You know one Supreme Court case the Senators aren't grilling Roberts about? Despite all the talk about the Commerce Clause at the hearing, none of them wants to bring up Gonzales v. Raich, the medical marijuana case. Wouldn't you think the Democrats would want to champion the rights of the powerless, suffering cancer patient, oppressed by the government, with whom the heartless Supreme Court Justices could not empathize? (And I'm putting the question that way because that is the attitude many of the Democratic Senators are taking, such as yesterday when Dianne Feinstein mourned over all the victims of gun violence the Supreme Court didn't care about when it struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act in Lopez.)
Angel Raich lost her case because the Court interpreted the Commerce Clause as broad enough to support the Controlled Substances Act, with its comprehensive ban on marijuana, which reaches even homegrown, home-consumed marijuana, even when it is used for medicinal purposes by severely ill persons according to a state regulatory program, a program adopted as the result of a democratic vote by the people of a state. If the Court was wrong, it was wrong because it found that Congress had too much power. The Senators don't want to push Roberts to say that they lack power. They only want to hear that the power is there for them to do everything they want and that their judgment about what is best is better than any court's judgment. Of course, the power to change the result in Raich lies entirely in their hands. The Senators are the source of the law that oppresses the powerless, suffering cancer patient. Why don't they amend it and add an exception?
Too bad John Roberts can't give back what he has to sit there and take. I would love to hear him grill them about the federal laws that demonstrate their lack of empathy for the oppressed.