IndyLaw Net is an independent weblog written and managed by students and alumni of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, serving the IU Law-Indy community.

We welcome and encourage comments... Please check out ILN's commenting policy

Editor-in-chief, webmaster:
Lucas Sayre

Associate editors:
Karl Born

Contributors:
Karl Born
Brian Deiwert
Lucas Sayre
Kelly Scanlan
Nathan Van Sell

Links:

IU-Indy Law
Prof. Jeff Cooper
Daily Contentions
In the Agora
Commentary Track
Justin Gifford
Jelly Beans & Corduroy
Joe Delamater
Just Playin'
Obiter Dictum
Ryan Strup
The Sleepy Sage
Waiting for the Punchline
Myron's Mind
TV Law
Radio-N8

Other Law Students
IrishLaw
The Rattler
Ambivalent Imbroglio
John Branch
Phil Carter
De Novo
Paul Gutman
Kathryn Janeway
Jewish Buddha
The Kitchen Cabinet
Law Dork
letters from babylon
Letters of Marque
Mixtape Marathon
Notes from the Underground
Andrew Raff
Sua Sponte
Three Years of Hell
Unlearned Hand
Waddling Thunder

Legal Academics
Jack Balkin
Jeff Cooper
Rick Hasen
LawMeme
Lawrence Lessig
Eric Muller
Glenn Reynolds
D. Gordon Smith
Lawrence Solum
Peter Tillers
The Volokh Conspiracy
David Wagner
Tung Yin
White Collar Crime prof blog

Other Academic-types
Andrew R. Cline
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Daniel W. Drezner
Joseph Duemer
Amitai Etzioni
Rebecca Goetz
Kieran Healy
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Brett Marston
History News Network
Michael Tinkler

Other Lawblogs
Program for Judicial Awareness
Howard J. Bashman
Stuart Buck
Janell Grenier
Sam Heldman
Tech Law Advisor
Denise Howell
Ken Lammers
Legal Reader
Math Class for Poets
Nathan Newman
Statutory Construction Zone
Indiana Law Blog
Timothy Sandefur
Fritz Schranck
Stop the Bleating
TalkLeft
Pejman Yousefzadeh

Legal News
The Jurist
CNN - Law
FindLaw
Law.com
lexisONE

Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Posted 9:29 AM by Luke
Is the Controlled Substances Act constitutional?

Jonathan Adler, an associate professor at the Case Western University School of Law, questions the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), in this column at NRO. The primary issue involved is federalism.

In the case before the Supreme Court, Ashcroft v. Raich, a medicinal marijuana user is challenging enforcement of the CSA, which would preempt a California law permitting a patient to use marijuana if prescribed by a doctor.

Adler argues that a high court ruling upholding the CSA would be a massive blow to our nation's balance of federalism:
Like most federal regulatory statutes, the CSA was enacted pursuant to Congress’s power to “regulate commerce...among the several states.” As currently understood, this clause grants Congress the broad power to regulate commercial enterprises and other activities that have a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce. There is little question that this entails the power to regulate the production, distribution, and sale of pharmaceuticals, particularly insofar as medical markets are of national scope. . . .

In this case, the federal government also maintains that it can prohibit the simple possession of a drug for medical purposes, even when authorized and regulated by a validly adopted state law, and even if conducted in a wholly noncommercial fashion. Such power, the federal government asserts, is necessary to maintain a comprehensive federal regulatory system for the use and distribution of drugs. Moreover, even the mere possession of drugs can “substantially affect” interstate commerce, as there is a vibrant, albeit illegal, interstate drug market.

This argument proves too much. Under the government’s reasoning there is no activity beyond Congress’s grasp -- a position the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected over the past ten years. Essentially, the Justice Department maintains that the power to adopt broad economic regulatory schemes necessarily entails the power to reach the most inconsequential, noncommercial conduct that occurs wholly within the confines of a single state. Even at the height of federal power during the New Deal, the Supreme Court never authorized an assertion of federal power as expansive as is at issue here. Should the Court uphold the assertion of federal power in this case, constitutional limitations on the exertion of enumerated federal powers could well disappear.


As seen in the
National Jurist
and on
FOXNews

Indianapolis Help Wanted




Archives:
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
April 2007
May 2007
March 2010






Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com