Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM....The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has no right to block a state law permitting physician-assisted suicide. The vote was 6-3, and John Roberts joined Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the dissent. As E.J. Graff says:

It's very interesting to see that Scalia and Thomas are so quickly willing to desert Rehnquist's federalist revolution (i.e., the Rehnquist court's signature determination to shift power away from the federal government and back to the states), and that Roberts too has no interest in it. My guess is that Alito would have made the decision 5-4.

Federalism is at least a principled conservative position on which reasonable people can disagree. But the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us than they are in any meaningful application of conservative principle. I eagerly await thundering editorials from the right inveighing against judicial activism.

Kevin Drum 12:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (101)

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Comments

You should check out Thomas's dissent. It's only 4 pages. He basically says "Raich wha?" and then dissents in spite over the Court's Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

Posted by: Steve Brady on January 17, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Scalia grumbles about "legitimate medical purpose." Since when to judges get to decide how doctors practice their craft? Why can't hastening death in a willing patient be a legitimate purpose?

Posted by: Grumpy on January 17, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

But, that's no reason to filibuster Alito, eh Kevin?

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

California should secede now, while we have the chance. When Bush sends in the troups, we counter with Arnie in his Commando period. We win!

Posted by: craigie on January 17, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

moonwalking back into time. better dust off those stocks.

Posted by: mestizo on January 17, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us than they are in any meaningful application of conservative principle

In all fairness that's true of the "liberal" justices too. In the Gonzales v. Raich medical marijuana case, O'Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas dissented.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

The ruling wasn't on constitutional principles, but on statutory interpretation. The majority ruled that the laws passed by Congress for regulating illegal drug trafficking couldn't legitimately be applied to regulate the practice of medicine.

Scalia's dissent argues that physician assisted suicide is not the practice of medicine.

But I don't believe the constitutional issues were at play here at all.

Posted by: Andrew on January 17, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Check this out:

Repukes Lie Again!

(I noticed this tie was regurgitated on a previous thread here.

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on January 17, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

These damned activist judges...

And Alito will make it 5-4.

Posted by: theorajones on January 17, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Scalia's dissent argues that physician assisted suicide is not the practice of medicine.

Does that mean that the death penalty is not the practice of law enforcement too, then?

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on January 17, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

A position is only principled if held by someone with priciples. I always thought the Federalism argument in recent years was b.s. with the sole purpose of moving certain issues into a forum where the completly unprincipled right thought they would have a better chance of forcing their idea of morality down our throats.

Posted by: PGE on January 17, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: HL on January 17, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Results-based decision making by Roberts, I'm a little surprised, but not really.

Also not very surprised that Bush's appointee has no principles.

Posted by: Ringo on January 17, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

In all fairness that's true of the "liberal" justices too.

Bzzzzzt! False equivalence!

The so-called liberal justices do not embrace the lies of "strict constructionism", "judicial restraint", and "original intent", as do the zombie intellectual armies of the Federalist Society.

The Rehnquist court overturned more legislation than any previous court, and attacked state law in service of its ideology, behavior that flies in the face of its stated philosophy.

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I still think that Roberts will vote with the other side when it comes to potential gay-rights cases and maybe some other issues. But that will probably be an anomaly, like Thomas when it comes to medical marijuana and porn.

Posted by: Ringo on January 17, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

mondo dentro: The so-called liberal justices do not embrace the lies of "strict constructionism", "judicial restraint", and "original intent", as do the zombie intellectual armies of the Federalist Society.

So what, if any, principles do the "liberal" justices embrace? We also try to impose our own morality, but at least we're not hypocrites about it? That's a scant improvement.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

But the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us than they are in any meaningful application of conservative principle.

What utter bullsh*t.

The dissenting justices in this case weren't "impos[ing] their own version of morality" any more so than those in the majority.

The ONLY question was whether the ELECTED representitives in the federal government may impose their version of morality or if the ELECTED representitives in the state government may impose their version of morality.

Sheesh - is this what passes for intelligent commentary among the left? Kevin keeps going downhill - what happened to the good old days when he posted intelligent commentary instead of this hackish material?

Posted by: Al on January 17, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"A principle isn't a principle until it costs you something."
- Bill Bernbach

Ironically, he was talking about advertising, and yet he seemed to have a better grasp of grown-up behavior than any current "conservatives."

Posted by: craigie on January 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with PGE; many (or most) of the current so-called 'federalists' are every bit as result-oriented toward the law as they claim liberals are. The proof that a person is principled is that they apply those principles even when they dislike the immediate result. The issue properly before the Court was not whether or not physician-assisted suicide is medicine, or even proper. The question was whether it was for the national government to decide, or the states. A principled federalist would have had to agree that, since the national government is constitutionally limited in its scope while the state governments can presumptively pass any law, this is a state prerogative. That is the result I would have reached, even though my opinion is that physician-assisted suicide is terrible policy. And isn't judicially imposing one's own opinion something the conservatives howl about?

Posted by: nightshift66 on January 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Are you being sarcastic? Because there is no shortage of "thundering editorials from the right inveighing against judicial activism" denouncing Scalia for his vote with the majority in the Raich medical marijuana case. (Scalia write a concurring opinion that can be summarized as "I may seem like a total hypocrite for this vote, and while I have vainly proclaimed my intellectual consistency as my highest virtue, but here are some unconvincing reasons why federalism doesn't apply.) For this one, Thomas has apparently signed on as well. But generally, whenever these guys write separate (unnecessary) opinions, it's because they're being defensive because they know they should be. But the point is, you only need to look as far as the Volokh Conspiracy--where they tend towards genuine libertarianism--to see this opportunistic abandonment of federalism denounced.

Posted by: MikeS on January 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

or if the ELECTED representitives in the state government may impose their version of morality.

