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Fred Thompson on Federalism:

Fred Thompson has an interesting (especially by the standards of other writings by politicians) article on federalism (hat tip: Instapundit). Particularly noteworthy is his critique of the overfederalization of criminal law:

Law enforcement in general is a matter on which Congress has been very active in recent years, not always to good effect and usually at the expense of state authority. When I served as a federal prosecutor, there were not all that many federal crimes, and most of those involved federal interests. Since the 1980's, however, Congress has aggressively federalized all sorts of crimes that the states have traditionally prosecuted and punished. While these federal laws allow Members of Congress to tell the voters how tough they are on crime, there are few good reasons why most of them are necessary.

For example, it is a specific federal crime to use the symbol of 4-H Clubs with the intent to defraud. And don't even think about using the Swiss Confederation's coat of arms for commercial purposes. That's a federal offense, too.

Groups as diverse as the American Bar Association and the Heritage Foundation have reported that there are more than three thousand, five hundred distinct federal crimes and more than 10,000 administrative regulations scattered over 50 section of the U.S. code that runs at more than 27,000 pages. More than 40 percent of these regulatory criminal laws have been enacted since 1973.....

Now, there are plenty of areas in criminal law where a federal role is appropriate. More and more crime occurs across state and national boundaries; the Internet is increasingly a haven for illegal activity. A federal role is appropriate in these and other instances. But today the Federal Bureau of Prisons has quadrupled in size in little more than 20 years.

I fully agree with Thompson's view here. Most currently federalized crimes should either be handled by the states or not be crimes at all (as in the notorious 2006 bill banning internet gambling). More importantly, it's likely that this view represents his real position and is not just the usual political posturing from presidential candidates. After all, cutting back federal criminal law is not exactly a burning issue for voters, and is unlikely to excite the Republican primary electorate.

However, there is a major elephant in this federalism room that Thompson doesn't mention. He is right to note the massive growth in the federal prison population over the last 20 years, but fails to point out that most of that growth is due to the War on Drugs. As I explained here, convicts incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses make up 55% of the total federal prison population. And it was the War on Drugs that led to the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Gonzales v. Raich, which largely gutted constitutional limits on federal power. Any serious effort to reverse the federalization of criminal law must include cutting back on the War on Drugs; by comparison, the laws making it a crime to misuse the symbols of the 4-H Club and the Swiss Confederation are utterly insignificant. Is Thompson willing to advocate that? Will he promise to nominate judges committed to overruling Raich? I'm not holding my breath. But if he does, he'll certainly win my endorsement - the same priceless political asset that carried Nancy Pelosi to victory back in November:)!

Related Posts (on one page):

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  2. Fred Thompson on Federalism:
Greedy Clerk (mail):
A federal role is appropriate in these and other instances. But today the Federal Bureau of Prisons has quadrupled in size in little more than 20 years.

Wonder why that is? Has little to nothing to do with "federalism" -- but has just about everything to do with mandatory minimums, draconian guidelines, and drug crimes. Until I hear him come out against any of those (never going to happen), I will have a hard time taking him seriously on this.

Also, Ilya, you assume he wrote this. Not likely.
7.28.2007 4:48pm
Ilya Somin:
Also, Ilya, you assume he wrote this. Not likely.

I don't assume that, but just think it doesn't matter whether he did or not. Even if a ghostwriter wrote it for him, it still would not have been published under Thompson's name unless it reflected his views.
7.28.2007 5:08pm
T. Philles:
Fred Thompson isn't a federalist. He talks the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk.

