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BREAKING NEWS ~ Supreme Court upholds Oregon assisted suicide law

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the US Supreme Court [official website] has upheld Oregon's Death with Dignity Act [PDF text], rejecting federal efforts to prevent doctors from assisting patients in taking their own lives. In 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered [text] a halt to the distribution of controlled drugs used by doctors for the suicides, arguing it was a violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act [text]. The Court heard arguments [JURIST report] in Gonzales v. Oregon [Duke Law case backgrounder] in October.

10:35 AM ET - In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the Controlled Substances Act does not allow the Attorney General to prohibit doctors from prescribing regulated drugs for use in physician-assisted suicide when state law permits the procedure. Read the Court's opinion [text], per Justice Kennedy, along with a dissent [text] from Justice Scalia, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas, and a separate dissent [text] from Justice Thomas. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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