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Washington v. Glucksberg

United States Supreme Court
521 U.S. 702 (1997)


Facts

Under Washington state law, it is a crime to knowingly cause or aid another person to attempt suicide. Glucksberg (plaintiff), a Washington physician, along with other Washington physicians brought suit against the State of Washington (defendants), alleging that Glucksberg frequently treated terminally-ill patients and would have assisted those patients in ending their lives if not for Washington’s ban on assisted suicide. Glucksberg brought suit in federal district court seeking a declaration that the Washington state law violated a liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court found that the Washington law violated both the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

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Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

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Concurrence (Breyer, J.)

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Concurrence (Souter, J.)

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Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)

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