Group discussion # 1: Pick TWO topics to discuss in your essay. You must deal
Group discussion # 1: Pick TWO topics to discuss in your essay. You must deal with TWO topics separately. Each topic should be 1-2 pages long. You do not need to include citations unless you use information from outside the article linked.
Executive and Legislative branches:
With military action, what are the roles of the Executive and legislative branches? This news article is about one global conflict; you may discuss additional ones.
Federal – State tension:
We have a constant disagreement about what the federal government can regulate and what is left to the States in the U.S. Here are some issues in the news concerning this tension.
Marijuana: In Gonzalez v. Raich, SCOTUS said federal laws preempted state laws on the use of marijuana. However, states continue to expand marijuana use within their borders? What do you think the federal government should do about this? If the federal government allows this, do you think the states will expand this nullification to other areas of law? What will be the result?
In the past three administrations, DOJ policy has been to ignore violations of federal law that fall within State medical or recreational marijuana laws and focus on interstate or large traffickers. Is this a violation of DOJ authority? If Congress says nothing about the policy, is that an admission of approval of the change and abandonment of federal law enforcement in States with the usage laws? Can someone charged with the federal law in a State without the usage law successfully allege unconstitutional, unequal treatment?
States bordering Colorado have attempted to sue it for damages arising out of Colorado’s allowance of marijuana use. Nebraska and Oklahoma sued to allege the Colorado action increased crime in their States and their law enforcement costs. They also alleged they could sue Colorado for violating federal law. The States attempted to begin suit at SCOTUS under its original jurisdiction. SCOTUS said it had the discretion to refuse to hear the case and did refuse to hear the case. They will wait for a lower court decision and review the case on appeal. Do you agree? Can States sue each other for damages for actions taken within their borders? Can they sue each other for violating federal law? SCOTUS said Nebraska and Oklahoma could sue in lower courts (just like regular cases)—but is that true? What court will it be filed in? Will the states get a fair trial?
What about the fact that federal law makes marijuana illegal? Can people be prosecuted for federal law violations in states which have made marijuana legal?