Funny, I thought Ashcroft lost his election.

Posted by: craigie on January 17, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

How about, to avoid the whole issue, we bus the terminally ill to a red state, let them commit a "death sentence" crime (like voting Democrat), and wait for "justice" to claim her victims...

Then conservatives will be left fighting against themselves - euthanasia vs death penalty. Could be fun!

Posted by: rusrus on January 17, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

The ONLY question was whether the ELECTED representitives in the federal government may impose their version of morality or if the ELECTED representitives in the state government may impose their version of morality.

How funny, then, that the supposed champions of "states rights", Scalia and Thomas and Roberts, all came down on the side of the FEDERAL legislation, not the STATE legislation, and that they were the ONLY such to do so.

Obvious inference? They and their "judicial principles" are first class phonies.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 17, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

So what, if any, principles do the "liberal" justices embrace?

Er, that would be the Constitution and the Law.

Do I win anything?

We also try to impose our own morality, but at least we're not hypocrites about it? That's a scant improvement.

Says you.

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think that the conservatives' (especially GOP conservatives') encantations of abstract theoretical and philosophical concepts such as original intent, state's right, free market, etc. etc. are a scam- just a means to the end of grabbing as much power as they can. Does any one really think that GWB gives a damn about any of this? More importantly, a typical voter couldn't care less about these issues.

Liberals are grossly mistaken in wasting their time engaging in debates with conservatives on these issues. Their efforts would be more rewarding if they just focussed on practical matters like winning elections.

Posted by: lib on January 17, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's true, Al is dead, isn't he?

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 17, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Scalia grumbles about "legitimate medical purpose." Since when to judges get to decide how doctors practice their craft?

I think it's time for eminent physicians to diagnose the mental illness behind Scalia's jurisprudence. (If it's good enough for Hammer of the Cabbage...)

Posted by: ahem on January 17, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Federalism is at least a principled conservative position on which reasonable people can disagree.

Well, yeah, in theory.

If you could actually fnd a Federalist who is really a Federalist you cold disagree.

This will happen about the time you find a libertarian who is really a libertarian.

Posted by: sixteenwords on January 17, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

It is NOT true that conservatism means limited government.

Towards the center, neither liberals or conservatives favor giving government huge influence over our lives. But at the two extremes of the political spectrum the opposite is true.

Communists clearly advocate giving the central government huge powers -- but so do fascists. Hitler was hardly for limited government, right?

So, what do you call a conservative that wants government to have a central role in the lives of individuals? Come on, you can say it.

Posted by: Dicksknee on January 17, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

After Bush v. Gore, Scalia's statements are just so much gibberish.

Posted by: nut on January 17, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

lib, I think you're making a mistake there. You're saying that when conservatives talk about etherial things people care, but when liberals do the same thing, people don't care? There are lawmakers that make a lot of noise about their principles just to get attention, and then go ahead and do whatever is convenient, but it works just as well for a Republican as it does a Democrat. You're setting up a double-standard, one that basically says that if a Republican does it, it helps them win, but if a Democrat does it, it also helps Republicans win.

Posted by: Sara on January 17, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

So what, if any, principles do the "liberal" justices embrace?

mondo dentro: Er, that would be the Constitution and the Law.

Which the "conservative" justices never refer to, for which there is only one correct interpretation, and which the "liberal" justices accurately discern. Apparently they do so using principles that are secret, or at least which you haven't explained.

Do I win anything?

No. If you have an argument, please make it. If you're a mindless kneejerk partisan, please wander over to DailyKos.

We also try to impose our own morality, but at least we're not hypocrites about it? That's a scant improvement.

Says you.

And apparently says you otherwise, without explanation or argument. "Says you not" is an unconvincing and childish argument.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

If you could actually and a Federalist who is really a Federalist you cold disagree.

Canonical examples of principled "conservative" Federalists are a southern white racist circa 1965, or a western exploiter/polluter of the Reagan era. All depends on what you want the Feds to leave you alone about.

The funny thing to watch will be the rise of lefty "Federalism." Of course, for liberals it will be about actual individual liberty (you know, as in the right to fuck who you want and procreate when you want) not the pseudo-individuality of some corporate, state or theorcratic entity favored by the right.

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

MikeS: But the point is, you only need to look as far as the Volokh Conspiracy--where they tend towards genuine libertarianism--to see this opportunistic abandonment of federalism denounced.

Funny, but I thought that the Volokh conspirators supported the Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito nominations.

Is thers a such thing as "crocodile denouncement"?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh - is this what passes for intelligent commentary among the left? Kevin keeps going downhill - what happened to the good old days when he posted intelligent commentary instead of this hackish material?

This Al is subtly ironic--not bad, fake Al, not bad.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 17, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

And apparently says you otherwise, without explanation or argument. "Says you not" is an unconvincing and childish argument.

Awe, awex. You hurt my widdle feewings.

You expect me to "argue" with you? You want no such thing. That fact that you like to wrap your partisanship in the veneer of reason does not impress me.

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Dems need to do one thing, start winning seats in the House this year. Whether Oregon wants to lets its doctors kill people doesn't matter to 99% of the poeple voting for Reps in 06. The SCOTUS is set for another 10 years, so forgetaboutit!

Posted by: the fake fake all on January 17, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

If we could hold a seance and ask the Founders, what would they say about the federal government's authority to regulate drugs in the first place??

Posted by: Grumpy on January 17, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

mondo dentro: Awe, awex. You hurt my widdle feewings.

My sincere apologies.

You expect me to "argue" with you? You want no such thing.

How would you know, having not even made the attempt.

Please go to www.dailykos.com (I think that's the right site, but I can't tell the difference between that and LGF).

