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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

States should have control of their laws

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Despite what the blue-state Democrats would have you believe, we Republicans don't always agree on all issues. I'm a conservative Republican and proud of it but I disagree with the administration's attempt to overrule the assisted-suicide law in Oregon.

Whether you agree or disagree with the volatile issue of assisted-suicide, I hold firm that the individual states have the right to approve their own state laws. Back in 1997, the United States Supreme Court agreed that states have the right to impose their own laws. The Democrats however would have you believe that all God-fearing, right-leaning Republicans would fall into lock-step with the administration on this or any other social issue. And once again, they are wrong.

If a sane person is facing certain death from a terminal illness and if that sane person seeks the medical opinion of two physicians (and they both agree), then I support their right to end their life for whatever personal reason they might have. I don't view that as "tinkering" with life's order. Never have. In fact, for what it's worth, I wrote a college paper in support of this issue darned near 35 years ago. But I digress.

The issue to me is not assisted-suicide. The issue is the ability of a state - any state - to control its own laws. This marks the second time the Bush administration has tried to step into the Oregon law and I believe they will lose this fight again.

For well over a decade, terminally ill patients have had the power to refuse life-saving actions they no longer desire. The Oregon law takes that position a step further and allows terminal patients to end their lives. The personal, financial and emotional factors that weigh into that decision should be obvious.

Despite the election rhetoric, not all policies are supported by all members of any political party. Like countless others, I too oppose the immigration policies currently being promoted by the Bush administration. And I'm certain there are other areas of disagreement. The challenge therefore is to follow those policies that parallel your positions and fight against those that do not. This should come as no surprise.

Attorney General John Ashcroft's zealot-like opposition to the Oregon law is well-documented. In this case however, despite strong admiration for Ashcroft, I think he's wrong.

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