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What’s New in the Legal World? A Growing Campaign to Undo the New Deal. States’ rights conservatives are making progress in their drive to restore the narrow view of federal power that predated the New Deal. By By ADAM COHEN. [NYT > Opinion]
In pre-1937 America, workers were exploited, factories were free to pollute, and old people were generally poor when they retired. This is not an agenda the public would be likely to sign onto today if it were debated in an election. But conservatives, who like to complain about activist liberal judges, could achieve their anti-New Deal agenda through judicial activism on the right. Judges could use the so-called Constitution-in-Exile to declare laws on workplace safety, environmental protection and civil rights unconstitutional.
Another step in a deep and extensive campaign to fundamentally deligitimize government, and the very notion that people can join together collectively — which is what government is — to protect their interests. (‘We the people of the United States… in order to protect the general welfare…’ – remember?)
The odd thing about this story: the progressive side of the medical marijuana dispute could be feeding the states’ rights conservatives a useful legal precedent.