Follow by Email

Monday, September 11, 2006

Caveat re Constitutional Law

To clarify a slightly earlier post: I wrote (in general terms) about the significant differences between the ACLU principles I grew up with (as I then understood them, at least), and constitutional law as it has been shaped by the U.S. Supreme Court. I do not mean to say that when ACLU and USSC are in conflict, I always agree with the USSC. For example: not that anyone cares, but I do not endorse the degree to which 4th Amendment protections have been eroded during the drug war. I have also felt for many years that the right to peaceably assemble is under-protected in comparison with the rights to freedom of speech and of the press. ("Time, place and manner" regulations of an assembly are intrinsically more burdensome than "time, place and manner" regulations of primarily verbal expression.)

And I emphatically do not endorse the decades-long weakening of the fundamental principle of limited federal powers, with the concomitant drastic expansion of the scope of the Commerce Clause. I was cheering for the turn toward constitutional reality that U.S. v. Lopez seemed to herald. Raich v. Ashcroft (aka Gonzales v. Raich - ??) largely squelched that hope, and the Rapanos/Carabell cases were not much more encouraging.

No comments: