Capitol Pressroom

Feb. 5, 2015: Dennis Vacco, David Leven, Marc Levin, James Tallon

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court held that New York’s prohibition on assisting suicide does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. The case came before the Court after three gravely ill patients sued the State of New York.

Today, Susan Arbetter speaks with Dennis Vacco, New York’s Attorney General at the time who argued the case, about the Supreme Court’s decision and what implications the ruling holds today. Vacco is now a partner at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP.

A similar lawsuit was just announced in Manhattan on Feb. 4. The new plaintiffs, that again include terminally ill patients, argue that New York’s Constitution allows doctors and patients to make autonomous decisions, including end-of-life decisions, about their bodies. David Leven, Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York and one of the plaintiffs in the case, explains the renewed push to decriminalize aid in dying.

Marc Levin, Right on Crime’s Policy Director, looks at Gov. Cuomo’s criminal justice reform proposal to stop prosecuting 16 and 17-year-olds as adults.

United Hospital Fund President and Board of Regents Member James Tallon argues that education reform will not be enough without real education investment.

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