DENVER — The Montana Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that state law protects doctors in Montana from prosecution for helping terminally ill patients die. But the court, ruling with a narrow majority, sidestepped the larger landmark question of whether physician-assisted suicide is a right guaranteed under the state’s Constitution.
The 4-to-3 decision, in a case closely watched around the nation by physicians and advocates for the disabled and terminally ill, was a victory for the so-called death-with-dignity movement. But it fell short of the sweeping declaration advocates had hoped for.,,,,,,,,,
“We would have welcomed a broad and robust constitutional ruling,” said Kathryn L. Tucker, the legal affairs director for Compassion and Choices. But Ms. Tucker said there was also no doubt that the court had expanded the choices available to the dying in Montana, and extended protection to their doctors, too.
“The court recognized that this is a right patients have,” she said.
New Hampshire gay marriage law goes into affect.
Three states, Oregon, Illinois and New Hampshire- no texting while drive laws go into affect.
California will be the first state to partially ban the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants in 2010. And it will be easier for movie starts to sue paparazzi in a new anti-paparazzi law.
In Massachusetts, dog racing will be banned after a 75 year tradition.
A new Arkansas law prohibits retailers from selling toy guns that look like they real thing. But it may not have that big of an effect.(Imitation guns used for theater productions and other events are exempted, as are replicas of firearms produced before 1898, BB guns, paintball or pellet guns.)
No. Carolina's no-smoking law in bars and restaurants goes into effect. Virginia approved a similar law Dec. !. and Wyoming will be the only state without a law making manufacturers
to make their cigarettes less likely to start fires.
Teenagers going to a tanning bed in Texas will have to be accompanied by an adult.
Oregon employers are prohibited from restricting employees from wearing religious clothing on the job, taking time off for holy days or participating in a religious observance or practice.
The sale of "novelty" lighters — devices designed to look like cartoon characters, toys or guns or that play musical notes or have flashing lights — are banned in Nevada and Louisiana.