So you’ve got a state, Oregon, that has passed a law allowing assisted suicide in specific situations. Unwilling to accept the audacity of a state wanting to control its own medical practices, the DEA steps in and starts yanking the licenses of doctors who participate (under the notion that the Controlled Substances Act gives the feds the authority to override at whim).
Apparently this infuriated the President, who called in the Attorney General… and I’ve just gotten hold of this transcript of his remarks:
President: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states respectively.”… The federal government has no place here. The question is a moral one, an individual one. Grappling with the nature of life and the purview of God, in which the federal government has no… Forget it. The courts are gonna nail you. You pull this crap one more time, you’re fired.
Wow! The President really does believe in states’ rights, in individual moral responsibility, in limited federal government… unfortunately this President also happens to be the fictional President Bartlett on “The West Wing.”
In real life, the feds have appealed the case to the Supreme Court and the Supremes have taken the case – Oregon v. Gonzales.
It’s of interest to me because of the over-reach of the Controlled Substances Act, once again interfering in the right of states to allow doctors and patients to choose their own medical course of treatment. Clearly, there are logical connections to Raich v. Ashcroft, and people are already starting to wonder how Raich will affect Gonzales.
Moon Over Pittsburgh has a nice little update on Raich and discusses Gonzales as well. Worth a read if you’re interested in the Supreme Court, federalism and the CSA.