Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Supreme Court Decides Oregon "Death With Dignity" Case

Greetings from the Little Rock airport. Between travel and a raging headache, I was unable to post anything yesterday, but a fair amount happened. The big news is that the Supreme Court decided Gonzales v. Oregon, the case involving the Bush Administration's effort to use the Controlled Substances Act to make it effectively unlawful for doctors to carry out Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. In an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that the Bush Administration's interpretation was inconsistent with the statute. Unless Congress changes the law, then, physicians can participate in assisted suicides under the Oregon law without fear of federal penalty. Justices Stevens, O'Connor, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer joined Justice Kennedy's opinion for the Court. Justice Scalia filed a dissent, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas. And Justice Thomas also filed his own dissent.

For Linda Greenhouse's coverage of the case for the New York Times, see this article. Also look at this news analysis in the Times. Here's Charles Lane's coverage from the Washington Post, here's David Savage's coverage from the Los Angeles Times, here's Joan Biskupic's coverage from USA Today, here's Tony Mauro's coverage from, and here's Lyle Denniston's coverage for scotusblog.


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