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Chemerinsky's Inverted Federalism

John McGinnis reviews Erwin Chemerinsky's new book, Enhancing Government: Federalism for the 21st Century, and finds a blueprint for unchaining government power at all levels.

In "Enhancing Government," Erwin Chemerinsky provides a kind of holograph of what federalism — as the federal-state relation is confusingly called — would resemble if the U.S. were to enter a period of liberal ascendancy. . . . Mr. Chemerinsky sketches a vision of federalism that would empower government at all levels and delight civil plaintiffs and criminal defense lawyers of every description. . . .

Mr. Chemerinsky argues that no constitutional principle prevents the federal government from regulating any matter. Accordingly, he sharply criticizes the decision in United States v. Lopez, where the Rehnquist Court held that the federal government lacked the authority to prohibit carrying guns near a school. Second, he solves one of the great federalism controversies — whether state or federal courts are more competent to adjudicate federal legal claims — by allowing civil plaintiffs and criminal defendants to choose whichever court that they prefer: presumably the one that, in their view, will most likely vindicate their rights. Finally, he argues that state law should yield only to an express federal directive contradicting it. Thus, in his view, the Supreme Court was wrong to hold that the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a medical device precluded state tort suits impugning the device's safety.

AntonK (mail):
Erwin Chemerinsky: legal pop star, wildly overvalued and overrated buffoon.
7.15.2008 8:39am
FantasiaWHT:

Mr. Chemerinsky argues that no constitutional principle prevents the federal government from regulating any matter.


That's completely the wrong question. The righ question is whether constitutional principles ALLOW the federal government to regulate any matter.
7.15.2008 9:00am
John (mail):
Somewhere Thomas Jefferson is crying.
7.15.2008 9:21am
GMUSL '07 Alum (mail):
I often wonder whether Chemerinsky would have felt more comfortable if his family didn't come to the US. He would have made a great member of the politburo.
7.15.2008 9:43am
therut:
Maybe this new government should regulate his speech and his job opportunities. In other words force him to shut up and dig ditches.
7.15.2008 9:44am
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
Wrong-headed as Chemerinsky may be, these comments are vapid and unnecessarily personal responses to his arguments.
7.15.2008 9:48am
AntonK (mail):
"Wrong-headed as Chemerinsky may be, these comments are vapid and unnecessarily personal responses to his arguments."

Not all arguments, no matter how nicely wrapped, deserve serious response. Chemerinsky's do not.
7.15.2008 9:59am
Eric Muller (www):
P.I. is quite right. Chemerinsky writes a book full of ideas and signs his own name to it. Right or wrong, that's what honorable people do -- unlike the commenters here (thus far), who simply call him names and denigrate him personally from beneath a shroud of anonymity.
7.15.2008 10:00am
Jaypher (mail):
"[F]inds a for unchaining"?
7.15.2008 10:03am
FlimFlamSam:
Eric Muller,

You must hate those dishonorable extremists Silence Dogood and Publius.
7.15.2008 10:10am
Jim at FSU (mail):
I'm going to patent a machine that draws power from the founding fathers turning in their graves. For the first time in the history of the regulatory state, government will perform useful work.
7.15.2008 10:22am
Sarcastro (www):
Chemerinsky's opinions present a clear and present danger to the Union. People will read this book, start getting ideas, run for office and judgeships and then regulate us into Communism!

His opinions are Dangerous, made even more so by association with the prestigeous name "Chemerinsky." He should at least be forced to take that name off his works.
7.15.2008 10:26am
JN Heath (mail):
Is this the same Chemerinsky that says the Second Amendment allows the states to regulate the militia in contravention of federal "interference", despite the fact those powers were delegated and the courts have consistently held that Congress may preempt state militia regulations?
7.15.2008 10:29am
frankcross (mail):
The comments of Publius had a little more content and reason than those of the closed minded anonymous posters of this site.
7.15.2008 10:41am
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
Let me echo P.I. and Eric Muller.

Those who believe Chemerinsky is off base should identify his errors and present counterarguments, not denigrate him personally or dismiss his work out of hand. Chemerinsky is a serious scholar of tremendous influence -- and the author of what may be the best ConLaw treatise around. Like it or not, many of his arguments have tremendous purchase in the academy and the law. While I find many of his views to be quite wrong-headed, particularly in the area of federalism, I believe they are worthy of analysis and response, which is one of the reason's I highlighted the McGinnis review.