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Al (fake, real or "other"):
in your post at 12:44 you wrote:

"The ONLY question was whether the ELECTED representitives in the federal government may impose their version of morality or if the ELECTED representitives in the state government may impose their version of morality.

Actually, if you had bothered to look into the history of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, you would realize that neither question is at issue here: the DwDA was not implemented by the State Legislature, but by a citizen initiative in 1994; that said initiative (which btw does not involve any State agency except for reporting purposes) was upheld by the courts, and then confirmed by yet another ballot measure (failure to repeal) in 1997. So the "imposition of morality", at least in Oregon's case, is largely self-imposed. And not even really "imposed", as physician-assisted suicide in Oregon is entirely voluntary and subject to stringent controls.
Not only that, but "elected representatives [note the correct spelling, troll] of the Federal government" have little to do with this, either; as the efforts against the Oregon DwDA have come from the Bush Administration's Justice Department; not Congress.
And you carp at Kevin about "intelligent commentary?


Posted by: Jay C on January 17, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The court has historically let the states decide leading issues, then when enough states seem to agree, the court makes it a federal case. I guess this has some reasoning, because once multiple states start something then interstate commerce becomes an issue.

Assisted suicide is one issue that the courts are willing to let the states have, until we get a consensus to rid ourselves of some of these old people, each state can decide.

Federalism vs centralism has long been lost to centralism, maybe for good reason. Renquist hardly chipped the iceberg.

Posted by: Matt on January 17, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Matt: Re[h]nquist hardly chipped the iceberg.

Rehnquist was in the majority in Bush v. Gore. In other words, he didn't even try.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

At its heart, conservatism literally means to caretake the country so as to conserve assets for continued use. Bushco, not so much.

Posted by: opit on January 17, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

My sincere apologies.

And if you can fake sincerity...

How would you know, having not even made the attempt.

My first post was an argument. You find it less than compelling. So what? You want me to write you a manifesto in response? Not gonna happen on this particular day.

As for equating dKos and LGF, that speaks volumes about your perspicacity. I think I'll stick with my false equivalence claim.

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 17, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

"George W. Bush Loves Black People"

If there is evidence to the contrary I would like to see it. That is ACTUAL evidence. Not just someones "I hate bush" blithering.

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 17, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42: If there is evidence to the contrary I would like to see it.

No, you wouldn't.

You would ignore it or rationalize it away just like you ignore and rationalize away all other evidence of Bush and administration malfeasance.

The same as "I love Bush" blithering is your speciality.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God (and anyone who's interested): I wrote more about this at my new blog, mikewdc.blogspot.com. Yippie.

Posted by: MikeS on January 17, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Now, if we can just get Bush's personal physician to help him along with his suicide....

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on January 17, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

A little testy this morning, aren't we zombie Al?

I'd say Scalia's comments over the years make it pretty clear that he's interested in imposing his particular views of morality on the American people, as evidenced both in his dissents in various cases as well as in his public speaking engagements. Just for instance, when he makes accusations that the majority

"has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda" and "taken sides in the culture war."

There's a "homosexual agenda"? There's a "culture war"? Sounds to me like those are pretty politically charged statements, claims more a propos of the head of a group like Focus on the Family than a Supreme Court Justice.

Scalia really shows his true colors in his piece on capital punishment where he admits his bias in his own words. He begins by stating that his own moral views don't influence how he votes at all -- and then says that "as a Roman Catholic he's "unable to jump out of his skin" when it comes to judging these issues.

What? He's unable to set aside his religious views when he considers cases that come before him? Is that the kind of person we want on the Supreme Court? Would we want a devout Hindu on the court judging a case regarding Monsanto's treatment of its cattle?

Further, Scalia shows just how far he's unable to leave his biases behind by formulating a theory of government wherein government does not derive its authority from the consent of the governed, as the Declaration of Independence asserts -- but rather from God, as Paul claims in the New Testament. He proceeds to derive an entire theory of justice and law from this line of reasoning, and argues that if the authority of government were simply grounded in the will of the people then there is no moral basis upon which to assert that individuals need abide by their country's laws.

Nice.

I think the Founders might have a few things to discuss with little Antonin were they around today.

He admits that he was very relieved to come up with a way of thinking about all this because if the Church were to find capital punishment immoral, then he would find it necessary to resign his position on the court given the legality of that remedy in this country. But since he's determined that the Bible is OK with capital punishment -- he can stay on the Supreme Court. Yay!

While all that sounds noble and tender, it's really quite doubtful that Scalia is being truthful or honest about it for a number of reasons. First, he's against any number of practices being legal including abortion and sodomy and those issues haven't caused him to quit. Secondly, while he professes obedience to the Church on moral doctrine from one side of his mouth, he goes on to say that the Church's current "seamless garment" position on capital punishment is ill-informed, and that the curia "could use a few new staffers" to reverse that position (when in fact it was the Pope John Paul II at the time who was really the driving force behind that exhortation).

Scalia argues that the Constitution is a dead text and that one can't appeal to evolving sensibilities about morality in society to interpret it. If we the people develop more enlightened view on capital punishment -- or I suppose women's rights, gay rights, or the rights of minorities -- tough luck, the Constitution was written in a time that held very different views. Then in a truly ironic move Scalia quotes a papal encyclical (shouldn't that scare us?) that in a weak but nevertheless determinative way argues that the evolution and organization of society has a bearing on the need to end the use of capital punishment.

Scalia pooh-poohs it and moves on.

The bottom line is that when it suits Scalia to depart from the civic or legal tradition he departs from it, and when it suits him to depart from the views of his Church he parts with them.

