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"The authority claimed by the attorney general is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purposes and design.''
-Justice Kennedy

Bush is getting hit with lawsuits about his spying program left and right and now this. Man the conservatives are getting dosed. What goes around comes around I guess. Well, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law, rejecting the Bush administration attempts to stop physicians from prescribing life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients and boosting efforts to pass similar laws in California and other states.

Its a solid ruling, a 6-3 decision saying that the federal government had no authority to use its narcotics laws to override the decision of a state and its voters that a physically ill, but mentally sound patient may enlist a doctor's help in dying. The majority was made up of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, along with Justices John Paul Stevens, Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer.

The real shock was that Roberts sided with Scalia and Thomas?! Well it wasn't really a shock. It looks like Bush has his new ultra-conservative judge so he has chosen wisely. Some sources are calling this a hint to the courts future, but anyone who didn't already have "the hint" needs to probably stop following politics.

What should be interesting with the parting of O'Connor who tends to be the swing vote in close decisions will be the emergence of Kennedy as that key middle ground judge. scAlito will assuredly tow the conservative line on Supreme Court rulings once he is put to a vote sometime next week.

As stated this ruling is a rejection of former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's end run around states' rights and the Bush administration. The majority found that Ashcroft's decision was beyond the expertise and outside the authority of the attorney general. Kennedy writing for the majority stated that Ashcroft had claimed a power Congress hadn't given him. The federal drug-control act of 1970 gave the attorney general the power to combat "drug dealing and trafficking as conventionally understood," not the power to tell doctors how they may use legal medications.

The right to life is your own and nobody should be able to take that away from you.

Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Right-to-Die Law by LA Times.
Fraught Issue, but Narrow Ruling in Oregon Suicide Case by NY Times.
Suicide and states' rights by Chicago Tribune.
Assisted-suicide decision may bring new effort here by Seattle Times.

1 interested person(s)

Anonymous said... @ 1/18/2006 10:22:00 AM

this decision was a fantastic suprise and a bright light. althought the decision narrowly applies to limit the AG's intrusion into a traditional state right to regulate the practice of medicine, it can be hailed as a victory for death with dignity supporters. My prediction is VT will soon have a death with dignity act. Ensuring that the Contsitutional right of liberty applies even when an individual is sick. THANK YOU Kennedy and O'Connor

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