Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Gonzales vs. Oregon
- "The importance of the issue of physician-assisted suicide, which has been the subject of "earnest and profound debate" accorss the country, Glucksberg, 521 US, at 745, makes the oblique form of the AG delgation all the more suspect. Under the Goverment's theory, moreover, the medical judgements the AG could not make are not limited to physician-assisted suicide. Where this argument accepted, he could decide whether a physician who administers any controversial treatment could be deregistered. This would occur, under the Government's view, despite the statute's express limitation of the AG's authority to registration [sic] and control, with attendant restrictions on each of those function, and despite the statutory purposes to combat drug use and prevent illicit drug trafficking." (see page 21)
Thomas seems fairly incensed by what he sees as the court flip-flopping from Raich in terms of the CSA, but interestly enough, Scalia doesn't appear to even make reference to it. Rather, Scalia's dissent comes off---as does that of Thomas (albeit much less eloquent and/or reasoned) as being written by someone who is much more grounded in personal belief that legal interpretion (i.e., the authority Scalia would purport an agency to have under the "public interest" standard would essentially be limitless). In short, today's decision seems to portay Raich as an very strained take on executive power and comes back to earth in terms of what limits should be placed on an agency/executive's power to implement policy through unilateral discretion.