American Prospect on Alito
An article in American Prospect attacks Alito's dissent in the machinegun case. Not a particularly good attack, I think. With regard to the Lopez precedent, its argument is little more than other judges rejected the argument, and the medical marihuana case (decided years after Alito wrote) suggests that the Court didn't in 2005 view Lopez as that broad.
I do find one segment interesting: "In early August of this year, one month before the Roberts confirmation hearing, Judiciary Committee Chair Specter derided the "reinvigoration of federalism" in Lopez and other cases as "the hallmark agenda of the judicial activism of the Rehnquist Court" and a mere cover for "usurping Congress' authority."" (1) That says a lot for the Senate's respect for the Constitution when it conflicts with desired results; (2) it becomes rather obvious that even the view that the 'Constitution is what the courts say it is' is discarded the minute the courts say something that leads to an undesired policy result. In short, the question of constitutionality is increasingly becoming a question of how Congress can get the desired result of unlimited legislative power. (Except, of course, when the legislation in question involves abortion).