question as to whether the prohibition laws are within federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

116 posted on 10/16/2009 11:53:04 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Mojave

Are you really that dense, or just trying to waste my time? The SCOTUS has original jurisdiction in Raich because a public minister or consul—The Attorney General of the US—was a party to the suit.


117 posted on 10/16/2009 11:53:47 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: tacticalogic; Mojave

I’ll be taking on the Commerce Clause directly soon, and I’ll be sure and ping you, and Mojave.


118 posted on 10/16/2009 11:54:44 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Huck
I believe in the case of Raich, the SCOTUS had original jurisdiction, if I am correctly interpreting the Attorney General, who was the defendant, to be a "public consul."

Appeal. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

119 posted on 10/16/2009 11:54:47 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
The states are not 'sovereign' but have some powers reserved to them within the federal system. These powers do include nullification of federal law and the laws of sister states.

If California or another state legalizes marijuana or slavery or the manufacture and private possession of weaponized anthrax spores, hand grenades, or truck bombs, it subverts the respective federal and state bans. No system could survive in which one state could permit and enable what the federal government and other states categorically prohibit. Yet that is what your view of the Commerce Clause supposes.

120 posted on 10/16/2009 11:55:40 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: holdonnow

ping


121 posted on 10/16/2009 11:56:40 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Mojave

I believe you are incorrect. The 9th circuit issued an injunction against the feds, but they did not try the case. It went directly to the SCOTUS.


122 posted on 10/16/2009 11:57:25 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Mojave
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

No Ambassador, public Minister or Consul, or State was a party in Wickard v Filburn.

123 posted on 10/16/2009 11:58:03 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Huck
Allow me to stand up and say, "Stop it!"

Stop attacking the Constitution!

You go on and on with your analysis, bringing out centuries-old arguments which have already been hashed out by the Founding Fathers, striving to discredit and undermine their work.

Enough!

The war has been waged, the arguments raised and debated, and far better men than you or I have settled the matter.

The Constitution was inspired by God. It is OVERWHELMINGLY the best document of its kind in the history of government. The Founding Fathers themselves realized and acknowledged that it is not perfect, and that it is IMPOSSIBLE to write law comprehensive enough and strong enough to account for and prevent every cunning and evil concept which could arise. That fact notwithstanding, it is a MAGNIFICENT work and has profoundly contributed to the blessing, prosperity and peace of the entire world.

Neither the Commerce Clause, nor any other part of the Constitution are to blame in any degree for the evils of men and their propensity for tyranny. To suggest such is no different than blaming a weapon for the violence of him who wields it.

I call upon ALL FReepers to rise up and DEFEND the Constitution! REVERE it! HONOR it!

And for the love of all that is right, please cease this corrosive criticism of that beloved document!

124 posted on 10/16/2009 11:58:22 AM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: tacticalogic
No Ambassador, public Minister or Consul, or State was a party in Wickard v Filburn.

So?

125 posted on 10/16/2009 11:59:14 AM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: tacticalogic

If one reads the Supreme Court’s entire line of Commerce Clause cases, it becomes clear that long before Raich, the federal power included protection of freedom of commerce between the states and the prohibition of items and practices generally when they impact interstate commerce.


126 posted on 10/16/2009 12:00:23 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Mojave

No party::no precedence::no basis.


127 posted on 10/16/2009 12:00:31 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Bigun

Congress can limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. In practice, it has not done so because of the need to harmonize decisions by the federal courts and state courts as to federal law issues.


128 posted on 10/16/2009 12:05:18 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Huck
The 9th circuit issued an injunction against the feds,
The complaint stated that John Ashcroft and Asa Hutchinson are "unconstitutionally exceeding their authority by embarking on a campaign of seizing or forfeiting privately-grown intrastate medical cannabis from California patients and caregivers, arresting or prosecuting such patients, mounting paramilitary raids against patients and caregivers, harassing patients and caregivers, and taking other civil or administrative actions against them."

The injunction was denied. The plaintiffs then filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Court reversed the judgment, ruling that the government's actions were unconstitutional.

The U.S. government appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, changing the name of the case to Ashcroft et al. v. Raich et al.

Appealed and appealed again.

but they did not try the case.

Try the case? Raich wasn't a defendant.

