This morning, the United States Senate has come back into session in Washington, DC. I am currently in our Washington offices conducting a series of meetings, specifically focusing on the judicial confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown from California and William Pryor of Alabama. It is anticipated that later this week there will be floor votes on both nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Janice Rogers Brown, who currently serves on the California Supreme Court, has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Judge Pryor has been nominated to the Eleventh Circuit where he currently sits as a recess appointment. Both of these nominees, once confirmed, will make excellent judges at the federal appellate level. Our office of Governmental Affairs in Washington, DC, is working aggressively this week on the confirmation of both nominees. I will keep everyone posted as to any updates regarding this issue.
This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States in a 6-3 decision ruled that the medical use of marijuana could be prohibited by federal legislation. California had passed the Compassionate Use Act authorizing the limited use of marijuana for medical purposes. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on a federal level seized and destroyed marijuana plants because they were regulated by the Federal Controlled Substance Act. In this particular case, California attempted to override the Federal Controlled Substance Act. Justice Stevens, writing for the 6-3 majority, held that Congress, under its constitutional authority, can include the power to prohibit even the local cultivation and use of marijuana. Justice Stevens was joined in the opinion by Justices Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, Scalia and Kennedy. Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices OConnor and Thomas dissented.