Gonzales v. Oregon
By: LN on May 02, 2012 10:28:02 AM

Citation:  U.S. 126 S.Ct. 904, 163 L.Ed.2d 748 (2006).

Summary:  Respondent Attorney General issued an Interpretive Rule without consulting with petitioner. Petitioner claimed that the Interpretative Rule was invalid.

Facts:  In November 2001, without consulting petitioner, respondent the Attorney General issued an Interpretive Rule restricting the use of controlled substances for physician assisted suicides. It was clear that the Interpretive Rule would disrupt the ODWDA regime. Petitioners contended that every prescription filled under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (ODWDA) had specified drugs which were classified under the Schedule II. A physician could not prescribe the drugs without getting a clearance from the DEA registration and revocation or the physician would be suspended. This was a severe restriction on medical practice. Petitioners challenged the interpretive rule in the district court. The district court granted permanent injunction against the rule. Respondent filed an appeal to the ninth circuit court which affirmed the judgment of the district court and held that the rule was invalid. Petitioners sought review of the decision passed by the ninth circuit court.

Issue:  Whether the appellate court was correct in holding the interpretive rule was invalid?

Holding:  Yes, the appellate court was correct in holding that the interpretive rule was invalid.

Procedure: Judgment of the appellate court was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

Rule: Congress has given the authority to commission for prescribing such rules and regulations which were necessary in the interest of public to carry out the provisions of the act (47 U.S.C § 201(b)). Attorney General was authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and charge reasonable fees relating to the registration and control of the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of controlled substances and listed chemicals ( 21 U.S.C.A § 821 (Supp. 2005). Attorney General could promulgate rules and regulations for enforcing the rules, regulations and procedures which he deems necessary and appropriate for efficient execution of his functions. (21 U.S.C. § 871 (b)).

Rationale: The court found that the CSA had not prohibited the physician assisted suicide. The statute had no intention of regulating the practices of general medicine beyond barring the doctors from using their prescription writing powers as a means to engage in illicit drug dealing and trafficking.


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Michael Mordechai YadegariReviewsout of 83 reviews