129 posted on 10/16/2009 12:06:41 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: tacticalogic
No party::no precedence::no basis.

English, please.

130 posted on 10/16/2009 12:07:42 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave

As Raich makes clear though, federal law can be enforced so as to ban marijuana within a state without regard to state law or whether the marijuana is nominally ‘intended’ for interstate commerce. This is because growing marijuana creates a commodity that can be readily put into interstate commerce.


131 posted on 10/16/2009 12:08:27 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Rockingham
If one reads the Supreme Court’s entire line of Commerce Clause cases, it becomes clear that long before Raich, the federal power included protection of freedom of commerce between the states and the prohibition of items and practices generally when they impact interstate commerce.

Prior to Wickard all regulations and prohibitions were imposed on interstate transport via registered common carriers. These were considered subject to federal authority because they were authorized and protected as being part of the "channels of interstate commerce".

132 posted on 10/16/2009 12:08:47 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: TChris
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security
133 posted on 10/16/2009 12:10:33 PM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Bigun

I recall that there has been some Congressional tinkering with Supreme Court jurisdiction, but not to major effect. The far more consequential considerations are federal court jurisdiction and the cases and controversies permitted to be heard there.


134 posted on 10/16/2009 12:10:47 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Rockingham
As Raich makes clear though, federal law can be enforced so as to ban marijuana within a state without regard to state law or whether the marijuana is nominally ‘intended’ for interstate commerce.

True.

135 posted on 10/16/2009 12:13:46 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave

What you’re referring to was a preliminary injunction.


136 posted on 10/16/2009 12:15:41 PM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: tacticalogic

That is simply not so. Again, there is no substitute for the dull and hard effort of a close reading of the entire line of Supreme Court Commerce Clause cases. The general trend is of the Court upholding increasingly expansive federal laws based on the Commerce Clause. Wickard is not a departure but a logical culmination.


137 posted on 10/16/2009 12:15:56 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Rockingham
As Raich makes clear though, federal law can be enforced so as to ban marijuana within a state without regard to state law or whether the marijuana is nominally ‘intended’ for interstate commerce. This is because growing marijuana creates a commodity that can be readily put into interstate commerce.

The Founder's writings on the subject make it clear that this is not within the intent of the commerce clause.

Whether it could potentially be interstate commerce or not is irrelevant. There's virtuallly nothing that wouldn't meet that standard, and if you read the associated writings on the subject, it is clear that this is not the power the clause conveyed.

It is not subject to federal regulation until it actually enters the channels of interstate commerce, and then it was only intended that it be regulated to prevent trade disputes between the states.

138 posted on 10/16/2009 12:17:53 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Rockingham
Raich doesn't make anything clear. It merely affirmed Wickard, which said the federal government can prevent a farmer from growing his own WHEAT under the commerce clause. In effect, under this interpretation, the government can ban or control ANY commodity. Anyone who thinks that is what the commerce clause meant at ratification is insane.

It's a completely bogus interpretation, but one that Scalia chose to affirm.

139 posted on 10/16/2009 12:18:25 PM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Huck
OK, do you have a point, other than quoting the same men who created the Constitution you attack?

Where is your proposition for its replacement?

If you believe there is a better way, post it.

It's a far easier task to sit comfortably at home in the peace granted to you by the Constitution and criticize the precious work of men who willingly lost credibility, family, fortune and their very LIVES for what they created, when they are no longer around to defend it and answer your charges, than it is to build your own work and open it up to scrutiny.

You aren't WORTHY to criticize the Constitution!

140 posted on 10/16/2009 12:20:13 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: tacticalogic; Rockingham
Prior to Wickard all regulations and prohibitions were imposed on interstate transport via registered common carriers

False. Naturally.

In 1895, Congress, acting under the Commerce Clause for the first time, extended the ban to all interstate commerce with the passage of Federal Anti-Lottery Act.

The Act was intended to: [S]upplement the provisions of prior acts excluding lottery tickets from the mails and prohibiting the importation of lottery matter from abroad, and to prohibit the causing [of] lottery tickets to be carried, and lottery tickets and lottery advertisements to be transferred, from one State to another by any means or method.

http://www.gambling-law-us.com/Federal-Laws/interstate-wagering.htm

Rockingham, be aware that tacticalogic is notorious for inventing his "facts."

