Human Exceptionalism

Media Keep Getting the Assisted Suicide Case Wrong

This gets so old: The media keep reporting that the Feds are seeking to invalidate Oregon’s assisted suicide law. No, they are not, as I explained here years ago.

Here’s another bit of wrong reporting: I just heard an ABC radio news report in which the correspondent asserted that Chief Justice Rehnquist ruled previously that states have the right to legalize assisted suicide, and now the question is whether Chief Justice Roberts will follow in his mentor’s footsteps. No Rehquist didn’t. In fact, a footnote in his majority opinion finding that states may outlaw assisted suicide, explicitly stated that the question of whether states could legalize it was not being addressed. This makes imminent sense since that issue was never been briefed or argued in front of the Supreme Court.

And here’s a little known factoid about this matter: A federal trial court did rule that Oregon’s assisted suicide law was indeed unconstitutional. But this decision was reversed on appeal based on a technicality, leaving the legal substance of that question undecided at the present time.

The media was wrong about so much that happened in New Orleans. And they are just as inaccurate here. Why is it so hard for these reporters to present the simple facts without fundamental errors?