While I’m still waiting for a complete transcript of the Raich v. Ashcroft oral arguments and for Randy Barnett to give us his reaction to his experience, the AP has put out some excerpts, transcribed by Alderson Reporting Company (they do all the transcripts for the Supreme Court). They show that even the best minds lose command of the English language.
JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG: “There is, in this record, a showing that, for at least one of the two plaintiffs, there were some 30-odd drugs taken. None of them worked. This was the only one that would. . If there were to be a prosecution of any of the plaintiffs in this case, would there be any defense?”
CLEMENT: “Well, Justice Ginsburg, I think we would take the position, based on our reading of the (2001) Oakland Cannabis case – and, obviously, different justices on this court read the opinion differently and had different views on the extent to which the medical-necessity defense was foreclosed by that opinion – I would imagine the federal government, in that case, if it took the unlikely step of bringing the prosecution in the first place, would be arguing that, on the authority of Oakland Cannabis, the medical-necessity defense was not available.”
Sorry, Paul. Not a very good answer. But then again, it’s kind of tough to come right out and say “We want the sick lady to die.”
Here’s one where I’m assuming a Justice got tongue-tied (unless it was a terrible transcription job):
JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: “You know, he grows heroin, cocaine, tomatoes that are going to have genomes in them that could, at some point, lead to tomato children that will eventually affect Boston. You know, we can – oil that’s never, in fact, being used, but we want an inventory of it, federally. You know, I can multiply the examples. And you can, too. So you’re going to get around all those examples by saying what?”
BARNETT: “By saying that it’s all going to depend on the regulatory scheme.”
Attack of the tomato children in Boston? I’m amazed that Barnett was actually able to answer.