141 posted on 10/16/2009 12:20:14 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Rockingham
That is simply not so.

I believe it is, but I'm willing to look at any evidence you have to the contrary, but I'm not chaning my mind until you produce some.

As far as it being a "culmination", it is indeed. But it is a "culimination" of a process of piling error upon error.

142 posted on 10/16/2009 12:21:10 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Huck
JURISDICTION

The judgment of the court of appeals was entered on
December 16, 2003. A petition for rehearing was
denied on February 25, 2004 (App. 70a-71a). The jurisdiction
of this Court is invoked under 28 U.S.C. 1254(1).

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/sourcefiles/GovCertPetition.pdf

143 posted on 10/16/2009 12:22:51 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Huck
It merely affirmed Wickard, which said the federal government can prevent a farmer from growing his own WHEAT under the commerce clause.

He wasn't prevented. Read the case.

144 posted on 10/16/2009 12:24:05 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave

The law prohibited the use of interstate carriers to transport those tickets.


145 posted on 10/16/2009 12:25:11 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic
Prior to Wickard all regulations and prohibitions were imposed on interstate transport via registered common carriers
[S]upplement the provisions of prior acts excluding lottery tickets from the mails and prohibiting the importation of lottery matter from abroad, and to prohibit the causing [of] lottery tickets to be carried, and lottery tickets and lottery advertisements to be transferred, from one State to another by any means or method.

Really? What emanation of a penumbra do you find "registered common carriers" in?

146 posted on 10/16/2009 12:29:39 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: Mojave
Really? What emanation of a penumbra do you find "registered common carriers" in?

You don't need "emanations and penumbras". You just need to read the entire decision in context, and not fall for being conned into believing it says something it doesn't by someone peddling cherry picked excerpts.

147 posted on 10/16/2009 12:34:27 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: TChris
OK, do you have a point, other than quoting the same men who created the Constitution you attack?

Get a hold of yourself. You're hysterical. You need a hanky? My point is the bolded sections.

Where is your proposition for its replacement?

Well let's see, the Founders published the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and didn't write the Constitution until 1787, so I gues that gives me 11 years to work on it. Should they have had a finished Constitution ready to go before criticizing their government?

If you believe there is a better way, post it.

I definitely believe there is a better way. As soon as I discover it, I'll let you know, sweetie.

It's a far easier task to sit comfortably at home in the peace granted to you by the Constitution and criticize the precious work of men who willingly lost credibility, family, fortune and their very LIVES for what they created, when they are no longer around to defend it and answer your charges,

Baloney. It's much easier to do what you do. Proclaim yourself unworthy to determine your own destiny. Scream STOP and cover your ears rather than subject your most dearly held beliefs to scrutiny. Assume whatever we have right now is the best we'll ever have and therefore do NOTHING to improve it.

Don't you worry about the Founders. They did pretty darn well for their time, and won't suffer from my criticisms. They understood that whatever they got right or wrong would be judged by posterity, and I'm sure they hoped it would be judged. You think they thought they had arrived at the perfect solution? You think they thought themselves the infallible crowning achievement of man? Uh....no.

than it is to build your own work and open it up to scrutiny.

I would say publishing my thoughts here opens it up to scrutiny. And in some cases, the scrutiny is well-reasoned and substantive. In other cases, like yours, it's just weepy emotionalism that would have made the founders cringe.

You aren't WORTHY to criticize the Constitution!

You basically consider the Constitution a holy writ, equal to the Bible itself. You are plain wrong. Now go get a tissue and blow your nose.

148 posted on 10/16/2009 12:37:38 PM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: Huck
At the time the Constitution was drafted, the power to regulate interstate commerce was understood to mean the right to impose tariffs on imports and exports. That’s it. Nothing more.

That darn Thomas Jefferson and the Embargo Act of 1807!

/sarcasm

149 posted on 10/16/2009 12:37:58 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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To: tacticalogic
You just need to read the entire decision in context

You're really blowing smoke today. BTW, the 1895 Federal Anti-Lottery Act was a law, not an "entire decision."

150 posted on 10/16/2009 12:41:24 PM PDT by Mojave (Don't blame me. I voted for McClintock.)
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