May 30, 2002
Re "Agency Won't Back Off Assisted Suicide Ruling," May 25: Justice Department lawyers declared that there is not "a legitimate medical purpose" to physician-prescribed suicide, which Oregon voters passed as law on two separate occasions. The law prescribes that two physicians must concur that death is imminent, within six months, and the patient must be of sound mind. What about a legitimate humanitarian purpose? It seems that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft has his own agenda regarding states' rights.
May 29, 2002 |
In another victory for states' rights, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the principle of "sovereign immunity" shields a state agency from being called before a federal administrative hearing and charged with violating the law. Speaking for the 5-4 majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said it would be "an affront to a state's dignity" to force its officials to appear at a federal administrative proceeding.
May 2, 2002 |
A major Republican welfare plan is sparking a new dispute over child care, with Democrats arguing that a big spending hike is crucial to a goal shared by both parties: helping more low-income mothers go to work. The flare-up over child care came Wednesday as a House committee was finishing its work on the $16.5-billion welfare plan, which is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber before Memorial Day.
March 26, 2002
"States' Rights at Heart of Oregon Suicide Lawsuit" (March 23) seems to be a no-brainer. The U.S. Constitution specifically states in its 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people." There is nothing in the Constitution delegating the U.S. government the power to regulate medical practices, nor are there any restrictions upon the states from doing so. Thus, that power is "reserved to the states . . . or to the people."
March 23, 2002 |
Oregon went to court Friday to challenge U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's attempt to bar doctors from prescribing federally controlled drugs under the state's landmark assisted-suicide law. In a case that could define the boundaries of physician-assisted suicide across the country, Oregon is challenging Ashcroft's threat to revoke the licenses of doctors who prescribe powerful barbiturate cocktails to hasten death for patients suffering the ravages of incurable, painful diseases.
January 20, 2002
Re "Bush Hears Local Voices--When It Suits His Agenda," Commentary, Jan. 16: John Balzar rightly illuminates the president's double standard on states' rights but uses the issue too much as an attack against President Bush without emphasizing the damage these oil rigs will cause. Although I am a Democrat, it should be noted that development on these leases first occurred in 1999 during President Clinton's term. In June, with the support of Californian environmental groups like CalPIRG, the state of California won its court case against the federal government mandating that California must be consulted about any new rigs built off its shores.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2001 |
Stung by a federal crackdown on medical marijuana in California, activists are pushing toward a new ballot measure to test a state's right to distribute pot as medicine. Americans for Medical Rights, the Santa Monica-based group that promoted California's landmark medical marijuana initiative in 1996, is eyeing such a test in one of three smaller Western states--Arizona, Washington or Oregon--that already have "medpot" laws.
September 3, 2001 |
The White House plans to create an entity within the federal government charged with protecting states' rights, a balm for state officials who complain that the Bush administration has not met its promise to return power to state governments. Within a month, aides say, President Bush will issue an executive order designed to shift some power from the federal government to the states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2001
In "2nd Amendment Rights" (letter, June 4) the writer asserted, "You can't have it both ways, assigning individual rights in all cases except the 2nd Amendment." Well, actually you can, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. Most laymen seem unaware that the Bill of Rights has never automatically been applied in whole as limiting state law. Of the three categories of fundamental constitutional rights, one consists of those rights delineated in the Bill of Rights that the Supreme Court has held to be incorporated in the 14th Amendment's due process clause, thus controlling federal and state law. The 2nd Amendment is one of only two provisions in the Bill of Rights that the Supreme Court has not ruled to be incorporated in the 14th Amendment; hence, states can enact whatever gun control laws they like as long as they do not exceed the limits, if any, of their respective state constitutions.