Also, while I would be the last person to condemn pseudonymous posting, I do believe those who use pseudonyms should be particularly careful to avoid personal attacks and ad hominems.

JHA

P.S. I fixed the typo above.
7.15.2008 10:41am
egn (mail):
I read the first few comments and thought about how badly this thread needed Sarcastro. And lo, s/he appeared.
7.15.2008 10:46am
DangerMouse:
Mr. Chemerinsky argues that no constitutional principle prevents the federal government from regulating any matter.

Wonderful news! Let's ban abortion.
7.15.2008 11:01am
Tom in Seattle:
FantasiaWHT is exactly right in that the Constitution is an instrument of enumerated powers. Chemerinsky is 180 degrees off in his underlying argument and that taints the rest of his reasoning.

Consequently, the ad hominems are fair play.
7.15.2008 11:05am
egn (mail):

Wonderful news! Let's ban abortion.


What's the point of this jab? I'm sure Chemerinsky wouldn't object on federalism grounds. It sounds like you're more than happy to compromise your principles for your pet political issue though. Well-played.
7.15.2008 11:08am
Sarcastro (www):
Indeed, AntonK and Tom in Seattle. Chemerinski is SO wrong, there is no need to engage him, and we should only call him names!

The most convincing arguments are always those that begin from the assumption the opposition is too wrong to address.

Commerce clause? What commerce clause? The Supreme Court second guessing Congress's findings in Lopez isn't activism!

What you don't agree? Chemerinsky - more like Chimpanzee!
7.15.2008 11:12am
DangerMouse:
What's the point of this jab? I'm sure Chemerinsky wouldn't object on federalism grounds. It sounds like you're more than happy to compromise your principles for your pet political issue though. Well-played.

The point is only that Sarcastro isn't the only one on this blog with a talent for sarcasm.
7.15.2008 11:13am
eddiehaskel (mail):
I suppose the type of federalism that "libertarians" covet says that the executive branch has absolute authority over everyone and everything. The idea that Congress might want to keep school areas gun free is much more deleterious to the health of democracy than suspending habeas corpus or regulating a woman's choice regarding health decisions or eavesdropping en masse by data dumping without any warrants [or on a less "controversial" topic, permitting religious discrimination to be funded by federal dollars--faith based dreck].

Go figure. Freedom is just another word . . .
7.15.2008 11:16am
Horatio (mail):
Chemerinsky is a serious scholar of tremendous influence -- and the author of what may be the best ConLaw treatise around. Like it or not, many of his arguments have tremendous purchase in the academy and the law.


I've never understood this concept - considering someone a serious scholar of subjective matters whose conclusions are contrary to one's own.
7.15.2008 11:34am
JosephSlater (mail):
I'm curious because you're quoting from a review of his book, and clearly not a sympathetic one. Does Cherminisky actually say that "no constitutional principle prevents the federal government from regulating any matter", or is that a bit of hyperbole from the reviewer?
7.15.2008 11:40am
JN Heath (mail):
A "serious scholar" is expected to check the caselaw before confidently expounding on an area of law. Did Chemerinsky, or J. Stevens, or anybody else, check the militia caselaw before making blanket statements about the Second Amendment applying only to federalism conflicts over militia regulation?

James Norman Heath
7.15.2008 11:42am
Kazinski:
What Chemerinsky is advocating is a Euro like nanny state. When conservatives get disillusioned over our imperfect leaders, fighting the pork battle endlessly, despair at rolling back useless boondoggles, all that is needed is to stare into the maw of the state Chemerinsky and other progressives envision and realize anew that what we are fighting against would destroy what has made America great.
7.15.2008 11:48am
TokyoTom (mail):
I`d say that Chemerinsky is correct at least at this point:
Thus, in his view, the Supreme Court was wrong to hold that the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a medical device precluded state tort suits impugning the device's safety.


It seems to me that Medtronic was wrongly decided, bit on the facts and on principles. Even if one agrees that Congress may preempt contrary requirements by states or political subdivisions, the judisciary is not a political unit. Further, common law doctrines are fundamental plaintiff rights/remedies, not state requirements. Allowing the federal government to pre-empt common law torts is in essence a taking from the American people, and is injurious to the whole concept of federalism. If Congress can pre-empt common law torts, what guarantee is there that the injured will have any remedy or forum whatsoever?