7.28.2007 5:16pm
Felix Sulla:

[I]t still would not have been published under Thompson's name unless it reflected his views.
Incorrect. It would not have been published unless it reflected what Thompsom wanted people to think his views are, or rather, unless it reflected a view which, on balance and at that precise moment, he thought would help him rather than hurt him in terms of popular opinion. In other words, it is completely irrelevant whether the statement actually corresponds to any belief which Thompson holds: he said it to ingratiate himself with people like Professor Somin, whilst realizing that if he takes it to its logical conclusion, that will harm him.
7.28.2007 5:16pm
Ilya Somin:
Incorrect. It would not have been published unless it reflected what Thompsom wanted people to think his views are, or rather, unless it reflected a view which, on balance and at that precise moment, he thought would help him rather than hurt him in terms of popular opinion.

As I noted in the original post, arguing for cutbacks in federal criminal law is unlikely to bring any political benefit to Thompson.
7.28.2007 5:23pm
OrinKerr:
Ilya,

As best I recall, the 2006 law enforces state prohibitions on Internet gambling; it does not include an independent federal ban. You may find it "notorious," but why is in inconsistent with federalism to have it?
7.28.2007 5:45pm
Cornellian (mail):
Fifty-five percent? That's insane. Most collosal waste of government resources in pursuit of the nanny state since Prohibition.
7.28.2007 5:56pm
Felix Sulla:

As I noted in the original post, arguing for cutbacks in federal criminal law is unlikely to bring any political benefit to Thompson.
You certainly stated that, but I disagree. Pointing out examples of federal overreaching (and that certainly does include criminalizing use of the 4-H Club symbol amongst other things) is popular with a vast swath of voters, and has been an easy way to score cheap points at least since Saint Reagan's administration. I doubt very much anyone would read that editorial and deduce Thompson was arguing for a reduction of the scope of the criminal laws as a whole, or else that Fred Thompsom is soft on crime. In fact, he is arguing that it should be handled more locally rather than by Congress (which is not exactly at the zenith of its popularity in recent years). The notion that any sizable constituency out there is rabidly opposed to cutbacks in federal criminal law seems false as a matter intutition to me, and if you have any empirical data to back the proposition up I would like to see it.
7.28.2007 5:56pm
Ilya Somin:
Ilya,

As best I recall, the 2006 law enforces state prohibitions on Internet gambling; it does not include an independent federal ban. You may find it "notorious," but why is in inconsistent with federalism to have it?


Because the states should enforce their own gambling bans (assuming they should have such laws at all), without federal assistance, and without the imposition of federal criminal penalties in addition to state ones. Moreover, there is indeed an "independent" federal ban in the statute. See here.
7.28.2007 6:09pm
Ilya Somin:
I doubt very much anyone would read that editorial and deduce Thompson was arguing for a reduction of the scope of the criminal laws as a whole, or else that Fred Thompsom is soft on crime. In fact, he is arguing that it should be handled more locally rather than by Congress (which is not exactly at the zenith of its popularity in recent years). The notion that any sizable constituency out there is rabidly opposed to cutbacks in federal criminal law seems false as a matter intutition to me

I think it's difficult to interpret Thompson's article as anything other than an argument for at least some substantial reduction in federal criminal law. Why else complain about its growth? It is true that there is no "sizable constituency" that is "rabidly" opposed to cutbacks in federal criminal law. However, any proposals for such cutbacks can easily be portrayed as "soft on crime" - even if the proposer merely wants states to step in instead. A rationally ignorant electorate is unlikely to pay attention to such distinctions. Finally, the key point is that there is no "sizable constituency" that is in FAVOR of cutting back federal criminal law substantially - at least not in the Republican primaries. Therefore, Thompson has little to gain politically from advocating such cutbacks - even if he can gain some traction from supporting federalism in a more general way.
7.28.2007 6:12pm
OrinKerr:
I wrote:
As best I recall, the 2006 law enforces state prohibitions on Internet gambling; it does not include an independent federal ban. You may find it "notorious," but why is in inconsistent with federalism to have it?
Ilya responded:
Because the states should enforce their own gambling bans (assuming they should have such laws at all), without federal assistance, and without the imposition of federal criminal penalties in addition to state ones. Moreover, there is indeed an "independent" federal ban in the statute. See here.
But Ilya, how can they? States can't regulate websites outside of their own borders under the U.S. Constitution's dormant commerce clause. So absent the 2006 law, it's not like the federal government is neutral: the Supreme Court's dormant commerce clause jurisprudence denies the states the tools needed to enforce their gambling laws online.

