Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Raich vs Ashcroft

The Supreme court case of Raich vs Ashcroft is not just about Marjuana, it an issue about whether the Federal Goverment overstepped its Constitutional bounds. Ashcroft has concidered his will more important than the constitution, is using power that is not given to him by our constitution. The National Review explains:
Fearing potential prosecution, Raich went to federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that, among other things, the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to prohibit simple marijuana possession for personal medical use. Represented by noted libertarian law professor (and sometime NRO contributor) Randy Barnett, Raich argued that, at least as applied to her situation, the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is unconstitutional. This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in her case, Ashcroft v. Raich. At stake is more than California’s effort to legalize the medical use of marijuana. A decision for the federal government could send federalism and the constitutional doctrine of enumerated powers up in smoke.

On behalf of Raich, Professor Barnett argued that the cultivation and possession of marijuana “solely for the personal medical use of seriously ill individuals, as recommended by their physician and authorized by State law” is simply beyond the reach of federal power. Under our constitutional structure, states retain “broad powers to define criminal law, regulate medical practice, and protect the lives of their citizens.” Federal power, on the other hand, is limited to the specific grant of enumerated powers in the Constitution, and does not reach mundane questions of criminal law. No matter how worthy the purpose of a given federal statute, it remains invalid if it exceeds the constitutionally proscribed bounds.

The article presents how conservative constitutionalist are willing to take Ashcroft on, and why.


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