Medtronic simply reinforces Washington as the one-stop rent-seekers town. Chermerinsky is right to criticize it.
7.15.2008 12:07pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Article II already vests the executive power in "a president of the united states." Unitary executive is only a repudiation of the doctrine from Humphries' Executor that created a type of government entity that existed outside the three branches recognized by the constitution. Putting the "executive agencies" under the direct power of the president is only a problem because these agencies exercise vast executive, judicial and legislative powers. The problem here is not in article II's unambiguous vesting of executive power in the president, the problem is the line of jurisprudence that permitted the modern administrative state to exist in its current form.

Putting these agencies directly under the executive would hopefully create a more obvious separation of powers problem and force the supreme court to strip away the non-executive powers they currently enjoy. Federal law should not permit any government entity to exercise powers belonging to more than one branch.

As for Chemerensky, I think the reviewer rebutted him perfectly well. His views represent a blueprint for a leftist judicial agenda, but I don't think they are likely to win converts from the undecided. The only thing I found shocking was that there are apparently still people who believe the federal government is not one of limited, enumerated powers. Its a conclusion you could only reach through willful blindness.
7.15.2008 12:36pm
corneille1640 (mail):

A "serious scholar" is expected to check the caselaw before confidently expounding on an area of law. Did Chemerinsky, or J. Stevens, or anybody else, check the militia caselaw before making blanket statements about the Second Amendment applying only to federalism conflicts over militia regulation?

James Norman Heath

I don't know if Chemerinsky checked the case law as I haven't read his book. Maybe you can cite instances where he did not and use those instances to discredit his argument.

Anonymous Poster
7.15.2008 12:39pm
frankcross (mail):
Very true, Jim, but likewise applicable to conservatives. Who like transferring authority from the federal government to the states, except when it interferes with their preferred policies, in which cases they will suggest that the federal government should preempt state regulation. Everybody does it. There are few true advocates of federalism, per se.
7.15.2008 12:42pm
CJColucci:
There are few true advocates of federalism, per se.

By my count, there are 37.
7.15.2008 1:19pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
frankcross:
That is a pretty halfassed justification for doing something wrong.

The constitution is supposed to ensure that the federal government doesn't become involved in any particular area until 3/4s of the states have reached a consensus and amended the constitution.

Very few of the hot issues command a 75% consensus and would thus be unlikely to achieve ratification. Until then, the federal government should stay away. This applies to congress but also to the other branches. Consider how many of these contentious issues have ended up in supreme court cases over the past 100 years. This is what judicial activism is- justices imagining that their pet cause was recognized by the founding fathers and placed in the constitution, even though such recognition never made it into the text. This goes right around Article V and causes a huge portion of our political difficulties today.
7.15.2008 1:35pm
k.mccabe:
"I suppose the type of federalism that "libertarians" covet says that the executive branch has absolute authority over everyone and everything."

I dont know what form of libertarianism worships at the altar of executive power, but it is none of which I am familiar nor would I be associated with.

As far as limited/unlimited gov.t, I suppose the 9th and 10th amendments are completely superflous to the rest of the constitution, art 1 sec 8 is merely a "baseline" of federal powers and the commerce clause was intended to usurp the general welfare clause in the debates of the founders at the constitutional convention (a literal interpretation of the general welfare clause, it was feared by some, would render the enumeration of certain limited powers of the federal gov.t like in art 1 sec 8 meaningless). The whole avoiding constructions that would render the entire document meaningless thingy comes to mind from contracts- and i believe was the response to this concern. But what did the founders know about the document they wrote? Cherminsky is popular. And a scholar to boot. He even writes books. WELL DID HE ESTABLISH A NEW SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF LIBERTY AND A LIMITED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHILST RISKING HIS LIFE IN A CAUSE GREATER THAN HIMSELF? Why no, he didn't.

Ad hominems are sometimes deserved - this isn't a debate class, its a blog open to the public. And what good does posting real names behind ad hominems do? Is Chermisnky going to push for federal legislation to punish anonymous commenters on the volokh conspiracy? It seems from the snippet from the review he wouldn't have a problem with that - which is of course precisely the reason why the personal attacks are occurring.

semi-anonymous but dont really care either way
7.15.2008 1:48pm
frankcross (mail):
Jim, it wasn't a justification, just a description of reality. The Constitution's commitment to states' rights is actually pretty disputable -- Calvin Johnson's book contains some contrary evidence. But accepting your proposition, the descriptive evidence remains.

