The end of States?

Jonathan Adler on yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Raich:

Under Raich, it is easier for Congress completely to displace state power with a comprehensive and intrusive regulatory regime than with narrow legislation focused on a discrete and limited issue of particular federal concern. As Justice O’Connor noted in her dissent, the Court “suggests that the federal regulation of local activity is immune to commerce clause challenge because Congress chose to act with an ambitious, all-encompassing statute, rather than piecemeal.” So long as Congress could rationally conclude that the control of a noncommercial, intrastate activity is “essential” to a broader regulatory scheme, a majority of the Court appears ready to go along. This not only gives Congress the incentive to adopt more ambitious legislation, it also severely constrains any meaningful judicial check on federal power under the commerce clause.

As Sonya pointed out to me, it is troubling that people keep on referring to this case as the medical marijuana case when the central issue is really the limits of federal regulation. People seem to care more about the result than how it was obtained.

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