BRONZKALA and assisted suicide
psalaman at POP.UKY.EDU
Wed Sep 6 14:04:37 PDT 2000
I don't see how this legislation could pass muster under Brzonkala. I've
adopted an astronomy-based metaphor for cases like Lopez and Brzonkala: Is
the phenomenon at issue (guns in schools, sex-based crimes) more clearly
attracted by the pull of the commerce clause or by the pull of the states'
police power (over such matters as education, domestic relations, etc.).
The pull of the commerce clause on assisted suicide seems to pale in
comparison to the pull of the power to regulate family and medicine. I
cannot avoid conceding that this ends up sounding like a resurrection of
Carter Coal, but I believe Lopez and Brzonkala do partially resurrect that
case, albeit with a far broader allowance for what constitutes an economic
Of course, physician-assisted suicide does save money. In the aggregate,
these savings could have a substantial relation to interstate commerce.
The irony is that the federal legislation you describe would prohibit this
practice. I suppose one could argue that the measure's constitutional
because of its impact, albeit negative, on interstate commerce.
Paul E. Salamanca
University of Kentucky
At 08:28 AM 9/6/2000 -0700, you wrote:
>I am interested in what people think about the BRZONKALA precedent when
>it is applied to the proposed "Pain Relief Promotion Act," which
>actually uses the commerce power to void Oregon's Death with Dignity
>Act. It amends the Controlled Substances Act, and includes a
>one-sentence "finding" that use of controlled Substances for assisted
>suicide "affect[s]" commerce. How could this pass muster under
>BRZONKALA? What if anything am I missing?
>Those who want a longer version of my take, or who are in need of
>natural, restful sleep, can see my piece on it on the CNN.com site:
>University of Oregon School of Law
>357 Knight Law Center
>1221 University of Oregon
>Eugene OR 97403
>PHONE: (541) 346-1578
> FAX: (541) 346-1564
>gepps at law.uoregon.edu
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