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May 17, 2018

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Enrique Guerra Pujol

Under the logic of Murphy v NCAA, federal drug laws (to the extent they prohibit States from legalizing weed, heroin, crack, etc.) are also unconstitutional. Maybe a broad reading of the holding is a good thing!

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

This brings me back 30 years to law school. I kinda got a law grade on a Con Law final because I didn't "spot it" as an issue. It's a good thing none of my clients asked to see my law school transcripts before laying three bills on me. I would have night mares about the Dormant Commerce Clause and would need Lithium. I still don't get it really.... Could somebody give a Cliff Notes or a Nut Shell version of what the Dormant Commerce Clause is? Doesn't everything touch and concern commerce?

Jeff Schmitt

Enrique, I don't think that is true. Even under a broad reading of the case, federal drug laws regulate people (rather than states) and therefore are valid preemption laws. The Court says there is a difference between a law that says "no state can authorize the sale and use of marijuana" and a law that makes it a federal crime to sell or use marijuana. The first law would seem to violate Murphy, but the second law is still valid and would preempt any conflicting state law.

Enrique Guerra-Pujol

Thanks for the clarification. Based on this (artful?) distinction Congress could re-enact PASPA by changing a few words in the statute!

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