You're right it applies to all three branches, and I was talking about the Court as well, maybe foremost. Certainly the decisions limiting states' common law punitive damages. But the activism also can work to advance federalism -- see the antitextual 11th Amendment cases.
7.15.2008 1:55pm
JN Heath (mail):
Corneille1640-

I already discredited Chemerinski's argument, as I understood it from his statements over the years, with an intensively documented law review article of my own, which thoroughly explored the caselaw on the subject of state militia regs being federally preempted, and which can be found on this site: http://guncite.com/journals/heath.html

Asking me to specify non-existent cases that Chemerinski does not cite is an absurdity. I have seen him propound this position for years without citing cases to support it. I busted my hump trying to find proof for his theory in militia caselaw and came up empty, with the exception of an 1863 state decision that declared federal conscription to be an unconstitutional interference with the state militia. That decision stood for nine weeks 145 years ago and is no longer valid. My conclusion from years of observation is that the people who defend the militia-bound theories of the Second Amendment have either not searched militia law in support of their theory, or have searched it and, finding it disproves their hypothesis, side-step the contradictory evidence and stick to "channeling" Madison or arguing from 20th Century gun cases that have nothing to do with militia law.

JNH
7.15.2008 2:02pm
corneille1640 (mail):
JNH:

I stand corrected and a bit humbled. Thanks!
7.15.2008 2:15pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I don't like our 11th amendment jurisprudence either. The text is unambiguous about what it forbids and does not forbid. The 11th amendment wasn't intended to resurrect the notion of sovereign immunity. George III took that with him back to England.

I'm not a proponent of federalism so much as I am a proponent of following the constitution. If the constitution was intended as a flexible guide to governing, I would be less annoyed at our current jurisprudence. But I believe that Article V sets a pretty high bar for changing the constitution.

The Court is currently willing to entertain all sorts of legal gymnastics to help their favored policies over the hurdle of Article V and into the "permanent" protection of the constitution. Of course, the more the justices engage in this behavior, the less permanent such protection becomes and the more political their branch becomes. IMO, it's slowly developing into an American version of the English High Court of Chancery.

But hey, that's what Obama says he wants, so it must be the will of the people, amirite?
7.15.2008 2:17pm
Brett:
Mr. Chemerinsky argues that no constitutional principle prevents the federal government from regulating any matter.

That follows, if you accept that:

(1) Anything that has even the slightest connection -- no matter how attenuated or debatable -- to interstate commerce is fair game for federal regulation under the Commerce Clause; and

(2) While individuals may have some constitutionally-protected economic or property interests, the judiciary has only a fig leaf role setting limits on Congressional authority on the basis of those interests: so long as Congress isn't doing something self-evidently insane, the electorate, and not the judiciary, should vindicate economic and property rights.

I happen to disagree with Chemerinsky; I think his views are despicable and amount to totalitarianism. It's a mystery to me why he is held in high regard by anyone except his amen choir (of which Eric Muller appears to be the featured soprano).
7.15.2008 2:36pm
frankcross (mail):
Brett, I think you are the closed minded one. I am in frequent disagreement with Chemerinsky but I hold him in high regard. I do think his legal theories are infected by ideological bias, but if you hold all those people in low regard, you quickly get down to a tiny number of those to respect.
7.15.2008 2:46pm
Nunzio:
Chemerinsky is far to the left of most legal scholars. I don't think he represents a movement or anything approaching one.
7.15.2008 2:55pm
Brett:
you quickly get down to a tiny number of those to respect.

Yup. I'll (gladly) suffer the "closedminded" label for refusing to accord respect to people unworthy of it.
7.15.2008 3:23pm
JK:
Did Powerline link to this post? What's with all the nutjobs?
7.15.2008 3:34pm
frankcross (mail):
Brett, I think you missed my point. I think you are one of those people you wouldn't respect. Perhaps I am wrong, but does your view of constitutional authority frequently contradict what you consider ideologically agreeable? Everybody would accept some of those, but it is it common for you? Or do you generally adopt constitutional interpretations that are consistent with your preferences?
7.15.2008 4:09pm
LM (mail):
Tom in Seattle:

Chemerinsky is 180 degrees off in his underlying argument and that taints the rest of his reasoning.

