A silver lining in a terrible Oregon cloudI have to confess to having extremely mixed feelings regarding yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in Gonzales v. Oregon which upheld the “assisted suicide” law as it is practiced at present in the State of Oregon. From a moral and social point of view, I believe this law is both dangerous and frightening, as it is yet another chapter in the long slide of our society downward from a culture of life to not only a culture of death, but a culture which glorifies death, relishes in it, and encourages the old, the sick, the disabled, and the “unwanted” to get good and dead and out of the way so that the young, the virile, and the well can take control of society. In the misguided name of “compassion,” the State of Oregon has taken the lead in introducing the medical and social engineering methods of Nazi Germany to America.
From a raw legal standpoint, however, Justice Anthony Kennedy is correct in his assertion that this is an issue for state, rather than federal determination. The Constitution does not define anywhere within its wording, including the Bill of Rights or subsequent amendments, just what constitutes murder and what does not. That was left, quite intentionally, as a matter for the states to determine.
What our friends on the left do not realize, largely because most of them are entirely too short-sighted to see it (they see the High Court as an instrument with which to advance their political and social agenda) is that Justice Kennedy has just opened the door, perhaps quite unwittingly, for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. How? Because if the Constitution allows for the state to regulate medical practice, not the federal government, and the Constitution allows for the state, not the federal government, to determine the parameters under which life must be protected and sustained, then the state’s right to make the determination as to when the parameters of the protection of life should begin trumps anything the federal government might say.
The long and short of all of that is that if a state can determine when (or whether) a person has a “right to die,” the state may determine, and not the federal government, when a person’s right to live begins. If a state can pass a law allowing for a “right to die,” it can pass a law declaring a right to live. If a state can determine whether or not to allow assisted suicide, it can determine whether or not to allow abortion.
This case could be the beginning of the end of the era of Roe.