Recrossing the Rubicon

Few Americans today understand the concept of ‘separation of powers,’ and fewer still are willing to defend it during times of crisis, whether real or manufactured. Yet, it may help to remind them that James Madison, the author of the Constitution and president of the United States, said he had structured a system to be run by devils, where they could do no harm.

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U.S. to yield marijuana jurisdiction to states?

by Bob Egelko, SF Chronicle

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that President Obama – who as a candidate said states should be allowed to make their own rules on medical marijuana – will end raids on pot dispensaries in California.

Asked at a Washington news conference Wednesday about Drug Enforcement Administration raids in California since Obama took office last month, Holder said the administration has changed its policy.

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Limit Government or Limit Freedom?

by Alex Wallenwein

That really is the question.

To increase the one, you have to limit the other. There’s no two ways about it.

If confronted with that choice, which one will you increase??

Naturally, there is only one sane answer. Yet, good, well-meaning, but horribly deceived and misled Americans are constantly choosing government over freedom and prosperity by their daily actions, behaviors – and voting patterns.

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Will Obama Stop the Medical Marijuana Raids?

by Anthony Gregory, CampaignforLiberty

In 1996, California passed proposition 215, allowing for medical marijuana. We have seen similar decriminalization measures in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont. President Bill Clinton responded to such liberalizing laws with a series of federal raids on marijuana dispensaries, arresting the sick and their caregivers.

“Compassionate conservative” George W. Bush, running for president in 1999, indicated that he thought states should decide their own medical marijuana policies. Instead, as president he continued the Clinton policy, in direct conflict with the 9th-Amendment protection of rights reserved to the people and the 10th-Amendment guarantee of unenumerated powers being reserved to the states. Although no Constitutional language gives the federal government any legal authority to regulate drugs domestically, much less wage a full-blown drug war, the federal prohibition on marijuana has only been stepped up since 1937 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Marihuana Tax Act into law, de facto banning the substance.

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Obama, States Rights and Emissions

by Greg Heller, The Holy Cause

“Obama Moves to Let States Set Own Rules on Emissions”

So says The Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama plans to call on the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to consider allowing states including California to regulate automobile greenhouse-gas emissions, said people familiar with the administration’s thinking.

The move will signal a major policy break from his predecessor on an issue that has divided key Democratic Party constituencies …

… Mr. Obama’s plans were described to The Wall Street Journal by three people familiar with the administration’s thinking, including one administration official. Mr. Obama was expected to outline his plans in directives to the agencies to be released at a White House event Monday.

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States Rights in the Pollution Debate

by Greg Heller, The Holy Cause

Does the “liberal” Obama respect the Constitution more than the “conservative” Bush?  From the Contra Costa Times:

After months of battling with the Bush administration, California may be close to getting permission from the federal government to set its own standards for tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to grant the state a waiver to impose the tough new standards after he takes office in January, reversing a decision by the Bush administration that infuriated environmentalists.

“Obama has said very clearly he would permit California to move forward and enforce its greenhouse gas standards for cars, so we expect that the Bush administration’s policies will be reversed in short order,” said Frank O’Donnell, executive director of the environmental group Clean Air Watch.

… If Obama approves the waiver, the implications will reach far beyond California.

Eighteen other states already have adopted or are in the process of adopting California’s standards. The waiver would clear the way for them to impose the tougher standards as well and would force auto manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles nationwide.

… EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced last December that he had decided against issuing the waiver because California did not have “compelling and extraordinary conditions” to set its own standards.

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Unity and Federalism

by Gary Galles

After a bitter and divisive election, Democrats have regained the presidency and widened their control of Congress. Now they are making the usual political victors’ calls for unity. But unfortunately, Americans’ often diametrically opposed preferences for what they want government to do guarantees disunity under our current approach to governance.

Opposing desires (you want “A” but I want “not A”) mean that no national approach or plan can form the basis of unity. Instead, only returning to our Constitution’s forgotten federalism, especially the 10th Amendment, can reconcile them with national unity.

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