20 September 2013
The Rehnquist court’s decisions in the past couple of years haven’t been as significant as the people may think they are in increasing the autonomy of the states. The court case of medical marijuana under Chief Justice Rehnquist did not end what they called the “federalist revolution”, because there was none. This court case was a case that obviously had significance throughout the country as it has been a highly spoke about topic. I believe that the ruling in favor of the states was expected in this case which is why not much power was shifted from the central government to the states. I believe more that the central government lost some power compared to the states gaining power. They lost the power to regulate commerce to a degree. I believe now that since they can not regulate the buying and selling of medical marijuana it opens up more controversial topics to also not be regulated. The Commerce Clause “authorizes the federal government to prohibit the use of medical marijuana”, but it wouldn’t make sense to regulate it because then any item could be regulated.
Ponnuru’s meaning of symbolic federalism is that court will favor federalism even if not much of a difference is made. The favor federalism because they want to keep a competition among both sides of the government. Symbolic federalism is only used on certain topics. Most of the time when it is not used, the topic that is drawing attention is every emotional like gay-rights and abortion. Moral Federalism is the “letting of states go their own way on contested issues”. People can become very passionate on these issues that are being debated. Moral federalism has forced people to move out of states that feel different on certain topics than they do. This migration has led to less diverse states. The Conservatives want to limit the power of federalism by letting congress enumerate powers. Congress has recently lost this power in the recent...
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