And maybe I'm just missing something, but I don't see how the linked article suggests there is an independent ban. While it's true there is a ban on transactions supporting "unlawful" internet gambling, I believe what makes gambling "unlawful" is if it violates state law. That's my understanding at least. Am I missing the provision you have in mind?

Of course, I may agree with your suggestion that state laws on gambling don't make sense. But under Our Federalism, that is a choice for each state government to make.
7.28.2007 6:34pm
Felix Sulla:

I think it's difficult to interpret Thompson's article as anything other than an argument for at least some substantial reduction in federal criminal law.
Which makes the drug omission all the more telling. Because there is a sizable and rabid anti-drug constituency out there. However, by casting the issue as he did, he is merely seen to be arguing against "fluff" in the criminal law and complaining about how it tramples states' prerogatives. He has taken what is, in essence, a position that says a lot less than it actually seems to say. Which was my original point.

And I have to take issue with the assertion that there isn't a sizable constituency in favor of cutting back on the federal criminal laws. I think there is a very large number of votes in doing that, particularly when, as both you and I have now noted, you stay mum on the drug thing. The key is to cast it in language which allows and encourages some people to hear that message, while at the same time never having taken a substantive position on drug policy or anything which might actually be affected by an actual reduction in the scope of federal criminal law.

Any while some might try to tar him with the soft-on-crime brush, that is always a possibility. In fact, intentional misrepresentation of a politician's position or credentials happens in every conceivable area, from crime, to guns, to sex, to military experience. Public political discourse is not noted for its reliance either on accurate parsing of statements or intellectual honesty.
7.28.2007 6:34pm
Jam:
Maye Mr. Thompson has been reading and listening to Dr. Ron Paul of Texas.
7.28.2007 6:39pm
Jam:
Maybe Mr. Thompson has been reading and listening to Dr. Ron Paul of Texas.
7.28.2007 6:41pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Whatever his real views, I don't see any politician running for president coming out for repeal of drug laws. But as pointed out, that is the elephant in the tent.

What is the constitutancy for drug laws? The biggest ones, I would suggest are the police and the prison industry. Police because it lets them have SWAT units to break down the doors of errant pot smokers (ok, more realistically, of cocaine and meth dealers, and some of them are dangerous). Also, the more drug using miscreants, the more cops can be justified.

But at least for the more inocuous drugs like pot, I think that it is high time to just call it quits. Pot use may have (and I believe it does have) adverse long term affects. But so does alcohol overuse and overeating.

I should add that our drug problem and the ensuing drug trade to feed it, seem to be destroying Mexican society right now. Parts of the country seem to becoming ungovernable, and some of those are on our borders. It is not good for Homeland Security having all those gangs running around with automatic weapons just south of us. The best solution to all that would be to legalize (tax and control) some of the more innocuous drugs.
7.28.2007 8:43pm
Ilya Somin:
But Ilya, how can they? States can't regulate websites outside of their own borders under the U.S. Constitution's dormant commerce clause. So absent the 2006 law, it's not like the federal government is neutral: the Supreme Court's dormant commerce clause jurisprudence denies the states the tools needed to enforce their gambling laws online.

States can't regulate websites outside their own borders, but they can certainly regulate people inside their own borders who use those websites, so long as people using out of state websites are treated the same as those using in state website. Enforcement will not be perfect, of course, but to allow federal intervention anytime state enforcement is imperfect would be to gut federalism entirely.

An alternative strategy would be for Congress to exempt state regulation of internet gambling from the Dormant Commerce Clause, a move that current Supreme Court jurisprudence would permit. That would allow states to regulate internet gambling if they choose to do so, without creating any federal crimes here.