Just as an ironic aside, you see just how much of a strict constructionist Scalia really in this piece when he takes great pride in using the King James version of the Bible as his source for quotes, arguably one of the most error-riddled translations ever produced. There is a sense that he's using this to try and win points with his intended audience, which makes it just doubly worse.

Apparently Antonin Scalia believes that we are in a culture war, and he has taken sides.

Posted by: trex on January 17, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

mondo dentro: My first post was an argument.

That qualifies as an argument? It was barely a statement.

You find it less than compelling. So what? You want me to write you a manifesto in response? Not gonna happen on this particular day.

Translation: I used up my talking point. You didn't mindlessly agree. You must be on the other team. I'll pretend I have an argument but can't waste time explaining it to someone I assume to be on the other team.

As for equating dKos and LGF, that speaks volumes about your perspicacity.

A blind spot of mine. Mere cheerleading sounds the same to me, regardless of which team it's for.

I think I'll stick with my false equivalence claim.

When all else fails, reiterate the talking point.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

"No, you wouldn't."
"Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 1:42 PM"

Oh quite to the contrary. I most certainly would...that is if you have anything....

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 17, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Any time a commoner approaches the legal questions of SCOTUS they risk being ripped up by attorneys full of legal b.s. and theories like "originalism". But, I'll step into the fray and risk being slimed.

"You know, for the kids." -- idiot Tim Robbins played in The Hudsucker Proxy (a movie)

The argument of Thomas that no precedent means anything and all cases before the court should be decided based on their Constitutionality makes some sense. But, that hasn't prevailed over the decades, so I wonder what the argument is for use of precedent, aside from the ease of saving time or to ensure some kind of practical continuity.

Since the law being reviewed is a state law there isn't the natural question of whether the federal government should be legislating. It's more a question of whether there's anything in the state law which violates Constitutional rights.

Scalia argues that the government should regulate medicine and I can hardly disagree. Without that oversight/regulation each patient would be at terrible risk. I would currently argue there is far too little oversight, not too much. Are there laws governing medical care which would disallow the proscribing of lethal drugs. That probably is true in every state, but one would have to know the state's law. Since this law passed state muster before getting to the SCOTUS the argument is probably not one for SCOTUS to get into.

What other basis for review is there? Only Constitutional rights I suppose.

Did anyone argue that the doctor was violating a person's rights or that the law was hindering a person's freedom to exercise their rights?

If the person is of sound mind and chooses to do this, then it's hard to say anyone was imposing on them. The majority rule (6) seems right.

So, what counter-argument is left for the Right?
Perhaps they wish to enforce the idea that each state MUST protect it's citizens from charlatan doctors, purveyors of death, and all that, who would push for 'right to death' legislation. But, that isn't correctly the role for a justice, so it isn't relevant. What else could they point to as a justification for their position?

Posted by: MarkH on January 17, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

"The majority ruled that the laws passed by Congress for regulating illegal drug trafficking couldn't legitimately be applied to regulate the practice of medicine."

If this is an accurate representation of the court's ruling, I don't know how it can be reconciled with the medical marijuana decision (Raich?).

This is example of how stare decisis has no meaning at the Supreme Court level.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 17, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

If we could hold a seance and ask the Founders, what would they say about the federal government's authority to regulate drugs in the first place??Posted by: Grumpy on January 17, 2006 at 1:11 PM

A strict, principled Federalist position would be that all drugs that crossed state lines would be subject to Federal regulation. Otherwise, only state regulation should apply.

Frankly, I don't have a problem with that. However even if Republicans and Libertarians give lip service to such ideals we have proof positive here (and in the medical marijuana case) that they don't live up to these ideals in the slightest.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 17, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry. They'll do a commerce clause make-up call when they hear those two cases on the clean water act.

Maybe bone cancer patients of the future will be able to commit suicide by drinking from the local river.

Posted by: B on January 17, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

This decision certainly seems to betray how these the conservative justices would rule if Roe v. Wade were overturned and abortion rolled back to the states, and was then challenged on grounds of being murder before the Supreme Court.

If the federal government can override state laws allowing assisted suicide, then it can certainly override state laws that allow abortions, were a federal abortion ban to be passed.

Posted by: Jimm on January 17, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's right on. I would also add that its difficult to actually read this case without holding your nose - using the Controlled Substances Act to address assisted suicide? What genius dreamed up this line of argument?

Posted by: Aidan on January 17, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Or am I conflating?

Posted by: Jimm on January 17, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I see nothing in the decision to indicate that this is anything more than a dispute over statutory interpretation.

Posted by: Nathan on January 17, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting that the Post gives more space to the dissent than the majority opinion.

Scalia's reliance on the AG's finding that the statute applies is also very troubling, in that it gives the AG the right not only to enforce the law but also to interpret it. Apparently, Scalia's already laying the groundwork for rubber-stamping all of King George's abuses in the alleged War on Terror [cue ominous sound effects].

I don't know what these guys are, exactly, but they sure ain't believers in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Posted by: brewmn on January 17, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

If we could hold a seance and ask the Founders, what would they say about the federal government's authority to regulate drugs in the first place??

Morpheus has the correct answer. Of course, once the Founders saw how much power the modern Federal government has over states and individuals, their response would probably be catatonic shock.

I've noticed that "Federalism" and "state's rights" seem to be extraordinarily flexible principles, adjustable by both liberal and conservative to serve their own ends.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 17, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

"But the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us than they are in any meaningful application of conservative principle."

This is a truly breathtaking statement - a truly ridiculous statement. All these three, I assume you mean Scalia, Roberts, and Thomas - all they seek to do is impose their version of morality? This is pitiful commentary, isn't backed up by a shred of supporting argument.

I've rarely read anything on kevin's site more ridiculous.

Posted by: jerry on January 17, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - "Federalism is at least a principled conservative position on which reasonable people can disagree. But the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own ... blah blah blah.."

