Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Assisted-Suicide LawThis is so shocking:
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.
Faced with lower court rulings against his position, Ashcroft brought the case to the Supreme Court on the day he announced his resignation in November 2004. The case was continued by his successor as attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales.
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.