And maybe I'm just missing something, but I don't see how the linked article suggests there is an independent ban. While it's true there is a ban on transactions supporting "unlawful" internet gambling, I believe what makes gambling "unlawful" is if it violates state law. That's my understanding at least. Am I missing the provision you have in mind?

In addition to gambling banned by state law, the 2006 act also forbids internet gambling in areas covered by the federal Wire Act, and also forbids certain types of sports gambling even where not barred by state law. See the link here, which notes for example that the Act forbids states from legalizing online gambling on dogracing.
7.28.2007 10:41pm
Ilya Somin:
I have to take issue with the assertion that there isn't a sizable constituency in favor of cutting back on the federal criminal laws. I think there is a very large number of votes in doing that, particularly when, as both you and I have now noted, you stay mum on the drug thing.

I see very little evidence that this is true (though I wish it were). What is the constituency in question (other than libertarians, perhaps)? Even if it exists, it's certainly not likely to have a major impact in Republican primaries (Thompson's target audience right now).
7.28.2007 10:43pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

1. The fact is that whether or not Thompson has any opinion on reducing federal drug laws they aren't outlined in the article. Making the assumption that he doesn't have an opinion on this, or that he doesn't want to reduce such federal laws is pure groundless speculation.

Unless you've actually got evidence. But you don't, so it's a waste of time.

2. Whether or not Thompson actually believes this, he chose to put his name on it. My assumption is that he believes this. If your assumption is different then please provide any proof whatsoever to support that assumption. My proof? His name is on it.

3. There is a vast difference between tough anti-drug laws and crowded prisons, and they are two separate issues. If you have a problem with tough anti-drug laws then that's your problem. If you have a problem with crowded prisons then I'd suggest you work on deporting illegal aliens who comprise a substantial percentage of inmates or building more prisons.

Another point is that I don't view the federal anti-drug laws as an infringement on federalism because by it's very nature the drug trade is intimately bound up with the interstate commerce. The only practical way of enforcing anti-drug laws without federal participation would be for each state to have it's own customs regimes at every border crossing to ensure the illicit transportation of drugs is intercepted because otherwise their state jurisdiction would end at the state line. Which would be a violation of interstate commerce.

So really you folks discussing anti-drug laws seem to me to be little more than pro-pot activists without a decent argument.
7.28.2007 11:12pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
There is a vast difference between tough anti-drug laws and crowded prisons, and they are two separate issues.
That makes about as much sense as saying that there's a difference between traffic and automobile ownership. The two issues may not be identical -- after all, we could theoretically build sufficient roads as to accommodate all cars without jams -- but there's a huge overlap.

Another point is that I don't view the federal anti-drug laws as an infringement on federalism because by it's very nature the drug trade is intimately bound up with the interstate commerce.
That may be true of interstate drug trafficking, but it's not true of much drug manufacturing, it's not true of drug possession and it's not true of street-level drug sales.
The only practical way of enforcing anti-drug laws without federal participation would be for each state to have it's own customs regimes at every border crossing to ensure the illicit transportation of drugs is intercepted because otherwise their state jurisdiction would end at the state line.
History demonstrates that there is no practical way of enforcing anti-drug laws at all. But unless states are horrified at the mere existence of drugs, even absent use, inside their borders, there's no particular reason they need to have customs regimes at the border.
7.28.2007 11:50pm
Jam:

"What is the constitutancy for drug laws?"