At least read Thomas' dissent before you whine on. He says clearly that he thinks the Feds should get the hell out of Oregon, but that the idiotic decision in Raich has tied his hands.

The real mystery is how the liberals (???) on the court - within just a few months! - can consistently vote against State rights in CA but for in OR based on no consistent legal principle whatsoever.

Posted by: peanut on January 17, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK
At least read Thomas' dissent before you whine on. He says clearly that he thinks the Feds should get the hell out of Oregon, but that the idiotic decision in Raich has tied his hands.

And you got that from "reading" the dissent? Why didn't Thomas just Concur for different reasons if he agreed with the outcome?

Posted by: Dobby on January 17, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, once the Founders saw how much power the modern Federal government has over states and individuals, their response would probably be catatonic shock.

That's a high bar. They'd likely be in a state of catatonic shock if they saw a flush toilet. That they would find federal regulation of a sewage treatment plants effluent ridiculous just underlines the reason Scalia should put down the Ouija board and start listening to scientists.

Posted by: B on January 17, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

=================================================
Kevin Drum: the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us...

Alex: In all fairness that's true of the "liberal" justices too.

Alex, you are dead wrong!

Liberal activist judges uphold person's right to spend his own life as he sees fit (provided he doesn't hurt others). Conservative activist judges command a person what he "must / mustn't" do with his own life.

Looks like you don't want to see this difference.
=================================================

Posted by: igor on January 17, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

igor: Liberal activist judges uphold person's right to spend his own life as he sees fit (provided he doesn't hurt others). Conservative activist judges command a person what he "must / mustn't" do with his own life.

The how do you explain the Gonzales v. Raich medical marijuana case? Why is the federal gov't allowed to say that people can't use marijuana for medical purposes, as prescribed by a doctor, and as permitted by their state law?

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

They'd likely be in a state of catatonic shock if they saw a flush toilet.

I have a higher opinion of those people than you do, and of their intelligence and philosophical views.

Odds are good that their first response to seeing a flush toilet is that one would have been installed in Monticello within a month.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 17, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Odds are good that their first response to seeing a flush toilet is that one would have been installed in Monticello within a month.

But Franklin would probably improve upon it. Before you know it he'd have the methane being fed into a Franklin stove to heat his house. Look ma, it's carbon neutral!

Speaking of catatonic shock: what do you think Jefferson's reaction would have been to the general laws of incorporation?

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

that's interesting, because a 6-3 majority ruled that the federal government could prohibit the growing of marijuana (like wheat and tomatoes) for personal use (overruling state law on the issue.) The short version of Thomas' view might be "Death no, maryjane yes". The short version of Ginzburg's view might be "Death yes, maryjane no". Scalia at least is pretty consistent: "No to death, no to maryjane".

Next question: can physician-assisted suicide be funded from federal tax receipts? Or do the Dr. and hospital have to perform the service for free?

This makes it hard to prosecute any Dr. for murder of a patient. He/She could always say that he/she discussed it with the patient and it's what the patient wanted (but not the family of the patient); how could you be sure "beyond a reasonable doubt" that he/she was not telling the truth.

It's kind of odd that the federal government can not protect unborn children or dying patients, but it can restrict the growing of wheat. The Constitution does leave most life and death matters to the states, but it is hard to see a lot of consistency about when the federal govt can and can not overrule state law.

Also next: transporting barbiturates across state borders for use in assisted suicide -- can the feds prohibit this as they regulate interstate transportation of milk? How about "transporting the elderly across state lines for mortal purposes"? Can you take your elderly parent from Texas to Oregon for the purpose of assisting his/her suicide?

Also next: prosecution of Drs for malpractice when they assist the suicide of patients with undiagnosed clinical depression. This is a federal issue because insurance companies operate across state lines -- true or false?

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Further grist for the mill from the homefront. I've been living in Oregon since this came to the ballot the first time, and it is a textbook case for the federalist argument. It went through a number of iterations, including twice being passed as an initiative, and each time it precipitated a state-wide discussion. More, as it worked its way toward becoming law, it became better policy (the inclusion of the psych exam as one example), and the interest it sparked made sure most Oregonians understood it. By the time it came to the ballot the second time, it passed by a larger majority--despite far more intense opposition from national foes.

The notion of federalism is that it creates better laws because they pass through more filters, get more testing, and allow for more interesting and innovative laws to arise. If ever there was a case that proved this, it was Oregon's Death with Dignity. That Scalia, Thomas, and the chief--supposed federalists all--would argue for MORE federal power over states is shocking and cynical.

Posted by: Jeff Alworth on January 17, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Lurker42, I can't vouch for all of the following, but they appear to be documented evidence supporting the proposition that Bush doesn't really love Black Americans.

Rationalize away:

President Bush met with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and somehow thought to ask him: Do you have blacks, too?

Bush's decision to reject the NAACP's invitation to speak.

[A commenter] said the tax cuts helped some blacks, such as small business owners, but were of little help to the majority of African-American workers.

As Bush watchers know, Bob Jones University bans interracial dating, but Bush decided to play to its racist population. "George W. took delight in validating this perverted version of Christianity, telling 6,000 students, almost all white, 'I look forward to publicly defending our conservative philosophy.'"

His compassion is irrelevant when out of all the colleges in South Carolina, he chose the most racist and homophobic, a venue more discriminatory on paper than even [Reagan's fairgrounds]. Speaking of papers, Bush's appearance was so outrageous newspaper and television reporters should hound him as to how he deserves the White House when he panders to such base thinking....By going to Bob Jones, Bush showed that he will be so compassionate to conservatives he will be every bit as antipoor, antiblack, and antidisadvantaged as Reagan was."

