I asked a question about SCOTUS and the power given to Congress based on their decision of a particular case, but it was moved to Law.SE shortly after I posted. I was told by a moderator that:

This appears to be a question about the application of laws, not the processes which create them. I will migrate this question to Law Stack Exchange.

However, my question is not about the application of a law, it’s about the application of a SCOTUS decision on future legislative policies from Congress. According to What topics can I ask about here?

Central to the idea of this site are the nuts and bolts of policies introduced by governments, presumably for the welfare of their citizens. As such, asking about the tangible benefits and costs of legislation is on topic

So I’m wondering how I can ask questions about SCOTUS or the laws enacted by Congress without having them migrated to Law.SE.


2 Answers 2


Your question certainly looked like it was about application of a law.

I wouldn't exactly call it off-topic for Politics.SE. I personally disagree with the notion that being on-topic for some other site makes it off topic here, however it is very solidly a law question, and you would probably get the best answer from someone who is an expert in law.

As much as it's a question about what congress is or isn't allowed to do, "what congress is allowed to do" is very much in the domain of law.

If I were to handle it, I would probably have first asked you if you preferred it on Law.SE.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. I prefer it on Politics.SE if the question is on-topic because there are more people here, and more people means more perspectives. Plus, I assume a lot of people who enjoy Law.SE are probably on Politics.SE anyway.
    – Cannabijoy
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:25
  • Here are a few examples of recent, upvoted questions with no indication that they are better fit for another SE.
    – Cannabijoy
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:25
  • 4
    @Joshua - the decision point you should leverage isn't so much whether it's more people in general but whether it's more people with relevant expertise. Having 100 political junkies and 1 lawyer is worse than having 5 lawyers.
    – user4012
    Aug 6, 2018 at 16:36

Having expertise on the case and relevant subject matter am able to state that the answer posted at the current question (whether the question is within the purview of Politics SE or Law SE) is probably the most complete summarized version of the reasons for and impact of the Raich case (relevant to "property rights") that will be posted at either Politics SE or Law SE.

While original question is not a purely a question of law, the emphasis on "property rights" does require a live case or controversy to be examined to avoid pure political speculation as to the prospective decision of a lower court citing the Raich decision as precedent in a ruling. Am not aware of any pending cases where the Raich decision is being challenged. The Raich decision did not affect the grant of power to Congress by the Constitution; SCOTUS only affirmed that Congress does have the power to regulate interstate commerce, whether the crop was in the stream of commerce of not.

So I’m wondering how I can ask questions about SCOTUS or the laws enacted by Congress without having them migrated to Law.SE.

That is not a simple exercise. Moderators are only human, with knowledge limited to their experiences. A moderator might or might not view the question as a purely legal question.

Raich is a complex case and deals with a several powers granted to Congress and reserved by the People; for example, the potential (and actual, as applied within this case) broad scope of the "Commerce Clause"; and, from perspective here, the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution

individual property rights

is a relatively broad topic. Would suggest to begin with a context, then include and focus on the topic within a given context - and without a an actual live controversy where the facts can be parsed instead of attempting to create hypothetical facts.


  • Did the Founding Fathers intend for the power to regulate interstate commerce granted to Congress under the "Commerce Clause" to usurp, supercede or have precedence over the powers reserved by the People pursuant to the 10th Amendments' "Reserve Clause"

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    and the Fifth Amendments' "Just Takings Clause"

    nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation

    or vice versa, where the domain is individual private property?

  • Does the fact that the United States, through the administrative agency National Institutes of Health, performed specific extensive research on, and applied for and was granted a U.S. patent for the medicinal applications and usages of cannabis compounds conflict with the language within the Controlled Substances Act that cannabis (or "marijuana") has no recognized medicinal purposes or usages and violations of that Act provide criminal penalties for individuals, establish prima facie evidence that cannabis does have medicinal purposes and usages; thus, by implication, where the Government has not prosecuted itself for performing research into the medicinal purposes and usages of cannabis, violate the "Equal Protection Clause" of the 14th Amendment for individuals who use cannabis for medicinal purposes on their private property?

  • Does the Constitution of the United States grant Congress the power declare in a Public Law, that any crop, for example squash, to not have any nutritional purposes or usages, and criminalize cultivation of squash on private property, notwithstanding published scientific evidence to the contrary, and criminalize cultivation of squash on an individuals' private property, while simultaneously funding research into the nutritional purposes and usages of squash; and further, having determined by means of scientific research funded by Congress, to apply for a U.S. patent through the administrative agency which performed the research into the nutritional purposes and usages of squash; and be granted a patent for said novel technologies and applications of nutritional purposes and usages of squash by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?

Again, as mentioned above, the case is rather complex, and can be analyzed from several perspectives, depending on what the aim of the inquiry is. Making the formulation of a concise political question difficult - as several different aspects of the case can be examined on their own.

Would suggest to narrow the scope of what is meant by "individual property rights", and perform additional research into cases which cite Filburn and Raich within the context of property rights.

One of the key elements which can clearly be demonstrated is that Congress declared a crop to have no medicinal purposes or usages, criminalized the cultivation of the crop, imprisons people for violating the CSA for cultivating the crop, though funded research into medicinal research applications of the crop at the same time as sending people to prison for cultivating the crop. The issue is does the pursuit of a patent for the express purpose which Congress had declared no purposes existed violate the Constitution both in and of itself (technically the controversy is live now based on the contradictory actions of Congress and the Executive Branch as to express reasons for criminalization and research and patent holdings as to the exact same subject matter), and as to private individuals on private property performing the same research that the Government is performing.

Reducing the above facts into a cogent purely political question is not a simple task, though should be possible, with some effort.

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