The Predicate

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Tuesday, 17.01.06

Golden Globes

Overall, the Golden Globes were fun. Rachel Weisz looked like she came right out of the next Dracula movie, Scarlett Johannson looked very gorgeous, Reese Witherspoon was in a bad fancy dress competition, Natalie Portman looked more anorexic than ever, George Clooney's wise-ass quip about Jack Abrahmoff came off very well, Ang Lee took himself very seriously, Harrison Ford looked very drunk, I missed seeing the four Sex and the City girls, a few more biopics on singers were ordered after Johnny Cash's pic won big awards (as did 'Ray' last year), Paul Giamatti had his King Kong make-up on and big thumbs down for Melanie Griffith and Geena Davis (is she really that huge?). Now, let's wait for the Oscars.

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balaji - pencil 15:10:00 - Movies - pencil permalink -

Supreme Court Upholds Oregon Suicide Law

The first big news this morning is that the Supreme Court upheld the Oregon suicide law. More details in yahoo through AP. The law deals with terminally sick people and their right to die with the assistance of a doctor. It is cruel that the doctors should not help end the suffering of patients who would rather end their life than continue to suffer. The law was passed in 1997, but Ashcroft tried to overrule it and impose the federal drug law over it. It is good to see the Supreme Court upheld it and push back the Bush Administration's attempts to intrude in our rights.

As expected, Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented, as did John Roberts, who was appointed by President Bush. As of now, the conservative bench is not in the majority, but expect it to gain more strength if Alito gets on to the Supreme Court.

From the NYTimes article:

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, acknowledged that the long-running battle over the Oregon law is part of a "political and moral debate." But the issue for the court, he noted, was a more technical, down-to-earth one: Did the attorney general go beyond his powers under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970?

Clearly, he did, Justice Kennedy wrote, in an opinion joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer. The Controlled Substances Act "gives the attorney general limited powers, to be exercised in specific ways," the court ruled.

Those limited powers, however, do not include the ability to declare illegitimate "a medical standard for care and treatment of patients that is specifically authorized under state law."

In deferring to the will of Oregon lawmakers and voters, the high court majority said Congress had explicitly envisioned a role for the states in regulating controlled substances when it enacted the 1970 law. Nothing in the act allows the attorney general to interpret prescriptions for assisted suicide as "drug abuse," Justice Kennedy wrote.

Moreover, the majority concluded, the language of the 1970 law signals a clear unwillingness to allow medical judgments to be made by an executive official who lacks medical expertise. And the former attorney general's assertion that he was making a legal decision, not a medical one, does not hold up under scrutiny, the justices said.

- Balaji.

balaji - pencil 10:44:08 - Politics - pencil permalink -
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