Black Entertainment Television News extended an open invitation to both Bush and Gore to appear on their network for a one-on-one interview. Gore accepted not just one interview, but two interviews with B.E.T., both with then BET Tonight host Tavis Smiley, now with ABC and NPR. Bush refused repeated requests for a one-on-one interview with B.E.T. during the election, and continues that refusal to this day.

Tom Joyner, a popular African American radio talk show host of The Tom Joyner Morning Show, also extended invitations to Bush and Gore to appear on his show and take questions from listeners. Gore accepted the invitation and took questions from black listeners. Bush refused to appear on the show, not giving any reason that we know of for the refusal.

RNC Chair Gilmore defended Bush's incommunicado policy towards the black press when he said through one of his RNC press aides that his office would not recognize the existence of the Richmond Free Press, the largest African American newspaper in Virginia. Then Gilmore reversed himself when he got blasted for his stance by the state chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party. The aide said her remarks were not policy statements, and Gilmore denied this was his policy. There was no condemnation of Gilmore's actions by Bush or any other Republican, and black Republicans, from within the administration to the outside, at the local, state, and national levels, did not say one condemnatory word against Gilmore, probably because most black Republicans have refused interviews with the black press, themselves, on occasion.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush's staff has promised to review [Bush's] appointment last year of a police chief who had testified in a civil lawsuit that he did not consider several racially charged terms to be slurs. Charles W. Williams, who was appointed to oversee the state's law enforcement training, testified in a discrimination lawsuit [in 1998] that terms such as "porch monkey" were not racial slurs.

Confederate group, the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The UDC operates as a cultural heritage organization and erects monuments to honor confederate soldiers across the South. The UDC proudly displays Confederate flags on the cover of its magazine and is closely tied to the far right. One of the darlings of the neo-Confederate movement is Michael Andrew Grissom. Grissom is a member of the national advisory board of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, a group which claims that Martin Luther King Jr. was a Communist and that whites are superior to blacks in such traits as "intelligence, law abidingness, sexual restraint, academic performance" and oddly, "resistance to disease."
Grissom is the author of Southern By The Grace Of God, which includes justifications of the worst of Southern racism. Among Grissom's claims, "No one can doubt the effectiveness of the original Ku Klux Klan. The Klan did a tremendous amount of benevolent work among the poor." He also claims that the Klan hoods were useful protection by providing "a measure of anonymity to thugs and criminals who eventually destroyed the effectiveness of the Klan." The UDC has collaborated with Grissom on the construction of a statue on the site of the Battle of Vicksburg. While most would be shocked at the thought of an organization allied with an apologist for the Ku Klux Klan, George W. Bush has congratulated the UDC for its "dedication to others" and for the group's "high standards" in a letter which appeared in UDC Magazine in 1996.

Bush operatives worked to keep blacks off the voter rolls in Florida, falsely claiming many were felons when they were not.

. . . Bush seemed to be saying that white is, and brown is not, the color of Americans' skin.

Asked about the prejudiced comments of GOP rival Pat Buchanan, Bush again refused to condemn his potential Reform Party rival.

Asked about the recent fine levied against his Louisiana campaign chair, Gov. Mike Foster, who illegally hid the fact that he twice purchased mailing lists from former Klansman David Duke, Bush avoided commenting altogether.

Bush orchestrated the demise of a hate crime bill in the Texas legislature last session.

And Bush's record on AIDS in Africa and on genocide in the Sudan speak volumes about his "love" for blacks.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have no argument with their intelligence and philosphy. The disconnect comes when you compare today's world and the world in 1776.

Posted by: B on January 17, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

grumpy: If we could hold a seance and ask the Founders, what would they say about the federal government's authority to regulate drugs in the first place??

About the same as the rest of the pure food and drug acts: labeling, sterile conditions, avoidance of contaminants, etc. . the retulaton of the producton of food is basically a progressive idea founded in the interstate commerce clause.

this case was about whether a federal law took precedence over a state law. the founding fathers started disagreeing amongst each other as soon as the constitution was ratified. Most notably, Hamilton and Madison soon disagreed about almost all particular cases, having cooperated in writing the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and most of the Federalist papers.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I have no argument with their intelligence and philosphy. The disconnect comes when you compare today's world and the world in 1776.

If there's one thing most of them agreed on, it was that the power of the centralized state needs to be severely restricted. I don't think that principle has changed significantly since then.

I suspect that they would have said that the Federal government should have little to say about local laws on medical marijuana, medical euthanasia, or many other issues.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 17, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jay C writes:Not only that, but "elected representatives [note the correct spelling, troll] of the Federal government" have little to do with this, either; as the efforts against the Oregon DwDA have come from the Bush Administration's Justice Department

Uh, troll, the Bush Administration refers to the administration of President Bush, who was duly ELECTED.

Smarter trolls, please.

Posted by: Al on January 17, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's decision to reject the NAACP's invitation to speak.

That one is easy. Bush spoke to lots of other minority organizations that were not so overtly and extremely hostile to him, and that had not lied about his record in Texas during the 2000 presidential election.

A racist is a person who does not judge black people on their merits but judges them as a class. I am sure that Bush is a racist by this definition, as are some prominent liberals. But he has judged some rather prominent blacks by their achievements and given them authority in his administration. He just has more respect for black Republicans than for black Democrats.

As for black and white murderers, he executed the white murderers of black innocent victims, and vice-versa.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK


################################################
RE: alex
################################################

igor: Liberal activist judges uphold person's right to spend his own life as he sees fit (provided he doesn't hurt others). Conservative activist judges command a person what he "must / mustn't" do with his own life.

alex: Then how do you explain the Gonzales v. Raich medical marijuana case? Why is the federal gov't allowed to say that people can't use marijuana for medical purposes, as prescribed by a doctor, and as permitted by their state law?