Consequently, the ad hominems are fair play.

If your assertion is as well reasoned as your conclusion, Chemerinsky's scholarship is on solid ground.
7.15.2008 4:17pm
Brett:
Frank:

Brett, I think you missed my point.


Don't flatter yourself. Your "point", which I perceived instantly, was simply a veiled accusation of hypocrisy, now repeated in less-veiled fashion here:

I think you are one of those people you wouldn't respect. Perhaps I am wrong, but does your view of constitutional authority frequently contradict what you consider ideologically agreeable?


You are, in fact, wrong. HTH. HAND.
7.15.2008 4:50pm
JLV:
I think Chemerinsy, and many with similar ideas, would come to the exact opposite conclusions and be the champions of federalism were it a staunchly conservative federal government through and through. And by conservative, I mean regulating all means of morality (e.g., homosexuality, infidelity, pornography) and forbidding states from enacting social welfare-type legislation (e.g., minimum wage/maximum hours laws, anti-discrimination laws, etc.).

Of course, many small-government, federalism-minded conservatives might similarly reverse positions, but that is another matter.
7.15.2008 5:03pm
LM (mail):
k.mccabe:

Ad hominems are sometimes deserved - this isn't a debate class, its a blog open to the public.

It's a public blog with a public comment policy which excludes ad hominems, deserved or not.
7.15.2008 5:10pm
Federal Dog:
Brett beat me to it. People really never will mature past the totalitarian temptation.
7.15.2008 5:28pm
Kazinski:
I think the Medtronic case was very clearly rightly decided. Congress under its commerce clause power, clearly delagated to the FDA the responsiblity to determine the safety and weigh the risks and benefits of medical devices and drugs. A action in state court would be appropriate if there were a manufacturing defect, negligence or some problem with the device that was not inherent in the design the FDA approved. But the whole point of FDA approval is not only to test devices and their effectiveness before they hit the market, but to prevent a drug or medical device manufacturer from having to get approval in each of the 50 states for their products.

Chemerinsky's proposal would curtail many of the medical advances that have extended and improved the lives of millions.
7.15.2008 6:38pm
Originalism Is Useful (mail):
I do think his legal theories are infected by ideological bias, but if you hold all those people in low regard, you quickly get down to a tiny number of those to respect.

Few people - even academics - are worthy of being held in the highest regard. Chemerinsky - according to your test - is undeserving precisely because "his legal theories are infected by ideological bias." To take him seriously, one would need to separate the legal substance of his arguments from his ideological bias. Instead of imposing on his readers, Chemerinsky could just as easily clearly distinguish his legal analysis from his opinion of how the law ought to develop. His failure to do so is worthy of criticism.
7.15.2008 7:20pm
LM (mail):
OIU, But who referees where substance ends and ideology begins? Where we see those lines tends to correspond with our own biases, and we all have them.
7.15.2008 8:13pm
Michael B (mail):
"Chemerinsky writes a book full of ideas and signs his own name to it. Right or wrong, that's what honorable people do -- unlike the commenters here (thus far), who simply call him names and denigrate him personally from beneath a shroud of anonymity." Eric Muller

"Indeed, AntonK and Tom in Seattle. Chemerinski is SO wrong, there is no need to engage him, and we should only call him names!

"The most convincing arguments are always those that begin from the assumption the opposition is too wrong to address. Sarcastro

Oh dear, Chemerinsky isn't being shown sufficient respect, and we are subjected to disapproving sarcasm to boot. Gosh.

Here's a thought. For those who are reprimanding and harrumphing, why not actually present a thoughtful, substantial, cogent and genuinely engaging argument in support of Chemerinsky's conceptions of government, federalism, how that plays out over against the individual, etc. - in lieu of merely harrumphing. In doing that, you'd be leading by example; you'd actually be demonstrating and living up to the standard you're demanding of others.

It's a thought.

Chemerinsky, as a person and citizen, is inherently deserving of respect, no question of that. But Chemerinsky here is not presented simply as a citizen, he's presented as a professor of law who is advancing an ideological, social and political thesis of truly great and foundational import. The notion that is deserving of respect needs to be soundly demonstrated, not assumed. Live up to the standard you're demanding of others.

