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Okay, it's official

Clarence Thomas is now officially my favorite Supreme Court justice. Mock me if you want, but the man has shown a marked unwillingness to set aside the principles of federalism and states' rights just because they happen to conflict with the wishes of a president or a policy that he obviously supports. Today's unfortunate decision permitting federal prosecution of medicinal marijuana users is the latest case in point. O'Connor and Rehnquist joined Thomas in dissenting, and good for them, but I see this vote as more in keeping with Thomas's track record than with the other two.

Meanwhile, the decision is yet another disappointment for libertarians and limited-government conservatives, wherever such may still be found. And we can't even blame Bush for this one, since he has yet to make a SCOTUS appointment.


I have to admit that Thomas shocked the heck out of me twice today, with this dissent and joining the majority on the Americans with Disability case re: foreign cruise ships. It absolutely sucks, but I think the decision, from what little I know of it (not having read the opinion yet), probably does follow the letter of the law. SCOTUS did exactly what Frist has been screaming they have to do. Congress has to get their heads out of their nether regions and pass a medical use law. That should happen exactly never.

I recall when California passed its bill allowing marijuana use that several partisans who had worked hard for its passage laughed, saying "I feel an illness coming on!"

Sorry, it was the right call unless you want to see the weed legalized.

I do not.

These laws would have allowed for great leeway in defining 'illness' among other factors. Once you open the door, even a bit, the abusers will drive their shoulders against it.

Mal, I'll agree that many who oppose this decision are from the pro-legalization camp. But I doubt Thomas, Rehnquist or O'Connor fall into that category. Rather, I think they were standing on principle, and that's a damn rare thing these days.

I think modern conservatism's biggest problem is that it's abandoned any type of guiding philosophical principle in favor of end-justifies-the-means bare-knuckle brawling. Too many consersatives, especially the social conservatives, begin with the set of goals they think are desirable, and then adapt policy to achieve those goals. If classical conservative principles such as federalism or strict constructionism get in the way, then it's just too damn bad. I think that's unhealthy for the long-term future of the movement.

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