The Campaign For DA

10.05.2005

Legal Stuff: Tired Head Warning

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments about the legality of Oregon's law that allows doctors to assist in suicide. (You are close to death, you want to get it over with, and you ask your doctor to provide you drugs to facilitate your impending death). If you ever heard the word "federalism", this is the perfect case to define it. The people of Oregon elected their state representatives. Those representatives decided that the people of Oregon would like a law passed that would allow doctor assisted suicide. They passed that law. Then the federal government came in and said "nope", that law violates a statute passed by Congress. The fight before the Supreme Court is simply one of semantics: Does the wording of the federal law prevent the people of Oregon from doing what they want to do? Of course, the bigger question is this: What business is it of the federal government to tell states what they can't and cannot do in this area? The Bush administration told the Court that the federal law should prevail over the wishes of the people of Oregon. Sheesh. So much for "state's rights".