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23.11.07 1938
The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Assisted Suicide Law Register and log in to post!
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spf
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#1 Posted on 17.1.06 1000.10
Reposted on: 17.1.13 1000.48
According to AP (news.yahoo.com), the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold the Assisted Suicide Law in Oregon, which John Ashcroft had targeted and brought before the Court on his final day. While I'm happy about the decision, there's a couple of things I find interesting:

-O'Connor was with the majority, which would have withstood even a flip from her to Alito dissenting. I wonder if the addition of Roberts and most likely Alito will cause the other centrist judges to feel more of a leftward pull, knowing that the O'Connor vote is now moved to the right with the Alito appointment.

-This just befuddles me:
    Originally posted by Antonin Scalia's dissent
    Scalia, writing the dissent, said that federal officials have the power to regulate the doling out of medicine.

    "If the term `legitimate medical purpose' has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death," he wrote.


Where exactly is this covered in the Constitution? Isn't this the Federal Government making up a power for itself that the founders never intended? Seriously, how can any Strict Constructionist interpret the constitution to read that the Feds should be involved in this without having to stretch the Constitution, especially when one considers the 10th Amendment implications of such a move?

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bash91
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#2 Posted on 17.1.06 1033.02
Reposted on: 17.1.13 1034.13
    Originally posted by spf
    This just befuddles me:
      Originally posted by Antonin Scalia's dissent
      Scalia, writing the dissent, said that federal officials have the power to regulate the doling out of medicine.

      "If the term `legitimate medical purpose' has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death," he wrote.


    Where exactly is this covered in the Constitution? Isn't this the Federal Government making up a power for itself that the founders never intended? Seriously, how can any Strict Constructionist interpret the constitution to read that the Feds should be involved in this without having to stretch the Constitution, especially when one considers the 10th Amendment implications of such a move?




I dislike the decision, but primarily because it just makes an absolute hash of the principles laid down last term in Raich (caselaw.lp.findlaw.com). What we now know is that medical marijuana is not permissible but, take your pick of the term, euthanasia/killing someone is permissible and protected. I just don't see how these two positions can be reconciled given the commerce clause arguments made Justice Stevens in Raich.

I don't see this as the feds making up a power or stretching the constitution because this is pretty clearly covered by Article I Section 8:
    Originally posted by the US Constitution
    Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    ...

    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
    ...
    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.


From that, I'd say it's pretty clear that the Federal Government can regulate the sale and usage of medications that cross state or national borders. That's why we have the Food and Drug Administration. Is there a federalism argument to be made, one that I'd personally agree with, sure, but it's certainly not a stretch to see why Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts are taking the position they do.

Tim
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