?????????

you claimed that liberal judicial activism is the same animal as the conservative judicial activism. I countered by stressing that liberal activism protects a person's right to manage his own life, while conservative activism tries to manage other's lives.

now you asks me "how then would I explain Gonzales v. Raich..." - what the hell has this explanation to do with the subject at hand ( - liberal vs conservative activism) ?

??????!!!!!

well, if I must, the explanation is very simple: the fed gov is NOT a bastion of liberalism, neither is the US judicial system as a whole.

Posted by: igor on January 17, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

contentious:

The question wasn't whether Bush was a racist, the question was whether he "loves" blacks.

He doesn't.

Doesn't even come close.

That doesn't necessarily mean he hates them.

But clearly he doesn't love them.

Lurker42 asked for evidence that Bush doesn't love blacks.

Evidence that Bush doesn't love blacks is not evidence that he's a racist nor intended to be, although he certainly could be one.

The preceding examples are evidence that Bush doesn't love blacks.

If you "love" someone, you protect them, you defend them, you don't associate with their enemies, you don't implicitly or explicitly endorse those enemies, and you support policies that will further their interests.

Bush doesn't qualify under any of the above.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 17, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

If / when Roe is overturned by the "Federalist Five" (once the group is assembled) how long do you all think that it will take this marry band of Judicial Activists to excavate some goofy judicial back flip that would deny any state the ability to offer legal abortions?

"Oh yeah, here is what we tell them, we tell them that all overturning Roe will do is turn it back to the states, and then once that happens we can uphold the right of some wingnut federal bureaucrat to outlaw the use of speculas in a abortion."

I mean the table is set folks.

Posted by: Rick DeMent on January 17, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect that they would have said that the Federal government should have little to say about local laws on medical marijuana, medical euthanasia, or many other issues.

I'll agree pending a more detailed description of "many more issues." There are serious issues today concerning community health, community safety, dwindling national resources, and an efficient and smooth economy for which small-scale free market mechanisms and local government regulation have no solution. Ben Franklin could crap in the Hudson with impunity. Population growth and improved scientific knowledge has rightly increased regulation on this front.

Posted by: B on January 17, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

B: Ben Franklin could crap in the Hudson with impunity

Given his location I'm sure that he was much more likely to have crapped in the Delaware, or in his youth, perhaps the Charles.

Posted by: alex on January 17, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Why do Roberts, Scalia and Thomas hate America?

Posted by: wb on January 17, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Scalia says that we don't have the right to decide when to end our own lives, but the State does. Why does he hate Americans?

Posted by: horatio on January 17, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

SCOTUS did no such thing. They merely concluded Congress hadn't chosen to override state statutes like Oregon. Big difference.

Posted by: phil on January 17, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK
Federalism is at least a principled conservative position on which reasonable people can disagree.

"Federalism" is a typical example of conservatives taking a word with established meaning and using it to mean the exact opposite.

It is also not, in practice, a "principled conservative position". Where a genuine, across the board, principled support for broader state and weaker federal authority exists, such is not "conservative", and, on the other hand, where "conservatives" embrace "federalism", it is highly selective, and focussed on areas where either the Congress or the federal courts have been dictating positions to the left of the conservatives preferences, and the focus shifts as the positions of Congress and the courts shift.

But the current crop of "conservative" justices is more interested in figuring out excuses to impose their own version of morality on the rest of us than they are in any meaningful application of conservative principle.

I don't think that Thomas, Scalia, and Roberts voting one way in this case -- and, quite consistently with some of the most frequently articulated "conservative principles" -- shows that.

And, imposing a particular view of morality consistently is pretty much the definition of adhering to principle, so to set the two against each other is, fundamentally, incoherent. Last I looked, favoring state regulation "protecting the value of human life" even at the expense of human liberty was one of the major overt principles of the Right in this country.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 17, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Let's ignore the Raich decision in which two conservatives (Rehnquist and Thomas) thought states should be able to determine appropriate medical uses of marijuana and all the liberals thought the state should have the power.

And of course, let's forget the Kelo decision in which the liberals argued that it was okay to take private property from individuals and give it to corporations.

Both decisions were based on precedent -- the precedent that established an all-powerful (federal) government. So now when the Court turns from its past trajectory you can all mourn the loss.

Hoisted on your own petard.

Posted by: Birkel on January 17, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

liberals thought the federal government should have the power

(shaking hand at preview button)

Posted by: Birkel on January 17, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

And let's also ignore the fact that this is an issue about whether the Attorney General, not Congress, can properly enforce a ban on assisted suicide. The liberals, as indicated in my 8:05pm post, would likely have sided with the federal government in light of their other federalism rulings if this was a statute enacted by Congress instead of the AG's decision.

So there you have it.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (And neither does this decision, Mr. Drum.)

Posted by: Birkel on January 17, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

from the majority opinion: A rule must be promulgated pursuant to authority Congress has delegated to the official. The specific respects in which the Attorney General is authorized to make rules under the CSA show that he is not authorized to make a rule declaring illegitimate a medical standard for patient care and treatment specifically authorized under state law. Congress delegated to the Attorney General only the authority to promulgate rules relating to "registration" and "control" of the dispensing of controlled substances, 21 U. S. C. A. 821, and "for the efficient execution of his [statutory] functions," 21 U. S. C. 871(b


That's just part, but it seems good to me.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Just blowing off steam here.

In my view, anyone who is not white and a born-again christian probably deserves to go to hell.

In the same token, anyone who does not believe in my own version of the right to live, probably deserves not to live in this god loving america, and should be deported, or jailed.

