2005 Archive

John Yoo Faults Administration for High Court's Low Interest in Balance of Powers

In a June 21, 2005, commentary for the Los Angeles Times, constitutional law scholar John Yoo argues that the Bush White House has favored the federal government over state government. The "real culprit" for the Supreme Court's flagging interest in balancing federal and state powers, says Yoo, is the Bush administration. As an example, Yoo cites the recent high court decision invalidating California 's medical marijuana law: "[It] has come under fire "correctly" from both the left and the right for undermining federalism." The marijuana holding follows others, he says, that show the administration's "lack of interest in the proper balance of powers between state and federal governments." Yoo further notes the administration's positions on the right to die, the president's support for Congress' efforts to block the death of Terri Schiavo; gay marriage; and the No Child Left Behind Act. "Demanding rigid, one-size-fits all nationwide rules counteracts the benefits of federalism, which calls for decentralized governance," he writes.

Yoo appeared at a panel discussion on Thursday, June 23, at the World Affairs Council of Northern California in San Francisco on "Guantanamo to California: An Insider's Status Report on Civil Liberties and the War on Terror" (Young Professionals International Forum: Bay Area Lawyers for National Security). Alum Michael Lysobey '01 organized the panel.