How about the alcohol industry? They would hate more competition.
7.29.2007 12:19am
Erasmus_:
I wonder how many bills Senator Thompson voted for that includes criminal provisions?
7.29.2007 6:08am
CJColucci:
Why should Thompson gas about overruling Raich? Just because the Supreme Court says Congress has the raw, constitutional power to make war on drugs doesn't mean Congress has to. He could talk about simple statutory changes -- but I doubt that he would get enough votes from his own side of the aisle to make an attempt worthwhile.
7.29.2007 1:56pm
michael (mail) (www):
The thing I like about Fred Thompson is that he seems to begin talking (and perhaps deciding) on an issue at an administratively noncontroversial standpoint. This seems likely to lead to decisions that allow for the greatest participatory democracy (the inverse of the Roe outcome). In the case of drugs those states which prefer draconian penalties might have them while other states might pursue even a tax and usage control poolicy.
7.29.2007 8:33pm
Felix Sulla:

What is the constituency in question (other than libertarians, perhaps)?
I think most Americans, (and certainly a more-than-solid majority in the South) are all for the general concept of reduced federal power, and quintessentially so when you cite, as examples of abuse of the same, criminalizing the misuse of the 4-H symbol, and so on. Which is exactly what Thompson did. In other words, if you put it to the populace as a general proposition (i.e., "Do you think that the federal government should leave more criminal prosecution to the states and localities, particularly as regards "traditional" crime?") I suspect you would see overwhelming (and probably superficial) support for it. I think that is exactly what Thompson is trying to tap: it assists him with gaining support outside THE BASE without actually saying anything too substantive or controversial. As always, it becomes much more complex when you actually get down to cases, as it were.
7.29.2007 11:46pm
Felix Sulla:

History demonstrates that there is no practical way of enforcing anti-drug laws at all. But unless states are horrified at the mere existence of drugs, even absent use, inside their borders, there's no particular reason they need to have customs regimes at the border.
Ah David, every time I feel from reading your comments that we live on different planets, I see something like this and realize that a common reality binds us, even if only intermittently. ;-)
7.29.2007 11:58pm
Jam:
If an amendment was required for alcohol, and the Feds granted authority to enforce, why is it that an amendment is not required for other drugs? Regulation of inter-state commerce is not prohibition.

I think that Mr. Thompson is trying to differentiate himself from the "top tier" but acknowledge the legitimate concerns of many paleo-conservatives in Dr. Paul's camp.
7.30.2007 12:13am
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:38pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:42pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:42pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:42pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:42pm
Kelvin McCabe:
Well since the topic is federalism and the federalization of the criminal law... why dont we note with some reflection the very recent vote in the House on Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-CA), attempt to pass legislation prohibiting the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients in those States that allow it. (This would effectively overrule Raich v. Gonzalez as it concerns the individual patients, but would not scale back the supreme court's broad commerce power ruling).

In any event, for those of us who take note of such things, your federalism loving, small government republicans voted OVERWHELMINGLY to keep the Raich decision alive and well.

"In the end, 150 Democrats voted for the amendment, with 79 opposed. Fifteen Republicans voted yes, while 183 opposed it."

183 Republicans Opposed. 183 Republicans opposed. It bears repeating, over and over. State's rights/federalism my ass. 15 Republicans voted to limit the federal government. FIFTEEN. The modern republican party is showing its true colors.

And to the Good actor, i say this. Even if we accomplish the goal of reducing the federal prison population, where pray tell, do all the millions of drug offenders each yr go? To the State (likely to soon be privatized) prison? Is this the new state's rights platform? You have the right to go to prison in your own state??

Had the republicans joined the democrats on this legislation, one small step in the federalist direction would have been taken. But no. They sold themselves and their parties principles out for the war on drugs. Again.
7.30.2007 5:44pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Kelvin: we heard you the first sixteen times you posted it.
7.30.2007 5:47pm
Kelvin McCabe:
I apologize, it wasnt my fault. I hit preview first, then closed that screen out and then hit post comment, and my screen just froze up. So i hit stop on my toolbar, and hit post again, and my screen just delayed again. I didnt know any posts were actually posted.

Then, eventually, i gotta an error message saying the webpage could not be displayed. I dont know why it posted a million times. Thats never happened to me on this site, but i have seen it by others, although not as many times. Lets hope this post only posts once.
7.31.2007 2:38pm