To respect a person, qua person, is one thing. To respect their ideas is another thing entirely.

And Eric Muller, if someone writes a book - say in a pomo, Foucauldian vein - in defense of rape, is that inherently deserving of respect? Chomsky and Herman's signed writings acting as apologetic for a certain regime c. 1975, was that inherently deserving of respect? Apparently so according to your standard, since many did - inherently and unthinkingly and despite the counter-evidence - give it "respect".

In general, if holding yourself to the standard you're demanding of others proves difficult, then there would be a couple lessons in that as well. Though that assumes the would-be teacher is an able and willing learner as well - and history has amply demonstrated that is not necessarily the case, to put it in understated terms.
7.15.2008 10:59pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Kazinski:

- "under its commerce clause power, clearly delagated to the FDA the responsiblity to determine the safety and weigh the risks and benefits of medical devices and drugs."

This many be how the Commerce Clause is now interpreted, but there are excellent legal and policy arguments that this expansive interpretation is wrong. It's clearly helped expand the federal government and the rent-seeking, and removed power from citizens and local/state governments.

- "But the whole point of FDA approval is not only to test devices and their effectiveness before they hit the market, but to prevent a drug or medical device manufacturer from having to get approval in each of the 50 states for their products."

The common law of torts does not require manufacturers to get local or state approval - in fact, tort law doesn't impose requirements to avoid liability, but merely makes remedies available to injured persons under certain circumstances. Nor does the FDA preemption provision specifically address torts, but only requirements by states and political subdivisions.

Moreover, the argument that the Founders intended, by the Commerce Clause, to permit the federalization of tort law seems to me a real stretch, if not patently absurd.

- "Chemerinsky's proposal would curtail many of the medical advances that have extended and improved the lives of millions."

I call BS - what evidence do you have that state tort law prior to Medtronic prevented medical innovations or denied them to Americans? Isn't it the other way around - that the FDA's hurdles for new products to enter the market or to be used for purposes other than specifically approved that denies us access to new drugs, treatments and devices?

Rather, it is Medtronic that now gives our Congresscritters the ability, on behalf of insider rent-seekers in the medical instruments/pharmaceutical industries, to cut off traditional tort remedies and thereby shift risks from manufacturers to millions? And to create further barriers to entry to innovators without the deep pockets to spend decades get FDA approvals?

TT
7.16.2008 12:03am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Tokyo: if one wants to argue that post-Wickard commerce clause jurisprudence is wrong -- I can get on board with that argument -- then certainly Medtronic is wrong. But if one accepts that Congress has the power to regulate something beyond the interstate traffic in medical devices, then your argument falls apart. The notion that tort liability does not constitute state action is no more convincing in Medtronic than it was in NYT v. Sullivan.

And contrary to your overenthusiastic denunciation of Medtronic, the decision only allows the feds to cut off state liability; it doesn't empower the federal government to "create further barriers to entry." That was accomplished long before Medtronic. And thus, this question is misplaced:
what evidence do you have that state tort law prior to Medtronic prevented medical innovations or denied them to Americans? Isn't it the other way around - that the FDA's hurdles for new products to enter the market or to be used for purposes other than specifically approved that denies us access to new drugs, treatments and devices?
No, because that isn't "the other way around." Pre-Medtronic, the FDA still imposed those same hurdles.
7.16.2008 3:24am
TokyoTom (mail):
David, thanks for the pointers. I`m no expert in this jurisdiction, but it`s certainly clear to me that Chemerinsky is right to criticize Medtronic and whatever its predecessors were. The Constitution was not intended to federalize the common law of torts; it`s a shame that we`ve gone that far, and it`s a surprise that few here seem to care - other than to support the FDA.

I`m aware that the FDA has been imposing hurdles for quite some time; my intention was to point that out to Kazinski, as well as to fend off the unsupported assertion that trumping tort law is needed to ensure innovation.
7.16.2008 4:10pm
Kirk:
eddiehaskel,
The idea that Congress might want to keep school areas gun free
If Congress actually had such an ability, I might roll over and just be an unprincipled pragmatist on this issue, rather than oppose it on Constitutional grounds. But in fact they have no such power, not in the slightest--all they can do is reduce the ability of the law-abiding to carry guns in school areas. What an absolute crock!
7.18.2008 3:01am