SACRAMENTO — California's attorney general is asking an appeals court to quickly block a judge's decision to toss a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday requested an immediate stay and the reversal of a judge's ruling last week that the law was unconstitutionally approved by the state Legislature.
Becerra argued that the measure was legitimately passed during a special legislative session dedicated to health issues and urged the appeals court to keep the law in place while legal proceedings continue so that ailing patients aren't affected.
"Qualified terminally ill patients who seek the options afforded by the Act may die an excruciating, painful death before this Court will be able to grant them effective relief under the normal appellate process," he wrote.
The filing comes after Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia ruled that state lawmakers acted illegally in passing the measure during a special session devoted to other topics. Ottolia didn't address the legal issue of whether it was proper to allow people to end their own lives, and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal his decision on the special session.