Our friends on the defense side are eager to see federal drug laws -- laws they view as "draconian" and none of the federal government's business anyway -- done away with in favor of state regulation. When it's pointed out to them that drug abuse and the awful (and awfully expensive) depredations drug abuse create constitute a nationwide concern, they are unpersuaded. It's a states' rights issue, period.
But it would seem that states' rights and federalism are a sometime thing. In the wake of the bungled Oklahoma execution, we hear (for example, on SL&P) this question: "Shouldn't Congress be holding hearings to explore federal and state execution methods?"
In a word, no. It shouldn't be exploring state methods because that is no business of the federal legislature (it might be a business for the federal courts if there is a strong risk in a particular case that those methods violate the Eighth Amendment). And it shouldn't be exploring federal methods in the absence of at least a minimal reason to think there's something wrong with them.
No such reason exists. There have been a total of three federal executions in the last 50 years (McVeigh, Garza and Jones), and not a whit of evidence that anything went awry with any of them. Fifty years of success is not really a cause for concern.
Perhaps Congress could trouble itself to examine a federal problem that actually exists, such as, say, looming national bankruptcy.