Also, anyone who does not believe that end-times are near, and still live a debauchery lives, are probably not humans, and should be treated like animals.

And, any judges who does not prescribed to all of my above views are all activist judges. Damn the conservative movement, it does not exist anymore. The end-times movement are here. GW Bush is the savior and king of this movement.


Posted by: eq on January 17, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

from thomas' dissent: When Angel Raich and Diane Monson challenged the application of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U. S. C. 801 et seq., to their purely intrastate possession of marijuana for medical use as authorized under California law, a majority of this Court (a mere seven months ago) determined that the CSA effectively invalidated California's law because "the CSA is a comprehensive regulatory regime specifically designed to regulate which controlled substances can be utilized for medicinal purposes, and in what manner." Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U. S. ___, ___ (2005) (slip op., at 24) (emphasis added). The majority employed unambiguous language, concluding that the "manner" in which controlled substances can be utilized "for medicinal purposes" is one of the "core activities regulated by the CSA." Id., at ___ (slip op., at 25). And, it described the CSA as "creating a comprehensive framework for regulating the production, distribution, and possession of ... 'controlled substances,' " including those substances that " 'have a useful and legitimate medical purpose,' " in order to "foster the beneficial use of those medications" and "to prevent their misuse." Id., at ___ (slip op., at 21).
***
Today the majority beats a hasty retreat from these conclusions. Confronted with a regulation that broadly requires all prescriptions to be issued for a "legitimate medical purpose," 21 CFR 1306.04(a) (2005), a regulation recognized in Raich as part of the Federal Government's "closed ... system" for regulating the "manner" in "which controlled substances can be utilized for medicinal purposes," 545 U. S., at ___, ___ (slip op., at 10, 24), the majority rejects the Attorney General's admittedly "at least reasonable," ante, at 26, determination that administering controlled substances to facilitate a patient's death is not a " 'legitimate medical purpose.' " The majority does so based on its conclusion that the CSA is only concerned with the regulation of "medical practice insofar as it bars doctors from using their prescription-writing powers as a means to engage in illicit drug dealing and trafficking as conventionally understood." Ante, at 23. In other words, in stark contrast to Raich's broad conclusions about the scope of the CSA as it pertains to the medicinal use of controlled substances, today this Court concludes that the CSA is merely concerned with fighting " 'drug abuse' " and only insofar as that abuse leads to "addiction or abnormal effects on the nervous system."1 Ante, at 26.

I think that he is correct that the majority is logically inconsistent. The only consistent supremes are O'Connor (against the feds both times) and Scalia (for the feds both times.)

Thomas holds that if the previous Raich decision is sound, then the feds should prevail in this case. If I knew Raich, I'd recommend that she bring her case again, and cite this decision.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,

You are as pitiful a lightweight as can be imagined.

By your lights, the Raich 'conservatives' included O'Connor, Rehnquist & Thomas. Very interesting. So, the 'liberals' in Raich include Scalia, Kennedy, John Ashcroft and the Bush administration.

In addition to that, as if it wasn't too awfully, painfully obvious, there are dozens of cases in which O'Connor is going to be your 'liberal' whipping boy.

Similarly with Anthony Kennedy. If it serves your purposes you'll laud him as a conservative. If you don't like a particular decision he makes then he's a damnable liberal.

And you are a frothing dipshit.

Posted by: obscure on January 17, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

The question wasn't whether Bush was a racist, the question was whether he "loves" blacks.

my mistake.

Posted by: contentious on January 17, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

For genuine political animals genuine ( ie NON -statist ) federalism has a lot to offer. Even Max Stirner spoke of a ' union of egoists' and endevoured to start a milk co-operative.
Later P.J Proudhon and M.Bakunin did far more to popularize the principle.
A federated and networked earth would soon deal with fascists like the Supremes and boy George by treating them as damage and routing around them. The thing about ' libertarians' is that they are invariably statist - for without the state who else would care about their ludicrous propetarian pretensions?
Eugene fascist arsehole Voloch is not only a statist but also a fascist. If he were standing here I would sever his motherfucking head off. That is the only way to treat all these well known self described fascists - continue the good work of world war two. Those that aren't shot - they can be hung.

Posted by: professor-rat on January 17, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

If he were standing here I would sever his motherfucking head off.

Well, you have your statists, your fascists, your federalists and your murderists.

Good luck with your budding murderocracy.

Posted by: obscure on January 17, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Fantastic post Kevin - I love it!

Posted by: Psyberian on January 17, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

By the time '08 comes around there'll be plenty more examples of the formation of a conservative block, including Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. Our freedoms will be hanging by a thread. Ginsburg and Stevens are getting close to retiring, and whoever replaces them will stack the court for the next 20 years. Hopefully enough people will come to understand that and vote accordingly.

Posted by: Jonesy on January 18, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think Thomas was right. If they can stop marijuana prescribed by doctors to control pain, euthanasia is also a means of controlling pain.

I think Scalia is wrong though. Using medicine to control pain is as legitimate a cause as saving life.

Then again the whole power to regulate interstate traffic being extended to drugs thing was based on creating a market for drugs illegal federally.
- I guess with euthanasia there's rarely enough repeat business for that sort of thing.

Does the person have to consent or can you terminate someone you are a guardian for?

The left might finally have achieved abortion in the 4th trimester for those defects you can't see until after the baby is born.

Save on Special Education classes, one-way tickets to Oregon!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Like I always say, strict construction is impossible anyway (as the supposed legitimate counterpoint to "judicial activism") because of the much-neglected Ninth Ammendment.

Posted by: Neil' on January 18, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

McAnustotle: The left might finally have achieved abortion in the 4th trimester for those defects you can't see until after the baby is born.

Yet another example of the McAnus being a McAss and McLying about liberals.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 18, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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