October 2nd, 2008

we the people

name a Supreme Court Ruling memelette

Ooh, I like this one!

As evidenced by Katie Couric, Sarah Palin is unable to name any Supreme Court Case other than Roe v. Wade.

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historical your lj. (Any decision, as long as it’s not Roe v. Wade.)
(via ursulav)

I choose Wickard v. Filburn, wherein the Commerce Clause of the constitution was interpreted so broadly as to give congress power to pass legislation on anything that could conceivably impact purchasing. Which turns out to be pretty much everything.

"Roscoe Filburn was a farmer who produced wheat in excess of the amount permitted [by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938]. Filburn however, argued that because the excess wheat was produced for his private consumption on his own farm, it never entered commerce at all, much less interstate commerce, and therefore was not a proper subject of federal regulation under the Commerce Clause.

The Supreme Court rejected this argument, reasoning that if Filburn had not used home-grown wheat he would have had to buy wheat on the open market. This effect on interstate commerce, the Court reasoned, may not be substantial from the actions of Filburn alone but through the cumulative actions of thousands of other farmers just like Filburn its effect would certainly become substantial. Therefore Congress could regulate wholly intrastate, non-commercial activity if such activity, viewed in the aggregate, would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the individual effects are trivial."

Oh, by the way? In 2005 the Supreme Court relied heavily on the presidence set in Wickard v. Filburn to rule that personal, medical use of cannabis could be regulated by congress as "interstate commerce" in the Gonzalez v. Raich ruling.

(Woops, I broke the rules. That was two.)
nny, thinky

O'Reilly and Saying Yes

I was pleasantly surprised to see the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use on The O'Reilly Show.

Of course, the interview itself was rather uninteresting. O'Reilly used what I understand to be his trademark technique of making loud, uninformed, strong statements about the topic, while being rude and abrasive to his guest. However, the fact that a topic like this even made it into the mainstream media speaks volumes about the state of the drug war.

Jacob Sullum doesn't pussyfoot around about harm reduction or plead to just let these poor dying patients get high in their last days. Saying Yes makes a bold statement that drug use is a natural drive, as compelling as the drive for sex and food. He goes so far as to say the recreational altering of one's state can be, and most often is, a healthy, natural, and beneficial activity.

A few years ago, no one would have talked to Sullum, especially not the modern leader of right wing moralistic ranting. He would have been considered a kook, a loony, shoved out the back door next to the guy with the tinfoil hat. Today? Today he is considered serious enough to get angry about.

That makes me very happy.