Federalism For and Against

The Bay Area is a rich source of stories today concerning federalism. First, there is what appears to be the final chapter in the federal ...
by | March 15, 2007
 

The Bay Area is a rich source of stories today concerning federalism.

First, there is what appears to be the final chapter in the federal government's five-year quest to put Ed Rosenthal in jail. Rosenthal was convicted of selling medical marijuana, a prominent case among many concerning this crime that fans of federalism have cited as an example of federal overreach.

Rosenthal has already served a day in jail for selling pot, but federal prosecutors sought a longer sentence by digging up old tax-evasion and money laundering charges. A district court judge dismissed these additional charges yesterday, saying they were a blatant case of prosecutorial piling on.

Federalism abuses run both ways, however. The latest example of municipal foreign policy comes, of course, from Berkeley, where the city council Wednesday became the first public entity in the country to endorse the idea of a war-crimes trial for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Germany in response to Abu Ghraib.

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