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November 2004
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Raich symposium

Fortunately, Baylen made it to the Raich symposium at Georgetown yesterday, and has a full report. Great work! Sounds like an interesting and informative panel discussion.
It’s interesting to hear the mix of optimism and pessimism regarding the chances Raich has in the current court. I’m confident that we have the best possible people on our side arguing the case. The briefs are stunning.
Some people express doubts on the court’s willingness to legalize medical marijuana. While that is certainly a reasonable doubt by itself, the case isn’t just about legalizing medical marijuana. The way this case is structured, a negative ruling by the court would, in essence, eliminate once and for all any semblance of states’ rights. The question is whether the Supremes are willing to do that, and I don’t think they are. Now, they may look to find some kind of compromise or weasel way out, but it’ll be tough for them to kill the commerce clause restrictions for good.
Additionally, there may be renewed interest in states’ rights from, of all places, the left. There’s a very interesting article at Salon by Michelle Goldberg (may require reading an ad) about liberals now considering looking to states’ rights as protection.
It’s going to be an interesting ride.

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