Looks like O’Connor wrote the dissent, which means at least one of the alleged federalists — Rhenquist, Thomas, or Scalia — voted with the federal government.
The opinion was written by Stevens, one of the courts more leftist justices (perhaps this will persuade some of my left-leaning allies on the drug issue of the virtues of federalism). This part is particularly laughable:
Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, “but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress.”
As a colleague here in the office points out, the very fact that this case was heard by the Supreme Court arose from ballot initiatives in ten states. That is the democratic process. It’s localism, federalism, and democracy at its most responsive and most representative.
Congress, on the other hand, has rigged the system to give incumbents a 95+ percent reelection rate. It’s lawmaking at its most distant, where lawmakers represent the greatest number of people. It’s democracy at its least effective. Which is why, despite ever-loosening attitudes toward marijuana among the public at large, Congress itself grows more obstinate and more militant toward the drug. I’ll never understand why people trust Congress more than they trust elected officials closer and more accountable to them.
More to come.