The Corner

Federalism Isn’t Chaos

Setting aside (for the moment) the legal issues in the Oregon doctor-assisted suicide case, I find it hard to take seriously Wesley Smith’s argument that allowing states to set their own policies on doctor-assisted suicide could produce “chaos.” There are lots of areas in which individuals or companies operate in multiple states with conflicting policies — from real estate and taxes to gambling and alcohol — and this hardly creates a problem. Different states have different rules regarding alcohol importation and sale. We may not like the policies adopted in some states, but the lack of a “national alcohol policy” hardly creates a crisis.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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