Talk:Gonzales v. Raich

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Former good article nominee Gonzales v. Raich was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 1, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
June 3, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

What next?[edit]

What I'd like to know is NOW WHAT? What's the future for this? What's the process that it needs to go through in Congress, and when will it all happen? Does anyone have these answers?? 16:18, 10 Jun 2005 64.223.40.90

Correct citation[edit]

US Reports has the citation of this case as Raich v. Gonzales, which is how it was docketed by SCOTUS. For what reason is it listed here in reverse, and how would this be corrected (on the assumption that it is, in fact, wrong, although I would tend to assume that the Supreme Court's docket is authoritative).Simon Dodd 20:38, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think that may be an error, but I don't know what reason it may have been reported as such. Traditionally, cases are titled with the appellant first, and in this case it was the government (then represented by John Ashcroft) which appealed the ruling of the ninth circuit. The replacement of Ashcroft with Alberto Gonzales makes sense due to the change of attorney-general during the pendency of the case, but reversing the litigants does not. A possible interpretation, however: the appeal was interlocutory in nature and was remanded to the lower courts for further litigation. Hence, the plaintiff in the case is again Raich et. al. Whig 22:06, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The case was originally captioned Raich v. Ashcroft because Raich and Monson were the original appellants. They also filed the appeal to the 9th Circuit Court, who reversed the ruling of the lower district court. When the case reached the United States Supreme Court, Attorney General John Ashcroft and DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson filed the Petition for Certiorari, at which point the federal government became the appellant. The case caption was changed when Alberto Gonzales became the new Attorney General.

Gun Laws[edit]

This doesn't mention the effect on firearms

What a stupid article[edit]

First, it quotes only from the dissent and not the majority opinion.

Second, it is entirely irrelevant (and ludicrous) that "activists" have compared the decision to the Dred Scott decision. (unsigned anon comment)

We should definitely cite it. Hilariously, the majority opinion was that growing your own pot affects the national market, so is covered by the Commerce Clause, because the government can't fully regulate the market in pot if you are growing your own (and therefore not taking part in the market). This would mean that any activity that can in any way be said to have an effect on a market that has an interstate dimension (in other words, just about anything) could be covered by the Commerce Clause (which was what Thomas argued in his dissenting opinion).

You have to smile at a judge who's willing to rule that the government can regulate your homegrown dope because you're refusing to buy it on the open market, which is illegal. Luther Blissett 02:34, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree on the Dred Scott thing, that seems POV to me. Lets give it a couple days, and then remove it if there are no objections. -GregAsche 20:54, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
I certainly object- OK, I am just seeing this two months later, but the comment should be made. First, the Dred Scott reference is citing the view of activists, so it is fair comment, not bad POV. Second, even as detached analysis, it is reasonable comment on two counts: as with Dred Scott,
  • the fundemental civil rights of a large class of inidividuals is at issue
  • the minority opinion aligns with rapidly growing popular sentiment, suggesting reversal is possible
In case this first point is unclear, we are speaking of cannabis users, of many tens of millions of Americans, over three-quarters of a million of whom suffer arrest annually, more than 77,000 of whom are now incarcerated, tens of thousands of whom (including the defendants) suffer interference- for some fatal- in their health care, and all of whom are vulnerable- sometimes simply by being identified as cannabis users- to an array of de jure harms, which includes loss of employment, loss of child custody, loss of professional license, loss of public housing, loss of driving license, incarceration, forfiture of assets, circumvention of criminal procedure, as well as any number of de facto harms, such as workplace discrimination, police harassment, religious interference and consumer fraud. Cannabis prohibition has significant civil rights ramifications, the comparison to Dred Scott is hardly overblown.
That said, someone should find a representative quote from each of Scalia's and Kennedy's briefs and display them similarly to those of O'Connor and Thomas.
-SM 20:17, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
Specifically what activists have compared it to Dred Scott? Please give a quote and cite a source. You've convinced me about it's POVicity, but if it is to be included in the article, it needs a source. -Greg Asche (talk) 22:11, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I trust I convinced you of its relevance. Will look for citation. -SM
Well, thought I had it with this one, but it is regarding United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, with the same attorney (Raich, husband of the appellate, Angel Raich). The number of posted comments re Gonzales v. Raich and Dred Scott is high (to which, I suppose, you may add mine), as is that of those by outraged states' rights advocates, but I am looking for a proper citation from a cannabis activist. Had the discomfiting experience of any good Wikipedian when Googling for a supporting citation, and encountering the very article I was trying to support. Will find soon. -SM 00:53, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

This article is exceptionally biased. Not only does the government's case section fail to outline the government's case (instead outlining moral-type arguments for the defendant), the result section doesn't explain any of the result, instead describing the legally irrelevant position of the dissenters. Psychobabble 20:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I tried to fix it up a little. It did need quite a bit of balancing. But I think it's ok now. I've removed the tag, but it still could use some more info, and maybe a few more tweaks.--Cdogsimmons 23:25, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, i'm re-inserting it. You've done a decent job of adding more of the other side, but my primary objection stands. There is no substantive explanation of the legal reasoning of the majority but two reasonably long quotes by a dissenting judge. There is three extensive paragraphs of Raich's case and one cursory paragraph on the government's. There is a fiery rhetorical comparison by an opposing group of the case to Dread Scott (!!!) and a bland statement by a supporting group. More than that, the tone of the article reads like this case was a break in the Renqhist court's pro-federalism approach, when I've seen analysis that it would have been a dramatic extension of it (eg. [1], which is just one I can remember after reading a couple of similar pieces about a year ago). Cases like lopez (by what I've read, but I'm not a US law student) can be reconciled with prior commerce clause doctrine, but if Raich had gone the other way it would have been much harder. In the end, this is a 6-3 decision by a conservative Supreme court but this article makes it sound like it's a legal anomoly and barely explains the legal rationale. I would add to it if I could, but I'm only a distant observer on these issues. Psychobabble 03:29, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Is this better?[edit]

I tried adding information for the majority opinion. The paragraph on Wickard wasn't deleted but moved down and combined with another paragraph in the Result sub-section.Jimmuldrow 19:10, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

That's much better, thanks a lot for that. I've removed the tag. You can now come to this page and find out why the case was decided like it was, which was my main problem with it previously. I trimmed the discussion on lopez and morrison, based on the statement "Stevens' opinion for the Court for the Raich decision said that Lopez and Morrison don't apply". I didn't feel they warranted extended discussion if they were held to be irrelevant. If I'm wrong and they were relevant, could you please expand on why (perhaps something to do with Scalia's concurrence? It wasn't at all clear to me). Also, I don't know how US decisions are normally talked about, but if I understand this correctly, there was a majority judgement written by Stevens which 4 other judges signed on, a separate concurrence by scalia and dissents by o'connor, Rehnquist and Thomas. Is that correct? Because it isn't explicitely stated there, if so, and I think it should be, probably in the opening paragraph of result. Thanks again. Psychobabble 09:02, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I'll let you make the judgment call on relevance, since I can be verbose. I mentioned Lopez and Morrison because Raich and Monson relied on them. Glad I could help.Jimmuldrow 13:18, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Also, the blue bar to the right lists the Case Opinions, which are basically what you said except I thought Rehnquist joined O'Connor's dissent instead of writing his own. You could add that up top if you wish.Jimmuldrow 13:28, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I didn't notice the blue bar and you're right, Rehnquist joined O'Connor. I might put something in the result, but it's reasonably clear I guess. Psychobabble 01:37, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Raich's later heatlh?[edit]

What happened to Raich afterwards, when she could no longer use medical marijuana, since he doctor stated her life was at state? Has her health been shown to take a downturn? Of course, perhaps she continued to self-medicate, unofficially. 75.36.95.27 11:33, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

She has stated that she will continue to use marijuana and continues her fight in the courts. Rmj12345 18:08, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Angel continues to use marijuana out of medical necessity. Her brain tumor was treated with radiation but she has now developed brain necrosis from the radiation and is now dying from that. Marcperkel (talk) 15:06, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Angel Raich Link[edit]

The link to angel raich in the article just redirects to the article. i'm unlinking it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 123fakestreet (talkcontribs) 17:53, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

POV tag August 2010[edit]

