Federalism under the Influence
Dope, Booze, and the Commerce Clause
About This Event

In important cases that will be argued before the end of the year, the U.S. Supreme Court will address central questions of federalism and interstate commerce. Ashcroft v. Raich presents the question of whether the Commerce Clause authorizes Congress to criminalize the mere possession of marijuana, even where state laws specifically permit the use and possession of the substance for medical purposes. Granholm v. Heald and Swedenburg v. Kelly ask whether state governments may prohibit the direct shipment of wine from out-of-state wineries to in-state consumers, even where in-state wineries may conduct such sales.

Behind the difficult legal questions posed by these cases lies contemporary federalism’s twofold affliction: federal meddling in local affairs and state meddling in interstate commerce and the national economy. Do the upcoming cases provide an opportunity to re-draw sensible lines between national or local matters, or will they merely deepen the federalism muddle?

2:45 p.m.


3:00 Introduction: Michael S. Greve, AEI
3:15 Uncorking the Dormant Commerce Clause
Panelists: Brannon Denning, Cumberland School of Law
Todd Zywicki, Georgetown University Law Center
Moderator: R. Hewitt Pate, U.S. Department of Justice
4:15 Break
4:30 The Dope on the Commerce Clause
Panelists: Viet Dinh, Georgetown University Law Center
John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law
Moderator: Edward Warren, Kirkland & Ellis
5:30 Break
5:45 Putting the Commerce Clause in Its Proper Place: Is the Supreme Court Up to It?
Speaker: Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago Law School


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