I realize that it's only geeks like me who get fired up about these little things, but I just caught the following tonight and was so excited about it.
The following was posted on SCOTUSblog by Tom Goldstein (one of America's leading Supreme Court advocates) today regarding yesterday's oral arguments in the interesting and tightly contested Oregon assisted suicide case (Gonzales v. Oregon (04-623)). This was just a throwaway in his lengthy discussion here.
JGR [John G. Roberts] pointed out to the State that Congress had heavily regulated drugs and that things "have changed" a great deal since Gibbons v. Ogden. (Note to Rick Garnett and other states-rights conservatives: told you so; the federalism "revolution" was actually more of a "petty insurrection" and George Bush has now officially put it down with the change from WHR [William H. Rehnquist] to JGR. Sorry.)
I've said it before, but Commerce Clause jurisprudence was one of the most important issues during the 18+ years of the Rehnquist Court, and the former Chief, along with Justices Scalia and Thomas (I believe) truly did want to turn back the clock on federalism. But it does appear that the New Federalism is a thing of the past, and traditional, Marshall-style federalism will re-emerge under the Roberts Court.
Roberts' answers on Commerce Clause questioning during his confirmation hearings was one of the instrumental things that led me to decide he should be confirmed, and that he would have had my vote if I were a Senator.