The article needs quite a lot of revision to bring its tone in accordance with the other Supreme Court cases on less controversial subjects. The article is presented in a much different way from the format seen in American law schools, even among the more liberal presenters such as Constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky. The section on the legal background goes beyond the issue of the commerce clause to speak broadly about the role of the Federal government. "The switch in time to save nine" is not relevant to this case. Gonzales v. Raich is not a continuation of New Deal era government expansion. It should be read in light of Morrison and Lopez. Scalia's concurrence in Raich provides commentary on the commerce clause jurisprudence of the post-modern era. The Scalia concurrence is studied in law school to shed some light on how this opinion can be reconciled with Morrison and Lopez.

The article goes outside the Supreme Court decision to speak about the "medical necessity" of the plaintiff's use of marijuana even though it does not affect the commerce clause. There is no discussion in the case of how medical necessity could even be considered to abrogate congressional power. It reads like an argument for the medical use of marijuana. On what issues did the Supreme Court grant certiorari? Those are the issues in this case.

The section on the preliminary injunction is highly misleading as well. By definition, a preliminary injunction is only temporary in nature. The article places incredible importance on the preliminary injunction, even though it was initially denied in Raich v. Ashcroft, 248 F. Supp. 2d 918. Additionally, the 9th circuit is incapable of issuing a preliminary injunction. They are only capable of remanding to the district court to issue a prelminary injunction, although, in this instance, it is unclear whether the district court did just that when the Federal government moved for a rehearing and petitioned for writ of certiorari.

The organizations involved section (which should be more appropriately labeled "amicus section") has several inappropriate comments and opinions that are not relevant to the case. For instance, "The attorneys general of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, three strongly anti-drug states from the usually conservative South, filed a brief supporting Raich on the grounds of states' rights." To eliminate the slant from this sentence, it would be shortened to simply "The attorneys general of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi filed an amicus brief supporting Raich on states' rights grounds." The labels of "conservative" and "anti-drug" are not meaningful and misleading. The values and politics that many throw onto this case do not impact the commerce clause. The Supreme Court did not accept the amicus brief of the states because they found the brief's source to be ironic.

The subsequent events section appeals to the pro-marijuana opinion. It continues the slant of the article of the politics of medical marijuana. The subsequent legal impact of the decision is relevant, but the political commentary is not. Holder did not issue his Justice Department statement in reference to Gonzales v. Raich. This belongs in a medical marijuana article not Gonzales v. Raich.

The article needs to tone down its pro-medical marijuana slant and present itself as an explination of a legal opinion. Value judgments concerning the underlying issue, the parties to the case, and the politics detract from the article. Gx872op (talk) 15:21, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I am with Gx872 this article is terrible. Part of me just wants to leave it as an example of what not to do on WikipediaMantion (talk) 05:09, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Decision[edit]

I've reread the Decision section a few times just to figure out if my brain isn't working this morning or if in fact, the actual ruling isn't listed. What the hell?

Also, what does "The last of the three was relevant to the issue at hand." even mean? Is it supposed to follow the sentence after it? It is an awkward and unclear statement even if that is the intended order. -Zyrxil (talk) 14:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


So, was it 6-3? Or what? 71.178.66.122 (talk) 05:33, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Factual Background? Legal Background?[edit]

Why isn't there just a back ground provided? Why in the legal background do we have a rant about the new deal? I See hints at judicial activism but they seemed to come from the views of a wikipedia editor. Someone define neutral for me.24.115.19.178 (talk) 21:31, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

I think the whole (legal background) section should be removed, it is extremely biased and has no sources.Neosiber (talk) 16:12, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

A new low[edit]

This article is so bad I just couldn't finish reading it.

It is so lacking in details, it is so clearly one sided.

If this is what Wiki has become then lets just start a new website.

There has been a great deal of talk about changing this article, people saying they improved it, people saying we should improve it. Yet the article remains in a state. Can we not just copy the format of other supreme court cases?Mantion (talk) 05:06, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

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Scalia's opinion[edit]

Isn't Scalia's expansive interpretation of "commerce" to include non-commercial activities a departure from his usual textualist, originalist approach? Congruent snackbar (talk) 04:16, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

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