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Supreme Court Suicide Ruling

  1. Jan 17, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I see this as a huge victory in the fight for privacy and freedom from government intrusions in our lives. It also seems to me that by definition, Republicans are on the wrong side on this issue, and that the Reps are more interested in freedom for corporations than American citizens.

    http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/01/17/ap2455319.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2006 #2
    Which issue? The jurisdictional one pertaining to the Controlled Substance Act or the political one that wasn't raised at all in the opinion?
     
  4. Jan 17, 2006 #3

    russ_watters

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    Meaning that if Republicans are in favor of smaller government, they should be in favor of this? Perhaps, but isn't that overly simplistic? Few issues only have one pro or con. Ie, shouldn't freedom-loving Democrats be pro-2nd amendment and utterly against any kind of gun control?

    [For the record, I am pro gun control and pro assisted suicide.]
     
  5. Jan 17, 2006 #4

    Math Is Hard

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    What does it mean if I am both pro-choice and pro-assisted suicide? Does that mean that I am not a Republican? I have many other issues that influence me towards the right. I'm just curious.
     
  6. Jan 18, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

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    That's why I have chosen to not have a party affiliation.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Come now, and Russ, there is something called the party platform. But if you Republicans are trying to distance yourselves from the Bush admin, I understand. :approve:
     
  8. Jan 18, 2006 #7

    russ_watters

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    If that's what you meant, you really should be clearer about it. You said 'Republicans are....' implying registered Republicans have a uniform point of view on the issue. If you say 'the Republican party is...' then it will be clear that you mean the party leadership or the party platform - the official position of the party.

    Yes, I'm sure you know that the party and its constituents don't always see eye to eye on every issue, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be clear about differentiating. Otherwise, it looks like you are just trying to fire a cheap-shot at all Republicans.
    Right, that's what I was saying. :rolleyes: Ivan, I'd vote for him over Kerry again tomorrow if it were necessary. That doesn't mean I agree with everything he does/believes.
     
  9. Jan 18, 2006 #8

    russ_watters

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    Taking a political quiz or judging by how you typically vote is a good indicator, but as a practical matter it makes sense to belong to a party just for the sake of voting in the primaries. And if that means picking a party to register just for the sake of voting for/against a specific person, do it - my parents both switched from Republican to Democrat in order to vote against Clinton (then my dad voted for him in the national election :confused: ). It's just another way to exercise your power.

    On the national level, politicians stick closer to party affiliation, and my votes are therefore almost always Republican. Locally, it is much easier for a politician to be who they really are, and as a result, I'm virtually split, locally.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2006 #9
    You haven't seen the end of this USSC challenge. Ashcroft tested the wrong law - re Federal Ban on Substances. He also challenged physicians' right to prescribe medicines that assist in the ending of a patient's life. Since it is common knowledge that physician oversight is regulated by the states - it was an incorrect course to take. By the way, the Federal Ban.. Act was the jurisdictional prescidence cited when the USSC struck down California's medical marijuana provision.

    Ashcroft will likely re-file his challenge as a federal criminal statute that no "person" can engage in any "act" that leads or contributes to taking the life of another. Conservatives are still seething over their Court losses in the Terri Schiavo matter. They view it in the broader pro life agenda.

    I suspect Ashcroft's subsequent challenge will ask the USSC to define "life and liberties" as described under the Constitution.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2006 #10

    SOS2008

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    Every party has factions within it -- Factions within the Republican Party such as the religious right (e.g., Ashcroft) or neocons have simply gained more power in recent years. These more extreme factions refer to the Moderates as “Republican in Name Only” (RHINO), a disparaging term that came into widespread usage around 2000 (Hmm…) Fools they are, because without the Moderates they couldn’t win elections. Come on MIH, leave those ungrateful extremists, and become an Independent like me (and Moonbear?).

    In any event, the Libertarian faction of the Party is very much against big government (or Big Brother) and favor state’s rights. This is where some of the conflict arises within the Party in regard to such rulings, aside from the purly legal apects.
     
  12. Jan 19, 2006 #11

    Math Is Hard

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    Thanks for the invitation, SOS. But I think it's too late for me to leave the collective.. er.. I mean, the party. :biggrin: Although, I have taken those quizzes that Russ mentioned and they rank me as "centrist" or "slightly Libertarian". Libertarian might be actually closer to where I am politically, from the (very) little bit that I know about it.
     
  13. Jan 19, 2006 #12

    ShawnD

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    From a great book I once read
    "The candidate can choose one of two platforms, but remember - no substitutions. For example, do you support universal health care? Then you must also want a ban on assault weapons. Pro-limited government? Congradulations, you are also anti-abortion. Luckily, all human opinion falls neatly into one of the two clearly defined camps. Thus, the two-party system elegantly reflects the bichromatic rainbow that is American political thought."

    What was the basis for anti-suicide laws in the first place? America has traditionally had a very apathetic approach to governing what people do in their free time. This "do as we say" approach is actually a newish concept.
     
  14. Jan 19, 2006 #13

    BobG

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    Ashcroft isn't the Attorney General anymore.

    A more likely follow-up would be a law passed in Congress banning assisted suicides. That would set up a state/federal confrontation that more directly addresses the point.

    It's hard to say if you could get Republican Congressmen very excited about a law like this in 2006. On the one hand, it might be good to be seen as friendly towards a group that has become fairly powerful within the Republican Party, plus it would divert attention from some of the other problems the party is facing. On the other, party leadership within Congress isn't carrying as much clout as they did a year ago and it might be advantageous to be seen as an independent politician who happens to be Republican vs. being seen as a party pawn. I think the issue will at least come up, but I'd rate it's chances of passing at less than 50%.
     
  15. Jan 19, 2006 #14

    BobG

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    I know what you mean. I get disgusted with some of the flakes in the Republican Party and think it's about time I switched .... then I look at the Democratic Party and there's just as many flakes in that party. :confused:

    I think both parties have a secret clause where sanity makes a person ineligible for any position of party leadership.
     
  16. Jan 20, 2006 #15
    There are states that used to have laws against attempted suicide. Most states also used to have laws against "sodomy"(several still do) and other such things. Are you meaning the Federal government maybe?
     
  17. Jan 20, 2006 #16
    Does anyone here feel that the issue the Court actually addressed, the issue that both sides actually presented and stuck to in argument, is more important than assisted suicide per se?
     
  18. Jan 20, 2006 #17

    selfAdjoint

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    Well, the issue they discussed, whether the anti-drug law could be used to deny the drugs prescribed for suicide, was the only thing at issue. Absent that, the Oregon suicide law was clearly a state law trumping the federal law, which is mandated in Amendment 10 to the constitution. That is why Ashcroft used the drug argument in the first place.
     
  19. Jan 20, 2006 #18
    Absent that, there was no federal law under consideration to trump. That's the issue. The Court held Ashcroft had no statutory authority under the anti-drug law to do what he did. The 10th Amendment was never at issue, and its not mentioned once in argument, the opinion or the dissents. At issue in both opinion and dissent is whether the logical complement of "legitimate medical purpose" is "illicit." The Kennedy majority argues no, the Scalia dissent argues yes. If anything, this is one of the more enlightening examples of how the craft of law corners its application in the judiciary. Nobody is making a 10th Amendment issue out of the case because no party contested that where federal law is silent and not circumscribed under the Constitution, the states are empowered to make law. What's at issue is whether or not a federal law against physician-assisted suicide existed period.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2006
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