Supreme Court ruling hides away dangerous precedent

Jun 8, 2005 03:11 · 234 words · 2 minute read

In another example of how important blogs are to modern day journalism, take a look at CNN’s coverage of a Supreme Court ruling regarding medical marijuana and then look at Boing Boing’s coverage.

Looking at the surface view, which is the CNN reporting, you might think “yeah, okay… so marijuana is something the federal government deals with”. But, the argument you see at Boing Boing shows why this is an important case. Any power that the Constitution does not expressly give to the federal government is reserved for the states. The Supreme Court called the medical marijuana case one that fell under the clause of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce. But, as pointed out on Boing Boing, these people were growing their own marijuana: it never crossed state lines, and no money changed hands.

The only way to “overturn” a Supreme Court ruling is through legislation and Constitutional Amendments. It sounds as though the Court overstepped their bounds, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Congress would explicitly legislate powers over to another body (the states).

Regardless of which side you fall on for many of the debates the come to the Supreme Court, one thing that I think most Americans would agree upon is that the Court should really stick to what’s written in the Constitution. That’s what they’ve been hired (for life!) to do.