American Politics COMPLETE NOTES [Part 4] - I got a 4.0 in the course!

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Political Science
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February 18, 2014 1st Paper Assignment: ● Are states’ bans on same sex marriage Constitutional? ● Paper handed out with background of this conflict ○ Can federal government define the parameters around marriage or is this a power reserved to the states? ○ Do states’ bans on same sex marriage violate civil rights and/or civil liberties? ○ Are states’ bans on same sex marriage a violation of Constitution’s full faith and credit and/or priveleges and immunities clauses? ● Organization ○ Provide a thesis statement (MUST HAVE! In first paragraph) ○ Provide an overview of debate concerning same sex marriage ○ Provide evidence that supports your argument ■ Evidence should be political in nature ■ Don’t include “moral” arguments, make “political” arguments ○ Introduce counterargument and undermine ■ What pokes hole in argument in those who support/oppose same sex marriage bans? ○ Conclusions ■ Restate thesis, restate arguments ● 6-9 pages, double spaced, 12 point font, with proper citations VII. Current Debate in Federalism: Legalization of Marijuana ● We discuss a recap of Wednesday’s lecture ● Legalization ● Medicinal/Recreational Use being passed in some states ● More supportive public opinion today ● Legal Justification? ○ The majority of passages of marijuana legalization is a reflection of Will of the People - people voted ○ Constitutional Right (10th Amendment) ■ Define criminal law within borders ■ Protect and define the safety, health, and welfare of citizens ■ States feel emboldened to pass and enforce these laws ■ Federal government doesn’t necessarily agree with this interpretation of the 10th Amendment ○ Federal Government on Marijuana ■ Controlled Substances Act ● Schedule 1 Drug ○ “High Potential for Abuse” ○ “No currently Accepted Medical Use in Treatment” ● Possession, Cultivation, or Distribution is a Federal Crime ● Legal Justification: Interstate Commerce and Supremacy Clause ○ After manufacture, distribution, and possession product travels between states ● Gonzales v. Rich (2003) ○ Federal Government Response ■ Raids and Arrests - Sell, Grow, or Possess ■ Threatened Banks in states which provided any loan to any marijuana distribution centers ● Money laundering for dealing with federally illegal narcotic drug ○ Background ■ Rich Argument: ● Controlled Substance Act is unlawful extension of interstate commerce clause ● 5th and 10th Amendment rights ■ Fed Argument: ● If a single exception is made for marijuana, laws will become unenforceable in practice ● Consuming locally grown marijuana affects interstate market of marijuana (same decision as Wickard v. Filburn) ■ Legal Question ● Does Congress have power to use interstate commerce power to regulate the marijuana industry? Even when it is a personal/private medicinal use? ■ Decision ● Yes, Congress has that power (6-3 decision) ● “No choice but to uphold Congress’s firmly established power to regulate purely local activities…” ● Today ○ Alaska, Oregon, and New York - 23 states? ○ Justice Department (Obama Administration) says: ■ They will no longer seek prosecution for possession, cultivation, or distribution in states that have legalized marijuana use ■ Allow banks to invest ○ Elites: ■ Obama ● 2013 in an i
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