States' Rights win -- for once
Re: assisted-suicide in Oregon:
The Supreme Court delivered a rebuff to the Bush administration over physician-assisted suicide today, rejecting a Justice Department effort to bar doctors in Oregon from helping terminally ill patients end their lives under a 1994 state law.
In a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that then-U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft overstepped his authority in 2001 by trying to use a federal drug law to prosecute doctors who prescribed lethal overdoses under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, the only law in the nation that allows physician-assisted suicide. The measure has been approved twice by Oregon voters and upheld by lower court rulings
Now if only this principle held sway on a regular basis...
Oh yeah, about that 6-3 vote:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., dissenting for the first time since he joined the court in September, sided with the two most conservative justices -- Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- in voting for the minority view.
Gee, Roberts voted in the Bush administration's favor. [sarcasm]What a surprise...[/sarcasm]
Scott at Catallarchy looked at the opinion & exposed what could quite possibly be the dumbest dissent I have ever seen: Thomas actually voted the other way only because he thought it hypocritical for the majority to call this one on federalism grounds when they bent over and took it on Raich. That's quite childish for someone on the highest court in the land...
Updated @ 1:20pm EST, 01/20/06 -- Look, a bear shitting in the woods....
A "true conservative", "christian" criticizes the ruling, & my comment on Thomas:
I say that I have read the opinions because a lot of what is being said about this case is - in my humble opinion - being assumed by those who haven't read the case. They assume that this is a victory for states' rights, a victory delivered by the liberals who suddenly embraced the argument for federalism because it suited the outcome they desired. Those same people chide Scalia and Thomas for abandoning their states' rights position, painting them as hypocrites....
While this case may have looked like states' rights versus the right to life, it was more like the right of the Attorney General to define what is a "legitimate medical use." The majority said that he had no such authority. I can see their point, but why hand the decision for that definition over to the populace of Oregon or (even worse) the legislators of Oregon? If the question is as technical as [Supreme Court Justice] Kennedy makes it out to be, shouldn't the group with the expertise - the doctors - make the decision? Yes, I am suggesting a vote amongst the doctors of Oregon as to whether they feel comfortable violating the Hippocratic Oath on a regular basis.
The doctors can vote themselves already. It's called saying "no" when the request is made. Far as I've heard, the law allows physician-assisted suicide, it doesn't require it in any sense that would suggest criminalizing a medical decision to refuse to do it.
To expand on this: Laws against suicide are ridiculous anyway. To accept that there can possibly be a law against willingly ending one's own life you would have to start off from an assumption that people are never truly in control of themselves, negating the common arguement of self-ownership -- that your body is, by definition, also your property, to use how you see fit. This isn't popularly acknowledged anymore because people see in it suggestions that laws against acts they see as culturally unacceptable would fall like dominoes if they accepted it with no loopholes or contradictions. They're correct, but that's not an arguement against legal suicide, it's an invitation to an arguement on what the law itself should be based on, w/ their view being that it should be defined by the morals of a plurality.