SCOTUSblog and Bloomberg think the Justices were leaning toward the church.
As a witness in the case, I’m not going to predict the outcome of O Centro v. Gonzales, argued today before the Supreme Court. But Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog thinks the church might get as many as eight votes for the continuation of the preliminary injunction allowing it to import its sacramental mixture despite the presence in that mixture of a controlled substance.
Bloomberg has a similar reading of today’s oral argument.
Eugene Volokh has some useful background. He must be pleased that Justice Roberts seemed to adopt his reading of the situation: since the case deals with statutory rather than Constitutional interpretation, either the courts or the Congress could revisit it if, after a decision in favor of the church, the sky does in fact begin to fall.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman